Located in Forest Grove, Oregon, Pacific University is recognized as one of the nation's best liberal arts colleges, as far as getting a quality education for a reasonable price. Pacific is part of an organization of colleges that is devoted to higher education in America, along with Dartmouth, Carleton, Oberlin, Grinnell, Rollins, and Pomona. Today, roughly 2,200 students are enrolled at Pacific, nearly half of which are participating in one of six graduate degree programs that are offered, including: Education (added in 1995), Occupational Therapy (added in 1984), Optometry (added in 1945), Physical Therapy (added in 1975), Professional Psychology (added in 1985), and Physician Assistant Studies (added in 1996). Of all the graduate programs offered at Pacific, they are best known for their Optometry and Physical Therapy programs. In fact, the Optometry program attracts students from all over the world, particularly from Hawaii. In all, there are a total of 45 different majors offered at Pacific within seventeen different departments.
Pacific University was founded as a private institution in 1842 by Reverend Harvey Clark, his wife, and Tabitha Moffatt Brown, who would become the first "house mother" of the University. It was initially founded at Glencoe, a settlement north of Forest Grove, to educate Native American citizens. In 1848 though, the founders of the establishment elected to offer the services of the school to the orphans of the area. In 1854 Pacific was given the title "Tualatin Academy and Pacific University", making it an official university, after George H. Atkinson came to Oregon. Atkinson was bestowed the task of "found(ing) an academy that shall grow into a college... on the New England model," by the Home Missionary Society of the Congregational Church Association. Finally, in 1863, Pacific was given national attention, after Harvey W. Scott received one of the first ever baccalaureate degrees, from Pacific. After graduating from Pacific, Scott went on to become the editor of The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in Oregon today. A memorial library in Scott's honor was constructed on campus in 1967.
Special Academic Programs*:
*Quoted from the Pacific University website
- University Honors - This program allows qualified students to pursue special creative endeavors, resulting in the presentation of a final thesis or art work, given in the senior year, to the Honors Seminar and the campus community.
- Study Abroad - Students can elect to study at one of 24 different sites including China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Austria, and Ireland.
- The Oregon Holocaust Resource Center - The Center established official ties with Pacific in 1994 and now hosts special events and educational seminars in conjunction with the University. With its many artifacts, books, and videos, it serves as a resource center for the entire state of Oregon.
- The Conducting Apprenticeship Program - The Oregon Symphony Conducting Apprenticeship Program is one of total immersion in which the apprentices study under practicing professional conductors, learn repertoire, acquire conducting skills, and experience the enormous diversity of an orchestral season.
- The Humanitarian Center - Through the Humanitarian Center, students can receive academic credit for participation in various community service projects.
- International Studies - This program allows highly motivated students to prepare for careers in the international arena by offering courses that concentrate on a specified language and culture.
- Peace & Conflict Studies - Courses under this heading allow students to investigate the causes and manifestations of violence in self, in society, and in the world of nations, and explore alternatives to violent resolution and conflict. The program draws from faculty in seven different departments.
- Career Internships - Pacific University offers selected upper-division students the chance to apply the skills acquired in the classroom in off-campus professional work environments.
- Malheur Field Station - The field station is located in the high desert country, about 32 miles south of Burns, Oregon, on the western edge of the Malheur National Wildlife refuge. On-site courses in the natural sciences and arts are offered during the fall, spring, and summer.
- Amigos - Through this program, Pacifics Optometry students provide vision care, screenings, and glasses to the needy in selected regions of the world.
Presidents of Pacific: