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Jericho Road: PUC Students Shine in U.S. Premier of an Original Musical

By Laura Gang, Becky St. Clair, and Lauren VandenHoven on April 12, 2023

What does it mean to be faithful to a spouse who is unfaithful to you? How can we be faithful to a God who seems absent? These are the driving questions of Jericho Road: A Musical Event, which made its U.S. debut in February and April at Pacific Union College.“It’s a difficult topic,” said Lindsay Morton, associate academic dean, who wrote and produced the musical. “But it’s one that’s so important to talk about on a college campus where some young adults are starting to think about life partners.” Morton was inspired to write Jericho Road after watching the musical The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown. She wondered how the storyline might have been different if the characters had been Christian. “Jericho Road is an attempt to answer to that question,” Morton said.The musical’s main characters, Jake and Leila Carver, are a young Seventh-day Adventist couple who meet, fall in love, marry, and have a child, Amalia. But when life doesn’t turn out as he expected, Jacob leaves his wife and daughter to pursue his dream of a successful musical career. This decision shatters Leila and Amalia.Musicals are one of Morton’s passions—so much so that she wrote her first...
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An Interview with “Jericho Road” Writer/Producer Lindsay Morton

By Becky St. Clair, Lauren VandenHoven, & Laura Gang on January 5, 2023

In February, Paulin Hall will host the U.S. premiere of “Jericho Road,” a musical written and produced by Lindsay Morton, associate academic dean for PUC. The show was first produced at Avondale University in Australia, and then in Sydney and Perth. As all three were highly successful, Morton suggested it be done at PUC. The rest, as they say, is history. Written in response to “The Last Five Years,” a musical by Jason Robert Brown, “Jericho Road” is a boy-meets-girl, then boy-leaves-girl story. It centers on Leila, a part coincidentally played by PUC student Leila Beltran, and her husband, Jake, played by PUC student (and music major) Tyler Wilensky.“I fell in love with ‘The Last Five Years,’ and found myself wondering how the story would have been different if the couple had been Christian,” Morton explains. So she began pulling together pieces she’d composed over the years that fit the story she felt developing, and composed a few more around them. The driving questions of “Jericho Road” are: What does it mean to be faithful to a spouse who is unfaithful to you? And how can we be faithful to a God who seems absent?“It’s a difficult topic, but one...
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Campus Chronicle Wins Second Best Newspaper at College Media Conference

By Madison Brogan and Lauren VandenHoven on May 4, 2022

Adapted from the cover article of the March 18 Campus ChroniclePUC’s student newspaper won second place in its division of the College Media Association Conference Apple Awards in New York City this March.The Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, Lauren VandenHoven, assistant editor, Madison Brogan, and layout and design editor, Sarah Franklin attended the conference workshops accompanied by their faculty adviser, journalism professor Lynne Thew.Their submitted issues placed alongside publications from Rice University, Castleton University, and Missouri Western State University in the “Best Newspaper, 4-Year College, Under 5,000 Undergraduates” competition.The editorial team was thrilled to receive this award, and brought back congratulations to the rest of their staff who worked tirelessly to put together each issue. They are also grateful to the departments of Student Life and Academic Administration, as well as to PUC alumni, for their generous donations which made the trip possible.The conference featured four days of educational workshops and interactive sessions led by media professionals and journalism professors from colleges across the United States. The conference hosted two keynote sessions, the first given by Roy Wood Jr., radio personality and correspondent on “The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah,” and the second featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and...
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Maranatha at PUC: Coming Together to Build Up Our Campus

By Lauren Vandenhoven on December 27, 2019

For three weeks this summer community members, students, active and retired PUC faculty, and Maranatha volunteers worked together to renovate 31 student dorm rooms in Newton Hall, one of PUC's four residence halls.Each person had a specific job to do, including building and installing cabinets, replacing dressers and countertops, putting in new ceiling lights, wall patching, repainting, and prepping for and laying down new flooring. Eighty-one total volunteers contributed to the project with an average of 35 to 45 per day, and nearly half were first-time volunteers.Project coordinator Ed Jensen started doing volunteer work about 40 years ago, but became much more involved when he retired. For this project, he helped to register and provide information for volunteers."When a volunteer comes to the job, their housing and food is provided. They just need to come," he says. "And when these people work, they really put their heart into it."Heidi Lukowicz, graphic designer for the college and first-time Maranatha volunteer, decided to help with this project because she wanted to give her young sons the experience of volunteering and connect them to Maranatha and the larger PUC community."It's amazing how fast you can get something done with many hands," says Lukowicz....
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Summer Service: Health Education at the Farmer’s Market

By Lauren VandenHoven on August 28, 2019

Sandy Sargent, PUC’s director of Health Services, has spent her summer engaging with community members by starting conversations about health at farmer’s markets in Napa and St. Helena. Twice each week, she and her team tackle different seasonal concerns, some of which include stress, sun protection and water safety, allergic reactions, hydration, and diabetes awareness. They presented the issues through evidence-based visual aids from well-known sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), along with hands-on teaching tools: a pool with rubber ducks for the kids and using a mannequin to teach learners of all ages how to practice CPR.“The most important thing for me is to dialogue with people and educate them about basic health concerns that are surprisingly overlooked,” Sargent says. “We have something to offer—a way to be a part of the community, an opportunity that would not only bring exposure to PUC, but also give something back.”The work isn’t just about raising awareness on a variety of health issues; it’s about connecting with a wide array of people and ages.“It’s a chance to be visible,” says Sargent. “It’s rewarding, and it creates relationships at a community level.”She shares stories about teaching a little boy how to...
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