Close up photo to a stained glass window that might date back nearly a century to the earliest days of the University. Randall Gee

This is a close up of the top of the window, which is believed to date back more than a century to the earliest days of the University.

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Pacific News

Staff Uncovers Historical Stained Glass Window

Just a few days before the holiday break, employees with support services made a startling discovery while removing an old chalk board from a classroom in Baun Hall
by Patrick GiblinJan 10, 2012

Behind the board was an old stained glass window, one that might date back nearly a century to the earliest days of the University.

Top pane of a window believed to be 120 years old

The window was located behind a cork board that was covered up by the chalk board, said Scott Heaton, director of Support Services. The wall is an interior wall, he said, but old building designs show that it once was the exterior wall to the former "steam plant" at Pacific, which was operated through the mid-1930s and provided heat to buildings on Pacific's then-fledgling Stockton campus. "It used to be the West wall, which meant that sunlight probably shone through it in the afternoons," Heaton said.

The top half of the window shows a representation of the "Burning Bush" and the "10 Commandments," as described in the Old Testament. The bottom half of the window has The bottom pane of a window believed to be more than 120 years oldthe inscription "His Last Tribute to Culture. A Christian Classical Education Will Never Be Regretted by Anyone."

The window was removed so that repairs could be completed in the classroom and stored in a safe location while Michael Wurtz, the archivist for the University, and University historians investigated the window's origin. Administrators on campus also are deciding where to display the window on campus so that they can be enjoyed by students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Update - Jan. 27, 2012: A photo of the window that dates back to the San Jose campus in 1890 was recently discovered in the University archives. It shows the window originally was in the Conservatory of Music building on the San Jose campus, completed in 1890. An entry in a University publication indicated that a window was donated in 1938 by the Heacock family in memory of their late son, Joseph B. Heacock, a student from the class of 1886, for the new University Library which wou;d be located in Baun Hall. Archival photos of the library show the window mounted there. The building later became part of the School of Engineering and Comptuer Science. The window was covered up sometime in the 1970s, but it is not known why.

It is still not clear who the "His" is in the inscription, but University Archivist Michael Wurtz suspects that it might refer to Joseph B. Heacock, a mid-1880s graduate of Pacific who died in 1887. Heacock's father - a Pacific trustee for 20 years -  was a Methodist minister, which would explain the religious nature of the inscriptions, and his mother is known to have headed up several fund-raising groups for the University, including raising donations for the Conservatory of Music building in San Jose. The statement regarding "a Christian classical education" may also be taken from comments by John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church.

The window and what the University has discovered about it are beautifully displayed in the Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House.