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Historians Trim and Anderson to Lecture at PUC

By Julie Z. Lee on November 1, 2010

Pacific Union College will welcome noted historians David J.B. Trim and Eric Anderson for “Celebrating Adventist History,” a two-day event honoring the memory of Seventh-day Adventist historian Walter C. Utt. The event will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 10, with an unveiling of the Walter Charles Utt Collection in the Nelson Memorial Library. The collection features Dr. Utt’s papers, correspondence, and personal collection of old and rare books, as well as a collection of publications by dissident Adventist groups. In the future, the center will serve as a resource and research facility for scholars and students, housing papers of prominent Adventists and other important historical materials. At 7:30 p.m. in Scales Chapel, David J.B. Trim will give a special lecture titled “America’s Forgotten Tribe: The Huguenots in the Popular Imagination—on Stage, on Screen, and in Literature.” At 10 a.m. the next morning, Eric Anderson, president of Southwestern Adventist University, will speak for Campus Colloquy in the PUC Church Sanctuary. His topic is “What has Berkeley to do with Angwin? The Paradoxical Achievements of Walter C. Utt.” Trim currently serves as the archivist for the Seventh-day Adventist World Church. He is a senior research fellow in the history department...

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Enrollment Up at PUC

By Julie Z. Lee on October 29, 2010

Enrollment is up once more at Pacific Union College as the Fall 2010 quarter sees 1,436 students on campus and 1,527 total enrolled in both on and off campus programs. PUC saw a substantial jump in new students—which includes freshmen and transfer students—this fall with a 15% increase from last year as of the first day of school, making one-third of the student population new to campus. “PUC is once again a top choice for a record number of new students, and we are delighted with this news,” says President Heather J. Knight. “This is truly a reflection of the outstanding academic and spiritual environment on our campus, as well as our recent recognition by U.S. News and World Report as a best value in our region. We are committed to continuing to meet the needs of our constituents and providing them with an Ivy League quality educational product that represents a solid investment for the families that we serve.” As enrollment grew, several departments on campus experienced increases in certain programs. Although nursing continues to be the largest program on campus, the biology department came in a close second with 141 students—a 32% increase from 2009-2010. The largest increase...

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PUC Ends Triad Contract; Drops Ecovillage

By Julie Z. Lee on October 21, 2010

On October 4, 2010, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees voted to end the college’s consulting contract with Triad Communities and instead pursue opportunities for PUC’s property outside of an Ecovillage project. “This decision comes after more than a year of careful study and consideration,” says Dr. Heather Knight, president of PUC, who spent much of her first year on the job assessing the development project. “After speaking with various community leaders and given the current economic landscape, I feel this is not the best plan for PUC right now.” PUC is still committed to selling land that is not currently in use by the college and that is considered non-essential to PUC’s core mission. This is in accordance with a 2002 board resolution to liquidate non-essential assets to ensure that the College has resources to meet its current financial obligations, as well as to achieve its long-term financial objectives for its future growth and development. These goals include growing the college’s endowment, providing more scholarships for students, increasing faculty and staff compensation, and enhancing the campus infrastructure and facilities. Selected property surrounding and east of the airport will be sold, as is, through a broker, with appropriate restrictions...

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Parents Weekend

By Julie Z. Lee on October 18, 2010

Aside from a drizzly Sunday morning, most of the weekend stayed gorgeous and sunny, providing a perfect backdrop for the 2010 Pacific Union College Parents Weekend, October 15-17. More than 100 families from all over the United States arrived on campus, eager to see how their students were faring after four weeks of school and also to get a glimpse of college life. “Parents Weekend is a great opportunity for parents to come and see what life is like on campus and see what we do, how we live, and see our friends,” says student Rayna Duran, a business major. Her mother, Jan Duran, agrees. “You get to bond with your children in their environment. So they are actually hosting you as opposed to you doing all the hosting for them at your home. They love being able to give to us in a way that we always give to them.” The event started on Friday night with the Presidential Dinner in the newly renovated Dining Commons on Friday night. Families were treated to a special dinner with the administration and the president; later in the evening, President Heather Knight gave a speech on “The Adventist Advantage,” her philosophy on...

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PUC President Talks Career and Family on Hope Channel

By Julie Z. Lee on July 5, 2010

During the 2010 General Conference World Session in Atlanta Georgia, the Hope Channel featured Pacific Union College President Heather Knight and PUC Outreach Chaplain Norman Knight on a special edition of “World of Hope.” The episode, taped on July 2 in front of a live studio audience in the World Session exhibit hall, focused on Knight’s appointment as PUC’s first female and black president and the couple’s ability to balance a high profile careers and family. Show host Kandus Thorp started the interview by asking how Heather manages such a hectic life as an administrator, pastor’s wife, and a mother of a large blended family. “Well, one thing I do believe is that when God calls on you to do something, he also empowers you and equips you to get the work done,” said Heather, who has worked in education for more than twenty years. Heather also stated that most important is to “start each day with prayer and you really have to ask God for wisdom.” The couple, who married in 2003, also shared how they raised eight children—all of whom are college graduates or completing their college degrees—by building a corporation of sorts with their family. “We put...

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"Religion & Health" Presented for Inaugural Lecture

By Julie Z. Lee on November 23, 2009

For the first lecture in the Presidential Inaugural Lecture Series at Pacific Union College, Harvard professor David R. Williams spoke about religion and the impact on American health. He presented studies examining how religious participation affects a person's health. In most cases, he said, the studies found that religious participation (regular church attendance) has a positive effect on health. Some of these positive effects include lower blood pressure, less stress, less depression, and fewer anxiety disorders. Williams noted, however, that there are exceptions. People who are intrinsically religious people, those who consider religion to be a central and genuine focus in their life and who live their faith, are positively affected. But by contrast, people who are extrinsically religious, those who go regularly attend church as a way to give off a certain appearance or establishing status, tend to be negatively affected and experience more anxiety and depression. Looking at the larger picture, Williams talked about the health crisis in America. In 1994, a study showed that 46 percent of U.S. adults have a psychiatric disorder. Then Williams brought it back to the church: If religion can be such a powerful tool, then we have to address the on-going question...

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PUC Enrollment Up for Fall Quarter

By Julie Z. Lee on October 15, 2009

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...

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Pacific Union College Announces New President

By Julie Z Lee on July 20, 2009

On July 17, 2009, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees announced that Dr. Heather J. Knight, currently the provost of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, has been named the new president of Pacific Union College. She will begin her role as president in mid-September, in time for the new academic year. Dr. Knight received her Ph.D. in English from Stanford University, her master's degree in English from Loma Linda University, and her bachelor's degree in English from Oakwood University. She also completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University in management and leadership in education. An accomplished academic administrator, Dr. Knight served with distinction for 18 years at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she was a professor of English, assistant provost, and then associate provost. As provost at Andrews University, Dr. Knight served as second officer, providing administrative and academic leadership and managing the day-to-day operations of the university. During her three years at Andrews University, Dr. Knight successfully developed and implemented a new strategic plan, integrated budget and planning priorities, increased enrollment and student selectivity, and strengthened leadership in all areas of campus life. She oversaw the development of new programs, processes, and campus facilities...

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2009 Maxwell Scholars Announced

By Julie Z. Lee on June 5, 2009

Five high school students have been selected to receive $10,000 in renewable scholarship money from Pacific Union College as the 2009 Malcolm and Eileen Maxwell Scholars. The program honors high school seniors who have demonstrated high academic achievement, a commitment to Christian service, and outstanding leadership skills. The scholars, selected from nearly 50 applicants, came from all over the United States. Samantha Angeles, from Loma Linda Academy in California, is an aspiring attorney who won the title of Best Defense Attorney in the Mock Trial competitions in San Bernardino. Kaitlyn Min, from Madison Academy in Tennessee, started a service club at her academy called [REVO]lution. Matthew Phelps, from Lodi Adventist Academy in California, is an all-around star student, winning numerous city and school awards for academics, sports, and music. Colleen Uechi from Hawaii Mission Academy, holds the distinction of winning first place in a state scriptwriting contest. Dana Yoon, from Portland Adventist Academy in Oregon, was a standout in her commitment to service to school, community, and church. Each scholar maintained top grades in school, scored high on standardized tests, and, overall, each student is extraordinarily well-rounded. A selection committee using a double blind process reviewed all the applications. Students...

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Leadership Transition Announced for PUC

By Julie Z. Lee on April 14, 2009

On April 9 and 10, 2009, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees met in executive session to discuss the results of a commissioned Study Committee report. The report, written by a special committee of faculty and staff, had recommendations on how to strengthen specific programs and departments, better preparing PUC for continued success in the future. The study committee was formed in November 2008 at the request of PUC president Richard Osborn with the board's unanimous support; the group spent four months interviewing employees and reviewing programs. After careful consideration, the board of trustees and Dr. Osborn agreed that new leadership would best serve the college as it looks to addressing some of the recommendations, which lists both challenges and opportunities for PUC. On April 9, Dr. Osborn tendered his resignation as PUC president, effective June 30, 2009; the board accepted the resignation. "On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Union College, I would like to commend Dr. Richard Osborn for the selfless ministry of leadership he has provided for PUC during the last eight years," said board chair Ricardo Graham. "The benefits of his leadership will be felt for years to come. We ask the entire...

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