This article was originally published in Messenger, Summer 1984.
Jean Janzen Honored as Distinguished Alumnus
A poet, a homemaker, a mother, a church leader, and a gracious hostess. These just begin to describe Fresno Pacific College's Distinguished Alumnus of 1984.
Jean Janzen graduated from Fresno Pacific in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. Since then she has proved a loyal alumnus and friend of the college in many ways. She served on the college's board of directors from 1973 to 1979 and currently represents the College Community Mennonite Brethren Church on the FPC Church Advisory Council.
Three of her four children have also attended Fresno Pacific. But even during periods when she doesn't have children attending FPC, the Janzen's spacious home is always open to gatherings of college faculty and students. She and her husband, Dr. Louis Janzen, frequently make their home available for parties, lectures, and meetings. The small guest home adjacent to their home usually houses an FPC student.
Among Janzen's most notable accomplishments is her poetry. She earned a master of arts degree from California State University, Fresno, in creative writing and poetry and her works have been published in a variety of literary journals as well as Christian magazines such as the Christian Leader, Christian Century, and Christianity and Literature Journal. Six of her works have been selected for an anthology entitled Risk of Birth by Luci Shaw to be published this fall.
In selecting recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, the committee also looks for church-related service. Janzen's involvement at the College Community Church met that qualification as well. Having served on the church council and as chairperson of the worship commission, she has shown herself a church leader. She also sings in the church choir and has preached on occasion.
In short, Janzen represents many of the qualities Fresno Pacific College stands for--service, academic excellence, and a personal, caring attitude toward people. She is truly a "Distinguished Alumnus."