Pacific Magazine - Volume 17, Number 3

Passing on the challenge

Deciding what to keep so we can pass it on

“Happy 60th anniversary!”

Say that to a husband and wife and forgive them if they swell with pride. What they have achieved through love, respect, faith, humor and hard work is rare and wonderful and worthy of a monument.

It is customary to equate wedding anniversaries with some material, usually precious. The traditional list calls the 60th a diamond anniversary, along with the 75th. The modern list calls the 60th a golden anniversary, along with the 50th.

Time moves differently through the halls of academe. I was in a graduate class at the University of Notre Dame when the professor pointed out that NDU had recently celebrated its 150th year. University employees in the room congratulated themselves until the professor added, “A friend of mine was at Harvard when it celebrated its tri-centennial.”

Then there’s Oxford where, the story goes, a visitor asked a faculty member how they got the grass so neat. “Well,” the don replied, “it’s been mowed every Tuesday for 500 years.”

However time is measured, change is constant, bringing cost as well as gain. Fresno Pacifi c University carries much from Fresno Pacific College, Pacific College and Pacific Bible Institute. The vital questions about what must carry over are asked every day, in formal meetings and chats on the Green. But they take on a new intensity during anniversary years, especially those ending in zero.

In the end it’s not how much time we have, but what we learn in that time and what we pass on that counts. What diamonds and gold do we have to lay in the hands of the next generation of students, faculty and  staff?

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