PUC Welcomes Both a New President and Pastor

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

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Dr. Dick Osborn became a permanent part of PUC’s history on July 1, 2001, by officially beginning his term as PUC’s 20th president in 119 years. There’s little talk about filling the enormous shoes left behind by Dr. Malcolm Maxwell, one of the college’s most beloved presidents. That’s because Dr. Osborn who was Vice President for Education of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, has brought with him own shoes—and they fit just great.

Dr. Osborn brings a wealth of experience to his new position. He has been a multidimensional educator with vast experience as a teacher, administrator, writer, researcher, and historian. He obtained his early education in Montevideo, Uruguay. He attended Monterey Bay Academy for four years before attending Columbia Union College, where he majored in history and graduated magna cum laude in 1969. In graduate school at the University of Maryland, he continued his studies in history, obtaining an M. A. in 1975 and a Ph.D. in 1990.

Yet the “Osborn Years” at PUC are not simply about the coming of a new president. Richard’s wife, Norma, is joining the pastoral staff of the Pacific Union College Church. Previously, she was an associate pastor at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Alexandria, Va. Certainly, the spiritual growth of PUC’s students is a large part of the mission of the PUC church, and it’s also the highest priority of the college’s administration. That’s why Dick and Norma Osborn will make a wonderful team, working toward the college’s central mission: “They shall be all taught of God.”

And fortunately for PUC, Dr. Malcolm Maxwell does not plan to disappear any time soon. First, he plans to take a sabbatical for graduate study and for “catching up with neglected tasks.” Then he plans to return to the classroom.

Of the incoming “first family” of PUC, Dr. Maxwell says, “I have come to admire Dick’s natural friendliness, his openness, his sensitivity to others and their needs, his intellectual rigor and his honesty. His wife is a delightful person and will make an effective and charming ‘first lady’ for PUC, as well as an experienced and competent pastor for the PUC Church.”