Category Archives: Campus Events

Middle School Students Learn & Have Fun at PacificQuest

Pacific Union College held its annual PacificQuest program on June 23-28, welcoming high-achieving middle school students to campus for five days of learning and fun. The program is designed to provide gifted students with the opportunity to explore college-level courses and encourage them to pursue a college education. 

This summer, PacificQuest offered students three exciting hands-on classes: Chemistry, taught by Dr. Kent Davis, chair of the department of chemistry, which explored the idea that properties of matter are a consequence of the three-dimensional shapes of molecules; Computer Programming & Game Development, taught by Dr. Chantel Blackburn, associate professor of mathematics, which gave students the opportunity to learn about coding through an introduction to the computer language C#; and Technology, taught by Professor David Bell, chair of the department of business, which delved into the world of Artificial Intelligence.

PacificQuest welcomed students from all over the West Coast, including Canada, and one student came as far as France! Outside of classes, there was a talent show and a quiz bowl, with plenty of free time at the gym where students played basketball and volleyball. 

Let’s hear from the students themselves about their experience at PacificQuest last week!

What did you like the most about going to PacificQuest?

“We could learn and have fun with others.” — Nathanael A., Angwin, Calif.

“I really just liked the general dynamics of the whole group and how we all can just enjoy everything as friends.” — Kyle S., Bishop, Calif.

“I liked getting to know others and I loved walking around the beautiful campus.” — Shania M., San Diego, Calif.

“I liked the opportunity to connect with friends and counselors and finding who I am supposed to be.” — Cambria H., Angwin, Calif. 

“I liked the night programs outside of classes and the opportunity to find new class interests.” — Mhina C., Los Angeles, Calif.

“I liked hanging out with my friends and making memories with them.” — Sabrina Y., Napa, Calif.

“I was really happy to meet new people and learn in a Christian environment.” — Reagan G., Arroyo Grande, Calif.

“Everything! PQ was great!” — Georgia B., Sequim, Wash.

What was your favorite class?

“I liked them all but I think my favorite was chemistry.” — Kyle S., Bishop, Calif.

“My favorite class was chemistry because of how interesting it was learning about molecules.” — Chet G., Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

“The computer classes and chemistry experiments.” — Mike H., Houston, Texas

What was your favorite thing outside of classes during the week?

“Learning about others and talking to people.” — Nathanael A., Angwin, Calif.

“I liked meeting new people and the talent show.” — Grady S., Bishop, Calif.

“End of the day activities, rec and free time, basically just us being us.” — Cambria H., Angwin, Calif. 

Tell us something really interesting you learned at PacificQuest.

“I learned the structure of atoms.” — Nathanael A., Angwin, Calif.

“I learned that something called quantum numbers exist.” — Nathan S., Modesto, Calif.

“I learned about valence electrons and ions.” — Cambria H., Angwin, Calif. 

“There is an artificially intelligent robot that can balance on two wheels.” — Kyle S., Bishop, Calif.

“How to do experiments.” — Mhina C., Los Angeles, Calif.

“I learned how to program minesweeper.” — Grady S., Bishop, Calif.

“I liked learning how to read the periodic table.” — Sabrina Y., Napa, Calif.

“I learned more about valence electrons and the periodic table.” — Reagan G., Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Learn more about PacificQuest at puc.edu/pacificquest. Course information and the application for 2020 will be available later this year. Questions? Contact Professor Aimee Wyrick, chair of the department of biology and PacificQuest academic director, at pacificquest@puc.edu

PUC in Pictures: Spring 2019 Edition

Now that the dust has settled on Maxwell Commons after another graduation, we’re taking a moment to look back at some of the special moments over the past few months that made this spring quarter unforgettable. We also wish all of our graduates a huge congratulations and God’s richest blessings—we can’t wait to see what you do next!

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💖the heart of campus💖

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Gorgeous spring days ☀️

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Remember—You can follow PUC on Instagram and browse through some of our hashtags for a closer look at student life at PUC. #PUCNow and #PUCAdventures are good places to start!

We hope you have a great summer break and we can’t wait to see all of you back on campus in September!

Admitted Students Day Recap

Earlier this month, we welcomed 100 students and parents to our campus for Admitted Students Day, which was a special visitation day where students could meet their future classmates and professors and get firsthand experience of life as a Pioneer as well as get things done on their accepted student checklist.

Below are some of our favorite moments from Admitted Students Day. You can also check out the complete photo gallery on Facebook to see more photos from the event!

Checking in with an admissions counselor to start the day off right.

Students and their parents could visit booths to hear about different academic support resources and student clubs. Here’s staff from the Teaching & Learning Center, which offers free tutoring.

A student talks with Matt Russell, who teaches in the emergency services program.

One of the highlights of Admitted Students Day was sitting and talking with current students and professors about life at PUC. Here’s Dr. Peter Katz in the Maxwell Reading Room with a group of students.

Visitors heard from academic support staff like Michael Jefferson, director of the Career & Counseling Center.

The residence halls were also open for visitors to explore.

If you missed out on Admitted Students Day, it’s not too late to visit PUC and work on getting your accepted student checklist complete. Sign up today at puc.edu/visit and we can start working with you on a personalized campus tour. You can also email visit@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with our visitor coordinator.

Can’t make it here in person? No problem! Take a walk on campus from the comfort of your living room by taking PUC’s virtual tour. Available 24/7, it’s a great way to take a look around PUC at your own pace.

Join Us for Admitted Students Day!

If you’re an accepted student, we hope you can make plans to join us on May 17 for Admitted Students Day, a special day to celebrate your big achievement. Meet your future classmates and professors, enjoy your soon-to-be campus, and get firsthand experience of life as a Pioneer! Keep an eye on your inbox for more information about this exciting event.

Register now for Admitted Students Day at puc.edu/admitted.

While you’re here, get things done on your accepted student checklist:

  • Register for classes, explore your major, and meet your professors
  • Tour the residence halls and see which one feels most like home
  • Learn about student support services and resources
  • Meet with your financial counselor to finalize your aid package
  • Indulge in a delicious meal or two in the Dining Commons
  • Take a hike in PUC’s forest
  • Experience the Napa Valley community and all it has to offer
  • Join our campus family for vespers and church (for overnight guests)

There will also be special programs for parents and guardians.

If you haven’t been accepted yet, we invite you to finish your application now. Visit puc.edu/admissions-process to see what’s left for you to submit, or you can bring your outstanding documents to have your application reviewed during Admitted Students Day.

Email admissions@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 for more information or to talk with an admissions counselor.

Register now for Admitted Students Day at puc.edu/admitted.

We can’t wait to have you here!

Visit PUC This Spring!

Choosing what college to attend is an important decision and one you shouldn’t make without doing a lot of research. What better way to research the colleges you’re considering than by visiting them? We would be thrilled to have you and your family come visit PUC! Take a campus tour given by one of our student ambassadors, sit in on a class, chat with a professor, eat in our cafeteria, walk around the charming nearby towns of St. Helena or Calistoga, AND if you plan in advance, join us for any of the following upcoming and exciting events during spring quarter.

We hope to see you on campus soon!

Special Colloquies

Each week, students, faculty, and staff gather for Colloquy to worship together and create a sense of community and unity. It might be the only time you see some of your pre-med and pre-dent friends! There are two Colloquies in the spring that may be of particular interest to you when planning your visit:

  • April 4, 2019 — Educator of the Year Colloquy, 10 a.m.; See who PUC students voted as the best teacher of the year and learn more about someone who could be one of your future professors!
  • April 8-13, 2019 — Student Week of Prayer, various times; Hear from current students about their spiritual walk and experiences.

For more information about Colloquy, check out the college’s calendar at puc.edu/calendar.

Rasmussen Art Gallery Openings

If you’re interested in seeing some incredible works of art, you won’t want to miss the Rasmussen Art Gallery. Several times a quarter, a new exhibit opens at the college’s on-campus art gallery, which often features students, faculty, and other local artists. The opening reception is a chance to meet the artists, mingle with other guests, and enjoy some tasty snacks while appreciating the talent on display. If you can’t make it to one of the opening receptions, check with your tour guide to be sure to stop by the gallery and spend some time browsing during regular open hours.

  • April 18, 2019 — Opening Reception: Student Art Exhibition, 7 p.m.
  • May 18, 2019 — Opening Reception: Senior Art Major Thesis Projects, 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the Rasmussen Art Gallery Facebook page.

Paulin Hall Music Concerts

PUC’s department of music has many concerts throughout the year at the Paulin Hall Auditorium; all of which are free to the public. The college has several ensembles that frequently perform, and there are usually multiple student recitals each quarter. During spring quarter, there are several concerts we hope you can join us for!

  • May 12, 2019 — Orchestra Concert, 4 p.m.
  • May 19, 2019 — Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concert, 4 p.m.
  • June 1, 2019 — Choral Concert, 4 p.m.
  • June 5, 2019 — General Student Recital, 6 p.m.
  • June 6, 2019 — String Ensemble Concert, 7 p.m.

Contact the department of music for more information; call (707) 965-6201 or email music@puc.edu.

Other Exciting Upcoming Events

There are also several other events happening this coming spring quarter we think might be of interest to you!

  • April 19-21, 2019 — Homecoming Weekend; If one or both of your parents attended PUC, why not tag along with them for Homecoming and hear stories about the college back in the day!
  • June 14-16, 2019 — Graduation Weekend; Join us as we celebrate our graduating seniors!
  • Every Friday night — We invite you to attend our weekly vespers service at 8 p.m. where we worship together as a campus family to welcome the Sabbath.
  • Every Sabbath morning — At 12 noon, we also invite you to our student-led church service, the Twelve, which features student and faculty speakers each week.

Visit puc.edu/calendar for more information about these events.

For more information about visiting PUC, check out puc.edu/visit.

We can spend hours explaining what we think makes life at PUC so unique but there’s no better way than by experiencing it firsthand, so schedule your visit today! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email visit@puc.edu to get connected with our visit coordinator and start setting up your schedule now.

You’re Supposed to Have Fun in College!

College isn’t just about academics! Having a healthy social life is also a really important part of your college experience. Our admissions team gets asked just as many questions about the social aspect of being a student at PUC as they do about academics, so we thought it would be worthwhile to put together a helpful FAQ for you to learn more about the fun side of PUC!

How will I make friends at PUC?

Whether you’re coming to PUC with a large group of friends or taking the plunge and going solo, it can seem intimidating when you’re on a new campus and don’t know many faces. Fear not though; there are plenty of different ways you can make new friends during your first few quarters. Every freshman is put into a Life Group with other new students to help them adjust to college life and to PUC, and meet regularly throughout the year. You’ll also start getting to know students in your classes, and within your department. Each department typically has a pre-vespers event once a quarter, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get to know your classmates outside of the classroom too.

Get more ideas on how to make friends your first quarter at PUC.

What student clubs can I get involved with?

From academic to civic to cultural clubs, PUC promises a space for all interested students. With over 15 organizations on campus, and a growing number each year, any student looking for a place to connect with those who share their passions is sure to find a group that is right for them. Here’s just a short list of some of the student-run clubs at PUC:

  • Biology Club
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Pre-Med & Pre-Dent Club
  • SPARK
  • Literature Evangelism Club
  • Thaumatrope
  • Korean Adventist Student Association
  • Student Organization of Latinos
  • Mountain Biking Club
  • Climbing Club

Learn more about what student clubs you can join at PUC.

What’s there to do on PUC’s campus?

Plenty! Hopefully, though, you’ll be spending a lot of your time studying, whether it’s in your dorm room or the library, but when you need a break, there’s a lot of things you can do. You can go for a run in PUC’s back 40 property; get an iced tea from the Grind and catch up with friends on the Campus Center patio; hit the weight room in the gymnasium to blow off some steam; cheer on your roommate at their basketball intramurals game; receive God’s blessing with your hallmates at a mid-week dorm worship; or catch a movie at the Campus Center. Honestly, you’ll have too much to choose from!

Are there fun things to do in the towns near PUC?

If the hill doesn’t provide enough social life for you, students can venture to the nearby beautiful city of St. Helena or elsewhere in the Napa Valley, where there’s no shortage of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. For students who want a break from the quiet of the valley, San Francisco is just a short drive away. There’s a reason why over 25 million people visit SF each year! You can catch the latest exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, have a picnic at Crissy Field, go on a shopping spree at Union Square, or catch a Giants game at AT&T Park.

Explore Northern California & why it’s a great place to spend your college years.

What are weekends like at PUC?

You get to decide how you spend your weekends! Every Friday evening offers a vespers program at 8 p.m. and a post-vespers activity like AFTRlite. Sometimes there are department pre-vespers too. Every Sabbath morning there are multiple Sabbath school and church options, and you can spend the afternoon taking a walk in PUC’s beautiful back 40 property, to places like Inspiration Point.

If you want to hang out on campus, there are always Student Association events every Saturday night, and usually, there are Pioneers Athletics games too. You can also join a study group to help yourself stay motivated on Sundays to get all your homework done. If you and your friends want to get out and have your own adventures, there’s a lot to do in our neighboring towns of St. Helena, Calistoga, Napa, Santa Rosa. Or you can take a study break and spend a few hours binging something on Netflix.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what to expect when you’re a student at PUC. We can’t wait to have you here!

A Q&A with Ron Graybill, 2019 Civil Rights Lecturer

By Becky St. Clair

Dr. Ron Graybill has served his communities in a variety of ways over the years: professor, journalist, communications specialist, editor, and pastor. A native of Northern California, Graybill spent third grade at Pacific Union College Elementary School while his mother trained at PUC to be a teacher. He now has an M.Div. degree from Andrews University, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Johns Hopkins University.

Graybill spent 13 years as an associate secretary at the Ellen G. White Estate at General Conference Headquarters, where he assisted Arthur White in writing the six-volume biography of Ellen G.White. His many articles on Adventist history made him one of the most frequently cited sources in the new Ellen G. White Encyclopedia.

On Saturday, March 9, Graybill will present this perspective during the 2019 lecture of the Percy and John Christian Civil Rights Conference Center at PUC, titled, “James Edson White: Flawed Hero.” This lecture is free and open to the public and will begin at 4 p.m. in Paulin Hall.

Tell us about your lecture. What will you be talking about?

It is the story of the life of James Edson White, with emphasis on his pioneer evangelistic, educational, and humanitarian work among Mississippi Blacks between 1895 and 1900, but with little-known aspects of his troubled childhood, youth, and young manhood. My presentation will also describe the sort of paternalistic racism which characterized most social action by whites during that era.

Much of what you will be saying in your lecture is an elaboration of your 1971 book, Mission to Black America, which was just released this month in a second edition. Tell us a little about that book.

In Mission to Black America, I tell the harrowing, yet inspiring story of James Edson White’s heroic and misunderstood efforts to spread the advent message among the Black people of Mississippi in the late 19th century. The Black people were willing to listen, but not everyone wanted them to hear. To write the book I visited several sites in Mississippi, interviewed persons who lived through the events described and made use of unpublished and confidential correspondence between Edson White and his mother, Ellen G. White. During my research, I even uncovered previously unstudied court records on the Olvin murder case. I think its application to current issues make it still a very relevant tale today.

Can you elaborate on that last part? What, in particular, makes this story relevant today?

We are in an era when the long-standing racism of much of American society has come more obviously into view. Understanding how even the most progressive individuals in the past still had racial flaws helps us become more aware of our own unconscious assumptions and feelings about race, and thus better able to admit and overcome them.

I understand you’ll be guest lecturing in a number of classes while you’re here. What will you be talking about?

I will be lecturing in religion, history, and English classes on Ellen White’s unreleased handwritten documents. While it is said all her letters and manuscripts are released online, it is only the polished, edited versions of those documents that have been released. I will show how a careful study of the holographs (documents in the author’s own handwriting) brings new evidence to light; evidence that has been lost in the process of correcting, editing, and polishing her documents for publication. I will also expose students to the discipline of documentary editing, showing how original handwritten documents are now commonly prepared for scholarly publication so as not to lose any of the information found in the handwritten drafts. In this study, I will make use of the previously unknown Ellen White letter that was just discovered in the PUC Library’s archival collection.

How did your intense interest in the White family begin?

As we discussed racial issues and pushed racial reforms in the 1960s, I became aware of how Mrs. White’s apparent support of segregation loomed behind the scenes. Then I discovered the historical background that rendered her statements more understandable and defensible, as well as her clear but long-forgotten condemnation of racial discrimination. My research in these topics and my book about Edson White won me the appointment to the White Estate to assist Arthur White in writing the six-volume biography of his grandmother, Ellen White.

What sparked your passion for positive race relations in particular?

My high school girlfriend was part Mexican, part Apache, and part French. I had an aunt who thought it was terrible I should date “such a person.” Her views on race fueled my passion for better race relations.

What do you hope students who attend this lecture will take away from it?

My hope is this lecture will inspire a chastened pride in some aspects of the American and Adventist past. What I mean by that is it is possible to be proud of our heritage without denying or forgetting the mistakes our ancestors made. We can acknowledge we represent the results of those mistakes, but in recognizing these things we can also move forward positively in our church, in our communities, and in our country.

Dr. Graybill’s current hobby: Hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail in one, two, and three-day sections. He’s done about 600 miles, all in Southern California.