Serving on the team at the FPU Foundation, and like all of you, navigating the consistently fluid nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I have given ongoing thought and reflection to the concept of legacy and hope in the midst of seasons of turmoil, challenge and change. At the FPU Foundation, we have the privilege of helping people give greater purpose to their legacy through a variety of planned giving opportunities that fund both student scholarships and the greater infrastructure and vision of Christian higher education at Fresno Pacific University. We also are embracing the current season by partnering with the School of Business, Advancement Office and the Career Development and Experiential Learning Center to offer business succession planning, education and training, as well as top talent recruitment opportunities to the Central Valley business community. The time has never been better to develop this partnership legacy with our community!
Life seems to unfold in seasons, and this present pandemic season certainly can cause us to long for the next season, with the higher hopes that it may bring. But before we too quickly pass over our present challenges, I think we can pause to consider the foundation from which we will continue to press forward.
Fresno Pacific University is Founded on Christ. This is more than just a statement—it’s a story with a starting point, a present reality and an ongoing future as FPU moves forward, season by season. And all of our stories, as members of the university community and followers of Jesus, intersect with that same story.
I came to FPU as a student from Canada in 2002 and have embraced the Central Valley as my home, along with my wife Jen and three young daughters. Nearly 20 years later I’m still in awe of the warm and enjoyable climate here for many of the year’s 12 months. Even so, sometimes I miss the sharp and distinct seasonal changes of the northern climate of my youth, including the opportunity to play hockey on the many neighborhood basketball courts suddenly transformed into community ice rinks during the long winter months of subzero temperatures.
As I think of the seasons, in particular this year, I’m reminded of the recent polar vortex experienced by many of my family and friends north of the U.S. border, and indeed throughout the USA as well. In the midst of such a harsh season, it can seem almost impossible to have the patience to persevere and hope for the coming freshness of the spring season—which, by the way, does not include polar vortexes, even in Canada! In the Central Valley, as we now see the seasonal transformation, with trees beginning to bloom and look forward to enjoying the Blossom Trail, we are reminded that a new season is springing forth here too.
In our personal and professional lives, as we have lamented the discouragement, frustration and perhaps the deep loss of hopes and even loved ones due to the pandemic, the changing seasons remind us that hope will spring forth. As our formation and molding in Christ continues in these uncomfortable times, we are reminded that to be Founded on Christ also means we can experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Looking forward to spring, Easter and the resurrection power of our Savior, we have real cause for hope!
In the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus, he says, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19-20, NLT).
As an FPU community, I pray our next season is one of refreshment, refined optimism and being a conduit of God’s power and blessing for the good of the Central Valley we all love so dearly. Likewise, our hope at the FPU Foundation is to faithfully walk alongside, partner with and provide opportunities for individuals and businesses who God has equipped to cultivate an inspiring legacy in our community. Our legacy as Christ followers and as a Christian university continues, inspired by resurrection power and hope, season by season.