Pacific Magazine - Volume 25, Number 2

Inauguration of Pete C. Menjares

President's message: Fresno Pacific University: A hope-filled community

Our university theme for 2012-2013 is Hope in Times of Change and the verse is Romans 15:13:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

According to the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Romans, we serve a God of hope who fills us with joy, peace in believing and hope in abundance. And as a university founded on Christ, FPU aspires to be a place marked by joy, peace and hope, with the Fresno Pacific Idea framing our identity as a community of learners that is Christian and prophetic. My reflections on the Idea and experience with our community show me we are living these goals.

Allow me to elaborate.

Virginia’s and my transition to FPU over the summer was a monumental event highlighted by many warm and loving expressions of hospitality, collegiality and affirmations of our call to serve the university. One example was Fresno City Councilman Sal Quintero’s “meet and greet” event August 21 for community leaders and dignitaries. The many enthusiastic welcomes by members of the broader Fresno community helped set a wonderful tone to the beginning of our tenure. This welcome has given us hope in leading.

This reception has been especially meaningful to my wife and me as we moved from our native Southern California. What drew me to FPU were its mission and the growth and progress of the university throughout the Central Valley. Our hope and goal in coming to FPU is to embrace our call to lead the university into its next chapter. The people we have met have confirmed that call.

In our short time here it is certainly clear to us that hope abounds among faculty, staff, students and alumni in what has been a time of significant change. Over the last several years enrollment has grown to over 3,500 students in the traditional undergraduate, graduate and degree completion programs. The staff and regular teaching faculty now numbers 350 dedicated and committed employees. More than 20,000 alumni are our local and global ambassadors. The regional centers in Bakersfield, Visalia, North Fresno and Merced spanning the Central Valley and the merger of the seminary with the main campus broaden our potential for impact.

I believe God has significantly blessed our university and placed us in a position of unprecedented strength. We are a hope-filled community with a heavenly purpose.

All I have seen, heard and felt ... has inspired hope in me. I look forward to working with everyone as we make FPU a leading West Coast Christian university with a national reputation and a global reach. 

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