US Pacific Union College Installs New President

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Robert A. Cushman Jr. is the Angwin, California school’s 23rd president.

In July 2017, Robert A. Cushman Jr. became the new president of Pacific Union College (PUC) in Angwin, California, United States. On April 20, 2018, the college officially installed Cushman as the 23rd president in a special inaugural ceremony, succeeding Eric Anderson.

The PUC Church was filled with faculty, staff, students, community members, and family and friends, welcoming Cushman and celebrating the college’s history and future. Several music groups and ensembles provided the music at the ceremony, which included The Beatitudes, a 40-minute cantata based on Matthew 5 and composed and conducted by Asher Raboy, PUC resident artist.

Responsive readings involved associate director of higher education of the church in North America Gordon Bietz, Loma Linda University provost Ronald Carter, and county officers.

“This morning’s ritual is a statement. It’s intended to remind us that Pacific Union College has deep roots, and we’re part of a tradition that began long before 1882 and that first day of classes in Healdsburg,” said Anderson. He presented a college’s gift to Cushman, a mounted rock crafted by Lorne Glaim from the farm of Adventist pioneer William Miller. The present reminds of God’s promise to create new heavens and a new earth and recognizes Cushman’s love of geology.

“Consider this rock and the hope it represents,” Anderson told him.

In the inaugural homily, Carter stressed the challenges facing higher education and small colleges in particular. However, he urged the college administrators and Cushman to persevere, saying he believes PUC is uniquely prepared to meet these challenges.

In a presentation bequeathing the college’s historic medallion to Cushman, executive secretary of the Pacific Union Conference church region and chair of the PUC Board of Trustees Bradford Newton offered him and his wife Judy encouragement for the journey ahead. Strung together on an elaborate gold chain, the medallion features each name of PUC’s past presidents, representing the symbolic history of the college.

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