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Pacific News

Vice President for Student Life Elizabeth Griego to Retire

Mar 29, 2013

Vice President for Student Life Elizabeth Griego, who has been honored nationally for her work in enhancing the student experience at University of the Pacific, is retiring from Pacific to live in the wine country, travel and continue her work as an international consultant for various associations and universities.

Griego said she will consult for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and international institutions interested in developing American-style accreditation. She may also teach and direct a 2015 voyage of the University of Virginia's shipboard education program, Semester at Sea.

Her most satisfying accomplishment at Pacific, which she joined in 2006, has been the chance to build "such a hard-working, creative, and high-functioning team in Student Life that is so committed to supporting students and investing in their potential and success," she reflected. "Pacific has always had a strong out-of-classroom and experiential learning reputation. It is one of the aspects that alumni most remember and comment on, and the Student Life reputation was one of the reasons I came to Pacific in the first place.

"Pacific has been the most collaborative and productive working environment I have ever known," Griego said. "It is a very special place that nurtures and builds potential in our great students who go on to do such amazing things. I will always feel part of the Pacific family and I will miss working with professionals who exhibit such joy, humor and professionalism."

Before coming to Pacific she was an associate director for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges from 2000 to 2006 and had established a reputation for excellence in previous leadership positions at various universities, including serving 11 years as vice president for student affairs and academic support services at Samuel Merritt College and in various positions at Mills College, both in Oakland.

Her impact at Pacific is significant and long lasting. Among her many accomplishments, Griego played a key role in the development of MOVE (Mountain, Ocean, Valley Experience), Pacific's award-winning  orientation program, and the One Word and My Why programs, engagement opportunities to stimulate  student leadership development. She also strengthened programming for diversity through establishing the campus's Multicultural Center, the PRIDE Center and the Women's Center, and led the University's Diversity Task Force and comprehensive report and recommendations. She developed a strong safety and security emphasis and emergency response team on campus and also implemented a comprehensive method for learning assessment and program review in Student Life that were commended in the recent WASC review.

Griego's achievements go well beyond Pacific. Recently, she was honored with two awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NAPSA), a group with which she has long been involved in various leadership roles. She earned the Fred Turner Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Student Affairs and the Zenobia Hikes Award for Leadership and Mentorship. She also has held several leadership positions at NASPA, including serving as the association's national president from 2010-2011.

"Elizabeth is truly an exceptional and transformational leader," said Steve Jacobson, associate vice president for Student Life. "Throughout her tenure at Pacific, I have seen her develop a Student Life division that invests in the success of its students and is one that has a strong reputation both in the University and across the United States. She often devotes large amounts of her personal time in order to guide and reinforce the success of her staff and loves giving back to the Pacific community."

As for what's next for Griego, she and her husband bought a house in the Sonoma wine country and are moving to Kenwood in the Valley of the Moon "because it is the place that came up when we asked each other, 'If we could live anywhere in the world, where would we want to live?'" Griego said. Plans also include traveling to Katmandu, Angkor Wat, Hanoi and Bangkok and living in Italy for a few months.

A reception for Griego will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the Grand Ballroom of the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center. Faculty, staff, and students are warmly invited and encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to 209.946.2365 by April 10.

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