Letter from the President

President Lesley M. Hallick

"Pacific is a place where diverse ideas are welcomed and diverse opportunities are available."

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Sue Mach ’86 came to Pacific University as a freshman, hoping to earn her way into the physical therapy program.

Richard Harman ’13 started his career in electronics with an associate’s degree from a Texas community college.

And Marji Burniston ’98, OT ’01 joined the Army as a mechanic after graduating from high school.

Diversity means a great many things to different people. It may refer to a diversity of background, of ethnicity, of nationality, of gender and socioeconomics. It may refer to a diversity of age, of belief, or of any number of different experiences.

When we talk about Pacific University being a place of diversity, we mean all of these things. But we also mean that Pacific is a place where diverse ideas are welcomed and diverse opportunities are available.

We believe in education as a process of discovery. Particularly in the liberal arts and sciences — but ultimately at any age and in any field of study — the process of learning leads people to new doors. It broadens horizons, sparks new passions and launches new explorations.

Mach didn’t become a physical therapist; she earned an English degree and went on to teach community college and write award-winning plays.

Harman took his electronics skills into the Marines but ultimately turned to Pacific to study psychology, outdoor leadership and, perhaps eventually, physical therapy.

And Burniston worked as a mechanic for 13 years before earning an undergraduate and graduate degree at Pacific then returning to the Army as an occupational therapist.

As Pacific University’s population grows, we are excited to grow the opportunities available to our students. In the past year, we have added nine fields of study in our College of Arts & Sciences. We have opened a new School of Audiology and planned a new athletic training program in the College of Health Professions. We have launched a School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, including a speech-language pathology program, in the College of Education. And, we continue to provide highly sought-after professional development opportunities for optometrists, health professionals and educators.

This summer, we will open our new College of Business, enhancing our students’ opportunities to study accounting, business administration, finance, marketing and international business, and adding graduate programs soon.

At Pacific, we value the unique perspectives that each of our students brings to their university experience — and we hope that, as alumni, they take away new perspectives and a broader scope of the world and the opportunities in front of them.