2017

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PUC Alumni Return to Share Wisdom and Success Stories with Students

By Larissa Church on November 20, 2017

Four Pacific Union College alumni bestowed their wealth of knowledge and advice to the campus community in a special Colloquy program on Thursday, November 16. Dr. Eliazar Alvarez, ’84, Angelica Ramirez Dull, ’82, Scott Wendt, ’85, and Dr. Vaughn Browne, ’85, were the honored presenters for the morning, speaking about how a PUC education helped get them to the successful places they are today.Dr. Eliazar Alvarez studied chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis at PUC, and went on to graduate from the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University. He has been practicing family medicine for over 20 years, and currently is part of Wheatland Medical Associates in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Alvarez shared his story as an immigrant from Mexico and the obstacles he overcame, and reminisced about his time at PUC. He worked at the front desk for Newton Hall and appreciated the college’s remote location, which he believes encourages students to become closer to one another. He appreciates that at PUC he made friends from all over the world and to this day he remains friends with many of them. “Open yourself to other cultures, you only risk expanding your mind,” Dr. Alvarez encouraged. “Remember in Christ there is...

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Church Luminary Dr. George R. Knight Speaks for Annual Adventist Heritage Colloquy

By Larissa Church on October 31, 2017

Dr. George R. Knight spoke for Pacific Union College’s annual Adventist Heritage Colloquy on Thursday, October 26, in remembrance and celebration of the historic roots the Seventh-day Adventist Church has with the Protestant Reformation. Knight is a leading Seventh-day Adventist historian, author, and educator, and considered to be one of the most influential voices within the denomination for the past three decades. He is also an alumnus of PUC, a graduate of the class of 1965, and professor emeritus of church history at Andrews University. Dr. Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration, took to the podium to welcome students back to campus after a week-long hiatus due to the wildfires in Napa County, saying, “It’s great to see everyone back on campus.” She then brought up J.R. Rogers, director of recruitment and fire chief for the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department, along with 16 volunteer firefighters, most of whom are PUC students, faculty, and staff. The audience clapped and cheered their appreciation in recognition of the volunteers’ tireless efforts and heroics during the recent fires. Rogers reported how the department assisted with fighting both the Atlas Peak and the Tubbs fires, during which many AVFD volunteers worked...

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PUC Offers Exciting New Scholarship Opportunities

By Staff Writer on October 24, 2017

Pacific Union College is proud to announce two new scholarship opportunities available to students entering Fall 2018; the STEM Scholarship and the Campus Impact Scholarship. Recognizing the financial difficulties families face when planning for college, PUC has strengthened its commitment to make a Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts education accessible and affordable to all admitted students. PUC’s new STEM Scholarship recognizes first-time freshmen who have obtained a strong understanding of and competence in advanced mathematics and science during high school. Recipients must have completed three years of college preparatory laboratory courses (biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy & physiology) and three years of college preparatory math courses (intermediate/advanced algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, geometry, and statistics) to receive the $1,000 renewable award. (Please see scholarship guidelines for specific requirements and details.) The Campus Impact Scholarship is a $1,000 renewable scholarship available to students who are invited to participate in PUC’s orchestra, wind ensemble, iCantori, or octet, or are selected for specific roles in campus ministries or CONNECT outreach. These awards are renewable upon continued participation in the specific programs. In addition, amounts for many existing scholarships have been increased, including the President’s and Dean’s Scholarships for both transfer and first-year students. These scholarships are automatically...

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PUC Resumes Classes After Wildfire Concerns

By Staff Writer on October 17, 2017

Today students return to the Pacific Union College campus after a week-long hiatus. In an act of caution, last Tuesday, October 10, PUC canceled classes, closed non-essential offices, and encouraged students to return home to their families while first responders and emergency personnel from across the country worked on containing the wildfires spanning Napa and Sonoma counties and throughout Northern California. “Even with the continued assurance of Angwin’s safety from local fire professionals, it gave PUC’s senior leadership team extra peace of mind knowing the majority of our students were far from the situation,” said Jennifer Tyner, vice president of student life, enrollment, and marketing. “The outpouring of love and support from the community to our remaining students, faculty, and staff was uplifting during this trying time for our campus.” Among the responders working tirelessly to contain the wildfires were several PUC students who volunteer with the local Angwin Volunteer Fire Department, along with many college staff and faculty members, including J.R. Rogers, director of recruitment and fire chief for the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department. He says, “Over 11,000 firefighters and first responders have been working around the clock and the containment of the fires continue to increase, which is...

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Saving Our Legacy: Board of Trustees Votes Not to Sell PUC Land

By Jennifer Tyner on October 4, 2017

In an historic move, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees voted Monday to withdraw from negotiations for the sale of more than 100 acres of agricultural land. Trustees rejected a multi-million-dollar proposal from a Napa County winery. “I am pleased the board has given Pacific Union College the opportunity to pursue a vision that includes stewardship of the PUC lands,” said President Bob Cushman. “We intend to develop a campus physical master plan that will include the development of auxiliary revenue streams while preserving the legacy of our land. The land is our endowment.” This decision follows a similar vote at the May 11, 2017, when the board voted to remove four other land parcels from the market. The board also voted to suspend further discussion of land sales until the campus physical master plan is approved by the board. Dr. Cushman outlined a 12-15 month timeframe to revise a plan that has not been updated since 1975. “The new college senior leadership team is offering an attractive vision for the future of the college, one that myself and the board are excited to see put into action,” said Bradford Newton, board chair. “We are encouraged by this new...

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Pacific Union College and Save Rural Angwin Mend Relationship for Conservation Easement

By Jennifer Tyner on October 3, 2017

It is not uncommon for small towns, local institutions, and rural communities throughout the nation to partner on ways to build on local assets, strengthen their economies, and provide better quality of life residents. Yet, here in Angwin, Calif., an unincorporated village in the Napa Valley, PUC administration and local residents have been at odds for years over the future of the 3,000-plus residential town on Howell Mountain. PUC and Save Rural Angwin (SRA) are now committed to work together to protect and preserve the rural setting. Moving forward, leaders have pledged to focus on collaborative efforts to address issues affecting Angwin and the greater Napa Valley. This summer, PUC administrators and SRA leadership met at President Bob Cushman’s Angwin home. Over a home cooked meal of cottage cheese loaf and roasted vegetables, the group expressed their hopes and dreams for their shared community. PUC administrators conveyed a desire to work with SRA on initiatives to safeguard Angwin’s rural character. “We look forward to partnering with our neighbors to preserve Angwin’s unique and irreplaceable natural environment,” said Dr. Cushman. One such initiative is the forest conservation easement and management project. Along with the Land Trust of Napa County, PUC and...

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Dr. Cushman Shares Vision for PUC at Opening Convocation

By Larissa Church on October 3, 2017

The Pacific Union College Church sanctuary was filled with students, staff, and faculty for the first Colloquy service of the year, Thursday, September 28. The campus and community family gathered together to hear the inaugural address from the college’s new president, Dr. Bob Cushman. Megan Weems, the Student Association (SA) president, began the service by introducing this year’s SA theme, “Family.” It is their goal that every PUC student be intentional about building a family atmosphere. “We want to make sure it’s more than just a word on a t-shirt, or a word on a video … we want to make sure everyone feels it in their heart of hearts. We want to make sure everyone feels they belong and are loved. At PUC, we’re all here together,” she encouraged. A hymn of praise followed, then a reading of Matthew 22:36-40. “Pie Jesus” by Andrew Lloyd Webber was performed by I Cantori, conducted by Jenelle Westerbeck Anderson, assistant professor of music, featuring solos from Whitney Weems and Christina Allen. Dr. Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology, introduced Dr. Cushman, and revealed he was her professor at Loma Linda University. She shared fun anecdotes from studies they conducted together;...

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PUC Named Second in the Nation for Highest-Earning Alumni with Two-Year Degrees

By Larissa Church on September 7, 2017

In its 2017-2018 College Salary Report, Payscale.com recently ranked Pacific Union College as second in the country for having the highest earning alumni with two-year degrees. For the report, Payscale surveyed approximately 2.3 million graduates from more than 2,700 colleges and universities throughout the United States, asking them to report their highest degree earned, major, school name, and salary. For the two-year degree granting schools category, PUC placed second for highest-earning alumni, following Helene Fuld College of Nursing in New York. According to the report, the early career pay for PUC graduates with two-year degrees is about $60,700, with their mid-career salary being around $85,400. In 2015, the most recent year such information is available, the Social Security Administration determined the national average wage index was $48,098. “While earning potential isn’t the sole reason students and families should consider when deciding on a college, it is an important factor, as college is a significant investment of both time and money,” says Jennifer Tyner, vice president of student life, enrollment, and marketing. “We are so pleased PUC graduates with two-year degrees are out in the workforce and receiving a high return on their college investment.”For more information about PUC's 70+ degree...

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PUC Releases Financial Aid Workshops Dates

By Staff Writer on August 24, 2017

Pacific Union College will host 16 financial aid workshops across Northern California and Hawaii, in a special collaboration with La Sierra University, during October and November. For the first time, the college will also be holding several online workshops throughout the fall. The goal of these workshops is to provide families with the critical information they need to help finance a quality, Christ-centered college education. Topics to be covered include PUC scholarships, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Cal Grant, and other scholarship and aid opportunities. “PUC understands how critical finances can be for families when planning for college, which is why we strive to offer as much assistance and information as possible through our financial aid workshops. I want to personally invite anyone considering PUC to attend a workshop so we can discuss how we can make an Adventist education possible for your family,” says J.R. Rogers, director of recruitment. “Traditionally, we held these events in January and February, but we’ve moved them up to assist families with college financial planning.” Workshop dates are as follows: October 2 - Mountain View AcademyOctober 4 - Lodi AcademyOctober 9 - Redwood Adventist AcademyOctober 10 - El Dorado Adventist SchoolOctober...

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5,000 Drops Towards Ending Water Poverty

By Staff Writer on August 14, 2017

This summer, Pacific Union College is embarking on a creative, yet ambitious educational initiative to raise awareness and funds about the global water crisis and water poverty. The college is partnering with Water for Good and private donors to launch the 5,000 Drops campaign. Private supporters donated an environmentally-friendly Tesla Model-X to serve as the foundation of the project. The electric vehicle has been custom wrapped with 5,000 transparent water drops. Each drop represents a Central African Republic family who lacks safe and reliable water access—water poverty affects an estimated 667 million people around the world. For the next two years, PUC staff and students will be touring the United States in the Tesla, offering presentations on water poverty and accepting donations for “drops of water.” The team’s schedule is already filling with requests for assembly programs, class presentations, and workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the Tesla too. “We want to start conversations about clean water access and sustainability,” says Fabio Maia, PUC’s director of missions and service. “An estimated 667 million people around the world drink contaminated water. We hope to use this project to provide an innovative way for people all over the country to...

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