A Visitor’s Guide to St. Helena

We often hear from students that there’s “nothing to do” around PUC, or the Napa Valley doesn’t offer the same amenities found in larger towns. However, it’s completely the opposite! You just have to look a little harder for things you’re interested in as opposed to having them as conveniently right outside your front door.

At first glance, St. Helena, the town closest to PUC—a mere eight miles away—can seem like nothing more than a playground for the rich, lacking a price friendly environment. There are places hidden throughout the valley, however, that offer a good time without breaking the wallet. Here are some popular spots PUC students like to go for a break from studying and experience sophisticated Napa Valley culture in nearby St. Helena!

If you want something to eat …

It’s no secret the Napa Valley is known for its incredible, Michelin star restaurants, but there are also plenty of casual places to grab a good bite to eat in St. Helena, depending on what you’re craving:

  • Mexican food: Whether it’s Taco Tuesday or you just want a good burrito, both Azteca Market and Villa Corona offer great food at a great price.
  • A good sandwich: If you talk with any PUC alum, one of the things they may tell you they miss the most about being at PUC is the iconic sandwich joint, Giugni’s. It’s a local favorite for sandwiches and “Giugni juice.” This place is a classic, although you won’t want to forget to bring cash!
  • Italian food: Another PUC local favorite is Pizzeria Tra Vigne, where you will most likely find PUC students, faculty, and staff on any given day!
  • A burger, fries, and milkshake: If you watch the Food Network, you’ve probably already heard of Gott’s, which has been famous in the Valley since 1999 but is now a must stop for tourists after being featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.”

If you want a cup of coffee or a snack …

For students looking for a place to sip on a hot beverage or smoothie, nibble on a pastry, or enjoy a sandwich or gelato, there are several different coffee shops in town available to spend time studying or to just relax take a break. There’s the Napa Valley Roasting Company, lovingly referred to as the “RoCo,” offering excellent drinks and patio seating; the Model Bakery, which is your go-to spot if you’re looking for fresh bread and pastries; and Sogni Di Dolci, a student favorite due to its delicious, authentic Italian gelato.

If you want to watch a movie …

Built in 1913, the Cameo Cinema is one of the oldest running single-screen theaters in the United States. Don’t let its age fool you, though—the Cameo boasts the most technologically innovative projection system in the area, and has Dolby 3D capabilities. The Cameo hosts current movies, art films, concerts, and the annual PUC Diogones Film Festival in the spring, and has also hosted special community screenings of Francis Ford Coppola’s films. The ticket price for students with a school ID is just $7, making the Cameo a perfect place to come on Saturday nights with friends or even a date!

If you want to shop …

Lolo’s Consignment is where you can find relatively new designer clothes as well as discounted furniture, books, and home decor items. College students are always looking for creative ways to stretch their budgets, and Lolo’s is a great place to look for great deals. You can often find items with the tags still on for a fraction of original cost.

Tip: Ladies, be sure to stop by Lolo’s the third Wednesday of every month for “Girls’ Night Out” where the store stays open late and clothing and accessories are an extra 20 percent off.

If you want a good book …

Main Street Books is a charming little bookstore right on Main Street (obviously) offering a large selection of used books, and a modest amount of new books sprinkled in. All used books are half off, and it’s a great place to find classic literature books for some of your English classes, often at an even cheaper price than on Amazon.

Pro tip: Be sure to check out the piles of books in front of the counter—that’s where you will find used books yet to be shelved.

If you want somewhere to relax …

A little off the beaten path, Crane Park is a lovely spot if you’re looking for outdoor relaxation and the perfect place to absorb some vitamin D! The park consists of eight lighted bocce ball courts, six lighted tennis courts, two Little League baseball fields, one lighted volleyball court, a playground, skate park, horseshoe pits, and picnic tables. It’s a great space to hang out, and on Friday mornings you can also enjoy the St. Helena Farmers Market (7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., May through October), featuring local produce, delicious food vendors, and artisanal goods.

Tip: Bring your Giugni’s sandwich to the park for the perfect afternoon picnic!

There are many other amazing places in St. Helena and within the Napa Valley; these are just a few of our favorites. We invite you to visit Pacific Union College and come experience our college and the Napa Valley for yourself! Fill out a visit request at puc.edu/visit, or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to schedule your personalized tour.

Don’t Be Stuck in Your Dorm Room

PUC has always promoted an active lifestyle and healthy living, and there are plenty of ways for students to stay active on campus. The gymnasium, officially known as the Pacific Auditorium but more endearingly called “The Covered Wagon,” is always full of students participating in a variety of activities. For students who enjoy the great outdoors, PUC owns over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun.

The fitness center and weight room, climbing wall, and pool are used for both classes and independent recreation.

If being outside is more your thing, there are also outdoor sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, a track, and and multiple baseball and flag football fields.

From hiking and biking in the college’s back 40 property to the popular intramurals program, there’s something for every student at PUC.

If you’re interested in attending PUC, you can talk with an enrollment counselor in the enrollment services office about the application process and any questions you have about the college. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to be connected with a counselor today.

Meet Megan Weems, PUC SA President

Hailing from Medford, Ore., Megan Weems is a junior studying liberal studies and elementary education at PUC, and is next year’s incoming Student Association president. We’re looking forward to seeing her and her team’s energy and creative ideas in action.

We asked Megan a few questions about her experiences at PUC and her hopes for this upcoming year.

What are your plans for this coming school year?

Oh! Where do I even begin?! This next school year is the year for changes. My SA team and I have so many ideas/events/plans we want to implement. We envision everything already great about PUC but multiplied by 100. My team and I plan to be extremely intentional about making the students happy and encouraging PUC pride! We want to make PUC a place where fun is had, quality relationships are built, and bonds are made that will last a lifetime. #PUCFAM

What are you looking forward to the most with SA?

Family. The family in which we create within the team, that will then trickle out into to Senate, clubs, and EVERYONE.  🙂

What made you decide to run for SA president?

Truly, God put me in the right spot, at the right time. I ran for SA president because I wanted to do something a little out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. I want to be the change so, I can therefore make a change. I am so proud to be a Pioneer and I wanted to be in a position where I can facilitate change to make PUC a place everyone wants to be.

What is your favorite thing about PUC?

The people of course! We are beyond blessed here on this hill with some of the most compassionate, brilliant, and beautiful minds. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this college community.

Why did you decide to attend PUC?

If we are being honest, PUC was not in my original plan. In fact, I was at Walla Walla University my freshman year, but something didn’t fit for me there. I was pulled by God (and my sister) to enroll at PUC and I found my niche here. I appreciate the experience I had at WWU but here at PUC is where my heart and home are.

So far, what has been your favorite class at PUC?

Any class by Tom Lee or Jim Roy. (Shout out to the department of education, woot woot!)

What was the last book you read?

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.

What are some of your hobbies?

Singing, sewing, cooking, socializing, swimming, chilling, learning new things, doing anything exciting and new.

What advice would you give incoming freshmen?

GET INVOLVED and STAY INVOLVED.

How can students keep up-to-date with SA events and activities?

The PUC SA Facebook page, as well as our SA website. Stay tuned for more info!

 

PUC in Pictures: Spring 2017 Edition

With the close of another wonderful year here at PUC, we are taking a moment to reflect back on some of the many great moments and memories of spring quarter.

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

Congrats to Madeline Chung who was named 2016-17 Presidential Scholar Athlete of the Year! 💪🏼#pucpioneers

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Tonight was the Senior Thesis Exhibition and we couldn't be more proud of our talented students! #GreatWork 📸: @pucart

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A different point of view.

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💚💛 #Repost @mvpdelarmente ・・・ I absolutely loved my four years here. PUC is my HOME.

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Hats off to you! 🎓

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We also encourage you to reach out to one of our enrollment counselors if you have questions about PUC. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 for more information.

Pioneers Profile: Alexis Lyers

Meet Alexis Lyers, a senior who hails from Upper Marlboro, Md., and plays on the Pioneers women’s basketball team as a guard. We asked her to share about her experiences at PUC this past year, on and off the court.

What’s your major?

I am a communication major.

What’s your favorite class at PUC?

My favorite class at PUC is interpersonal communication. You get to learn so many interesting things about relationship and how people interact with each other on a daily basis. It’s super interesting!

Who is your favorite teacher at PUC?

I would have to say just about all the professors in the department of communication. I can’t choose one but they are all so great and so helpful not only in the classroom but also outside of it.

What made you decide to play for the Pioneers?

I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5-years-old. I’m originally from Maryland and one day I just decided I wanted to travel to the west coast and play basketball. At the time I wasn’t sure where, but after some research and lots of prayers I found PUC and loved the environment and my teammates.

What’s the best thing about being on the team?

I think the best thing about being on the team are my teammates and building relationships while playing a sport you love. I have so much fun with my teammates; we absolutely love each other on and off the court. It’s really amazing to connect with people on a personal level from all different parts of the country and all different walks of life.

Is it hard to balance being a student and an athlete?

Balancing school and being an athlete is extremely hard. You have a commitment to both to do well in school and perform well on the court and that’s not including practices, missing classes due to games, and homework.

What’s something you learned about yourself while playing this year?

This year I learned I can be a really good leader and role model on and off the court. I’m usually a person who runs away from the leader role and just hangs in the background, but I found out how good of a leader I am through my teammates. I also learned leading transpires off the court, when my teammates come to me for life advice or just someone to talk to.

What’s your favorite memory from this season?

My favorite memory from this year was coming back from being down 12 points to beat La Sierra University on senior night in front of my family and friends. I just remember my teammates all rushing to me after the game because we were all so happy.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself working for an NFL or NBA team doing public relations or marketing work.

Alexis with her Cal Pac award.

Playing Intramurals at PUC

By Andrew Mahinay

Being active is an integral part of PUC. Most notably is the intramurals program, coordinated by Dr. Robert Paulson, which has over 800 games per school year.

The sports range from co-ed to date night in sports such as volleyball, basketball, frisbee, and many others. I myself have had the opportunity to participate in intramurals for three sports, making new friends and long lasting memories. Intramurals is a place you can push yourself to the physical limits, or if you are like most people, intramurals can be a place to get exercise while having fun.

PUC’s exercise science majors referee each intramural game, which means you are bound to see a familiar face. Hernan Granados, the head dean of Newton Hall, continuously helps ref games, ensuring fairness is exhibited on the playing grounds.

The entire gym is reserved for intramural games like basketball or volleyball, which means gameplay will not be interrupted or cut short. Each intramural game lasts an average of one hour and is a great way to take a break from studying.

In order to make a team, one must sign up on RecRadio’s page on Facebook. Sign up by finding other students and friends to compose a team. Once you recruit the required amount of players, create a team name on RecRadio, and you are now ready to participate in intramurals. A schedule of the teams you will be playing will be posted on RecRadio Facebook page so keep an eye out for that.

To differentiate teams, PUC’s intramural program provides free jerseys. If you want to get involved in an intramural team, there is a required fee of $5, which goes to pay the referees. If you know you will be even more active in intramurals, RecRadio offers a special deal where you can pay $30 to buy your own special jerseys, which showcases you are eligible to play in all sports without having to pay the $5 initiation fee. In other words, you will not have to pay to play in an intramural game again.

Intramurals tends to start in the evening, around 6-8 p.m., depending on the sport. Each night, Dr. Paulson makes it his goal to snap silly and amazing photos of live intramural game play. These photos can be found on the RecRadio’s Facebook page and to some people, like myself, these photos are the true highlights of participating.

The teams with the highest win-to-lose ratio move on to what is known as playoffs. During playoffs, teams compete with each other to get to the number one spot. Because of this aspect, Intramurals can get competitive. The team that wins first place lands a group picture on the RecRadio Facebook page, along with a game-winning shirt, which represents they defied all odds in beating all teams. With the competitive aspect aside, intramurals is all about having fun.

Intramurals is designed for all students whether you’re agile and quick or determined and committed, or just out there to have fun. There are no requirements. I highly recommend you join intramurals when you’re at PUC to create long lasting memories alongside your friends.

This years’ women’s soccer champions.

PUC in Pictures: Winter 2017 Edition

With the close of another quarter here at PUC, we are taking time to reflect back on many of the great moments and memories. Below are just a few of our favorite photos from the past three months. Enjoy!

96 days till 🎓

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Cannot beat this 😍 📸: Robert Wilson

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PUC praise band 🙌🏼 #puccollegedays #pucpioneers

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Just another routine photo in the mustard fields … 🌾 📷: @camnmitch

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RememberFollow PUC on Instagram (@PUCNow) and browse through some of our hashtags for a closer look at student life at PUC. #PUCNow and #MyPUCReason are great places to start!