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Six PUC Alumni Lost in Montana Plane Tragedy

By Julie Z. Lee on March 24, 2009

On Sunday, March 22, 2009, Pacific Union College lost six alumni in a fatal airplane accident. The crash, which took place in Butte, Montana, claimed the lives of 14 people, seven of which were children under the age of ten.Brent Ching ('93), Kristen Mautz Ching (att.'96-97), Erin Jacobson ('96), Amy Feldkamp Jacobson (att.'93-95), Michael Pullen (att.88-91), and Vanessa Feldkamp Pullen (att.'89-90) all attended PUC and went onto Loma Linda University. Close family friends, they often vacationed together. On this occasion, the friends were headed to a ski trip in Montana.PUC President Richard Osborn said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our prayers are with the victims' families. This is a very personal tragedy for Pacific Union College and our local community. All but one of the adults on board the plane graduated from or attended PUC, and there are many on our campus who remember them as students. Our alumni are also grieving this loss, as are many in the St. Helena and Angwin communities who knew and loved the Jacobson family."There were three families lost in this accident: the Chings and their two children, Hailey, 5, and Caleb, 3; the Jacobsons and their three...

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New Scholarship Program at PUC

By Julie Z. Lee on February 25, 2009

This spring, Pacific Union College unveiled the Malcolm and Eileen Maxwell Scholar, a program that honors high school seniors who have demonstrated high academic achievement, a commitment to Christian service, and outstanding leadership skills. Each year, up to five scholars will be chosen, and recipients will receive $10,000 towards their freshman year at PUC with the opportunity to renew the scholarship. Students applying for the Maxwell Scholar Program must be accepted to PUC and meet GPA and test-score requirements. As part of the process, students must write an essay, submit a resume outlining service and leadership activities, and send in letters of recommendation by the scholarship deadline, May 1, 2009. Finalists will be announced in June. The Maxwell Scholar Program honors Dr. Malcolm Maxwell and his wife, Eileen, and their commitment to Adventist education. Dr. Maxwell was the first alumnus to serve as president of PUC, and he had the longest tenure at 18 years. Dr. Maxwell, son of famed Seventh-day Adventist author Arthur S. Maxwell, graduated from PUC in 1956 with degrees in theology and biblical languages. He completed his master of arts in systematic theology at Andrews University and earned his doctorate in biblical studies at Drew University....

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Amidst Downpour, PUC Cheers for Lance Armstrong

By Julie Z. Lee on February 19, 2009

On February 15, an estimated 2,000 spectators, braving a downpour of rain, lined Howell Mountain Road to catch a glimpse of World Champion Lance Armstrong and the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. This year, the race passed directly in front of Pacific Union College, drawing hordes of students, faculty, and staff to the street with signs, cameras, and umbrellas. Some PUC alumni made a special trip to Angwin for the occasion. Kit Kohler, class of 2003, and Jakki Raines-Kohler, class of 2005, got into the spirit of the tour by traveling from their Palo Alto home to Angwin by train, ferry, and bus; the last leg was a grueling and wet bike ride up Howell Mountain Road. Several alumni traveled from as far away as Colorado to watch the event with their alma mater. To read more about the Amgen in the Napa Valley, read the Napa Valley Register story. See a gallery of Amgen's ride through Angwin. The Amgen Tour of California, a professional cycling race, began in Davis on February 14 and concludes in Escondido on Sunday, February 22. Sixteen of the world's best professional teams race over a statewide course of more than 750 miles. Stage One...

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A Community of Support

By Julie Z. Lee on November 19, 2008

The Pacific Union College campus mood has been somber since the devastating loss of four students on Saturday night. On Monday, the atmosphere on campus — from the classroom to the dining commons and the residence halls — has been subdued as many are quietly processing the tragedy. “They are processing it in the healthiest manner, and they are being very supportive of each other,” said Robert Kurtz, dean of Newton Hall, where all four of the victims resided. Kurtz and the other residence hall deans on campus have been working around the clock to ensure that students are receiving proper counseling. The load of caring for students has been shared with a community eager to help the college. There has been an outpouring of support from all over the Napa Valley and country. County and law enforcement organizations have called to offer additional grief counseling support, and individuals from the Valley and the Bay Area have called to see if we need more volunteers. When the college created an online message board for people to post thoughts and memories, notes of sympathy and encouragement came in from all over the country. Some of PUC’s sister schools have held special...

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Four Pacific Union College Students Die in Tragic Accident

By Julie Z. Lee on November 16, 2008

Updated: November 20, 2008 Four Pacific Union College (PUC) students died in a vehicle accident on Deer Park Road late Saturday night. The Napa County Sheriff’s Department identified the victims as Boaz Pak, 20, Luke Nishikawa, 22, Simon Son, 19, and Chong Shin, 20. The accident took place at about 11:45 p.m. on November 15. According to police reports, the four victims were in a Honda Civic driving down the hill on Deer Park Road when it collided with an oncoming vehicle at Sanitarium Road junction. The men were pronounced dead at the scene. According to some reports the four students had been at the college gym before making their way to Safeway in St. Helena to grab something to eat; the accident occurred on the way to the store. All the young men were well liked on campus and involved in outreach. Shin, Pak, and Nishikawa were all very involved in youth ministry at the Rohnert Park Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church. Son was involved in of a campus outreach program called Homeless Ministries. Just that morning, students say that Son had gone to the bay area with a group of students to feed the homeless.* “The PUC community mourns...

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Piano Fantasia Honors Mondavis & Features Bay Area Artists

By Julie Z. Lee on October 7, 2008

On Sunday evening, October 5, more than 300 guests attended an exclusive piano concert in honor of Mrs. Margrit Mondavi and the memory of her late husband, Robert. Piano Fantasia, sponsored by Pacific Union College and held at Paulin Hall, paid tribute to the Mondavi's visionary leadership and passion for music arts in the Napa Valley."Margrit, this is a woman who has touched my heart—she is so dear to me, and the chance to honor her is the most exciting thing on earth," said master of ceremony Asher Raboy during his welcome. Raboy is director of music for the Napa Valley Symphony and faculty in the PUC music department. "If there are arts happening, not only did she put her time and money into it, but she put her beautiful spirit, her joy, her love and made the whole thing a glorious experience."The intimate concert welcomed award-winning pianists Rebecca Bogart, Elben Capule, Alex Chien, Daniel Glover, Hugo Kitano, Mack McCray, William Wellborn. The concert celebrated a range of experience and age; three of the performers are young students in elementary and junior high school and college."The amount of talent on the stage—and to think it's basically in our community. It's...

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College Remembrance for Dr. King Includes Official Apology

By Julie Z. Lee on January 14, 2008

On March 17, 1965, students Paul Cobb, Will Battles, Fernando Canales and Milton Hare crammed into a two-seater Karmann Ghia with the goal of driving 2,300 miles from Oakland, California, to Selma, Alabama. The objective was to join the third attempt at a march for voting rights. It was a risk; not only did the Seventh-day Adventist Church, at the time, shun the notion of political activism, but the bloodshed during the second Selma to Montgomery march served as an ominous reminder of what might await. In the face of physical, verbal, and emotional threats, the men, three of whom were Pacific Union College students, moved forward in hopes that by doing so the nation would move forward also. Bill Knott, editor of the Adventist Review, the flagship journal of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, shared this little-known story at PUC’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Colloquy program on January 10, 2008. Knott was joined by Milton Hare, now an Oakland, California resident and social activist. Hare, who attended PUC before transferring to UC Berkeley, received a standing ovation from the audience, which packed the large PUC Church sanctuary. The morning program also included an official apology, by the college administration,...

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Tom Turner Portrait of Jesus - Painting our Picture of Christ

By Julie Z. Lee on December 18, 2007

The portrait of Jesus has always alluded us; the pictures we do have of what the Messiah may have looked like have been mere speculation. There have been legends of a document written by Pontius Pilate in 1514, describing Jesus as a blue eyed sheperd with a head of cascading curls; the ancient Greek assumed that the Jewish carpenter resembled Apollo; and still more radical ideas hint that Jesus may have been mishapen. History reveals our inability to accurately describe Jesus, so who, today, would be as bold as to paint a picture of Christ? Certainly, not Tom Turner, an associate professor of art at Pacific Union College. Well, at least not without some convincing. Last fall, Mic Thurber, pastor of PUC Church, decided to present a series of sermons that painted a picture of Christ. He used the analogy that Jesus’s life was the brushstroke of God, painting a picture of Himself on the canvas of life and history. “What I wanted to do was pull from the Gospel of John the kinds of things that would illustrate who God is as pictured in Jesus,” says Pastor Thurber. “I simply picked different places in John with an eye towards...

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Hundreds Gather at PUC to Hear Renowned Educator

By Julie Z. Lee on December 18, 2007

On February 5, four hundred educators from all over Napa Valley and the Western United States packed into Pacific Union College’s Paulin Hall to hear Dr. William Glasser, president and founder of The William Glasser Institute in Los Angeles, speak on the principles of building a quality school. The presentation, “Every Student Can Succeed—a day with William Glasser,” was sponsored by PUC, the Seventh-day Adventist Northern California Conference, and the PUC education department. Dr. Glasser focused on how each individual has the freedom to make choices and the responsibilities that goes with that freedom. He takes this theory and applies it to the school setting, explaining how educators have fallen into the trap of coercive management strategies. He encourages teachers to use choice theory, a non-coercive approach which helps students understand the power they have to make choices. “The choice theory is something we should have been doing years ago,” says Samir Berbawy, principal of Lodi Academy. “It makes absolute sense. We’re going to start using it at our school.” Educators from the Seventh-day Adventist Pacific Union Conference, spanning Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, and Hawaii, attended as part of a teacher inservice day. Administrators from local public schools also attended...

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Fifty Years of Weather Watching is a Real Honor

By Julie Z. Lee on December 18, 2007

The National Weather Service presented a 50-Year-Length-of-Service Award to the physics department at Pacific Union College on Thursday, March 1. Four representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce flew into Angwin from their headquarters in Monterey for the informal ceremony. The institutional award was given to Bill Mundy, professor of physics at PUC and official weather observer for the National Weather Service Cooperative Observing Program, formally established by the Organic Act of 1890 with the purpose of taking meteorological observations to establish and record the climate conditions of the U.S. The award commemorates the voluntary service which PUC has provided the community, state, and nation since 1950. Dr. Mundy has been tracking Angwin weather for the program for 25 years. At 5 p.m. every day, Dr. Mundy and a hired student check the low and high temperature of the day with an electronic instrument provided by the National Weather Service. On rainy days, they climb to the roof of Chan Shun Hall, the chemistry and physics building on campus, where they keep a special bucket to measure rainfall. At the end of each month, the recorded information is sent to the headquarters in...

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