Emeriti leadership empowers student support through Pacific Gives initiative

Professor Emeritus Bill Topp

Professor Emeritus Bill Topp.

The impact of emeriti faculty extends far beyond their years of active teaching and research. Professor Emeritus William (Bill) Topp’s lasting influence at Pacific is felt not only through his academic contributions but also through his dedication to supporting students, even after his tenure. This past April, Topp's leadership galvanized the Emeriti Society and other supporters to contribute to the Pacific Student Emergency Fund for Pacific Gives, ensuring that students facing unforeseen financial crises receive timely assistance to continue their education without disruption.

Reflecting on his motivation to spearhead this initiative, Topp emphasized what it means to support students as a member of the Pacific Emeriti Society:

"We wanted to support the University collectively as a society. Emeriti love students, and sometimes students need a hand. We quickly realized that wanting to support students was the common attribute that every emeritus has."

The Emeriti Society mobilized to support the Pacific Student Emergency Fund, which offers grants for emergency transportation, medical procedures, bill payments, and other necessities, with a $5,000 challenge. This fund is crucial in ensuring that all Pacific students – undergraduates, graduates, and professionals – have the resources to succeed academically despite personal challenges. During Pacific Gives, the Pacific Fund - Emergency Need secured 37 gifts totaling $5,069, bringing the total to $10,069.

The response from the emeriti community and supporters was enthusiastic, with many joining Topp in contributing to the fund during Pacific Gives. Their collective efforts not only provide immediate relief to students in crisis but also reinforce the sense of community and support that defines the University of the Pacific.

Students anonymously shared how the Pacific Student Emergency Fund made a difference in their lives:

"The generosity of others enabled me to overcome a personal setback and continue my studies. It's inspiring to see our Pacific community come together to support students like me."

Topp's leadership during Pacific Gives not only alleviates financial burdens but also strengthens the sense of unity and care within the Pacific community. His dedication to student welfare and educational excellence exemplifies the university's mission of fostering academic achievement and personal growth.

Looking ahead, Topp and others in the Emeriti Society remain committed to supporting the Pacific Student Emergency Fund. “Next year we are going to come back and do it again,” Topp shared. “Now that we have a starting point, I think we can double it.” Inspired by this year’s success, Topp and the Emeriti Society continue their dedication to ensuring that every student at the University of the Pacific can achieve their full potential.