This article was originally published in Messenger, Summer 1985.

Ron Claassen--Distinguished Alumnus, 1985

Fresno Pacific College Alumni Association has presented Ron Claassen with the 1985 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Claassen is founder and current director of Fresno's Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, an organization through which Christians help crime victims to be reconciled to the offenders.

A 1967 graduate of Fresno Pacific with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, Claassen has frequently struggled with his love of math and a desire to be involved in full-time Christian ministry. He holds both a master's degree in mathematics from Louisiana State University and a master of divinity degree from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries.

His work experience also reflects dual interests. He served two years as assistant director for the Fresno Pacific Math Project and has taught math in Nigeria under the Mennonite Central Committee's Teachers Abroad Program. The math interests have taken second place in recent years as he served as co-interim pastor of the Mennonite Community Church in Fresno and inaugurated the Victim-Offender Program.

"Ron exemplifies the values we hope to find in our alumni," says Alumni Relations Director Peter Wasemiller. "He has excelled academically and has used his gifts in many ways in service both to the college and to society as a whole."