PUC Board of Trustees Approves Plan for a Stronger Future

By Staff Writer on March 6, 2023

The Pacific Union College Board of Trustees met for its annual winter meeting on Feb. 26. After an extensive review, the Board voted to pass recommendations that will produce a balanced budget and create a strong future for the college.“We are grateful to the Board for its support and teamwork as we worked to create a strong foundation for Pacific Union College,” President Ralph Trecartin said. “Although there will be changes, our plans set PUC up for growth and future success. We look forward to where God is leading us.”Like many colleges and universities nationwide, PUC has been navigating issues regarding enrollment, mounting student debt, and the changing landscape of higher education.For several months, the PUC administration and Board members have worked together diligently alongside their respective subcommittees to present a balanced budget plan. This year was particularly complex because the college is losing two, one-time, major revenue sources which helped to balance the budget in the current fiscal year.In the next fiscal year, PUC will no longer receive checks related to its property easement and government-issued COVID relief funding. Though the college has stabilized enrollment and, in fact, increased its economic full-time equivalent (EFTE) over fall and winter, more...
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Better Together: Adventist Colleges and Universities See Rise in Enrollment Through Joint Efforts

By Laura Gang on February 28, 2023

Seventh-day Adventist higher education is facing many challenges. Lack of affordability. Mounting student debt. Emerging college alternatives. These are just some of the unprecedented difficulties colleges and universities nationwide—not just Adventist ones—have been grappling with in the last few years.“Then the pandemic hit,” said Tony Yang, vice president for strategy, marketing, and enrollment and chief communication officer at Andrews University. But leaders at Adventist colleges and universities are working to change that, setting aside their competitive differences to further the mission of Seventh-day Adventist education.The Adventist Enrollment Association (AEA) is a group of enrollment administration officers and representatives from all 13 Adventist colleges and universities in North America. It was created to centrally brand and position institutions together, create awareness and visibility of college options, and expand access to Adventist young people.Yang, also the president of the AEA, said he sees hope for the future of Adventist higher education because of its shared mission. “Now, perhaps more than ever, we have an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with a world that’s facing increasingly challenging times.”Recently, on Jan. 24-25, the AEA met at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, to discuss, evaluate and plan joint marketing and enrollment efforts...
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Historic Snowfall Shuts Down PUC—and Brings Winter Delight

By Laura Gang on February 27, 2023

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...
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PUC Welcomes New Lead Pastor Nate Furness

By Ally Romanes on February 9, 2023

The Pacific Union College Church is thrilled to announce and welcome their new Lead Pastor, Nate Furness, his wife Jennie, and their sons Alex and Anders. On Saturday, February 4, 2023, the Northern California Conference and local church leadership officially installed Pastor Nate during the sabbath worship service. Growing up in Orange County, CA., as a pastor’s kid, Pastor Nate would watch his father and knew he wanted to be a pastor. Although he knew what it meant to be a pastor, he wasn’t ready to fulfill that obligation during his undergrad years. “I had some growing to do,” shares Pastor Nate. “After I married Jennie in 2005, I knew it was time to become a pastor.” During his college years, Pastor Nate attended PUC for two years, then graduated from Southern Adventist University with a Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness, and Physical Education, following a Masters of Theological Studies degree from La Sierra University. He started his pastoral ministry at Westminster Good Samaritan SDA Church in Orange County for two years, then became the lead pastor at the Costa Mesa SDA church for nine years.For the last five years, he served as lead pastor of the Napa Community...
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Speakers Share Personal Stories of Revival during Student Week of Prayer

By Laura Gang on February 5, 2023

At the beginning of the message to her fellow students, Lily Chaffee said that when she was asked “point blank” to define the word “revival,” she struggled a bit to come up with a definite answer. Chaffee contended it was difficult because revival seems to be offered everywhere in the world. She described how pop-up phone ads constantly sell products, vacations, or gym memberships to gain renewal in life. All these things that advertisements promise will bring happiness are temporary and don’t meet the deep revival that “our hearts are searching for,” Chaffee said.“I only know of one revival that is eternal,” Chaffee said. “A revival that is rooted in Jesus is never-ending and unbroken and life-changing.” Chaffee, a first-year religion and biblical studies major, was one of seven speakers at Student Week of Prayer at Pacific Union College, which was held Jan. 23-28 in the church sanctuary. Other speakers included Karen Baez-Castro, Misael Bernard, Beven Delos Reyes, and Santiago Hernandez. Kaitlin Nakanishi spoke at Friday night vespers, and Ashley Castro Rodriguez gave the final message during the church service on Sabbath morning. Though Student Week of Prayer is an annual tradition at PUC, there was a notable difference this...
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Tyre Nichols Statement

By Staff Writer on February 3, 2023

By now, many of you have seen the tragic beating of Tyre Nichols, and please know that PUC strongly condemns the actions of any officer that brutalizes citizens. We join others in expressing our disgust for this repulsive act, and our hearts and prayers are with our PUC students who have been triggered by the violence inflicted on Tyre Nichols. Research informs us how unjust killings by police harm the mental health of people of color, and we make certain the practices of our campus safety ensures the safety and well-being of our students. If you are struggling with the aftermath of this recent event, our counselors at the Counseling and Testing Center are available to see you.Our community is joined together, and our hope for a brighter future and a better tomorrow is in Jesus. We will overcome by the blood of the lamb. Revelation 12:11...
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PUC’s Utt Center: A Historical Archive to PUC & Adventist History

By Ally Romanes on January 30, 2023

During Homecoming on April 16, 2022, Pacific Union College dedicated the Walter C. Utt Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Named after one of PUC’s distinguished professors and historians, the center is essentially a historical archive holding a collection of documents related to PUC and Adventist history. The purpose of the center is to conserve historical documents and materials so visiting scholars, PUC faculty, and PUC students can study original documents and interpret the history of Adventism and the college for themselves.The Utt Center has a brand new building where the bulk of the archives from the library “Penthouse” has moved to the center. “We hope to be ‘open for business’ sometime in Spring 2023,” shares Karl Wilcox, director of The Utt Center. “The Utt Center is an extension from the existing library, but it has its own character and feel and, in my opinion, the study rooms and research areas are very conducive to research and learning.”Other uses for the center will feature exhibits of historical interest and function as a venue for scholarly conferences, PUC board meetings, lectures, and classes. “The fact that the Utt Center exists tells me that PUC is fully committed to honoring and remaining true...
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Survivor of 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing Shares Her Story With PUC Community

By Laura Gang on January 16, 2023

The sisters giggled together as they walked down the avenue to church in their Sunday best. Janie had a new purse, and they tossed it back and forth and laughed some more. Even the gray clouds and autumn wind couldn’t dampen their spirit. It was Youth Day at church, and they would be singing up front in the choir.Once they arrived, they slipped into the basement ladies’ lounge to freshen up before the program. Janie, the oldest, reminded Addie Mae and Sarah to get to their Sunday school class on time.Then Denise, Cynthia, and Carole came in and joined their friends. At the wash basin, Denise turned and asked over her shoulder if Addie Mae would tie her dress. The last thing young Sarah saw was her older sister’s hands reaching out for the sash.Then the room exploded.Nearly 60 years later, Sarah Collins Rudolph, the little girl who survived one of the darkest days in Civil Rights history, told her story to Pacific Union College students at a special Community on Thursday, Jan. 12, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.With her gentle Southern accent, Rudolph told the students about Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. About the atrocious Jim Crow...
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The Ministry of Music: David Bell on Over Three Decades With the Heritage Singers

By Laura Gang on January 13, 2023

David Bell has been a bass member of the Heritage Singers for over three decades. He’s performed countless times with the gospel group. But there’s one most memorable trip.A few years ago, Bell and the Heritage Singers toured the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and - what he said is his “favorite city in the world” - Prague. Local residents hosted the group and their families. “They were just the sweetest people,” Bell recalled, “my wife is still good friends with several of them!”Bell said local residents recounted stories about living under Communism when religious music was illegal. They played the Heritage Singers albums in their basements. Some choir directors would listen to the music and try to transcribe the harmonies and create sheet music. They wanted to sing the songs, but any religious activity was dangerous. “You can tell they really treasure the freedom they have,” Bell said. “Now, a lot of times in the U.S., we can take our freedom for granted, and we complain about all kinds of things that are trivial when we’ve never had to live under that kind of rule.”For Bell, chair of Pacific Union College’s Business Department, that trip showed the power of music as...
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Sahmyook University Collaborates with Pacific Union College

By Ally Romanes on January 9, 2023

Sahmyook University in Seoul, South Korea, is collaborating with Pacific Union College to enhance the program of both colleges by providing transfer opportunities for undergraduate students. This collaboration will establish a program of academic and research cooperation to contribute their resources to strengthen international education. Sahmyook University President Il Mok Kim and PUC President Ralph Trecartin met on November 7, 2022, to officially approve this agreement.During their meeting, both presidents spent a few hours discussing multiple levels of involvement between their institutions. “There was a very innovative positive spirit between the two groups of leaders looking for new and better ways for two well-established Adventist colleges to work together,” said ​​Gene Edelbach, PUC Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Communication.A few years ago, President Trecartin stopped by Sahmyook University for church and to see the campus. As a visitor, he was amazed by the Bible studies going on everywhere and “loved the intentional way they interacted with each person that came through the door.” ”I was treated as family and invited for Bible Study, sermon, and lunch even though I had no connection with the University at that time,'' shares President Trecartin. “Sahmyook University is at the forefront in combining...
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