Dwell in Possibility: Pacific Inaugurates First Alumna President

A day of possibility is dawning at Pacific University, said President Jenny Coyle ’90, OD ’93, MS ’00.

“Even though we’re at a unique time in history, when we’re faced with what might seem like impossible challenges — and higher education as a whole seems to be under daily attack — we will thrive,” she said in her inauguration remarks March 9.

“How do I know? I know us. And we have a pretty remarkable history of taking those next right steps. I believe in us.”

Coyle, who brings a 30-year relationship with Pacific as an alumna, former faculty member and dean, and parent, was ceremonially installed as the 18th president of Pacific University on March 9, 2023. A week of special events, culminating in the inauguration ceremony, highlighted Pacific’s alumni, students and employees, and set the stage for an ambitious future vision.

“Pacific University has seen the turn of the century, twice. We’ve survived two world wars, two worldwide pandemics, the Great Depression and the Great Recession. And through it all, we consistently reaffirm our values, use our minds, our energy and our hearts to create and make society more civil and equitable and our programs and services accessible for all who follow.

“Together, we will always dwell in possibility,” she said, quoting an Emily Dickinson poem that served as the theme of the inauguration celebration. “Because those possibilities can then become splendidly audacious realities. 

“That’s what we do here at Pacific. I am living proof.”

Photo Highlights

Presidential Inauguration

Watch the Ceremony

Follow along in the inauguration ceremony program


Tuesday, April 18, 2023