Katalpa or Popsicle, both begin as piece of wood
"What's past is prologue" —Shakespeare
I have a five-foot stick in my front yard.
My friend Rod, who gave it to me, is sure it's a katalpa tree. My son Joseph, ever the optimist, hopes it's a Popsicle.
In either case, my stick has some growing to do. Meanwhile, the planting is done and the watering is ongoing, so all that's left is to wait and watch for bugs. The future depends largely on what has come before—somewhere in that stick is a creative energy that, going back to its first day as a seed, made it what it was and will make it what it will be.
There's also lot of creative energy on campus these days. Enrollment growth, a reorganized administration and progress on athletic and academic facilities make us optimistic about where we're going. It's all very exciting and, while we (may) have a little knowledge about our future than I do about the fate of my stick, the seed of the university's future is also found in its history and purpose.
And there we're on ground as solid as—and a lot more nourishing than—the Valley hardpan I turned to plant my tree. As our motto says, our foundation is Christ. As our mission states, our goal is service and scholarship. As our students and alumni show, our labors result in leaders.
In the 1940s, Pacific Bible Institute was planted to provide leaders for home and foreign missions. Students didn't wait for graduation to begin their ministries. Joel Wiebe's 50-year history, aptly titled Remembering…Reaching—A Vision of Service, describes how PBI students reached out to area children, taught Sunday school and even started churches.
In the 1960-70s, Fresno Pacific College cultivated a teacher education program. Today schools look first to graduates with our credentials and master's degrees to lead classrooms, schools and districts as administrators, librarians, school psychologists and counselors as well as teachers of literacy, bilingual education, mathematics, science and special education.
As Fresno Pacific University blossoms into business, social work and other fields, we are thankful for the blessings that continue to spring from the stick, sowed on a city lot on Van Ness Avenue and transplanted to a former cotton field near the corner of Chestnut and Butler.