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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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Kent Davis Honored as PUC’s 2017 Educator of the Year

By Larissa Church on April 28, 2017

Professor of chemistry Dr. Kent Davis was named 2017 Educator of the Year during PUC’s annual colloquy program, Thursday, April 27. Students, faculty, staff, and administration celebrated with Davis as he was recognized with the award for the first time. Davis has been teaching at Pacific Union College since 2002 and currently serves as the chair of the department of chemistry.

Each year, the Educator of the Year award is selected by student vote. The recipient’s identity is a highly-kept secret. President Eric Anderson began the service reminding the audience why the special assembly exists in dedication to an outstanding teacher. “It’s a reminder that PUC has been built upon great teaching. You will get a sense of that if you look around our campus and look at the names of our buildings,” he said, noting most buildings at the college are named after great teachers, instead of dignitaries or donors. “It is recognition of good teaching, spiritual leadership, and service to the college.”

As is tradition, assistant professor of communication and department chair Michelle Rai, last year’s titleholder, gave a short speech before revealing the 2017 award recipient, encouraging students who aren’t sure of what they will do after

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PUC Alumni Reconnect, Share Memories at Homecoming 2017

By Larissa Church on April 26, 2017

Pacific Union College alumni were welcomed back to campus for the college’s annual Homecoming Weekend April 21-23. “The College on the Mountain” holds special memories for all PUC alumni, whether it has been five years or 50 since their graduation, making this the perfect opportunity to reminisce with old friends.

The events began with PUC Talks Friday afternoon, featuring presentations from Dr. Jean Sheldon, Dr. Nancy Lecourt and Peter Lecourt, and Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona, followed by the annual Honored Alumni dinner. This year’s honorees were J. Paul Stauffer, ’38, whose long career in education included teaching for many years in PUC’s department of English; Teri Ann Ricchiuti, ’76, who has taught at Fresno Adventist Academy for 30 years; Scott Reiner, ’87, who currently serves as president and CEO of Adventist Health; and Arnold Petersen, ’62, who has traveled extensively around the world as a physician providing much-needed care to underserved areas.

Later that evening, the In Memoriam service was held in remembrance of alumni who have passed away during the last year. Vespers featured the dedication of next year’s 25 student missionaries and a special performance of several songs by the PUC vocal octet. Chaplain Jonathan Henderson, ’98, gave the

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Third Annual PUC Talks Features Distinguished Faculty & Guests

By Larissa Church on April 26, 2017

The festivities of Pacific Union College’s Homecoming Weekend 2017 began with the third annual PUC Talks Friday afternoon, April 21. This recent tradition is a series of mini lectures modeled after the popular TED Talks, in which speakers share exciting new ideas. This year, the featured speakers were Dr. Jean Sheldon, Dr. Nancy Lecourt and Mr. Peter Lecourt, and Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona. “We would like to introduce you to the kinds of things we do in our classrooms,” said President Eric Anderson, in his introduction. The topics sparked lively discussion and engaged both visiting alumni and students in attendance.

God’s Will Vs. Human Will

Dr. Jean Sheldon, professor of Old Testament, has taught at PUC for over 20 years, and specializes in Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East. Her talk, titled, “Two Competing Voices: A Canonical Approach to Solving Ethical Issues in the Old Testament,” analyzed violence in the Old Testament from an ethical perspective. Dr. Sheldon explained her topic was inspired by questions she has been asked through the years by students in her interactive, discussion-based classes. She evaluated God’s will versus human will, which often demands a different choice, and found in that conflict God allows

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Senior Recognition Colloquy Celebrates the Class of 2017

By Larissa Church on March 16, 2017

On Thursday, March 9, the sounds of excitement filled the air of the PUC Church sanctuary as the senior class, dressed in their regalia, marched down the center aisle for a special Colloquy service dedicated in their honor.

Following the processional and the welcome by Dr. Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration, beloved associate professor emeritus of business administration and senior class sponsor Lary Taylor gave a scripture reading of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, reminding the congregation the race of life demands perseverance as we approach the finish line, and our prize is eternal life.

Dr. John Nunes, another business professor and senior class sponsor, congratulated the senior class, noting there were just 101 days until graduation, before offering opening prayer. “Lord, I pray during these last final months You be with those who are transitioning into graduate school or permanent jobs, and be with those who are still looking for the right opportunity for them. … As they march their way out of here, I pray You help them to remember even when they feel alone, they are never alone, for You are always with them,” he said.

Seniors Katie Kaatz and Justine Sauza took to

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PUC Students Help Lake County with Point-In-Time Homeless Count

By Larissa Church on February 13, 2017

Thirteen students from Pacific Union College assisted Lake County Continuum of Care (CoC) officials with a Point-In-Time (PIT) count of the county’s homeless population on Tuesday, January 24. These counts, required by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, provide an overview of the homelessness in the region and the information necessary for the county to be eligible for federal funding for programs and housing for the homeless. Students from the Statistical Methods and Human Behavior and the Social Environment classes participated in the event.

Over 100 volunteers helped with the PIT count. PUC students worked in two areas, Middletown and Clearlake, with some students working with community members to visit known homeless encampments while others were stationed at a church or large tent to help guide the homeless through a 28-question survey. Food, water, flu shots, HIV/Hepatitis C testing, and dog food and other supplies were available to survey participants. PUC’s Clearlake Homeless Ministries provided hygiene items such as deodorant, laundry detergent, and feminine hygiene products to be distributed to help incentivize participation in the survey.

“Surveying people experiencing homelessness benefits many organizations in Lake County financially in the long term, and we hope that analyzing the information

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Calvin Rock Shares Untold Stories of Adventist Pioneers and Protests

By Larissa Church on February 9, 2017

Pacific Union College invited Dr. Calvin B. Rock, retired vice president at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, to share his knowledge and experience with students, faculty, staff, and the campus community in celebration of Black History Month, as the featured speaker for the Colloquy Speaker Series and the 2017 lecture of the Percy and John Christian Civil Rights Conference Center.

A passionate evangelist, Rock has devoted more than 60 years of service to the world church, including serving as the president of Oakwood College (now University), and pastored throughout the United States and abroad in places such as Russia, England, Africa, and Romania.

On Thursday, February 2, Rock addressed students, faculty, and staff for Black History Colloquy. His talk, titled “Heroes and Heroines in Black and White: Where Do We Go From Here?” by explaining he would be taking a different approach to honoring Black History Month. Rather than discuss the many accomplishments of various distinguished and well-recognized black African-Americans, he decided to share stories about men and women who had personally impacted his life and were also pioneers of social justice within the Adventist Church. Peppered with anecdotes and praise for their efforts, Rock shared stories of people

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Another Great Year for the Annual Angwin to Angwish Trail Run

By Larissa Church on November 11, 2016

On Sunday, October 30, 320 runners of all ages and abilities ran through the beautiful, lush backwoods property of Pacific Union College for the annual Angwin to Angwish trail run.

The event featured a half marathon and 10k race, as well as a 4k family run, taking place on smooth to medium-rough trails and service roads with double and single track. The half marathon and 10k race included an intense climb over the infamous “Angwish Hill,” from which the race obtains its name. Over 100 volunteers helped make the race possible, most of which were PUC students. The funds raised from Angwin to Angwish support PUC’s community outreach and mission work that helps make a difference to countless others within Napa County and around the world.

“Angwin to Angwish always shows the best of PUC—the great land there, the bright and engaged students, the committed staff. But this year we showed even more, presenting a great race in the middle of campus on an unusually rainy day. Runners came from all over the West to run and weren’t disappointed. Along the way, we raised money to support the education, missions, and public service that set the college apart and had

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College Days Offers Academy Students a Glimpse of PUC Life

By Larissa Church on October 20, 2016

Close to 150 academy juniors, seniors, and their sponsors from Seventh-day Adventist academies throughout Northern and Central California visited the campus of Pacific Union College for College Days, October 16-17. It was the first of six visitation events the college will hold this academic year.

The two-day event showcased PUC’s beautiful location and unique learning environment, providing visiting students with the opportunity to sit in on college classes, worship with other students, attend a financial aid workshop, tour department facilities, stay with current PUC students in one of the residence halls, and fully immerse themselves into life at the college. A special student panel was held, where visiting students were able to ask questions of current PUC students about their experiences at the college.

A particular highlight this College Days were the activities held on Sunday evening, where prospective students participated in a friendly trivia game and Jedi dodgeball in the Pacific Auditorium. The evening closed with a late night ice cream feed in the campus center courtyard.

“College Days is a great event to help connect prospective students with PUC,” said J.R. Rogers, director of recruitment. “It helps give them an idea of what it would be like to

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President Knight Inspires PUC to be a Purpose-Driven Campus

By Larissa Church on October 5, 2016

The Pacific Union College Church sanctuary was filled with the sounds of energy and excitement as the Opening Convocation service began, Thursday, September 29. Administration and faculty marched into the sanctuary in full regalia during the traditional recessional while students, both new and returning, found their seats.

Walter Collins, vice president for advancement and alumni relations, gave the invocation, asking God to bless the college and its students throughout the coming year, saying “May they find You here in all that they learn and all whom they meet. May You speak through our faculty, may You act through our staff, may You lead through our leaders, all bearing witness to Your loving grace.”

A hymn of praise followed, then a reading of Romans 8:28. “Palladio” by Karl Jenkins was performed by the PUC orchestra strings, conducted by Dr. Rachelle Davis, chair of the department of music.

PUC President Heather J. Knight gave the morning’s address, titled “The Purpose-Driven Campus.” She began with a brief history of the college, emphasizing it was founded with a very distinctive mission: “They Shall Be All Taught of God.” PUC moved to Angwin in 1909, and fortuitously, the first day of class was September 29,

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