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Three Pacificans honored with Order of Pacific

May 20, 2020

This spring, University of the Pacific awarded three long-term Pacificans with the Order of Pacific, the university’s highest honor.

The Order of Pacific recognizes regents, faculty and staff who have provided distinguished service and made outstanding contributions to the university over a significant number of years. It is an expression of the university's esteem and appreciation for their dedication to Pacific.

This year’s recipients are: Carrie Darnall ’78, associate provost for resource management; Berit Gundersen ’81, ’84, vice provost; and Lynelle Wiens, professor and program director for voice in the Conservatory of Music. Altogether they have nearly 100 years of service to Pacific.

Carrie Darnall

Carrie Darnall
A 1978 graduate with her bachelor’s degree in urban planning, Darnall returned to the Stockton Campus in 1998 as the budget analyst in Business and Finance. She joined the provost’s office in 2004 as an academic budget officer and took on increasing responsibility over the years to become the associate provost for resource management in 2012. Darnall will retire in June after 22 years of service to Pacific. 

As associate provost, she has provided consistent and strategic leadership and stewardship of academic division financial activities and served as a trusted advisor to the provost. Darnall has worked with the deans and other university leaders on budgets, Strategic Investment fund programs, and the budget for the new School of Health. 

Berit Gundersen

Berit Gundersen
With the exceptions of her pharmacy residency and one year teaching at University of Connecticut, Gundersen has spent her entire professional career—34 years—at Pacific. She started as an assistant clinical professor in the school of pharmacy and earned her full professorship in 2005. Gundersen joined the provost’s office in 2007 as an assistant provost and served in various roles including as the vice provost for faculty affairs 2015–18, and most recently as the vice provost, incubator. In this final role, she has led development of the new academic programs for our School of Health Sciences. Gundersen will retire from Pacific in July. 

Under her leadership in the pharmacy school, we were the first in the nation to develop a program where all students become immunizers, and we were among the first five to develop a smoking cessation program. Both of these reflect her passion for public health, which continued through her later work to develop the new health care programs for Pacific’s School of Health Sciences. In the provost’s office, her work included making important changes to improve the climate for new and non-tenure track faculty, and spearheading efforts to improve diversity and inclusion among our faculty.

Lynelle Wiens

Lynelle Wiens
As a professor, Wiens has left her greatest imprint on the lives and careers of her students, many of whom have gone on to be successes of their own. She has alumni who have performed on stages and in opera houses around the world, including the world-famous Metropolitan Opera (The Met), the San Francisco Opera and more. She also has had a positive influence in other conservatory students who have become music therapists, educators and managers. Among her colleagues, Wiens is deeply appreciated for her positive personality, kindness, consideration and integrity. She has served as a mentor to many and provided strong and dedicated leadership within the conservatory. 

As professor and program director for voice in the Conservatory of Music, Wiens has served her students and colleagues with dedication and passion for more than 40 years. She joined Pacific in 1978 as professor of voice and actively performed in major solo and operatic roles on campus and around the country. In 1992, when a vocal injury prevented her from continuing to perform, she switched her focus to research in vocal science and medicine. As she concludes her tenure at Pacific, Lynelle leaves behind a legacy in the professional and academic worlds. Lynelle retired this month. 

Please congratulate this year’s recipients and thank them for their many years of service and passionate dedication to Pacific’s students, faculty and staff.

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