A few years ago, we updated the Pacific University mission statement. We strive, it says, “to inspire students who think, care, create, and pursue justice in the world.”
The use of the word care was intentional.
It represented our tradition of excellence, particularly in optometry and in the health professions.
But care extends even beyond the health programs at Pacific. It is embedded in how we teach and in the experiences we provide students.
Our students are deeply engaged in the communities around them, both through their coursework and in their cocurricular activities. They spend, on average, 8.5 hours a week in community engagement.
In 2014-2015, our students contributed 434,266 hours of service to the community. More than half was College of Health Professions students providing care, while some 66,000 hours were Optometry students working through outreach programs and the nonprofit AMIGOS organization.
But College of Education students also spent nearly 96,000 hours in local schools, and undergraduates in Arts & Sciences served food, cleaned up beaches, supported nonprofit organizations and so much more.
Care is a fundamental part of everything we do at Pacific.
Care is alive in the legacies of our faculty, people like retiring Philosophy Professor Dave Boersema.
Care is apparent in the work of our teaching alumni, who have changed lives in and out of the classroom — people like Fran O’Brien ’65.
And yes, care is fundamental in the work of our many alumni in the health and helping professions, who are working together to transform how we take care of each other as human beings.
Care is so much more than a mere four letters in our mission statement. It is a way of life for many in the Pacific University family.
It is who we are.
It is who you are.