To know a thing and to understand what that thing needs, it helps to employ all the senses—touch, smell, vision, sound and taste. With Dr. Joe’s encouragement the FPU Board of Trustees has held meetings at our regional campuses in Bakersfield and North Fresno, and the Board Executive Committee has recently held meetings at our Visalia campus. In our sessions February 22-23 board members spent a crisp clear afternoon hiking our main campus in Fresno. In some ways this was eye opening. Some of us had not seen certain areas of our campus in many years. One thing immediately obvious to all of us was how much work and dedication it takes each of our faculty and staff, with their limited resources, to deliver a quality, enriching educational experience to our students. Thank you to all those who shared with us that afternoon.
As we consider building projects, aging infrastructure and fundraising goals in addition to the needs of our academic and cocurricular programs, the work of the board is enhanced by perspective gained by walking our land, looking at our spaces and interacting with people. Our financial reports remain encouraging, but we anticipate significant cost increases in the coming years just to maintain existing services. Our physical plant requires significantly more resources than we have available. Sometimes it is easy to despair. The Scriptures are full of examples of God’s providence. He provided manna to the people in the desert, the widow never ran out of flour or olive oil and Jesus fed thousands from only a few baskets of fish and bread.
At our October meeting the board voted to set aside 2019-2020 to celebrate Fresno Pacific University’s 75th anniversary. This last weekend the board reviewed the progress of planning our year-long celebration and voted to move its October meeting to coincide with the biannual convention of the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and our 75th anniversary gala. It is our hope that the celebrations serve not merely as a feast to commemorate the past, but also invigorate our entire university family with a vibrant sense of mission and a hope that God will lead us where he wants us to go. Pray with us that God will provide, grant us wisdom and bless the work that we do.