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PUC Ranked #1 in the Nation for Ethnic Diversity by U.S. News & World Report

By Larissa Church on September 27, 2016

While many institutions around the country are struggling to diversify their campuses, Pacific Union College has been named the most ethnically diverse National Liberal Arts College in the nation, according to the new annual rankings of best colleges released by U.S. News & World Report. PUC has previously ranked second and third in this category.

“Pacific Union College in honored to be recognized as the #1 most diverse National Liberal Arts College in the entire country,” said PUC President Dr. Heather J. Knight. “We believe that we have achieved this exemplary level of diversity because we are privileged to be part of a dynamic global church whose message is relevant and attractive to all kindreds, tongues, and nations. Furthermore, we highly prize our very special young people who are truly living out the vision of the Beloved Community as they study, worship and play together. In this diverse setting, they are also learning the essential skills of intercultural competence and global understanding, which is so highly valued in the workplace today. Therefore, we fully expect our graduates to go forth as successful peacemakers and light in the world.”

The 2017 rankings are based upon information submitted by colleges for the

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PUC Inspires Students at the 26th Publication Workshop

By Larissa Church on September 15, 2016

Pacific Union College welcomed 148 students and sponsors from 18 Adventist academies in the Pacific Union Conference for the annual Publication Workshop, September 6-8, 2016. The workshop offered school newspaper, yearbook, and video yearbook staff targeted, in-depth training to help hone their publication skills.

This year, close to 50 different seminar classes were offered for both students and their sponsors. Students could take classes in specialized tracks for design, photography, writing, video journalism, and editors/leadership, learning how to utilize industry standard software like Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, while receiving helpful tips and tricks of each profession. Classes ranged from typography to newswriting 101 to yearbook advertising. Sponsor classes were offered as well, such as advising from advisors, to learn the latest team management apps to help their publications run as efficiently as possible. Additionally, sponsors were given access to PUC’s newly remodeled visual arts lounge to network, relax, or just enjoy refreshments.

Classes were taught by college faculty from the departments of visual arts, communication, and English. Industry professionals also presented sessions, including Carol Tilstra Nash, who currently serves as the marketing specialist for the Northern California Conference Office of Education. Several current PUC students led out in

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Jimmy J. Ha Endowed Scholarship Dinner Raises $60,000

By Larissa Church on August 22, 2016

On Sunday, July 31, family and friends gathered at Las Posadas Ranch for the Jimmy J. Ha Endowed Scholarship dinner. The event, coordinated by the advancement and alumni relations office, celebrated the life of Dr. Jimmy J. Ha, beloved PUC professor, on what would have been his 48th birthday. Professor Ha passed away in 2010 following a heroic battle with cancer.

Over 100 people attended the celebration, which featured a catered dinner, lawn games, and several musical selections, including a piece performed by Sophie Ha, the 9-year-old daughter of Jimmy and his wife Sonia. Many people gave generously to continue to fund the scholarship, with over $60,000 received in donations, a large part of which was matched by an anonymous donor.

“Jimmy Ha left a lasting imprint on PUC. His love for the underdog, and his deep love for his students will always be remembered. His legacy continues to live on in the lives of the many students he touched, and those who benefit from his scholarship fund. We’re honored to further his impact on PUC through the loving care of his wife and PUC Board Member, Dr. Sonia Ha. Her leadership will ensure that Jimmy’s legacy is felt for

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PUC Ranks Second Per Capita Among Adventist Colleges for Students Studying Abroad

By Larissa Church on July 21, 2016

Pacific Union College continues its strong international presence as one of the leading Adventist institutions participating in Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA). For the 2015-2016 academic year, PUC ranked second among the 13 Adventist colleges and universities in North America for the number of students per capita who studied abroad during the year, with 33 students studying at schools around the world.

Through ACA, PUC students have the opportunity to study abroad at 12 international Adventist schools for a summer or full academic year. In total, 419 PUC students have studied abroad over the last 10 years; with the most popular destinations being Spain (143), Argentina (97), Italy (64), and France (53). Of the 419 students, 344 studied abroad for the full academic year, which places PUC as the third highest Adventist college or university in North America sending students abroad for a full academic year during the last decade.

Graduating PUC students who have participated in the ACA program are given a distinctive stole to wear marking the time they spent invested in their host country (or countries). This year, 32 graduates from the Class of 2016 were recognized with these stoles, with two of the graduates having the special

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PUC Mourns the Loss of Student Kevin Canavan

By Larissa Church on July 12, 2016

It is with much sadness we announce the upcoming services for Kevin Canavan, a senior business major who died on Wednesday, July 6, while working as a summer camp employee at Camp Wawona, in Wawona, Calif. He just celebrated his 21st birthday at the end of June.

A memorial service for Kevin is currently planned for this Sabbath, July 16, at 7 p.m. at the Monterey Bay Academy Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church is located at 783 San Andreas Road, La Selva Beach, Calif., 95076.

“We are still in disbelief over the sad and sudden news about losing our dear friend and student, Kevin Canavan. Kevin’s ready smile, friendly attitude, and leadership abilities made him an exceptional young man. He was such a positive influence on our campus and will forever be remembered and cherished. Kevin’s RA status at Grainger Hall placed him in the forefront of leadership, care, and concern for others at PUC and truly he lived up to these ideals. We long for the day when we will see Kevin’s great smile and wonderful personality again,” says Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services.

Kevin worked this past year as a resident assistant in Grainger Hall,

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PUC Graduates Second Largest Class in 10 Years

By Larissa Church on June 17, 2016

On Sunday, June 12, for the 114th time on its campus, Pacific Union College celebrated its commencement exercises, with 393 students graduating.

The college proudly awarded 413 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees to the 393 graduates, 53 of whom are from Napa County. The largest departmental groups represented were nursing and health sciences (178), communication (29), business administration (28), biology (22), and exercise science (20). One hundred and twenty-seven students received academic distinctions and honors, with 15 summa cum laude graduates, 40 magna cum laude graduates, and 60 cum laude graduates. Eight students from PUC’s Honors Program and four Maxwell Scholars were also represented, as were two Student Association officers. Also of note, 16 members of the class served in countries around the world as student missionaries and task force workers.

Commencement weekend began Friday afternoon with a dedication service for social work graduates. They shared stories of their internship experiences and how their faith was a fundamental part of their work as well as read the social work oath alongside other social workers present. Each student was also awarded a social work pin, and several had the honor of being pinned by their internship supervisor. Social Work Program Assistant

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Pacific Union College Introduces the 2016 Maxwell Scholars

By Larissa Church on May 19, 2016

Pacific Union College is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Maxwell Scholarship. Incoming freshmen Taylor Bothwell, Lydia Earles, Christian Im, Cheryl Wang, and Adrienne Weiss were chosen as the 2016 Maxwell Scholars.

Named after the late Dr. Malcolm and Eileen Maxwell, the beloved former president and first lady of PUC, the Maxwell Scholars Program is the most prestigious scholarship the college offers. Now in its eighth year, it is awarded to five high school seniors in recognition of their academic achievement, outstanding leadership experience, and a commitment to Christian service. Applicants must meet certain GPA and test score requirements, and submit an application that includes a resume, essay, and letters of recommendation. This will be the first year the award will cover full tuition for four years, valued at approximately $112,000.

Taylor Bothwell of St. Helena, Calif., has spent her time at Pacific Union College Preparatory School heavily involved in athletics and student government, in addition to excelling scholastically. For her junior and senior years, she served as captain of both the varsity basketball and volleyball teams. Taylor has held various positions within the school’s Student Association, including yearbook co-editor, executive vice president, chair of student senate, and

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PUC Welcomes Alumni Back to Campus for Homecoming 2016

By Larissa Church on April 21, 2016

Pacific Union College alumni were welcomed back to campus for the college’s annual Homecoming Weekend during the beautiful weekend of April 15-17. “Welcoming our alumni family back to the PUC campus is the highlight of our year. It’s such a blessing to see old friends and make new ones,” shares Mark Ishikawa, associate vice president for advancement and strategic partnerships.

The festivities began with the second annual PUC Talks on Friday afternoon. This series of mini lectures is modeled after the popular TED Talks. This year’s featured speakers were Katy Van Arsdale, archivist and special collections librarian for the Nelson Memorial Library and the Walter C. Utt Center for Adventist History at PUC; Dr. Stanley Sturges, a 2016 Honored Alumni and a graduate of the class of 1950; and Dr. Floyd Hayes, a professor in PUC’s department of biology since 2003.

Friday evening, a banquet was held in the Dining Commons in recognition of the 2016 Honored Alumni. The program began with special music by the PUC Octet, under the direction of Dr. William Chunestudy, associate academic dean.

President Heather J. Knight recognized each honoree’s extraordinary service to “leave these sacred grounds and go forth to make a difference and

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Pacific Union College Hosts Adventist Intercollegiate Association

By Larissa Church on April 6, 2016

On March 30, Pacific Union College welcomed student association officers from 10 other Adventist colleges across North America. Collectively referred to as the Adventist Intercollegiate Association (AIA), the organization gathers each year on the campus of a different Adventist college or university for several days of reflection, worship and community, and professional development planned by the host school. Both current as well as incoming student association officers were present.

This year, close to 150 students and sponsors attended the convention, representing Andrews University, Burman University, La Sierra University, Loma Linda University, Oakwood University, Southern Adventist University, Southwestern Adventist University, Union College, Walla Walla University, Washington Adventist University, and host school Pacific Union College.

The theme of this year’s convention was “Rethink, Rebuild, Repackage,” with an intentional focus to help students become better leaders, and in turn help them become leaders within the Adventist church. A convention highlight included a panel where students could ask questions of Adventist leaders, including special guests Elder Daniel R. Jackson, the president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists; Daniel Weber, director of Communication for the NAD; Tracy Wood, Youth & Young Adult Ministries Director for the NAD; and Jared Thurmon, Strategic Partnerships Liaison

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PUC Campus Celebrates the Life of Fen Pan

By Larissa Church on March 31, 2016

On Thursday morning, March 31, the Pacific Union College campus family gathered in the PUC Church sanctuary for a memorial service celebrating the life of Fen Pan, a student who passed away following a tragic vehicle accident on Monday afternoon.

College president Heather J. Knight thanked the many students, faculty and staff, and community members in attendance, and noted messages of condolences have been pouring in from other sister college campuses and other Adventist dignitaries around the world. The service was also broadcast online for those unable to attend, including Fen’s mother and 14-year-old brother in Beijing, China.

Fen was remembered through shared memories, a homily by campus chaplain Jonathan Henderson, and music, which was particularly meaningful as she was a music major preparing for a career in dentistry. Junior business and pre-dentistry student Ivan Lee, who was Fen’s teaching assistant for her organic chemistry lab, performed “Méditation” from the opera Thaïs by composer Jules Massenet, accompanied by department of music professor Dr. Rachelle Davis. Lee shared he felt moved to perform the piece following news of the accident, and stated, “I remember her being the most positive, diligent, and hardworking person, who always had a smile on her face.”

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