After years apart, alumni, friends, and family gathered once again on the mountain. For the first time since 2019, Pacific Union College held its annual homecoming in person on Sabbath, April 16, 2022. More than 600 alumni attended and helped the college celebrate 140 years.
“We will be eternally grateful for how the campus pulled together to help us create a meaningful homecoming weekend,” said Kellie Lind, PUC’s vice president for alumni and advancement. “Faculty, staff, and community volunteers worked together to generate a really special weekend.”
The day included the inauguration of PUC’s new president, Dr. Ralph Trecartin, and the opening of the Walter C. Utt Center. Social events reconnected classmates and friends at their beloved alma mater.
This year’s honored classes were ‘60-’62, ‘70-’72, ‘80-’82, ‘90-’92, ‘00-’02 and ‘10-’12. Honoring three classes from each decade was a hit, Lind said, and something many people have requested for next year’s reunion.
Homecoming celebrations began on Sabbath morning as alumni gathered in the PUC church sanctuary for a program centered on the college’s 140-year history.
The Honored Alumni Awards went to Ed and Barbara Holm (both ‘69) and Ray and Lynette Holm (‘71, ‘69) for their combined 67 years in the mission field. “These two couples,” Lind said, “have literally followed the command ‘go ye unto all the world.’”
With PUC honoring its past as it looks forward, it was fitting that during homecoming the college dedicated the Walter C. Utt Center with a ribbon cutting. The archival center, named after one of PUC’s most distinguished professors and historians, is all about mission. It includes priceless historical materials not just about PUC but also about St. Helena Hospital, local history, and worldwide missions.
At the inauguration of PUC’s 24th president, Trecartin spoke of building on the college’s mission of faith, love, and service.
“God has called us to this place for this time,” Trecartin said. “We have an exciting adventure before us. Join me in watching to see the amazing things that God will do, and jump in with me to join Him in any way we can to help.”
His afternoon inauguration included songs from three accomplished PUC alumni sopranos: Marnie Breckenridge (’93), Deborah Morel Tonella (’77), and Kathryn Hopgood Sculatti (’04).
Aside from formal programs, homecoming was a chance for alumni, friends, family, and current students to gather together in person—a chance to connect again face to face.
Many shared meals together and reminisced during class parties. They told stories about campus life and their favorite professors. Most of all, many shared how PUC shaped their lives and how God has led them in the years since.
“My 50th PUC reunion was a vivid reminder of the magnitude of blessing the school is to me,” said Pastor Les Jones (‘72), who traveled from Oregon to attend homecoming. “Memories abounded and friendships renewed. Thank you, Lord.”
By Laura Gang