Pacific Magazine - Volume 16, Number 1

Reflections of the Mission

Honoring alumni employees worth taking a chance

How a stroll down memory lane turns to a tap dance through a minefield.

What could be more fun than a look at alumni faculty and staff? Here’s an opportunity to tell stories of folks who obviously have a heart for FPU; why else would they willingly return here to work after sweating it out as students? It’s also a chance to cull the archives for intriguing, not to mention embarrassing, photos of campus life in days gone by.

How could anything possibility go wrong? Here’s how:

  • Whom do you pick to talk to, how do you pick ‘em and what do you tell those you don’t?
  • Will the non-alumni employees take offense?
  • Make sure not to make it appear alumni employees couldn’t get jobs anywhere else or wouldn’t go out in the world.

Sigh. Let me take those one at a time.

Yes, the process for selecting alumni to feature was as scientific as a Hail Mary at the buzzer. The result is a gumbo of faculty and staff, men and women, decades and different parts of the university. To those who were not selected, my heartfelt apologies at the lack of time and space.

As a non-alumni employee myself, I dearly hope my colleagues will agree it is worth recognizing those who think enough of their educational experience to share that experience with others.

I’ll let two who have been around here a whole lot longer, done a whole lot more to build the place and are a whole lot smarter than I handle the last question:

  • “These former students bring a special loyalty to and understanding of the visionary nature and fundamental mission of Fresno Pacific University. Many were here during the formative years. As students they identified deeply with the mission and nature. They have returned to build on that earlier foundation and further the vision. Their deep concern is that FPU never fades into uniformity with other institutions but rather continue to nurture its uniqueness. We do well to listen to their voices.” —Arthur Wiebe
  • "When people return to us they tend to have a fairly good grasp of the values and nature of the place. They seem to have a sense of what this place is all about: community, the Fresno Pacific Idea, the ideal of service. They absorbed it and liked it. They’ve embodied what we’ve been trying to do, which is to model the pursuit of excellence. They tend to be a cut above. They tend to add well to the mix.” —Edmund Janzen

View a pdf of this issue of Pacific.