Pacific University

Coordinates: 45°31′16″N 123°6′29″W / 45.52111°N 123.10806°W / 45.52111; -123.10806
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pacific University
Other name
Pacific University Oregon
Former names
Tualatin Academy (1849–1854)
North Pacific College of Optometry (1921–1945)
Pro Christo et Regno Ejus
Motto in English
For Christ and His Kingdom
TypePrivate university
Established1849; 175 years ago (1849)
FounderTabitha Moffatt Brown & Harvey Clark[1]
Religious affiliation
United Church of Christ
Academic affiliations
Endowment$71.4 million (2020)[2]
PresidentJenny Coyle
ProvostAnn Barr-Gillespie[3]
Academic staff
298 full-time and 208 part-time[4]
Undergraduates1,639 [4]
Postgraduates1,920 [4]

45°31′16″N 123°6′29″W / 45.52111°N 123.10806°W / 45.52111; -123.10806
Colors    Boxer red & Boxer black

Pacific University is a private university in Forest Grove, Oregon. Founded in 1849 as the Tualatin Academy, the original Forest Grove campus is 23 miles (37 km) west of Portland. The university maintains three other campuses in Eugene, Hillsboro, and Woodburn, and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.


Marsh Hall

Tabitha Moffatt Brown, a pioneer emigrant from Massachusetts, immigrated to the Oregon Country over the new Applegate Trail in 1846.[5] After arriving, she and Harvey L. Clark started a school and orphanage in Forest Grove in 1847 to care for the orphans of Applegate Trail party.[5][6][7] In March 1848, Tualatin Academy was established from the orphanage, with Clark donating 200 acres (80.9 ha) to the school.[7] George H. Atkinson had advocated the founding of the school and with support of the Presbyterians and Congregationalists helped start the academy.[6] Eliza Hart Spalding, part of the Whitman Mission, was its first teacher.[citation needed] Although the university has long been independent of its founding affiliation with the United Church of Christ (UCC), it still maintains a close working relationship with the church as a member of the United Church of Christ Council for Higher Education.

Tualatin Academy was officially chartered by the territorial legislature on September 29, 1849.[6][8] Clark was the first president of the board of trustees and later donated an additional 150 acres (60.7 ha) to the institution.[8] In 1851, what is now Old College Hall was built and in 1853 Sidney H. Marsh became the school's first president.[6] The current campus was deeded in 1851.[9] In 1854, the institution became Pacific University.[7] The first commencement occurred in 1863, with Harvey W. Scott as the only graduate.[6] In 1872, three Japanese students, Hatstara Tamura, Kin Saito, and Yei Nosea, started at the university as part of Japan's modernization movement. All three graduated in 1876.[6] Marsh died in 1879 and was replaced by John R. Herrick.[8]

Marsh Hall was built in 1895, serving as the central building on Pacific's campus. Carnegie Library (now Carnegie Hall) opened in 1912 after Andrew Carnegie's foundation helped finance the brick structure.[10] Portland architecture firm Whidden and Lewis designed the library.[11] In 1915, the preparatory department, Tualatin Academy, closed due to the proliferation of public high schools in Oregon.[8] By 1920, the school had grown to five buildings on 30 acres (12.1 ha) and had an endowment of about $250,000.[8]

Marsh Hall was gutted by fire in 1975, but its shell was preserved, and the structure reopened in 1977. Phillip D. Creighton became Pacific's 16th president in 2003 and retired in 2009.[12] Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist of the band KISS, was elected to the university's board of trustees in 2005.[13] Pacific's 17th president, Lesley M. Hallick, was named on May 19, 2009.[14]


In 1896, alumnus J.E. Walker, who had been a missionary to China, and his mother gave the university a bronze Chinese statue.[15] Qilin (pronounced chee-lin or ki-rin) is a mythical Chinese creature with a leonine stance, a unicorn-like horn, and deer or ox hooves from the Qing Dynasty. During this period, qilin were often represented with a dragon head, fish scales, ox hooves and a lion's tail. Said to be a good omen of wisdom and prosperity, the Pacific qilin was nicknamed Boxer by its Chinese and Japanese students as an embodiment of the community's cultural diversity.[15]

In the first half of the 20th century, the original mascot was the center of informal "Boxer Toss" events, where different clubs and groups scrimmaged for the statue as a tradition of passing its care from one group to another.[16] In 1968, Boxer became the university's official mascot, replacing Benny Badger.[15] The next year, the statue disappeared, and only small pieces of have returned over the years. In the 1980s, the statue was recast as Boxer II; after supposedly enjoying an epic road trip across America, it too disappeared in the mid-2000s.[17]

In 2006, the university commissioned a 12-foot tall sculpture to replace the missing Boxers, which now stands in a central park welcoming students to the residence halls.[15] An alumnus returned parts of the original statue to the university in 2012.[15] In 2018, alumni funded the design and casting of Boxer III by artist Pat Costello, unveiled during Homecoming weekend. Kept in trust as part of the university's art collection, the statue and exhibits on its cultural and community history are on display in the Tran Library.[17]


Performing Arts Center
Academic rankings
THE / WSJ[19]349
U.S. News & World Report[20]209
Washington Monthly[21]295

Pacific is home to five colleges, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

College of Arts & Sciences[edit]

Organized into 3 schools—Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences—the college offers over sixty undergraduate degree options, including unique options in Asia-Pacific studies, communication sciences & disorders, creative writing, editing and publishing, music therapy, outdoor leadership, nonprofit leadership, social work, and a suite of sustainability-centered art and science programs. The low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in Writing program, one of the earliest in the nation having begun in 2004, has been ranked by Poets & Writers magazine as one of the nation's top five low-residency MFA programs every year in which rankings were established.[22] Pacific also opened a Master of Social Work program, based in Eugene, in 2014.[23]

College of Business[edit]

One of the newest colleges, the College of Business (COB) was founded in 2013. It offers undergraduate degrees[24] as well as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Hillsboro campus.[25] The college is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).[26]

College of Education[edit]

In 1994, the School of Education, now the College of Education, was established through reorganization of the professional teacher education programs that had been part of the College of Arts and Sciences.[27] In 2004, the College of Health Professions was formed, now including four undergraduate programs and seven graduate programs.

College of Health Professions[edit]

Founded in 2006 (though several of its programs date back further), the College of Health Professions includes 13 different degree programs as well as a certification in gerontology. Most courses and clinics are on the Hillsboro campus, where the curricula focuses on interprofessional cooperation, and students gain practice in caring for underserved populations.[28]

College of Optometry[edit]

The university's College of Optometry is one of the university's oldest colleges and one of 21 schools in the U.S. and Canada offering a doctorate in optometry.[29] Pacific's program dates back to 1945, when it merged with the North Pacific College of Optometry. Pacific's College of Optometry also offers a master of vision science degree and operates eye clinic and eyeglass dispensaries in communities throughout the Portland area.[30]


Carnegie Hall

Pacific University has four campuses across Oregon, in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene, and Woodburn.[31] It also maintains satellite locations in Portland and Honolulu, Hawai'i. Pacific's Eugene campus is a single building that houses a portion of the College of Education; in 2013, Pacific opened a campus in Woodburn to provide further undergraduate and graduate programs in education.

Forest Grove[edit]

The Forest Grove campus features several historic buildings. Old College Hall is the oldest educational building west of the Mississippi and today serves as Pacific University's museum.[32] Carnegie Hall, the university's first dedicated library building, was constructed in 1912 and today is home to the undergraduate psychology department.[33] Marsh Hall, at the center of campus, houses several classrooms and faculty offices, in addition to administrative offices and a small auditorium. The Forest Grove campus opened a new residence hall, Cascade Hall, in 2014.[34]

The Forest Grove campus is home to a number of sustainability initiatives in its infrastructure, earning a Silver Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) rating in 2019.[35] Several buildings have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, including the Tim and Cathy Tran library, built in 2005 and remodeled with more study rooms and makers space in 2019. The LEED-certified Berglund Hall[36] houses the College of Education and a community preschool, and Burlingham and Gilbert residence halls are LEED Gold-certified.[37]

The Bill & Cathy Stoller Center is home to the university's intercollegiate athletic teams, athletic offices and the department of exercise science. It features more than 95,000 square feet of floor space, including team rooms, locker rooms, classrooms, a wood-floor gymnasium, a weight and fitness center and the Fieldhouse, the first indoor practice area in the Northwest Conference and the only one with FieldTurf.[38] Outside the Stoller Center is the entrance to Hanson Stadium, which includes a FieldTurf soccer, lacrosse and football surface, a nine-lane track and grandstands.[39] A new roof was built to cover the stadium grandstands in 2014.[40] The stadium is part of the Lincoln Park Athletic Complex, built in 2008, which also houses the baseball complex, Chuck Bafaro Stadium at Bond Field, the softball complex, Sherman/Larkins Stadium, and natural grass fields for soccer and track throwing events, and is part of the City of Forest Grove's Lincoln Park, also home to a fitness trail, playground equipment, a BMX course, a skateboard park and picnic areas.[41]


The Hillsboro campus opened in 2006 with its first building, a five-story LEED Gold-certified building,[42] which was dedicated as Creighton Hall.[43] A second building, known as HPC2 and also LEED-certified, opened in 2010.[44] The campus is part of the Hillsboro Health & Education District and is adjacent to the MAX light rail line. Primarily home to Pacific University's College of Health Professions, the campus houses several master's- and doctorate-level programs in health professions, as well as clinics, open to the public, for audiology, dental hygiene, physical therapy and professional psychology, as well as an interdisciplinary diabetes clinic and an eye clinic run by the Pacific University College of Optometry. The Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center also has a clinic and pharmacy on site.[28]


The Eugene campus opened in 1992, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Education. In 2014, the College of Arts & Sciences added a master of social work (MSW) program to the site.


The Woodburn campus opened in 2012 to offer professional pathways in education with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and teaching diverse students. The 5,000 square foot, 14-room Victorian home of Woodburn founder, nurseryman Jesse Settlemier, is the heart of two degree programs in education.


The MFA in Writing program maintains an office in Portland's Pearl District in the period between residencies—during winter held at Seaside, Oregon, and in the summer in Forest Grove. In addition, six locations of the optometry college-affiliated Pacific Eye Clinic and a mobile unit are dispersed across the Portland metro area.[45]

180° panorama of the campus in Forest Grove

Film location[edit]

Due to the year-round warm weather and Pacific Northwest greenery made famous in Twin Peaks, Stand By Me, The Goonies, and the Twilight films, Pacific is regularly used as a shooting location for television serials. With Forest Grove described as "a picture-perfect little town",[46] works shot or set there include:

Student life[edit]


In part due to its proximity to the arts scene in Portland, the campus has a thriving writing and performance community.


  • Boxer Radio: The Sound of Pacific


In addition to Pacific University Press and its two imprints founded in 2015, Tualatin Books and 1849 Editions, campus-based print publications include

  • Heart of Oak, an annual yearbook (1894–)
  • IJURCA: International Journal of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities, a peer-reviewed, open-access research journal (2010–)
  • The Pacific Index, the student newspaper (1893–)
  • PLUM: Pacific's Literature by Undergraduate's Magazine and writing prizes (2007–)
  • PU Stinker, a humor magazine (1948–1954)
  • Silk Road Review: A Literary Crossroads, an internationally distributed literary magazine (2006–)

Greek life[edit]

Young AC Gilbert
A. C. Gilbert as a young fraternity man at Pacific University in 1902

All of the Greek societies at Pacific University are "local", meaning that they are unique to the campus.[52]

Academic societies[edit]


  • ГΣ - Gamma Sigma (inactive)
  • ΑΖ - Alpha Zeta (inactive)
  • ΠΚΡ - Pi Kappa Rho


  • ΑΚΔ - Alpha Kappa Delta
  • ΘΝΑ - Theta Nu Alpha
  • ΦΛΟ - Phi Lambda Omicron


  • ΔΧΔ - Delta Chi Delta


The Pacific Boxers are members of the Northwest Conference at the NCAA Division III level, having been one of the founding members of the conference in 1926. Pacific began playing football in 1894 as part of the Oregon Intercollegiate Football Association.

Today, men compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. Women's programs include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.

Pacific's women's wrestling program is notable as one of the nation's first five varsity programs sponsored by a college.[53] The team competed as part of the women's division of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, which began competition in 2007.

One of the most decorated sports at Pacific is handball, begun in 1977 under English Professor Michael Steele. Since 1981, the Boxers have appeared in 39 consecutive collegiate national tournaments and captured numerous individual and team national championships. In 2019, the team added five more national titles to its record at the United States Handball Association National Collegiate Championships.[54]

In addition to the amenities of the Stoller Center and Lincoln Park Athletic Complex, Pacific has indoor and outdoor tennis courts[55] on campus and shares a competition-size pool with the City of Forest Grove.[56]

Notable people[edit]


Pacific's undergraduate faculty includes Jules Boykoff, a political scientist, poet, and activist focusing on the politics of the Olympic games. The MFA faculty has including award-winning writers such as Kwame Dawes, Tyehimba Jess, Dorianne Laux, Marvin Bell, Ellen Bass, and Garth Greenwell, among others. It has also included former professional basketball player Jeron Roberts.

Pacific University College of Optometry hired its first African American educator, Breanne McGhee, a full-time optometrist who practices in New Orleans.[57] She works at the institution as an assistant professor and clinical adjunct.[58]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pacific's History". Pacific University Archives. Pacific University. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  3. ^ "Provost & Academic Affairs". Pacific University. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "College Navigator - Pacific University".
  5. ^ a b Hastings, Terry (1980). Joe Montalbano (ed.). Hillsboro: My Home Town. Hillsboro Elementary School District 7.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Horner, John B. Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature. Corvallis, OR: Gazette-Times, 1919; pp. 159-160.
  7. ^ a b c Carey, Charles Henry. (1922). History of Oregon. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. p. 340, 350, 507, 724.
  8. ^ a b c d e Bates, Henry L. (March 1920). "Pacific University". The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society. 21 (1): 1–12.
  9. ^ Deed, April 3, 1851, Washington Country, Oregon
  10. ^ "Carnegie Hall". The Council of Independent Colleges. November 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  11. ^ Spencer-Hartle, Brandon. "Whidden and Lewis, architects". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  12. ^ Christensen, Nick. “Search on for new Pacific University president : Creighton led university's growth, within Forest Grove and east to Hillsboro”, The Hillsboro Argus, September 22, 2008.
  13. ^ Tommy Thayer Goes To College - Board Approved. Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on September 15, 2007.
  14. ^ OHSU provost says she's eager to take helm at Pacific University. Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine News-Times. Retrieved on August 10, 2009.
  15. ^ a b c d e Guggemos, Eva (September 25, 2017). "Pacific University Mascot, Boxer". Boxer Spirit. Pacific University. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Guggemos, Eva; Stig, Ashley. "Digital Exhibit: Boxer, Pacific's Mascot". Pacific University Archives Exhibits. Pacific University Archives. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  17. ^ a b Francis, Mike (October 29, 2018). "Boxer III Comes Home". Pacific University. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2023". Forbes. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  19. ^ "2024 Best Colleges in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  20. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  21. ^ "2023 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  22. ^ Staff (September 1, 2011). "2012 MFA Rankings: The Low-Residency Top Ten". Poets & Writers.
  23. ^ "New Master of Social Work program at Pacific University will focus on Latino community". OregonLive. September 17, 2014.
  24. ^ "College of Business at Pacific University". September 19, 2017.
  25. ^ "Pacific MBA". September 15, 2017.
  26. ^ "ACBSP - Pacific University".
  27. ^ "History of Pacific University". About. Pacific University. May 30, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  28. ^ a b "College of Health Professions at Pacific University". Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2008.
  29. ^ "Member Schools and Colleges".
  30. ^ "Pacific University College of Optometry". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Oregon Historical Society. March 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "University News".
  32. ^ "History of Pacific University". Pacific University. May 30, 2014.
  33. ^ "University News".
  34. ^ "Pacific University's new Cascade Hall welcomes students in style with lounge areas, waterfall mural (photos)". August 22, 2014.
  35. ^ Score Card: Pacific University 2018 (Report). Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. December 20, 2018. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  36. ^ Berglund Hall Receives LEED Gold Rating. Pacific University. Retrieved on November 4, 2008.
  37. ^ "Buildings & Grounds". March 31, 2014.
  38. ^ "Pacific's Stoller Center Fieldhouse goes 'all-weather'". October 4, 2011.
  39. ^ "Pacific University Athletics".
  40. ^ "Pacific University Athletics".
  41. ^ "Forest Grove's Lincoln Park grows by 3 acres after city land purchase". October 31, 2012.
  42. ^ DJC Staff. "SRG designs second LEED Gold building", Daily Journal of Commerce, January 15, 2008,
  43. ^ Hungerford, Kelley (July 29, 2009). "'Dr. Phil' leaves legacy from Forest Grove to Hillsboro". News-Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  44. ^ Dan Carter (March 31, 2010). "Pacific University expanding Hillsboro campus". Daily Journal of Commerce.
  45. ^ "Pacific EyeClinics". Pacific University. December 17, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  46. ^ Turnquist, Kristi (February 6, 2019). "Oregon ideal location for 'twisty mystery' of 'Pretty Little Liars' spinoff, producer says". The Oregonian / OregonLive. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  47. ^ House, Kelly (November 5, 2012). "Camera crews spotted in Forest Grove are filming David Sedaris movie adaptation, not 'Grimm'". The Oregonian / OregonLive. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  48. ^ a b c Centers, Ken (August 15, 2014). "Hollywood in the Grove: 4 films and TV shows filmed in Forest Grove". the oregonian / oregonlive. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  49. ^ "TV Show Films on Forest Grove Campus in August". Pacific University. Forest Grove, OR. July 31, 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  50. ^ Swindler, Samantha (December 14, 2015). "Free screening of 'The Librarians' episode filmed in Forest Grove at Forest Theater". The Oregonian / OregonLive. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  51. ^ Singer, Olivia (April 3, 2019). "TV episode filmed at Pacific University airs on Freeform". Hillsboro Tribune. Hillsboro, OR. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  52. ^ Greek Life FAQ Archived 2009-01-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^ "Make It 5 Women's Wrestling Teams", Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Chicago Sun-Times, Retrieved on November 26, 2008.
  54. ^ Lang, Joe (February 27, 2019). "Boxer Handball Adds to Legacy at USHA National Collegiate Championships". Pacific University. Forest Grove, OR. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  55. ^ "Pacific University Athletics".
  56. ^ "Pacific University Athletics".
  57. ^ "Breanne McGhee OD, MEd, FAAO – Interprofessional Education & Leadership Community". Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  58. ^ "2020 Theia Awards of Excellence Honor Six Women ODs". Women In Optometry. October 15, 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  59. ^ "Mark Hashem". Ballotpedia.
  60. ^ "Wlnsvey Campos". Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  61. ^ E. Harger III, Stover (July 2, 2008). "Politician, Pacific alum to march in Hillsboro's holiday parade Friday". The Forest Grove News-Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  62. ^ Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ), and Republican League of Oregon (1896). Republican League Register, a Record of the Republican Party in the State of Oregon. Register Pub. Co. p. 1874.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  63. ^ "No. 46 Tim Hauck". Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  64. ^ "Obituary". Medical Sentinel. 16: 196. 1908.
  65. ^ Corning, Howard M. (1989). Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort. p. 135. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]