By Lainey S. Cronk and Morgan Wade on February 13, 2006
On December 18, the San Joaquin Country Club in Fresno, California, was bustling with friends celebrating the 90th birthday of artist and Pacific Union College professor emeritus of art Vernon Nye. His former students brought paintings, at his request; their artworks, along with several of Nye’s, leaned against the walls and the many windows in informal gallery style. Meanwhile, there was a perpetual line of friends, family members, and former students waiting to get a moment’s conversation with the hero of the event.
When the convivial milling around was interrupted for a segment of speeches, PUC President Richard Osborn stood to make a special presentation to Nye. Osborn read a letter on behalf of PUC Vice President for Student Services Lisa Bissell Paulson, in which she said, “You are an absolute wonder of a man. Gifted and talented beyond compare, your life has been a gift to us all. Your beautiful and astonishing pieces have graced our homes, our calendars, our mantels...and most importantly, our lives.” Osborn then presented Mr. Nye with a special tribute, announcing that the classroom in the Rasmussen Art Gallery has been dedicated as the “Vernon Nye Lecture Hall.”