Pacific Union College opened a new school year in September with increased enrollment and high student enthusiasm. Official headcount for fall quarter is 1,511-an 11.1 percent increase from last year. Retention numbers are also up from 71 percent to 79 percent.
"We're off to a great start with increased enrollment numbers this fall, and there is such a positive spirit and a spirit of hope on the campus," said Dr. Heather Knight, PUC president. "Everyone is excited about creating a really exciting and dynamic learning community characterized by the intentional integration of faith and learning. Truly, PUC is becoming a real destination campus."
While the numbers are encouraging, what's also inspiring to is the energy exuded by this year's student body. At a packed weekend retreat for freshmen, leaders observed students not only getting acquainted but starting a trend of connection, conversation, and involvement that carried over when the new students returned to campus. "There was just a buzz of conversation a new comfort level amongst their peers. People who came not knowing anyone … now have a sense of belonging," reported Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services, after the opening weekend.
"The vibe that the new freshman class gives to the campus is awesome," said upperclassman Geoff Brummett. "They are so full of life and energy, and best part of it all is that they participate in campus activities."
There are 378 new freshmen on campus and over a hundred more students who transferred from another institution to PUC. The total headcount also includes students in PUC's Degree Completion Program, which has campuses in Napa, Santa Rosa, and Lake County, and in the off-campus nursing programs in Hanford, at the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, and the Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa.
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