A Cogeneration Plant and Lots of Other Stuff

By Lainey S. Cronk on August 10, 2005

There’s an epidemic of hard hats and giant trucks on campus this summer—not to mention the massive trench that’s being excavated right through campus. It’s all a little mysterious to those of us who are mere sitters-in-offices or drivers-through-campus. When you talk to the people who have an “in” on the happenings, they tell you all about excavators, about switching over to 12KV, about condensate lines, and about trench details from A to V. Which only adds to the mystery. In layman’s terms, what it comes down to is this: a cogeneration plant and an associated electrical upgrade—and lots of other stuff. The “other stuff” is what usually keeps physical plant employees busy during the summer: replacing masses of dorm room doors (for fire safety), carpeting in Newton, replacing galvanized shower plumbing with copper in 18 Winning rooms (just in the nick of time for Korean camp meeting), renovating rooms and bathrooms in various dorms, repairing walls and lecture hall chairs, installing a new projection screen in Fisher, repainting classrooms… All these things are being done this summer. But over and above it all is “The Cogen” —the new cogeneration plant with its hefty building at the top of the...
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The NFL in Angwin

By Lainey S. Cronk on July 14, 2005

It was a glorious Friday afternoon in July. A group of teenage boys were starting a game of football on Pacific Union College’s football field. But who was that tall fellow playing quarterback? The boys could tell you: it was Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, it isn’t every week that these boys get to play football with a pro NFL player. But last year’s visit from Gonzalez and Warren Moon was such an all-around hit that they called for a repeat performance this summer. The teens came from New Horizons, a non-profit organization that has three Angwin and Napa homes for teenage boys. Eighteen residents from these homes gathered on the field Friday for their own private football session with Gonzalez. They started with a question and answer time, which ranged from questions such as “How much money do you make?” to real-life advice from Gonzalez. Some of the boys also had football cards for Gonzalez to sign. After the Q&A, Gonzalez had the boys run through warm up drills before dividing into teams and playing some football. New Horizons also has another connection with PUC: several college students have worked as counselors in the New...
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Summer Classes: Intensity and Informality

By Lainey S. Cronk on July 8, 2005

During the sunny green days of summer, the campus kicks off its shoes and falls into a comfortable doze. There’s no massive noon hubbub in the cafeteria; you’re just as likely to encounter maintenance workers as students; and there’s no sudden flood of students hurrying up and down stairs every hour. But all is not asleep and empty. Here and there in library chairs and dorm rooms, students still read thick books and stare at computer screens. Faculty and staff come and go in their offices. And in the quiet buildings, small groups of students meet daily for their general psychology class or their physics lab. With about 70 classes offered (including some at the Albion Field Station, the Honors Summer Abroad, and online courses), there are plenty of students—and teachers—still hard at the books. The tone of these classes is noticeably different from regular session classes. For one thing, the classes tend to be small. Amanda Rusch is taking History of World Civilizations along with six other students—but, she says, only 3 come to class every day! The others do their reading outside of class and come for the tests. “So it’s much more personal, just because it’s so...
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Ceremony in Black

By Lainey S. Cronk on July 5, 2005

For an event that includes a large group of people dressed in black, solemn organ music and a carefully prescribed traditional ceremony, commencement certainly produces an astonishing supply of enthusiasm! This year, as usual, corn tortillas flew into the air between solemnities, and here and there beach balls soared above the black-capped heads. It’s not surprising that commencement should be thick with formalities; certainly, it marks impressive academic achievements and years of dedicated work that will (hopefully) mark these individuals as thinking, well-educated citizens. Yet neither is it surprising that commencement should be so full of joyous excitement; after all, these graduates have finally made it through some of the most intense and amazing years of their lives and are at last being recognized for all that they poured into their college experience. The class of ’05 was an active class with a spirited and dedicated group of leaders and officers. Class president Joshua Okallo reflected some of this sense of teamwork and involvement as he addressed the class in a frank, good-natured style—including a jesting reprimand to those who ate all the cafeteria’s chocolate chip cookies before he got any! A group of singers from the senior class also...
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Saving Trees

By Lainey S. Cronk on June 16, 2005

Dark-suited bigwigs filled the elegant interior of the recently completed Pacific Union College presidential residence. University presidents, a publishing press president and conference presidents mingled with pastors and education leaders in a luncheon preceding their constituency meeting. The tone was chatty and conservative, accompanied by a grey mist that obscured the expansive view from giant bay windows. Seated among this large group of church and education leaders was an acclaimed local vintner—feeling a little out of place among a group that has a long history of avid teetotalism. Randy Dunn, owner of Howell Mountain’s Dunn Vineyards, came by special invitation to be honored for yet another paradox: a vintner giving up winery rights to save trees. John Collins, PUC’s vice president for financial administration, shared with the group a number of amusing stories about Randy Dunn, a successful yet down-to-earth local who is both a business associate and a personal friend of Collins. Several years ago, Collins explained, the college sold a 64-acre parcel of land. When Dunn purchased the property, everyone envisioned the trees being cleared and vineyards popping up. But Randy and his wife Lori had other plans. Giving up vineyard and winery rights to the property, they...
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Bring out the Brass

By Lainey S. Cronk on June 6, 2005

Stress, senioritis and spring fever characterize the third academic quarter. Fortunately, PUC’s wind ensemble and jazz band made a point of contributing an infectious dose of swing and jollity to the mix this spring. May brought a Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert featuring “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” (complete with accompanying visuals), a stunning “Rhapsody in Blue” starring Kristen La Madrid on piano, and “Carnival of Venice” with Alex Caceres on trumpet. Then, despite looming finals, the Jazz Band’s June concert attracted a vociferously appreciative audience to Paulin Hall. The relatively young band has quickly become highly popular—and rightly so. With an easy-going atmosphere, big band tunes that keep listeners feeling amazingly cheery long after the concert’s over, and awe-inspiringly talented musicians, the Jazz Band is something no one wants to miss. The superb contributions of guest saxophonist Guido Fazio added yet another layer of appeal to the band’s June 5 concert. An acclaimed San Francisco musician, Fazio is an old classmate of band director Kenneth Narducci and is also the current saxophone teacher of Darren Wheeler, PUC student and Jazz Band saxophonist. As always, the crowd demanded “one more!” at the end of the concert—and were rewarded with one last foot-tapping...
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Surprise! You're It

By Lainey S. Cronk on May 20, 2005

In a highly entertaining colloquy program, an astonished Aubyn Fulton was declared 2005 Educator of the Year. His gleeful wife and children escorted him to the platform amid an uproar of applause, where he received congratulations and quite a bit of good-natured “roasting” from assorted friends, family members, students and colleagues. The all-school colloquy program included a slide show that gave a condensed history of Fulton’s life, including his college afro and his obsession with the Lakers. Fulton’s sister, senior psychology majors, and members of the psychology and social work department were among those who chimed in with commentary on Fulton’s wardrobe (including the ever-askew tie), his spelling skills, and his campaign to avoid being educator of the year. A PUC faculty member since 1988, and also an alumnus, Fulton has had plenty of time to make his mark at the college. When the audience could catch their breath between laughing at the comic jabs made at Fulton’s lecture mannerisms and perpetual white tennis shoes, they received a very clear message about Fulton’s high academic expectations, his activism, his influence on students’ lives, and many other characteristics that make him a beloved and respected figure on campus. Scott Fillmore, one...
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The Fiddler Makes His Appearance

By Lainey S. Cronk on May 10, 2005

Despite a dismal day of mud and pouring rain, Fiddler on the Roof opened with a full house, a superb performance and a standing ovation. PUC’s Napa Valley Musical Theatre performed two shows in Yountville’s Lincoln Theater on Sunday, May 8. Three more performances will follow on May 14 and 15. Judy Park of the public relations office came back with the “Matchmaker” song stuck in her head. Previously unfamiliar with Fiddler, she found the play to be highly satisfactory. “The songs were really catchy,” she said, “and there was a lot of humor. My favorite parts were the group scenes—they were really well choreographed.” Student Nina Hansen was blown away by the acting and singing skills of the faculty members in the cast. Having a live orchestra, she added, made the performance even more superb. Community members (who made up the majority of the crowd) had such comments as “wonderful!” and even “flawlessly done.” With performances stretching several hours long, the cast and crew are tired; but they’re rewarded by the positive response of the audiences. We salute their hard work and excellent performance!...
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Up-and-Coming Artists

April 20, 2005

Rasmussen Art Gallery is never so full as on the opening night of the annual Student Art Show—and this year was no exception. The foyer and lobby were packed to capacity with student artists and their friends, family, teachers, and whoever else happened to show up. Between heads and shoulders, one could catch glimpses of an impressive array of artworks in many different media, including ceramics, photography, painting, drawing and print-making. Prizes in each of the categories went to student artists....
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Amnesty International Takes the Stage

By Lainey S. Cronk on April 20, 2005

With a grand combination of college students, the Patriot Act, and harp music, PUC’s chapter of Amnesty International (a human rights advocacy group) hosted the April 13 all-school colloquy program. The group brought to the platform Lawrence Swam, executive director of Interfaith Freedom Foundation, Ameena Jandali of Islamic Network Groups, and a tremendously well-received harp performance by a chapter officer. Assistant chapter coordinator Sean Metherell opened the program with a description of Amnesty International, emphasizing that it promotes the “impartial protection of human rights.” PUC’s chapter has been meeting for several years now, and their primary means of involvement is through writing letters for specific human rights issues. Currently the group is focusing on Sudan and also on the Patriot Act. Swam spoke briefly about Interfaith Freedom Foundation and associated issues before introducing Jandali, who discussed the Patriot Act and issues regarding treatment of Muslims—specifically “Islamophobia.” Jandali’s presentation was clear and articulate, and she spoke not only from a well-informed, analytic point of view but also from her own personal experiences. A question-and-answer session with Jandali was scheduled to follow the colloquy program, and a panel discussion on the Patriot Act was set for that evening, with four faculty members...
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