At Pacific 2020: The year in review (Part 1)

In a year unlike any other, University of the Pacific's community was quick to respond to the challenges and uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic. Faculty transformed curriculum to meet the new demands of online learning and students showed resiliency as they adjusted to these new virtual learning spaces and staff too constructed new ways to connect with one another while working from home.

Pacific also found a few moments to celebrate some notable accomplishments, discovered ways to support their community and welcomed new members to the Pacific family.

Here’s a roundup of those and other reflections from the year.


Pacific welcomes new deans for two health-related schools

Pacific welcomed Rae Matsumoto as dean of its Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Nicoleta Bugnariu as dean of its new School of Health Sciences.

Matsumoto, a scientist and educator, began the role as dean of the pharmacy school on July 1 following the retirement of long-time dean Phil Oppenheimer. 

Bugnariu joined Pacific on June 1 as the founding dean of the new School of Health Sciences.

Read more about the pair joining Pacific here.


Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Pacific Alumni Association honored John C. Beyer ’62, Dean Butler ’79, Arthur R. Coleman Jr. ’81, Scott Liggett ’71 and former provost Phil Gilbertson for their professional accomplishments, public service and longstanding commitment to University of the Pacific at the 61st annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner.

Remember the evening and honorees here.


X-Boundaries addresses diversity gap in media and entertainment

Dubbed, “See Us. Hear Us: Addressing the Diversity Gap in Media and Entertainment,” the Feb. 28 X-Boundaries symposium on the Stockton Campus drew representatives from music and other media industries to discuss ways that women, ethnic and racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ communities are often marginalized, either through lower pay, fewer opportunities or lack of representation in the final product.

Watch an overview of the symposium here.

Damon Stoudamire

Pacific men's basketball finishes 23-10 and Damon Stoudamire wins Ben Jobe Award

Pacific Coach Damon Stoudamire was the recipient of the 2019-20 Ben Jobe Award, which is presented annually to the top minority coach at the Division I level. The Tigers finished 23-10, including an impressive 11-5 in West Coast Conference play and Jahlil Tripp became the second Tiger in three years to be named WCC Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning a spot on the First Team.

Read more about the Tigers’ impressive season here.

Remote Learning

Pacific transitions to remote learning due to COVID-19 pandemic

On March 15, Pacific transitioned from in-person classes into a remote learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With little notice faculty transformed curriculum and students showed resiliency as they adjusted to these new virtual learning spaces.

Read how some faculty adjusted and made this transition possible here.


Pacific helps communities cope with COVID-19

Numerous members of the Pacific community rallied to support the community in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of their support ranged from donating to the numerous Pacific student funds, making masks and PPE gear for local essential workers and campaigning for public health measures.

Read about just one of the ways Pacific supported the community here.

Speech and Debate Team

Pacific Speech and Debate Team wins national title

University of the Pacific’s Speech and Debate team finished the season as the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s open division champions, marking the first time in 56 years that Pacific has won a national championship as a team.

Read about the team's success and victory here.

School of Health and Sciences

Pacific opens new School of Health Sciences

Pacific opened its new School of Health Sciences, which was the newest school the university has opened since the School of International Studies in 1987. Building on Pacific’s longstanding place as an education leader, the School of Health Sciences has begun training California's future health care professionals to meet the demands of a growing health care industry.

Learn more about the new School of Health Sciences here.

Mock Trial Team

Mock Trial success at McGeorge

Pacific's McGeorge School of Law Mock Trial team thrived this year despite the challenges of the COVID-10 pandemic. The team sent two teams to the national mock trial finals virtually, won the brief-writing portion of the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge and alumna Simone Leighty ’20 won the 2020 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition becoming the first McGeorge student to win the award.

Read more about Leighty's victory here.

Solidarity Concert

Conservatory of Music students host Black Lives Matter Solidarity Concerts

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of student leaders from Pacific music fraternities, student-run ensembles and the Conservatory of Music Student Senate organized a virtual concert on June 25. The program included 10 individual and two group performances ranging from traditional piano ragtime to spiritual songs and rhythm and blues tunes. Two additional concerts were held to support BLM.

In interludes, students shared information about non-profit organizations supporting black artists and encouraged the audience to donate.

Watch and read the concert here.

Read At Pacific 2020: The year in review (Part 2) here.