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.

Multi-Media: 2019 Annual Faculty Art Show

By Becky St. Clair

The faculty of the department of visual arts at Pacific Union College invites the community to the opening reception of their 2019 faculty art show in the Rasmussen Art Gallery on the PUC campus in Angwin. The reception begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, and is free and open to the public. The art will be available for viewing through March 17.

“Faculty in visual arts constantly push themselves to stay relevant within their fields and create work relative to their disciplines,” explains Rajeev Sigamoney, department chair and associate professor of film and television production. “Art is meant to be shared with others, and the process of putting one’s work out there for others to see takes vulnerability, honesty, and bravery. This is something we challenge our students to pursue in their academic development, so it is our privilege to engage in the same practices as faculty.”

Faculty with art in this year’s show are: Amy Cronk (mixed media); Cheryl Daley (ceramics); Jayme de la Torre (sculptural assemblage); Brian Kyle (photography); Milbert Mariano (design); Bob Pappas (ceramics); Cliff Rusch (photography); Tom Turner (watercolors).

Here are some thoughts from some of the faculty in the show, reflecting on what they do and why they do it.

Brian Kyle, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts

One of the things I enjoy most about art-making is the challenge of finding innovative ways to communicate ideas and the constant need for creative problem-solving throughout the process. When faced with challenges I have found that many times an understanding of artistic disciplines outside of my current focus has offered options for innovative solutions to these problems. For example, while my most recent work is photographic, I’ve been able to integrate elements of graphic design, illustration, and printmaking into the creation of props that have become valuable communication tools within the photographs in the series. As a multidisciplinary artist, I feel it is important to continue gathering a wide variety of skills and knowledge within a variety of artistic (and non-artistic) disciplines. I am currently interested in continuing my exploration of motion & animation and finding ways to begin incorporating these disciplines into my other work.

Jaymie de la Torre, Visual Arts Assistant

I really love to work with found objects, particularly recycled materials or things that might be considered trash. I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition of things decaying and newly created, rejected and desired. I think they can be used to speak about our relationships to things that are different than us, what we consider us and them and how regardless of our feelings we are still intertwined.

Milbert Mariano, Professor of Graphic Design

As a graphic designer and professor since college, I’ve stuck with it because the field is so wide, varying, and changing that it’s constantly offering different challenges. I admire the designers Stefan Sagmeister and Paula Scher because of the constant adaptiveness and evolution of their craft. UX (User Experience) design has been intriguing me over the past several years, and the more I learn about it, the deeper and wider it gets. It’s the core of successful design and, actually, everything we do; it surrounds us whether we’re aware of it or not.

Amy Cronk, Assistant Professor of Fine Art

I’m showing encaustic paintings inspired by some photos I took of beached sea nettle jellyfish this summer on my walks in Bodega Bay. My work is influenced by biology in all aspects and often combines nature with anatomy in some form. I love how encaustic painting (a medium that combines beeswax and damar resin) creates an aesthetic that so beautifully mimics the textures and feel of both of these influences. This series conceptually depicts a conversation with the creative process that an artist might have while wrestling with their imagery and medium.

Tom Turner: “The Tower Room,” a depiction in watercolors of Elmshaven on Glass Mountain Road. From the series he’s showing, “Glowing Whites in Watercolor.”

Q&A with Winter Revival Speaker Aren Rennacker

By Becky St. Clair

Aren Rennacker is currently the youth and college pastor at the Calimesa Seventh-day Adventist Church. After graduating in 2007 from Sacramento Adventist Academy, Aren went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in PR and journalism from PUC in 2011, then his master’s in theological studies from La Sierra University in 2017.

One of four kids, Aren has myriad stories from his childhood, during which he dreamed of winning a spot on an NBA team.

He will be speaking during PUC’s Winter Revival, Jan. 22-25, and his theme is “Authentic.” We caught up with Aren so we could all get to know him a little better (how did he go from basketball star to youth pastor?) as we prepare to receive his insights on authenticity and God next week.

Why did you choose “Authentic” as your theme?

It’s such a unique time to be alive right now, and particularly to be in college. Students are forming their identities in the midst of a lot of distrust, competition, pressure, and confusion. These can all contribute to misunderstandings about oneself and what it means to be human. My hope is for one week, we can practically examine the journey of growing as a child of God, and how that actually is meant to allow for more authenticity in our lives, not less. I truly hope our time together is engaging, practical, and genuine to the students’ experiences.

What was your experience with church and worship as a college student, and how has that affected your life today?

Friday night vespers at PUC were always a highlight. I spent most Sabbaths with Kidz Reach, a group that mentored at-risk youth in Napa. Also, the religion classes were outstanding. Truly, the entire spiritual environment at PUC helped me grow in a lot of ways and led me into pursuing ministry. I remain grateful to this day for the teachers and leaders I had as guides during those years.

What’s something that challenged you as a young adult, and how did you handle it?

At the end of my freshman year, I was asked to take a year off to serve as the youth leader at a local church. At that time I still wanted to be a sports journalist and had no desire to be a pastor; however, I felt saying “no” would upset God.

I met with a mentor of mine to process the decision, and he helped me see God was not for me or against me based on my decision, but both “yes” and “no” could be the right or wrong answer based upon how I chose to spend the next year. That took a lot of the pressure off and helped me see God in a healthier way.

I decided to return to PUC that year recommitted to serving God on campus. And, what do you know, by the end of that year I decided I wanted to pursue a career as a youth pastor instead of as a journalist.

What were you like as a kid?

I was the youngest of four and I’m sure I acted like it. Fortunately, my mom and siblings were patient and helped create a great childhood for me. Sports were my passion, and I always wanted to be watching, playing, or reading about them. Reading the sports page in the newspaper every day helped cultivate my love for writing, and obsessing over the Sacramento Kings helped me acclimate to taking losses. Despite that, I was a generally happy kid who enjoyed school and loved my family.

What is your favorite food to eat?

My favorite food category is ice cream. (Is that a category?) Seriously, though, if I were to have one plate of anything, it would be my mom’s French toast. She’s the only one in the world who can make it her way.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I still enjoy playing basketball, and I’m hoping to play some while I’m up at PUC. I’m currently in the middle of several good books, including Under the Overpass, an account of two guys who chose to become homeless for five months to better understand what others experience. But my favorite free time activity is spending time with my girlfriend, Paige, which usually means a game of Uno, an episode of The Office, or a bowl of acai. Better yet: all three.

What are some items on your bucket list?

This is a timely question because I turn 30 this summer, meaning I should probably do some life reflecting. Some of the things I’ve done are travel the U.S., work at a job I love, and see the Giants win the World Series (three times). I’d still love to run a half marathon, write a book, and star on Broadway. Dream big.

What would you say is your main goal for Winter Revival?

My ultimate goal for the week would be for those listening to be willing to process or wrestle with at least one new idea or perspective they hear. Living within a faith community can often numb us to yet another message (myself included), so if any student or staff actually feel something they hear is worth consuming and thinking over, perhaps even discussing with a friend, I’d be honored and grateful. I simply long to be a small part in the journey of growth for anybody who will allow me to be.

If, in the course of said discussions or ponderings, a student has questions or just wants to connect with you about things, how can they reach you?

I would love to talk in person while I’m on the hill, or they can reach me at asrennacker@gmail.com.