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Spring 2010 · Vol. 39 No. 1 · pp. 84–96 

Education and Entrepreneurship: A Personal Journey

Arthur Wiebe

Although born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, I grew up in Corn, Oklahoma, where my father taught at the Corn Bible Academy (CBA). Here I was immersed in a culture strongly flavored by Mennonite piety and fashioned by schools, Main Street, and party telephone lines. At home, the day began with Scripture reading and prayer. It ended with a full round of prayers on our knees . . . father, mother, sister, and finally I . . . if I had not fallen asleep by then. Low German was my native tongue. In my early years, High German was the language in church while English and Low German were the languages on Main Street. At age six I learned catastrophic news: English only was permitted in school! Yet, I recall no trauma in adapting and quickly fell in love with learning! I was still six when my father began an eighteen-year pastorate of the Corn Mennonite Brethren Church. As a consequence, I was saddled with new behavioral expectations. I have a wise father to thank for guiding me through this experience without a hint of rebellion on my part.

God had to make me go through this humbling experience to make his abundant provision

Our home was a hotel for visiting conference leaders and missionaries. I delighted in the enriched menu and, even more, the countless stories told by the likes of A. H. Unruh, P. C. Hiebert and scores of others. These had a profound impact. Through them I acquired a broad perspective of and strong interest in Mennonite Brethren ministries. Indeed, Corn produced numerous church workers. Of the eight in our eighth-grade class, four of us later taught in Immanuel or Pacific.

CONVERSION

My conversion at age ten was disappointing in that nothing spectacular happened as in so many impressive testimonies I had listened to. I struggled with doubt about my salvation, but conviction grew over time and baptism followed. Creek baptisms were festive occasions with the choir singing, white dressing tents dotting the landscape, and a large crowd standing reverently at water’s edge. At age fourteen I, with over eighty others, was baptized in the local creek.

I was an avid reader, and every state lending library shipment and borrowed book was like Christmas. I devoured the sports pages in the daily newspaper. Small wonder that an elder thought I was cluttering my mind with a sinful amount of sports.

In Corn Bible Academy my ambition grew to become one of its teachers. As a junior, I became deeply attracted to the girl who always did her homework. Guardedly, I slipped her a note, a most daring move since the school had absolute rules governing boy-girl relationships—there were to be none! Our notes became letters. Letters led to secret meetings. All went well until graduation night. Three of us couples lingered after the ceremony to socialize. After escorting Evelyn to her residence, I went home and quietly slipped into bed. Shortly, there was an emphatic knock on the door. When Father answered, the principal, in an agitated voice, blurted out: “Unsere Kinder haben sich verschuldicht [Our children have done wrong].” I sat defenseless through the ensuing lecture. After he left, Father just smiled and sent me to bed. I suspect he thought Evelyn was a good choice.

As a high school senior I made a key decision. Working four summers, I might save a total of $400 for college. Enrolled year round, I could finish in three years and earn $640 teaching during the fourth. The math was compelling, and so was the happy thought that Evelyn and I could get married a year sooner!

A Mr. Foote came recruiting and selling Tabor overalls. Father bought a pair for me, but attending Tabor was out of the question. When Mr. Foote learned I had saved ninety dollars for college he constructed a financial aid package that made it possible for me to become a Bluejay! Tabor made a lasting impression on me. While writing an English term paper on the life and teachings of Menno Simons for Orlando Harms, I became deeply attracted to the Anabaptist worldview. It strongly influenced my life.

With too many credits to return for a second year, I enrolled in Southwestern State College in Weatherford, Oklahoma. By studying year round I was able to major in mathematics, history, and education with a minor in physics. I joined the Senate, a male club where heated debates, wide-ranging parliamentary procedures, frequent extemporaneous speeches, etc., made for lively and instructive sessions. By graduation time I had been employed to teach in a one-room school district.

When Evelyn and I married, I had seven dollars, a ’29 Chevy purchased with seventy-five dollars in borrowed money, and an optimistic feeling now that state minimum salaries had been raised to eighty-five dollars per month. After the German and English ceremony and safely back in the vestibule, I gave Evelyn her wedding ring, purchased on an installment plan. Even this private act was at the edge of the allowable. We established our home in a small one-bedroom house in Corn.

LAUNCH INTO TEACHING

The Monday following, I launched my teaching career. With only nine students spread over five grades, I tutored rather than teach class sessions. Students interpreted aspects of geography, history, and literature by creating scenes on our four sand tables. Nearby creeks, pastures, and plowed fields served as outdoor science labs. In cold weather, the five students I picked up on my drive to school stayed warm in our Chevy while I built a fire in the pot-bellied stove. We quickly grew into a close-knit learning community, aided by cross-age tutoring. Mandated tests at the end of the year showed that these students had the highest composite score in the county.

At mid-year, Principal H. R. Wiens of CBA informed me that their math teacher had resigned and asked me to teach algebra and geometry after my school day. My dream of teaching in CBA had come true! During this year Evelyn and I were deeply involved in church life, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and participating in numerous youth activities. On the draft front I was denied my request to be classified as a conscientious objector. I appealed and was ordered to Oklahoma City for a hearing. The hearing officer pressed hard with the usual “What if . . . ?” questions. Apparently satisfied, he granted the desired classification.

ALTERNATIVE SERVICE

In October 1942 I was ordered to report to a South Dakota Civilian Public Service Camp. Evelyn and I were devastated. It meant breaking up our home, leaving teaching in CBA, and, worst of all, saying goodbye. With great sadness I boarded the train, not realizing that I was leaving Corn forever. Ahead loomed an uncertain and lonely future. Little did I realize that God was sending me into a valuable post-graduate school experience.

Our task was to build a dam for flood protection. I was assigned to the rock-crushing crew, raking boulders into angry crusher jaws. Good news arrived seven weeks later: I had been appointed business manager of a new camp in Central Oregon. In Camp Wickiup, my office overlooked the Deschutes River, which we were to dam. My assignment was to manage all financial matters. Our dietician and I were to feed 150 hardworking men on the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) budget of forty-two cents per man per day! To add to the challenge, meat, fats, sugar, and canned goods were severely rationed. We vowed to improve the diet. I challenged MCC with a series of precedent-breaking requests: approvals to raise hogs, establish a dairy, and launch a major canning operation. MCC balked until Rufus Franz, our camp director, used his persuasive power to win grudging approval. Using a bare-bones portable sawmill and felled logs from behind the dam site, we cut the lumber for a hip-roofed barn with its six stanchions, calf enclosure, grain bins and alfalfa hay storage in the loft. The $100 cost was for concrete, hardware and gas to run the sawmill. Soon weaner pigs and cows arrived, calves were born, and milk began to flow.

I encouraged Mennonites and Amish in the Willamette Valley to donate vegetables and fruit. In June we launched a nine-week, twenty-four hours per day, six days a week canning operation that resulted in seventeen thousand quarts of canned fruits and vegetables. A Mennonite missionary to Columbia River Indians purchased the rights to a ton of salmon from an Indian friend for five dollars. To cement relations with MCC, I sent a boxful of smoked salmon to Akron. It worked. But fall brought devastating news: the government was taking over Camp Wickiup to house a motley group of objectors, most of whom refused to work. I was left to dispose of the canned goods, hogs, and dairy, and then transferred to the camp near Placerville, California.

SMOKEJUMPER UNIT

Two months later I was assigned as education director of the Smokejumpers in Missoula, Montana. Previously, I had become familiar with the full range of Mennonites and Amish. Now I would get to know Quakers, Brethren, and others. In spring new jumper candidates arrived. Tough physical conditioning took place in the appropriately named Torture Chamber. Jumpers learned specialized survivor skills such as lowering themselves to the ground when hung up in tall timber. Everyone had seven practice jumps. The opportunity to put this training to good use soon arrived. The year 1944 was an average fire season. After the season most jumpers were assigned to duties in remote locations. The Missoula contingent was used to jump and rescue injured hunters and cabin fever victims in remote areas. In fall our camp director left and I was appointed his successor. Now full responsibility for negotiations with the Forest Service rested on me.

Because of proven success, the Civilian Public Service (CPS) contingent was doubled to 250 men for 1945, a most fortuitous decision. All fire spotting and control over 4 million acres of rugged backcountry was now by air. Jumpers also shot down occasional Japanese paper balloons loaded with magnesium bombs designed to ignite forest fires. All of this created a host of issues that needed negotiation with the Forest Service. This consuming task provided many challenging learning experiences during the next six months.

The year 1945 turned out to be the worst fire season in decades. Forests were tinder dry. Lightning storms always started a rash of fires. The rugged terrain and treacherous conditions often required jumpers to use dangerous procedures such as jumping from low altitudes or slip chuting, the process of pulling down one side of the chute, to speed descent. Fire extinguished, jumpers often had to pack their eighty pounds of gear between thirty and forty miles through rugged country to a trailhead. Often I had to send jumpers out to a new fire after only four hours of sleep. Smoke jumping is perilous. Four years later, fifteen men were dropped onto the deep dry grass side of Mann Gulch opposite the fire. Suddenly the wind changed sending embers across the gulch and igniting the dry grass. The leader quickly lit the grass around him, threw himself onto the dying embers, and ordered the rest to join him. He survived, but the others tried to outrace the flames. Ten suffocated and burned to a crisp. Four reached the top of a rise, two with fatal burns.

After the fire season I received a letter from Hanson, the regional forester. There had been 1,200 forest fires, he wrote, but “even so our total area of burned forest at the close of the season was small. Such an accomplishment was made possible by the splendid action of our air-borne firemen, the smokejumpers. Many of the fires our jumpers suppressed in the nation’s most remote wilderness could have become catastrophic had the jumpers not performed expertly and efficiently. To them goes a large share of the credit of a nationally important job well done.” War ended in September. I transferred back to El Camino as camp director. As such I signed my own discharge papers. Forty-two months of donated service were over. That which at first seemed so foreboding had for me become an unbelievably rich and priceless educational experience.

IMMANUEL ACADEMY

John N.C. Hiebert invited me to teach in Immanuel Academy in Reedley, California. Life was whole again. Evelyn and I reestablished our home and I was teaching in a Christian high school. In my fourth year, Rev. H. R. Wiens was elected assistant pastor of the Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church and I was appointed principal. During the twelve years at Immanuel I witnessed two very significant developments: growing unity among the three founding churches and the emergence of an increasing number of future conference workers. J.N.C. Hiebert had rallied the Reedley Mennonite Brethren, Dinuba Mennonite Brethren and Zion Krimmer Mennonite Brethren churches to join hands in establishing Immanuel as a four-year high school. I witnessed growing unity among the churches as volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder in building Immanuel’s facilities. Interchurch friendships and marriages became common. H.R. Wiens and I often pondered why all but one of Immanuel’s teachers were imports. Immanuel’s influence changed that. Fresno Pacific University owes much to Immanuel. Fifteen of Immanuel’s graduates have served on its faculty.

DOCTORAL STUDIES

After twelve years at Immanuel it was time to pursue doctoral studies. Stanford, with its top-ranked School of Education, was my choice. We moved to Belmont where I taught math at Carlmont High School to support family and Stanford. I dared not think about a looming impossibility: Stanford’s requirement of four consecutive quarters of fulltime study! There was no way I could afford not to work while paying tuition.

My ego was bruised when my teaching assignment included two general math classes. But I quickly decided to use that to experiment with alternative teaching styles and approaches to content. The department chairman gave less than resounding support with “Go ahead. We don’t teach them much anyway, so we’re not risking a lot.” The day of reckoning came with year-end standardized testing. Typical median scores in the district were in the thirtieth percentile. When my students scored at the sixty-fourth, the department chairman took notice. His reward? Assignment to teach four general math classes the following year! When second-year results were similar the district math supervisor informed me, “Next year we want to use your material in all general math classes in our five high schools and you to train the teachers.” In 1958, I inked a publication contract. Stanford granted me a summer Shell Fellowship followed by a four-quarter National Science Foundation Fellowship that paid all tuition, books, and a tax-exempt stipend greater than my Carlmont salary. The impossibility of financing four consecutive quarters of fulltime study was solved! To what did I owe this good fortune? That ego-bruising general math teaching assignment! God had to make me go through this humbling experience to make his abundant provision.

PACIFIC BIBLE INSTITUTE AND JUNIOR COLLEGE

During the 1959 Christmas season we were visiting family in Reedley when P. A. Enns arranged for a meeting with Dr. Menno Gaede, Peter Funk, and himself to talk about Pacific Bible Institute (PBI). Discouraged by declining enrollment, they pondered options, even closing. They asked for advice. I suggested that much more information was needed before a meaningful decision could be made. On the way back to Belmont it occurred to me that I was in a strategic position to conduct such a study. That evening I shared my thoughts with P.A. Enns. He asked me to fly back the next morning. After jointly setting an agenda, I was instructed to proceed. Consultations with junior college administrators, State Department of Education officials, and the accreditation association brought helpful perspectives. Joel Wiebe amassed extensive data. From this I projected budgets, student enrollments, faculty additions, and course offerings for each of the years from 1962 to 1970. By 1970 enrollment was projected to justify Pacific becoming a senior college. Early in 1960 I reported to the West Area Board, this time with Chairman E. J. Peters present. After I finished, he asked, “When are you coming to make it happen?” When I demurred, he kept pressing. I finally promised Evelyn and I would give it our prayerful consideration. Another option was beckoning us: a well-funded national professional growth opportunity. We chose our life’s work to be in service to our conference at Pacific. Our consent was conditioned on the West Area Board’s commitment to support Pacific developing into a senior college if progress warranted. They knew it would require amending the conference master plan.

THE STATE OF COLLEGE

Under the master plan, Tabor was to be the four-year college with Pacific serving as its junior college feeder. The unified budget was to fund operations and construction of new facilities. No independent fund raising was allowed. Tabor’s subsidy was set at twice that of Pacific. As Tabor’s accreditation had priority, construction of its library was essential. Our turn for construction financing never came for lack of funds. Tabor could recruit conference wide, but Pacific only in the Pacific District. We had no student loans and few scholarships to offer. Enrollment at Pacific totaled sixty, including forty-one freshmen. The women residence, dining hall, library, auditorium, and swimming pool were housed in the downtown building. Men were housed nearby. Forenoon classes met in Sattler Hall, the lone building on campus. Afternoon was reserved for students to work. Only two full-time faculty, Don Braun and Dietrich Friesen, were committed for the fall of 1960.

All of my previous experiences now came to bear on this new assignment. I set two priorities: preserving the vision of PBI’s founders and building the foundation for a senior college by recruiting young, visionary, Anabaptist-oriented Mennonite Brethren scholars. We immediately launched efforts to develop the Bible institute program into a three-year program, upgrade the junior college program, establish an alternative service unit where young Mennonite Brethren men could fulfill their draft requirements, and recruit students. Just as strategic, we applied for junior college accreditation.

That first year we resolved two issues: admitting non-Christian students and asking Catholic students to attend chapel. We reasoned that if Mennonite Brethren could send lone couples to serve among non-Christians in India and Africa, we were obliged to provide such experience on campus. This was in sharp contrast to institutions where conversions are possible only when Admissions fails to screen properly. The second was resolved by nurturing the blessing of local Catholic leaders, facilitated by the trust Peter Klassen and others developed through extensive interaction.

GROWING THE SCHOOL

The challenge of this new direction and establishment of the alternative service unit attracted Dalton Reimer for the fall of 1960. With his coming from Northwestern University we were able to offer a strong speech and enlarged general education program. Sixty-five young men would ultimately follow in his footsteps into alternative service, adding impetus to Pacific’s development. Because I was still in fulltime studies at Stanford, Joel Wiebe graciously delayed his doctoral studies to provide on-campus administration.

Enrollment grew to ninety-two in the fall of 1960. Junior college enrollment expanded significantly while Bible institute enrollment dropped sharply. With this drop in the face of our full faith test of expanded Bible institute offerings it became clear this mission needed repackaging into a strong liberal arts Biblical Studies program. The junior college program received accreditation. The library collection was culled and moved to the campus. Every possible penny went into building the collection.

In fall I was invited to speak at the Shafter Harvest Festival. My parents decided to accompany us. Driving down, my father and I engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about the Mennonite Brethren mission and my new responsibilities. After sharing the Festival meal, I left to prepare myself. Shortly, someone rushed to tell me my father had suffered a heart attack. I rushed to the church’s anteroom in time to hear his final words, “God’s grace is sufficient for this hour.” Rev. Henry Dick offered to release me but, knowing of my father’s strong interest, I chose to stay and share our vision for Pacific. My wonderful relationship with my father was over, but I will always treasure our final conversation.

In the spring of 1961 the Cornelius Hieberts offered to build a Tabor-like library at Pacific in exchange for a gift annuity. We gratefully accepted. Cornelius envisioned nine others doing what he did “to get construction of campus buildings over with.”

In 1961 we moved to Fresno. My inauguration was simple. Joel Wiebe led me to Sattler Hall, opened a door, and announced, “This is your office!” Enrollment in that second year grew to 120. From my office I could view construction of the library. Gary Nachtigal joined our alternative service unit to serve as athletic director, coach, and geography teacher.

The 1962–63 year was a third year of progress. John Toews was appointed our first fulltime Biblical Studies faculty. Peter Klassen became the first Ph.D. to join our faculty. Enrollment grew to 153. Morale was high. Serious conversation began about becoming a senior college and soon involved West Coast board members. E. J. Peters became a strong advocate. In late summer, 1963 the full board recommended the move to the conference meeting in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. E. J. Peters promised, “This is a charge I will lead.” His was a powerful voice because of the high esteem in which he was held. Roy Just, the new president of Tabor, courageously made the motion to approve. When approval was granted, Elias and I rushed to the nearest telephone to break the exciting news to our colleagues.

Most sophomores returned for their junior year, trusting that the senior college program would be accredited by graduation time. Enrollment climbed to 201, the highest in Pacific’s history. We launched the accreditation process, even though Dr. Mitchell Briggs cautioned, “Your graduates should first validate the quality of their undergraduate education. You’re taking a huge risk.” We assured him of our full confidence in the quality of Pacific’s program. He agreed to proceed. The required self-study was a mixture of what had been accomplished and our new goals. Our record for exceeding their previous recommendations now stood us in good stead. Just a month before graduation Pacific received senior college accreditation. When Elias Wiebe, academic dean, and I arrived at the airport, a celebration began that included a parade to the campus. A local TV station reported, “There was a different student parade today,” not one of protest.

THE PACIFIC COLLEGE IDEA

Accreditation achieved, we turned our focus on refining the values that were to define Pacific. The Pacific College Idea was formulated under the guidance of idealists such as John Toews and Dalton Reimer with broad faculty participation. The first edition was bold, probably even radical, but wholeheartedly supported internally. Among other factors, it defined Pacific as an experimental college. Dalton, academic dean, led us in numerous experiments such as rhythms of the week and year. We experimented with the quarter system; with no classes on Wednesday so students had full days for research, labs, or study; with funding faculty to take students out to lunch, etc. We believed most strongly that faculty-student relationships were at the heart of education at Pacific. Administratively, we placed strong emphasis on growing the percent of income devoted to teaching. High faculty, staff and student morale propelled rapid development. Board members often wondered why we recruited such strong faculty who could be expected to stay only a few years. Not so. Most stayed from decades to a lifetime.

Our accreditation in 1965 was timely. We received confidential information that Upland College was about to close. I negotiated acquisition of the Upland library collection and federal loan program in exchange for assuming custody of their student records and loan collections. Confidentially assured of our coming senior college accreditation, Upland agreed. Moving the library collection had to be a stealth operation lest creditors filed liens on Upland assets. As soon as Upland students were in the auditorium for the closure announcement we backed our truck up to the rear door and began loading. While students, many sobbing softly, were returning books in the front we were loading them out in the back. Overnight our library collection doubled to forty thousand volumes.

In 1965 congress passed the Developing Institutions Act. I had been monitoring the Congressional Record throughout the process and used the information to draft a detailed ten-year institutional development plan. As soon as final regulations were published we submitted our application. Pacific was one of only a handful of colleges west of the Mississippi to receive funding. The $30,000 grant significantly increased our small budget. For more than eighteen years, Pacific continued to receive ever-increasing annual grants. Our senior college accreditation had come in the nick of time.

BENCHMARKS IN THE 1960s

Four major appointments marked the second half of the 1960s. Dalton was elected Academic Dean and began a most fruitful and formative period in our history. Elias Wiebe combined what he learned during a study grant with his experience at Westmont to design a high-quality teacher education program. Silas Bartsch resigned as Superintendent of Kings River Unified School District to launch our professional development program. While its mission was to improve education in Valley schools, it also generated income that helped fund undergraduate education. Lee Quiring joined us as Director of Development and launched the Gow real estate project. Ten friends of the college had formed a partnership to acquire and develop the property for the college. A college/seminary faculty corporation had constructed a low-income, fifty-six-unit apartment complex. A Mennonite/Armenian consortium financed the construction of Pacific Gardens Convalescent Center with Pacific receiving a significant share of the stock. The remainder of the land was sold for smaller projects. Pacific received all of the profits. The ten partners recovered their cost and received significant income tax deductions. The Gow project enabled us to give significant salary increases.

Subsequent real estate investments had positive and negative aspects. Despite the difficulties, Pacific would be far less today without this program. Failure to carefully screen investors and properly structure some of the projects was at the root of problems. Some bought out unhappy participants in three projects. All were ultimately successful, providing $1 million in donations. Benefits continue forty years later.

In 1967–68 enrollment passed three hundred and by 1970–71 it exceeded four hundred. One of my cherished memories began at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater. I learned about their contemporary ministry program and was immediately intrigued. I shared the information with Edmund Janzen, then head of Biblical Studies. He enthusiastically and thoughtfully developed our own version, and it has proven its worth over the years.

Space limits sharing the many blessings and strains during my fifteen-year presidency. One constant was always present: the need for funds and God’s miracles in supplying them. The challenge of those fifteen years made me resolve to help successors by instituting academic programs that would provide financial support for Pacific. The final act of my presidency was to secure Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) approval for a graduate program. I was privileged to remain at Pacific to implement the mathematics masters.

MOVING TOWARD ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Larry Ecklund, with his expertise in primary level education and learning theory, joined me in the math education faculty in 1975. We determined that the math master’s would emphasize curriculum development and research in teaching styles. We committed ourselves to regularly teach off-campus where we could demonstrate experimental materials and a range of teaching styles. By board dictum the graduate program had to be self-supporting. This often called for extraordinary efforts without regard to teaching load or time demands. We taught on school campuses from San Diego in the south to McCloud near Mt. Shasta in the north. We developed independent study courses using taped instruction and experimental curricular materials. Enrollment in them ranged as high as eight hundred per year. The Math Festival was launched in 1970, and enrollment ranged as high as three hundred over the next quarter century. In the 1980s we added science, computer education, and AIMS (Activities that Integrate Math and Science) festivals, often bringing more than six hundred teachers from as many as thirty states to campus in summer. Pacific welcomed the significant tuition, room, and board income.

Evelyn was my constant travel companion during the school year. She graciously adapted her schedule. She brought along materials for her latest sewing project. Once on site we found the nearest bookstore where she could browse cookbooks at her leisure. For twenty-five years, she took special care of Dr. Lola May during Math Festivals. After the college crew had cleaned her quarters, Evelyn would spend a full day cleaning to her standards. She made the bed, placed cold water in the refrigerator and fresh fruit on the counter, and daily decorated the room with fresh flowers. At Lola’s memorial service one of our graduates was given the single picture Dr. May had at her bedside when she died. It was of Lola, Evelyn, and me.

In 1981 Larry and I decided to focus on developing integrated math/science curricula. A $60,000 National Science Foundation grant funded a two-year writing and field-testing program. AIMS was born, inspired by and based on my Carlmont experience with general math students. Field-testing of experimental materials immediately attracted strong interest, starting the spread of AIMS. Like an epidemic, AIMS propelled itself. Within four years AIMS became the state science program in Hawaii.

In 1985 President Kriegbaum suggested the incorporation of AIMS as an independent but closely allied non-profit corporation. It freed us from processing all our non-typical matters through the grid of FPU. First-year income was $586,000. Three years later it was $2.6 million and grew steadily thereafter to reach a high of $8.5 million. Our endowment reserve ultimately reached $27 million. In 1987 we offered our first six-week, off-campus workshops using AIMS trainers as instructors. Subsequently this program grew to as many as 160 three-section workshops in thirty-four states with total enrollments exceeding twelve thousand teachers. State Departments of Education in Hawaii, Texas, Michigan, and Florida sponsored state level training workshops. Barbara Novelli and I conducted a series of workshops in Italy. Dave Youngs was our ambassador for AIMS workshops in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Algeria. Judith did workshops in England. I provided training in well over a hundred locations in twenty-one states. Overall, more than eighty thousand teachers have had at least five days of training and more than twice that many have had at least a day of training. I know of no other past or current math or science program that matches that record. Most important, wherever AIMS went, Pacific was sure to go along, and whenever AIMS prospered, Pacific was made to share.

A highlight for me was the evening we announced a $6.9 million grant to Pacific to help fund the construction of AIMS Hall of Mathematics and Science, endow two faculty positions, and fund undergraduate and graduate scholarships and science equipment purchases. The grant was later increased to $10 million. Just as important as grants was the national recognition AIMS earned for Fresno Pacific. It had become the supporting program of my dreams.

In conclusion, I am convinced that Fresno Pacific will prosper and contribute a unique model to higher education in direct proportion to its faithfulness to the Fresno Pacific Idea and the degree to which collegiality marks its implementation.

Arthur Wiebe was president of Fresno Pacific College (now University) from 1960 to 1975. He received a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern State University, a master’s degree from California State University, Fresno, and an Ed.D. from Stanford University. He was also one of the founders of the highly successful AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science) Education Foundation.

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