Q&A with President Ralph Trecartin, Ph.D., M.B.A. 

He loves working with students and has a personal mission to provide them great opportunities to reach their goals and shape their futures. The dedication he has to make sure everyone in the Pioneers family belongs here and is valued is incredible. Dr. Trecartin kindly answered some questions for us to get to know more about him.

What brought you to PUC? How/Why did you decide to work here? 

The Seventh-day Adventist education system has had a phenomenal impact on the spread of the gospel message throughout the world. Pacific Union College has been at the forefront of this movement from the very beginning when Ellen G. White helped choose the location and outlined the principles of “True Education.” Our young people today are still called to walk with God and to join him in service to others in a myriad different locations and occupations.  

I love working with young people both inside and outside the church. At our colleges, we are called to a higher mission than merely providing opportunities for intellectual prowess and career preparation. I believe that our young people generally want to belong to an organization where there is purpose and meaning to the lives of those who share common beliefs and aspirations. Choosing to join the PUC team was not on my radar, but I could not resist the opportunity to influence young people and help shape the future of the SDA denomination. The fact that PUC has undoubtedly one of the most beautiful campuses and locations is like adding whipped cream on top of strawberries.  

What is the best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

We get to participate in all aspects of campus life: the peaks of joy coming from achievement, the sorrows of personal setbacks and loss, the friendships that grow and last, the seriousness of diligent study and preparation, and the fun and games that provide the social atmosphere that we all crave. As a member of the Pioneer family, we all belong and are valued.   

What are some of your hobbies?

Both Virginia and I love to participate in physical activity in places of natural beauty. She likes to run or walk fast. I like to saunter and add to my bird list. We both do a lot of hiking, canoeing, wilderness camping, and in general, participate in outdoor life.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you? 

Given my current body composition, it is hard to imagine that I once ran the Boston Marathon (unofficially).

Do you have a favorite place to eat in the Napa Valley yet? If so, why?

If frequency has anything to do with “favorite” then it has to be the PUC Café. They do a great job. All of the other experiences in Calistoga and St. Helena have also been excellent but I haven’t settled into a “favorite” spot yet.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?

This is a really hard question. I love the Church Bowl surrounded by towering redwoods, several miles back on the mountain bike trails (and still considered on campus). I think the prayer garden, almost hidden from view from the Library, is pretty special. Looking up at Clark Hall with the accompanying gardens and trees or looking down the steps when descending from McReynolds Hall through the woods are very special spots. The special collections room in the Library and the Pitcairn Center have some really exciting secrets waiting for discovery. I even like the effluent pond by the airport – especially when there is a bird, like the American Avocet, wading on the shoreline.

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me… 

Walking through the fields and woods or reading at my desk, unless the farm team invites me to stack hay or clear brush while it is still cool.

We are so delighted to have Dr. Trecartin as our President. If you ever see him around campus, do not hesitate to say hi! 

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