Top 10 of 2012

Dec. 21, 2012

A look back at 10 reasons it was great to be part of the Boxer family in 2012.

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It was my first full year as part of Pacific University, and it was a busy one! The university has compiled a 2012 Year in Review video that you should definitely watch. But in the meantime, here’s my Top 10 of 2012 at Pacific University:

10) Award-winning professors

Pacific University is home to some amazing faculty and staff, and several of them got the attention they deserved this year.

Physics professor Juliet Brosing was named the 2012 Oregon Professor of the Year — and we had a great time visiting her home as she welcomed students for an off-campus potato gun-shooting experiment. Meanwhile, Dr. Dennis Smith received the 2012 Michael G. Harris Family Award of Excellence in Optometric Education — sort of the North American optometry professor of the year award. Look for his story after the first of the year!

9) Pacific’s amazing history

We all know that Pacific is old — it’s the first chartered university in Oregon and one of the first west of the Mississippi. It was started as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail and eventually became a Congregationalist, then independent, university. Read about my visit to the Old College Hall museum and the docents who hold our history in their minds — or about some of the interesting treasures in our Archives, like the Ancient Order of United Mustache Growers.

8) Our students’ rock

Pacific is home to some 3,300 students every year, and you know what? They’re incredible!

Meet Heron Azevedo, an exchange student from Brazil, who grew up playing pad-less football on the sand and now plays for the Pacific University Boxers.

Or Charlotte Basch, a Seaside, Ore., native who is helping her tribe restore their heritage.

Or David Yecha, who spends his summer fighting wildfires and his hoping to find a spot in medical school after graduation this spring.

7) No, I mean they rock

Members of the Pacific Philharmonic Orchestra took the stage in Portland in April with the legendary rock band Kansas. ‘Nuff said.

6) They’re also pretty good on the field

Football is back at Pacific and making a steady climb in its success in just three years. The Boxers logged three away wins this fall and look poised to do even better in 2013. But the gridiron isn’t even where the Boxers shine. The baseball team tied for first in the Northwest Conference this spring. Men’s tennis took second in the conference. Women’s volleyball came in third in conference. And a host of students garnered individual accolades for their athletic and academic performance.

5) Our alumni are awesome, too

This year’s alumni award winners included a posthumous award to a WWII veteran and long-time Secret Service agent, an award to a pharmacist helping rebuild Haiti, an optometrist who advocates for people with schizophrenia and their families, and a public school teacher who has long supported Pacific’s speech and education programs.

4) And they’re all helping

Our Spring 2012 issue of Pacific magazine was all about food, and aside from some great recipes, I also found that many of our students, alumni and employees are working to fight hunger.

Watch alumnus Jeri Dobbs ’58 talk about his work at the Oregon Food Bank, and read more about the work Pacific folks are doing locally and globally.

3) In fact, Pacific is all about service

In May, Pacific was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second consecutive year. In 2010‑2011, 842 Pacific students participated in some form of academic service learning and 1,152 students engaged in community service activities through Pacific, logging a total of 171,561 hours of community service. Their activities ranged from cleaning up the neighborhood to providing free healthcare services to low-income and uninsured residents and migrant workers.

2) There are great new opportunities here …

In 2012, the College of Arts & Sciences started new majors in applied theatre, art history, dance, environmental studies: policy, culture and society, and in public health, as well as minors in editing and publishing, indigenous studies, and outdoor leadership. The College of Education opened a new School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with an undergraduate minor of the same name and a master’s program in speech-language pathology. And the College of Health Professions launched its audiology doctorate and healthcare compliance graduate certificate.

1) … and even more ahead.

Coming in 2013, the College of Health Professions will start a master’s program in athletic training. And, it’s now official — the new College of Business opens in July. Look for more details — and more great reasons to be part of the Boxer family — in 2013!