It has been my privilege to lead Pacific Islands University for over a year now. PIU is an institution of higher learning. Wow, have I ever been learning. My entrance into this position was a "battlefield promotion." I am incredibly honored be in line behind Dr. Roland Rauchholz, Dr. William Wood, and Dr. David Owen. My job is made much easier because of the work these past presidents have done in making PIU the institution that it is.
Some of what I have been learning is important to you, as you make the decision about what is next in your life.
- PIU’s reason for existing places us in a small, perhaps tiny, group of educational institutions.
We want to provide you with an education that will help you make a living, but that is not really what we are about. Far more important than the salary you will earn or the title you will be given is the life you will build--the person you will become. Sometimes I rebuke myself for being arrogant when I say that I want our students to go out and change the world. Who am I, what is PIU, to expect such a lofty outcome? Then I think of a shepherd boy named David, or a band of twelve unlikely characters that Jesus sent into "all the world," and I know it can be. I look at PIU alumni out faithfully serving, and I think, "Why not?"
PIU exists to transform. The paradigm for that transformation is the Word of God. Transformed people transform their surroundings, and as they model and share the life-changing word of God, others are transformed, and . . .
- The kind of transformative teaching we are offering at PIU can only come from a highly dedicated faculty and staff. Another thing I'm learning is that those who serve at PIU truly do serve. They are professionals, to be sure, but theirs is not a mere profession. It is a calling.
- I'm also learning that we live in a world of rapid change. Changes that took decades to evolve in the mainland US are thrust upon this region with the ferocity of a typhoon. Those changes bring a plethora of opportunities, including educational opportunities.
At PIU we believe that knowledge should be practical, so let me practice that and apply what I have been learning. Why should I expect bright young students, full of hope, to choose to attend a small school in a rural area of Guam? What gives me hope that some of them will choose, out of all the options available to them, to attend Pacific Islands University? That hope burns in my heart because I believe there are some of you who realize that bigger isn't better, that there are young adults who aren't interested in studying What this World has to Offer 101. In their hearts there is a flame that could be fanned at PIU. It's a little light that illuminates a basic concept, God does great things through those who are yielded to Him and who are prepared to do His work.
If you are one of those dedicated people, then welcome. My welcome is not a light-hearted greeting, like one receives when he arrives at a party. No, while we have a lot of fun at PIU, we are not here to party. We are here because we want to change the world, and by God's grace, and with His power, we believe that we can. My welcome comes from the heart of an old warrior clasping the hand of one younger than he, another who is ready to join the battle. Welcome, comrade, welcome to the conflict. By His grace, we will prevail.