Historic Snowfall Shuts Down PUC—and Brings Winter Delight

By Laura Gang on February 27, 2023

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A massive winter storm that barreled into California brought nearly a foot of snow to Pacific Union College, shutting down the campus, closing roads, and felling large branches and trees. 

But the rare snowfall late last week in Angwin also brought delight to students, faculty, and staff. Students made snow angels and snowmen while others brought out their skis and snowboards.

Meanwhile, PUC staff and faculty—including President Ralph Trecartin—did their part to help the community dig out from the storm.

The storm closed down many of the roads on Howell Mountain. Much of PUC’s campus had only a single lane of access around it. PG&E reported widespread power outages, leaving many without heat.

Tim De La Torre, PUC instructor of film and television production, took drone footage of the snow-covered campus, which has been shared more than 100 times on Facebook.  Director of Admissions Craig Philpott took to his vehicle and drove through the snowy roads to document the storm on video. It showed all the PUC buildings, residence halls, and student cars blanketed in a thick layer of white. Trees, boughs heavy with snow, leaned forward precariously on either side of the roads. In many areas, the lanes were obstructed by felled trees, giant limbs, and debris.

PUC took storm preparations seriously.

As the forecast worsened, the college preemptively canceled all classes and labs on Friday, Feb. 24. The Dining Commons had limited hours. Friday night vespers was moved from the church to the dorm chapels—Andre, McReynolds, and Newton halls.

Jericho Road, a musical production written by Associate Academic Dean Lindsay Morton, debuted on Thursday night to strong attendance. But the weather postponed the weekend performances. Both will be rescheduled soon. Still, despite the snow, PUC was able to have a  limited acoustic version of the musical Sabbath afternoon which was live streamed on Facebook. The snow forced PUC to reschedule a second College Days weekend when academies and families typically come to visit and learn more about the college. PUC will be open for classes on Monday, Feb. 27.