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Walter Utt Leaves Another Legacy-in Print

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

t’s difficult for those who did not attend Pacific Union College between 1938 and 1985 to understand the colossal esteem PUC alumni have for Dr. Walter C. Utt. Hundreds of PUC graduates can hardly remember their “PUC days” without a fond memory of Dr. Utt. He was, it would seem, more than a just a history professor. He was a legend. In 1985, a few days before his 64th birthday, Walter Utt died. His untimely death was sad for a number of reasons. First, many incoming students lost the opportunity to enjoy his quick wit and riveting “conversational lectures” in the classroom. Second, as best-selling author and PUC alumnus Joe Wheeler said, “A little bit of myself died” the day Dr. Utt died. Most of Utt’s students would probably agree with that. And third, Dr. Utt’s primary research was never fully completed. He had set out to write the first authoritative biography of Claude Brousson, 1647-1698, a revolutionary preacher and Huguenot lawyer when it was a terrifying time to be either. Louis XIV’s absolutist state made it illegal to preach Protestantism in France, yet Brousson did. As a result, he was martyred. Dr. Utt’s extensive research went well beyond one...

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Child-Care Facility Donated to Pacific Union College

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

On April 10, Bob Trinchero announced that he is in the process of donating St. Helena Corporate Child Care to Pacific Union College. Mr. Trinchero, chairman and CEO of Sutter Home Winery, and his wife, Evalyn, developed this property as a child care facility in 1992 in order to provide Sutter Home employees and local residents with a convenient, quality child-care option. The Trinchero family chose Pacific Union College because of its long-standing reputation for excellent child care. Pacific Union College has operated a preschool in Angwin—Discoveryland Preschool—since the 1960s. Its preschool has not only provided a valuable service to the community, but also a training ground for PUC's highly regarded Early Childhood Education program. St. Helena Corporate Child Care will continue to be operated by its current child care provider, the Knowledge Learning Corporation, until May 17, 2002. At that time, the facility's administrative operations will be transferred to Pacific Union College, managed by the college's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Program. According to John Collins, Ed.D., vice president for financial administration at Pacific Union College, "We're delighted that the Trincheros have confidence in our ability to provide a high quality preschool program for the children and...

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PUC's Extended Family Comes Home

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

And like one’s best relatives, they only came to visit. By Sunday afternoon, scarcely a trace was left of them, save a few fifth-wheel trailers and Burma-shave signs along Howell Mountain Road into Angwin. Though it happens every year, each Homecoming Weekend is a unique experience. Of course, most students wouldn’t know because they’re gone. Maybe that’s not all bad—good for them and good for alumni. However, it’s possible, maybe even likely, that both groups would benefit from each other’s presence. Alumni might learn that, contrary to rumors, PUC is NOT a party school. (Whoever started that rumor has never been to a party school.) And PUC’s students might learn that there is life beyond Pomp and Circumstance. Perhaps the surprising guest to this year’s Alumni Homecoming Weekend, April 18-21, was something past Homecoming’s have gone without: warm sunshine. It’s doubtful the thousand-plus visitors could have asked for a more delightful Spring weekend. Though the weekend officially began on Thursday, April 18, with an evening of vintage films and the Heubach Lectureship with George Knight, the festivities kicked into gear starting Friday. One of PUC’s grandest traditions, Pioneers’ Luncheon, took place at 10 a.m. This is when the old, old...

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PUC Graduates 338 and Begins a New Era

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

During his last ceremony as acting president of Pacific Union College, Dr. Malcolm Maxwell conferred degrees on 338 graduates at commencement exercises on Sunday, June 17. In addition to handing out diplomas, Maxwell relinquished leadership of the college to commencement speaker and incoming president, Dr. Richard Osborn. Maxwell presented Osborn with the keys to the presidential office and commended Osborn for “his natural friendliness, his openness, his sensitivity to others and their needs, his intellectual rigor, and his honesty.” Osborn comes to PUC with vast experience as a teacher, administrator, writer, researcher, and historian. In passing the keys to his successor, Maxwell ends his eighteen-year term as president, the longest of any previous PUC president. He does not intend to disappear from college life, however, and will return to the classroom following a sabbatical for graduate study. Though Osborn accepted the keys during Sunday’s ceremony, he will officially begin his term as PUC’s 20th president on July 1, 2001....

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PUC Welcomes Both a New President and Pastor

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

Dr. Dick Osborn became a permanent part of PUC’s history on July 1, 2001, by officially beginning his term as PUC’s 20th president in 119 years. There’s little talk about filling the enormous shoes left behind by Dr. Malcolm Maxwell, one of the college’s most beloved presidents. That’s because Dr. Osborn who was Vice President for Education of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, has brought with him own shoes—and they fit just great. Dr. Osborn brings a wealth of experience to his new position. He has been a multidimensional educator with vast experience as a teacher, administrator, writer, researcher, and historian. He obtained his early education in Montevideo, Uruguay. He attended Monterey Bay Academy for four years before attending Columbia Union College, where he majored in history and graduated magna cum laude in 1969. In graduate school at the University of Maryland, he continued his studies in history, obtaining an M. A. in 1975 and a Ph.D. in 1990. Yet the “Osborn Years” at PUC are not simply about the coming of a new president. Richard’s wife, Norma, is joining the pastoral staff of the Pacific Union College Church. Previously, she was an associate pastor at the Seventh-day...

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Prayer Conference at PUC

By Mike Mennard on December 18, 2007

Without a doubt, God is doing something extraordinary. Simply put, He's changing the world. And He's doing it through and with academy and high school students who have rediscovered the power of prayer. Some time ago, the Prayer Ministries Department of the North American Division launched a new conference, encouraging young people to do something absolutely radical—pray. As the conference has moved throughout the country, the response has been tremendous and life-changing. On October 11-13, Pacific Union College is hosting the event, providing young people of the Pacific Union with tools and training in the areas of prayer, Bible study, and ministry. According to Mike Dunn, chaplain at PacificUnion College and organizer of the event, participants at the conference "won't merely talk about prayer. They'll experience it." The conference is geared toward young people in high school and academy (grades 9-12) who have a desire to learn more about prayer and about how God can use them in ministry. The conference is ideal for church youth groups and academy Bible classes. Sponsors are expected to accompany all student groups. All meetings will take place at Pacific Union College, located in Angwin, California....

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Richard Osborn Elected President of the Council for American Private Education

By Mike Mennard on November 14, 2007

Pacific Union College’s president, Richard Osborn, has been elected President of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). One in four of the nation's schools is a private school, translating into 27,000 schools and nearly 6 million students; and CAPE represents roughly 80% of those schools. As a liaison between America’s private schools and Capitol Hill, Richard Osborn will represent an alliance of diverse educational programs, including the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Catholic Education, the American Montessori Society, the Waldorf Schools of America, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Southern Baptist Church, the Christian Schools International, and the Association of Christian Schools. Before coming to Pacific Union College, Osborn lived near Washington, D.C. and served as the Vice President for Education of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Working as the head of education for the Adventist Church, he became active with CAPE and, as a result, with politicians. One wall in his office is filled with photos, over the years, he has gathered of American presidents, senators, and representatives, as he’s taken a more and more active role in championing private schools. Most recently, he served as the...

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PUC Launches New Educational Center for the Napa Valley

By Mike Mennard on November 14, 2007

It took two and a half years and a little help from the U.S. Congress, but yesterday, April 20, Pacific Union College presented the grand opening ceremonies for the new Napa Valley Community Resource Center. Located at the corners of Highways 12 and 29, the Center is a joint venture between PUC and the local community to provide educational opportunities for Napa and the surrounding communities.Approximately 150 people attended the opening, including educators from PUC and Napa Valley College, as well as civic leaders. Congressman Mike Thompson, who has actively supported the Center, was slated to speak for the ceremony, but was unable to attend.Allene Timar, vice president of instruction at Napa Valley College, officially cut the ribbon at the ceremony, signifying the important partnership between the Napa Valley's two colleges.Both Ms. Timar and PUC President Malcolm Maxwell cited how the new Center will provide continuing instruction for students who began their education at Napa Valley College. Céline Haugen, executive director of the Napa Valley Economic Development Corporation, cited how the new facility will provide technology training for employees in local business. In addition, the Center will partner with Napa educators to provide teacher credentialing (starting in the fall), adult...

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John Christian, Beloved Educator, Dies in Classroom

By Mike Mennard on November 14, 2007

On Friday, April 7, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Dr. John Christian, professor of history at Pacific Union College, collapsed from a massive heart attack and died while teaching. He was 64 years old. Verne Jeske, a former department head at PUC now completing his history degree, encouraged all students in the class to leave the room immediately while two students administered CPR until the ambulance arrived. Dr. Christian was a popular teacher on campus, a favorite among students and colleagues. He taught for PUC's history and liberal studies departments. Lisa Bissell Paulsen, vice president for student services, has arranged for counseling services to be made available to all students present at his death. A memorial service took on Tuesday morning, April 11, at 10 a.m. in the Pacific Union College Sanctuary in Angwin, followed by an interment at the St. Helena Cemetary. The 1,500 plus who attended the funeral heard heart-felt tributes from Dr. Christian's colleagues, former students, current students, family members, and long-time friends. Dr. Malcolm Maxwell, president of PUC and personal friend of Dr. Christian, said, "Today we celebrate a competent teacher, a good administrator, and, most important, a dear friend... He died doing what he loved--teaching."...

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PUC's Peggy David is Working Toward Sweet Dreams

By Mike Mennard on November 13, 2007

Violence to women is real, and it takes place close to home. Last year alone in Napa, California, the Emergency Women's Service received more than 1,800 crisis calls. Most calls came from battered or sexually abused women. Aware of this horrific trend, Peggy David, director of Pacific Union College's public safety, launched a bold project called "Project Sweet Dreams." And while it may not stop the violence, Project Sweet Dreams will ensure that abused women and their children have a safe place to stay for the night. Peggy sent 42 packets to area hotels and motels across the county, asking each to donate a room twice a year for the Napa Emergency Women's Service. This way, women can find refuge even when the women's shelters are full; and according to Lylan Frank, director of the Napa Emergency Women's Service, the shelters are nearly always full. The victims are usually in imminent danger, and shelters are often the only barrier between life and death. For this reason, all victims must agree not to disclose the name of the hotel nor to contact their attacker. Also, there can be no weapons nor drugs taken into the room. These stipulations, says Peggy, are...

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