Fresno Pacific University
|Fresno Pacific University|
|Motto||Founded on Christ|
|Religious affiliation||Mennonite Brethren Church|
|President||Dr. Pete Menjares|
|Location||Fresno, California, United States
|Campus||42 acres (17.0 ha), 16 buildings|
|Athletics||Pacific West Conference NCAA Div. II (2012-present) NAIA (1986-2012)|
|Colors||Blue and Orange|
Fresno Pacific University (originally Pacific Bible Institute) also known as FPU is an accredited Christian university located in Fresno, California, United States. It was founded in 1944 by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The university awarded its first bachelor of arts degree in 1965. The first master's degree program was introduced in 1975.
Mission and Academics
According to its mission statement, "Fresno Pacific University develops students for leadership and service through excellence in Christian higher education."
Fresno Pacific offers Bachelors degrees in 28 fields (and minors in an additional 10) with 45 areas of study. It also offers advanced degrees or credentials in four areas: Education, Individualized Master of Arts, Leadership & Organizational Studies and Peacemaking & Conflict Studies. The university is organized into four schools: The School of Business; the School of Education; the School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences; and the School of Natural Sciences. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report college rankings, Fresno Pacific's peer assessment score tied it for 26th in the Western United States in the Universities-Master's category.
Fresno Pacific is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
- The School of Business
- The School of Education
- The School of Humanities, Religion & Social Sciences
- The School of Natural Sciences
- The Biblical Seminary
In February 2009 Fresno Pacific University began offering a "Four Year Graduation Guarantee." FPU already has the highest four-year graduation rate in the Central Valley, with 51 percent of traditional undergraduate students already graduating in four years,compared to 12-15 percent in the CSU system.
The university will guarantee graduation within four years to qualified students entering the traditional undergraduate program. The guarantee is limited to basic graduation requirements for a single major with no minor. Transfer, degree completion and graduate students are not part of the guarantee.
Student responsibilities include:
- Sign up for the guarantee during the freshman year, choose a major by the second semester of the freshman year and keep that major until graduation.
- Make course plans with their advisor, follow those plans and meet all advising, registration and financial aid deadlines.
- Complete at least 32 units per year with passing grades in each course and remain in good standing behaviorally.
At the time of its founding, Pacific Bible Institute was located in a large home at 1095 N. Van Ness Ave. There were five staff members and twenty-eight students. By the time the first school year was finished, a former YWCA building at the corner of Tuolumne and L streets (originally designed by Julia Morgan) had been purchased, and the next school year began in this building.
By 1958, land was purchased for the construction of the current campus near the corner of Butler and Chestnut, along with the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and the new Butler Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church. Construction began on a new classroom building that year, and two dormitory buildings one year later. The classroom building was ready for use in the fall of 1959, but the dorm buildings were not completed until 1961 due to financial difficulties.
The Bible Institute became an accredited junior college in 1961, and decided to develop a four-year program two years later, in 1963. In 1964, Pacific Bible Institute changed its name to Pacific College, and became accredited with the WASC the next year. By 1967, the decision was made to add graduate courses, and the accreditation for the first master of arts program was received from WASC in 1975. The college changed its name to Fresno Pacific College in 1976 and to Fresno Pacific University in 1997.
|1958||Sattler Hall||Named for early Anabaptist leader Michael Sattler in 1973.|
|1961||Krause Hall||Named for Arthur and Lydia Krause in 1990. Further units added to in 1962.|
|1961||Nachtigall Hall||Named for Ben W. and Anna Marie Nachtigall in 1989. Further units added in 1962.|
|1961||Schlichting Hall||Named for Marvin and Loree Schlichting in 1994. Further units added in 1962.|
|1961||Warkentine Hall||Named for Al and Dotty Warkentine in 1989. Further units added in 1962.|
|1962||Hiebert Library||Named for Cornelius and Elizabeth Hiebert, the primary contributors.|
|1964||Alumni Hall||Building costs were mostly covered by alumni (renovated 2005).|
|1966||Marpeck Center||Named for early Anabaptist leader Pilgram Marpeck in 1973.|
|1968||Kriegbaum Hall||Part of Witmarsum Quad, renamed for former college president Richard Kriegbaum.|
|1968||Witmarsum Quad||Named for the village of Witmarsum, birthplace of Menno Simons, in 1973.|
|1971||Strasbourg Hall||Named for the city of Strasbourg, where early Anabaptists often sought refuge, in 1973.|
|1981||Special Events Center|
|1986||Bartsch Hall||Named for Silas Bartsch and his wife Nadine Bartsch. Silas was an administrator and former interim president. The building was an existing residence which was purchased and remodeled.|
|1990||Wiebe Education Center||Named for Arthur and Evelyn Wiebe. Arthur was a former president and member of the faculty, as well as the president of the AIMS Foundation, which provided a large portion of the funding.|
|1992||McDonald Hall||Named for Arthur and Barbara McDonald, contributors and co-chairs of the fundraising campaign.|
|2002||AIMS Hall||Named for The AIMS Foundation, which provided a large portion of the funding by means of a grant.|
|2003||Steinert Campus Center||Named for Marvin and Nadine Steinert, primary contributors.|
During their days in the NAIA, the Sunbirds boasted one of the top programs in the NAIA, finishing in the top five of the NACDA Directors' Cup in each of their last five seasons as a member (2007-2012). FPU has won a total of 58 conference titles and 13 national titles. Within the last five years, FPU has won national titles in Volleyball, Men’s Swimming & Diving, Women's Swimming & Diving, Men’s Tennis and Women’s Tennis. They’ve also taken home conference titles in Men’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer and Men's Track & Field, and garnered national attention in Men’s Water Polo, Women’s Soccer, Baseball and Women’s Track and Field. The university has hosted a number of NAIA special events, including the Track & Field National Championships, Men’s Soccer Nationals and a round of the NAIA World Series.
The Women’s Volleyball program was dominant at the NAIA level, winning four consecutive national titles from 2007-2010 including an undefeated 38-0 season in 2009. FPU won the 2010 title without dropping a single set in the entire national tournament. The Sunbirds have consistently defeated crosstown institution NCAA Division I rival Fresno State of the Mountain West Conference, with a 7-1 all-time record against the Bulldogs.
Transition to NCAA
On June 1, 2011, the university announced that it had accepted an invitation to join the Pacific West Conference in NCAA Division II competition, joining fellow Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) members Azusa Pacific University and Point Loma Nazarene University, and California Pacific Conference (CalPac) member Holy Names University as part of the conference's expansion from 10-14 members. While the majority of sports will compete in the PacWest, water polo will join the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA). The Sunbirds will compete in conference play beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year. They will be eligible for conference championships and awards immediately but ineligible for NCAA postseason play for the first two seasons during the transition process.
On July 11, 2011, Fresno Pacific along with fellow conference mates, Azusa Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene, learned that their application for NCAA membership had been approved. The 2011-2012 athletic season marked the final one in GSAC and NAIA competition for the Sunbirds. The 2012-2013 season marked the beginning of Pacific West Conference play for FPU. The Sunbirds experienced immediate success, finishing second in the 14-team league in men's soccer, women's volleyball, men's basketball and men's tennis. The women's volleyball team cracked the NCAA Division II top 10, the only transitioning school to do so in any sport.
Olympic Trials & Professional Athletes
Fresno Pacific has a reputation for turning out an extraordinary amount of professional athletes for a school of its size. FPU currently has close to 50 alumni playing professionally in numerous sports, with the highest number coming from women's volleyball, men's soccer, men's basketball and baseball.
At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, FPU had four alumni competing in swimming and track & field. Women's swimmer Cheyenne Coffman finished 10th in the nation in the 100 backstroke, narrowly finishing behind Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin while triple jumper Ethan DeJongh placed 15th in the USA in the triple jump. FPU has a number of hopefuls for the 2016 Olympics from multiple countries, including Fiji national record holders Milika Tuivanuavou (triple jump, shot put) and Eugene Vollmer (triple jump).
Since 2006, FPU has had five players selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. In 2011, Chris Schwinden became the first former Sunbird to reach the major leagues, debuting with the New York Mets. That same year, the FPU baseball program beat out Fresno State and Fresno City College to have the first local college player selected in the MLB draft when pitcher Jesse Darrah went in the 8th round to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
FPU has had four alumni go on to reach Major League Soccer. Former Sunbird Pablo Campos went on to win the MLS Cup with Real Salt Lake and is currently a star forward for the Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League. In 2013, FPU alum Paul Islas became the first NCAA Division II player selected in the MLS Draft when he was selected in the first round of the supplemental portion by Chivas USA.
The FPU men's basketball program has continuously put out professional athletes both overseas and in the United States. In 2010, alum James Lewis became the first FPU player to be selected in the NBA Development League draft, being selected by the Maine Red Claws. He was selected in 2011 as well by the Austin Toros. In 2013, FPU guard John Taylor led NCAA Division II in scoring at 27.5 points per game and declared for the NBA Draft.
The athletics mascot is Sunny the Sunbird. Sunny is a much loved figure in the campus community.
- The Wittenberg Door, a board located in the atrium of Steinert Campus Center, near the entrance to the dining room, is a place for the exchange of ideas. People are free to post expressions of their views, but are asked to write pieces in a charitable spirit and to include the writer's name. It was built in approximately 1983, and the original version was located in Alumni Hall when it still served as the campus cafeteria. A new board was built in 2004, and the old one was dismantled. The Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary has a board with the same name and purpose outside the B.C. Lounge.
- The Mennonite Central Committee holds its annual West Coast Relief Sale and Auction on the campus during the first weekend in April, at approximately 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Friday and 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday. Ethnic foods, used books, antiques, plants, world crafts and quilts are all sold on campus in various booths and auction events.
- University Family Thanksgiving Meal
- Winter Formal
- 1944-1946 Rev. Sam W. Goossen - Acting President/Dean
- 1946-1947 Rev. George B. Huebert - Administrator
- 1947-1953 Dr. George W. Peters - President/Dean
- 1953-1954 Dr. Rueben M. Baerg - Acting President
- 1954-1955 Dr. Rueben M. Baerg - Acting President, one-half year; Administrative Committee last half of year, Dr. George W. Peters, Chmn.
- 1955-1960 Rev. B.J. Braun - President
- 1960-1961 Dr. Arthur J. Wiebe - Director of Pacific Bible Institute; Mr. Joel A. Wiebe - Interim Director
- 1961-1975 Dr. Arthur J. Wiebe - President
- 1975-1976 Rev. Edmund Janzen, Chairman, Presidential Council
- 1976-1982 Rev. Edmund Janzen - President
- 1982-1983 Mr. Silas Bartsch - Interim President; Edmund Janzen on leave
- 1983-1985 Rev. Edmund Janzen - President
- 1985-1997 Dr. Richard Kriegbaum - President
- 1997-2000 Dr. Allen Carden - President
- 2000-2002 Dr. Harold Haak - President
- 2002–2012 Dr. D. Merrill Ewert - President
- 2012–present Dr. Pete Menjares - President
- Ron Adams, Assistant Coach for the Chicago Bulls
- Rev. Brian Fuller, President of Eston College
- Aaron Henderson, Athletic Director at Immanuel High School
- Jaime Ramirez, soccer coaching legend in the Central Valley, founder of the Fresno Fuego and head coach of FPU men's soccer.
- Chris Schwinden, Major League Baseball pitcher for the New York Mets
- Milika Tuivanuavou, Fiji national record holder in the women's triple jump and shot put
- Eugene Vollmer, Fiji national record holder in the men's triple jump
- Peters, George W and Richard D. Thiessen (July 2008). "Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, California, USA)". Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- "Mission, Vision and Values". Fresno Pacific University. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- Four Year Guarantee
- Staff (June 1, 2011). "Sunbirds accept PacWest invite". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "Three-peat nets national award". Fresno Pacific University. June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "FPU to join Pacific West Conference". Fresno Pacific University. June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "Schwinden Gets Big League Call".
- "Dbacks select Darrah in MLB Draft".
- "Islas selected in MLS Draft by Chivas USA". FPUathletics.com.
- "FPU's Lewis selected in NBA D-League draft for second straight year". FPUathletics.com.
- "Taylor declares for NBA Draft, will forego senior season". FPUathletics.com.
- Toews, Paul, ed. Mennonite Idealism and Higher Education: The Story of the Fresno Pacific College Idea. Fresno, Calif.: The Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 1995. ISBN 1-877941-05-0.
- Wiebe, Joel. Remembering...Reaching: A Vision of Service, a Fifty Year History of Fresno Pacific College. Fresno, Calif.: Fresno Pacific College, 1994. ISBN 1-884397-01-8.