PUC Life Now

Event Image

PUC Welcomes Back Students

Summer break is officially over for PUC students. As classes begin, the campus celebrates the commencement of the new school year with the annual Week of Welcome (WOW) celebration. 

Event Image

Opening Convocation Address Sets Pace for New School Year

Pacific Union College kicked off its 2015-16 academic year on Thursday, September 24, with the Opening Convocation, where speaker Dr. Arnetha F. Ball encouraged students to pursue God’s plans for them during their time at PUC.

Event Image

PUC Adds Two New Health-related Business Degrees

Pacific Union College has a rich history of equipping students with a passion for health ministry and leading lives of productive service in the industry. With employment of medical and health services managers to grow by 23% by the year 2022, PUC’s department of business expands its educational offerings to meet this demand. 

PUC Life

Peter Katz

Brandy Radoias, August 30, 2008
Entering his third year at PUC, English/history major Peter Katz is not only pursuing two majors, but he is also a part of the Honors program as well as being well on his way to earning his AS in music. He writes poetry, writes articles for the Campus Chronicle, plays the piano and aspires to someday earn his Ph.D. in “some kind of literature.” And, oh yeah, he is a black belt in karate. In short, Peter is a walking definition of an academic overachiever — but not the grating, know-it-all kind (although he does “know a lot,” he jokes); what sets Peter apart from many of his overachieving brethren is his genuine zeal for learning.

As a fellow English major, I’ve gotten to know and interact with Peter in various classes and I can testify to his sincerity as well as his intellect. He does not spout off Aristotelian theory or share his take on the Peloponnesian War just to bask in the sound of his own voice, but because those are the types of things that he is passionate about. He is the type of individual who loves to be surrounded by ideas, something that reflects in his goal of someday becoming a college professor. “I want to teach because I love learning and I want to get back to a learning community,” he says.

A fifth-generation PUC (future) graduate, Peter certainly keeps himself busy academically, adding a BA in history to his curriculum — because “literature and history are inseparable” — and an AS in music as a tribute to his mother, who also graduated from PUC with a music degree. In fact, “my piano teacher now was her piano teacher then,” he says. On top of it all, he is also a member of the Honors program, which has turned out to be an immensely gratifying experience for Peter. “Honors has been really helpful for helping me … look outside what I thought I knew and realize how much I don’t know,” he confesses.

Although he jokingly refers to himself as an “elitist jerk,” in reality, Peter is a humble person and an eager student. When he discovered at the end of last year that he had been selected for both the Walter Utt Scholarship for History and the Franklin and Laurie Hoyt Scholarship for English (no surprise there), he was completely bewildered. “I’m of course very honored and rather unworthy [of these awards],” he says. But then, Peter admits he is usually inclined to “not see [himself] as worthy of any great recognition.” Nonetheless, he is extremely grateful to the award donors for assuming some of his financial responsibility and appreciates their desire to proactively support Christian education, something he plans on doing in his own way someday. “I feel that a philosophically safe learning environment is important,” he says, “and I am leaning strongly toward working in the Adventist system just because of what I owe the community.”

Meanwhile, Peter is happy to play the pretentious intellectual that others expect him to be, crossing his legs here, tenting his fingers there. Sometimes I swear he belongs inside an old-fashioned smoking jacket. Granted, his physical appearance does nothing to shatter this projected image; at 6 feet 6 inches, Peter’s slender frame, riotously curly hair and patrician features give him the likely look of an eccentric academic. Ultimately, it turns out that God and nature worked in his favor, because “eccentric academic” is exactly what my friend Peter aspires to be.