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PUC Celebrates Diversity With Asian-American Colloquy

Eirene-Gin Nakamura, April 8, 2011
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In the tradition of celebrating the diversity of its student body, Pacific Union College recognized its Asian-American students at colloquy Thursday morning. The Asian-American heritage colloquy shed light on the culture and talents of the students who comprise roughly 23 percent of the total student body. This was the fourth in a series of assemblies putting the spotlight on the various ethnic groups with a strong presence on campus.

A number of Asian-American students displayed their talents through musical performances throughout the meeting. Peter Han, a junior film and biology major, conducted an Asian-American string ensemble, who played Antonio Vivaldi’s “Spring: Allegro” from The Four Seasons violin concerto. Junior Carissa Kan and sophomore Ernest Ly later sang a Chinese song entitled, “Mei Li De Shen Hua.”

The colloquy featured chemistry professor Ray Rajagukguk as speaker, who spoke on the role Asian-American Christians should play as members of the “model minority”—a term in social psychology used to describe a minority group (typically Asian American) who achieves greater success than their society’s average. Focusing on the empowerment brought about by the emphasis on education in Asian-American culture, Rajagukguk called students to use their education with the intent of imparting that knowledge others. “Education adds weight and credibility to your faith,” he said.

Rajagukguk, who immigrated to the United States from Indonesia in 1992, shared various points of his experience to demonstrate how access to education in the U.S. gives anyone the opportunity to be successful, not necessarily in the materialistic sense, but in the knowledge of God. “There is an opportunity for all to excel as long as you bring ability and commitment,” he said. “But always remember that the initiator of our knowledge is God, and without Him, we are nothing.”