The 1930s

  • September 1935: the motion was passed to establish the College (Pacific Bible College). There had been a previous move to start the college in Boise in the 1920s.
  • January 1936: property in Spokane, WA, was purchased for the College and curriculum was discussed.
  • February 9, 1937: the Board of Trustees voted to incorporate the College.
  • October 5, 1937: classes began at Pacific Bible College in Spokane, WA.
  • In 1939, the first graduating class consisted of two women who received the Christian Education certificate.

The 1940s

  • 1940: Portland property was purchased for $14,000. Great story: Pres. Gilliam once asked Dr. Gray why he didn’t buy more land when they bought the original property when it was available and cheaper; Dr. Gray said, paraphrasing, “We shook the church from border to border when we bought it. I could never have asked for more.”
  • 1940: Pacific Bible College moved from Spokane to Portland. The original purchase consisted of two acres of the now 15-acre campus, on the south side of Mount Tabor. The College opened a little late in the fall of 1940 due to the relocation.
  • 1940: The original College building, that existed roughly where Schlatter Chapel is now, was called Old Main. This large white building was a sanitarium before the College bought the property. Until the Pearl Lewis Building (now A.F. Gray Hall) was built, Old Main was the whole campus: offices, classrooms, dormitories, library, chapel; the lowest level was cafeteria, SUB, and music practice rooms, which were formally padded cells.
  • 1947: The second building for Pacific Bible College: Pearl Lewis Building is built (now A.F. Gray Hall). The building was originally used as the women’s dormitory, initially accommodating 84 women and one matron. The Pearl Lewis Building also housed an old-style switchboard—the last surviving true switchboard in Portland. A.F. Gray’s basement was used as the cafeteria until 2008.

The 1950s

  • 1952: The College has its first choir tour. Venturing out in a restored school bus, the choir went to Anderson, IN.
  • 1955: PBC’s first Harvest Ingathering. Church of God congregations from Oregon and Washington gather to donate food to PBC students. Donations total over 15 tons of food items and are valued at $3,000 (today’s dollars). As the food was dedicated, the College would celebrate with a bar-b-que. A big hole was dug near the gym and a side of beef was roasted. A retired minister by the name of L. T. Flint and his wife Helen were the cooks. Following the bar-b-que, there was a program featuring the choir under the direction of Dr. Sykes.
  • August 4, 1956: Excavation on the men’s dormitory begins at PBC. The new hall is dedicated during the Harvest Ingathering.
  • 1956: PBC increases diversity “26 states and 6 countries represented at Pacific Bible College,” according to Warner World News.
  • November 1956: PBC constructs a 15×60 foot food storage building with a walk-in refrigerator, increasing food storage to a total of 100 feet in length.
  • July 1, 1957: Milo Chapman becomes College president after the surprise retirement of PBC’s first president, Dr. A.F. Gray. After 20 years of service to the college, Dr. Gray moves to Africa for a year at the request of the Missionary Board.
  • March 1958: Construction for the gymnasium begins. The $250,000 construction project was largely sponsored by the Church of God Ministries.
  • In 1959: The College changed its name to Warner Pacific College.

The 1960s

  • December 1961: Warner Pacific College was accredited by the Northwest Association of secondary and higher schools.
  • 1961: Warner Pacific Joins NAIA: Through the direction of the administration and the agreement with the athletic department program, membership was applied for and received in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The purpose of the NAIA is to champion the cause and promote the interest of the college of moderate enrollment and establish sound physical education philosophy and program. The NAIA is an active national organization which also sets rules and standards by which competition and solutions to vital athletic problems are regulated. Basic to the NAIA Program is the premise that athletics must be an integral part of the overall educational process, and must contribute in a meaningful degree to that process.
  • 1962: Louis F. Gough became the President of Warner Pacific College and served until 1966.
  • March 1, 1963: N. Pearl Lewis is hired as the first librarian at WPC. Born and raised in Minnesota-Miss Lewis’ father died when she was just a young girl, so her mother taught school and made a living for her children; two girls and a boy. She taught school and retired with a pension. She took her money and went to Anderson College-she then served as a minister in Montana for several years. She returned to Bertha, Minnesota, and served as assistant pastor until 1940. Miss Lewis was then invited to come to Warner Pacific College by Dr. A.F Gray. She came as an English teacher, but when she saw the needs of the library she asked Dr. Gray if she might supervise its operation. Dr. Gray gladly consented. After many years of hoping and praying, a project on the new library was started. The Otto F. Linn Library was completed and ready for use in the fall of 1954. Students moved the books from Old Main to Otto F. Linn library by passing stacks of books from person to person as they stood shoulder to shoulder in a line from Old Main to the library. With its dedication on November 24, 1954, N. Pearl Lewis saw her dream of an expanded and an adequate Library which the future students of Warner Pacific College would be able to utilize at its fullest extent. Miss. Lewis’ service to the library and college was recognized in the naming of the Women’s dorms in her honor according to Warner World News.
  • 1964: A new sign is built on SE 68th and Division.
  • November 29-December 2 1964: with the stipulation that this advanced accreditation will be reviewed again in 1966. In the fall of 1961 WPC was granted its first accreditation for two years on the provision that progress will be made in certain areas of need and that an annual report would be filed. In 1963 this same standing was extended with an additional year with a request that a self-evaluation studies submitted in August of 1964 prior to a campus visitation by the Evaluation Committee of the Association (ECA). A committee member reviewed their findings with the Administration and Division Heads and commended highly the progress made since the last evaluation by the ECA. They especially noted the high morale among faculty and students, the improved facilities, the increase in library holdings, the expansion of the academic program and the gain of budget income in recent years. Generally, the committee was pleased with the progress of the college and expressed a desire to give assistance to where possible in our future growth and development. The action taken by the Northwest Association marks a significant milestone in the history if Warner Pacific College.
  • December 7, 1964: Warner Pacific gains full accreditation. Warner Pacific College recently achieved full accreditation by the action of the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher schools at the annual meeting of the Association held in Portland, OR.
  • May 9, 1965: Warner Pacific College plans to open dorms. A new, four-floor co-educational dormitory at Warner Pacific College will be dedicated May 30, 1965. The building will be named in honor of Lillian Odell Smith, whose family recently contributed $150,000 to the college. At the time, it was the largest single gift in the history of Warner Pacific College. The facility houses 84 students and two resident supervisors.
  • May 19, 1965: Lloyd E. Whelchel, professor of sociology at Warner Pacific College is one of 40 college professors selected throughout the nation to receive National Science Foundation scholarships for the study of anthropology. The scholarship includes a $750 cash grant plus travel and other related expenses. Prof. Whelchel will attend the Summer Institute of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The 10-week study for the college anthropologists will include the most important recent developments in the field and new teaching methods. Six weeks of the study will be devoted to different aspects of the anthropological subject matter.
  • June 6, 1965: Governor Mark Hatfield was the commencement speaker for Warner Pacific College at the college’s twenty-seventh graduation exercises. Governor Hatfield was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree by the college at the same time. Thirty-one students received bachelor’s degrees.
  • July 4, 1965: Dr. Kenneth L. Crose, chairman of the department of church history, received a New York University fellowship to study this summer in Israel.
  • October 16, 1965: “Nearly 200 students attend WPC first ever school social” – Warner World News
  • 1965-66: The Cheer Team is known for their “pom-pom pass” to the music of On Wisconsin in the C.C. Perry Gymnasium.
  • 1966: Dr. E. Joe Gilliam was named as WPC’s fourth president and served until 1979.
  • 1966: Schlatter Provides Linn Piano: The Music Department received the gist of Mrs. Otto F. Linn’s piano. The gift was made possible by Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Schlatter of Seattle, Washington.
  • 1966: Warner Pacific Boys Basketball Wins W.C.C.C Championship.
  • 1966: Crowned WPC’s first Homecoming Queen: Carol Kuykendall-Walters.
  • 1967: The Christones tour the country, performing music and drama.
  • January 1969: New science building presently under construction is nearing completion and is expected to be ready for classes at the beginning of Spring term. Improved science laboratory facilities, as well as additional classrooms, will be a welcome step forward on the Warner Pacific campus. – Warner World News
  • 1969: Old Main building is torn down. When it was demolished, students held a “funeral” for the stately old place wearing black armbands “in memorial.” Schlatter Chapel now stands near that spot.

The 1970s

Girl on the Lawn

  • April 23, 1970: Clay Meyers, Oregon’s nineteenth Secretary of State, was the featured speaker at the joint regional Circle K and Kiwanis clubs banquet at Warner Pacific College. Our WPC Music department provided entertainment as well as the WPC choir.
  • 1975-76: Convocation speaker Robert E. McNair opens the school year
  • May 1976: President Gerald Ford gave the commencement address for Warner Pacific’s graduation ceremony.
  • February 11-14, 1975: Patricia Ann Goldman, a legislative consultant in the nation’s capital visits WPC and speaks highly of the campus and its students.
  • 1976: Black Students of Warner Pacific College start the very first club: Several of the black students of Warner Pacific College have joined together and started the Concerned Black Students Club (C.B.S). Tim Akers who Co-founded the club says that “although the club is open to the 15 black students who attend WPC, the club is willing to help anyone in need.”
  • October 7, 1975: Endre Granat (World’s greatest violinist) come to Warner Pacific College.
  • November 9, 1979: INTEL gives WPC Computer terminal Robert Z. Wilkinson, regional sales coordinator for INTEL Corporation, recently gave CRT Terminal on behalf of the corporation. The terminal was part of a microcomputer system used to design other computer systems. (INTEL makes large scale integrated circuits for microcomputers and memory components.) Last year, Bill Hall, a WPC student employed at INTEL, approached General Manager Jim Landry about the possibility of the company donating a computer to the school. Landry offered the school a system which was outdated for their use. Landry was promoted to another office before the gift was made. However, he was instrumental in making the arrangements for WPC to receive the computer terminal. The terminal will be used by business, mathematics, social sciences and lifelong recreation classes. The terminal is not only a computer itself but a device by which an operator can talk to a computer via telephone. A grant from Fred Meyer has enabled the business department to purchase additional equipment which will make it possible to connect the terminal with a central processing unit. This will make all the function of the computer available to WPC students, staff and faculty.
  • November 8, 1979: New Major Approved: The WPC faculty approved the Center for Human Services’ proposal to offer a major in Social Work.
  • November 30, 1979: New Machine at Warner Pacific College Sells Nutrition. This machine provides students with very healthy options. Apples, fruit juices, regular and chocolate milk, cheese, crackers and yogurt.
  • Milo L. Chapman serve as president from 1979-1981.

The 1980s

  • April 24, 1980: “The Warner campus has developed a new kind of junkie. The days of drug addicts are over and the days of food junkies are barely hanging on, but video mania has just begun. The real video game junkies play every day. When asked if he ever feels like he ever spends too much, Keith Henry, an avid player says “Always. But what’s money for?” Henry said, “it’s the spirit, the joy of competition. It’s man against machine, flesh against the components,” according to Warner World News.
  • Spring 1981: College honors alumnus Dr. Marshall K. Christensen in prestigious inauguration as the fifth president of WPC. Christensen serves as president until 1996.
  • October 23, 1981: Dedication of the administration building as A.F. Gray Hall
  • 1981-82: Planting an “Oak of Righteousness” tree on campus became part of the entering student welcome tradition.
  • 1981-82: Warner Pacific was accepted as a member of the Christian College Consortium.
  • 1981-82: Dr. Joyce Erickson is named Dean of the Faculty, replacing Dr. Lou Foltz who returned to full time teaching.
  • 1982: WPC NCCAA Volleyball District 2 Champions.
  • 1984: WPC NCCAA Regional Basketball Champs 1983.
  • 1984-85: Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) affirmed its certification of the teacher education program, directed by Professor Ed Whitehead.  Special praise was given to the quality of faculty and students in the program.
  • 1985-86: The Mack and Irene Caldwell Award was presented to former Congress member, Edith Green, for her work with Portland’s street children.
  • 1985-86: The Men’s residence hall was remodeled and renamed, Warman Hall.
  • 1985-86: The men’s soccer team took the NAIA District II championship for the fourth year in a row.
  • 1986-86: Under the inspired leadership of junior class member Walter Ghant, the College named one of its married student apartments “Bethlehem Inn, a temporary shelter for Portland’s homeless families.
  • 1987-88: The College launched a Degree Completion Program for working adults, based upon the successful model of Spring Arbor College in Michigan.
  • October 1987: David Schlatter receives the very first $1000 Fellow’s Scholarship. This group later became known as the Torchbearers.
  • On August 6, 1988: Warner Pacific College enters in agreement with Amvic, a Japanese educational enterprise [later known as GEOS] to develop the potential of an Asian Cultural Center in Warner Pacific College academic program.
  • Fall 1988: First Degree Completion Program business administration cohort is recruited and classes begin.
  • 1988-99: Rev. Gladion Carney was appointed Dean of the Chapel
  • 1988-89: Ed Whitehead was named Dean of Faculty. Arthur Kelly was appointed Administrative Vice President.
  • 1988-89: The Commission on Social Concerns of the Church of God conferred its “Institutional Award” on Warner Pacific College for its Bethlehem Inn program with homeless families.

The 1990s

  • October 25, 1990: The ground-breaking ceremony for the Schlatter Memorial Chapel was held.
  • 1990-91: Dr. Dwight Kimberly took portable biological lab equipment and programs into 27 Portland area schools.
  • 1990: The Human Development program is implemented in the Degree Completion Program.
  • 1990-91: As a demonstration of its commitment to budget control and avoid further indebtedness, the Board of Trustees authorized program restructuring and reductions, including the elimination of intercollegiate athletics.
  • 1990-91: Teacher Education expanded to include certification in elementary education as well as an early childhood education endorsement.
  • 1991: The board of Trustees approves a cooperative agreement with Mercy Corps International which links Warner Pacific with Christian community development programs and people around the world.
  • 1992-93: H.A. Schlatter Memorial Prayer Chapel was completed and dedicated during the West Coast Ministerial Assembly of the Church of God. This was the first new building on campus in 18 years.
  • 1992-93: The Office of the Provost created for the purpose of unifying academic administration and the executive vice president.
  • 1994-95: Enrollment reached an historic high (692 students); tuition revenue reached an historic high ($4,250,000); new book acquisitions for the library collection reached an historic high.
  • 1995-96: Having served three, five year terms as president, Dr. Christensen announced that he would not seek another term. After fifteen years in office, he accepted the appointment of Provost of East Kazakhstan State University, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
  • Jesse (Jay) A. Barber was appointed as the sixth president of Warner Pacific College. He served until 2008.
  • 1999: Bart Valentine returns to his alma mater to begin work on reestablishing athletics at Warner Pacific College.

The 2000s

  • 2004-05: The Degree Completion Program (DCP) changes its name to the Adult Degree Program (ADP).
  • 2005-06: WPC leases the Center 205 for additional ADP office space and classrooms.
  • 2006-07: ADP develops its first graduate program (Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership).
  • 2007: The College retires its institutional debt, and for the first time in its 70 year history, is completely debt free.
  • 2008-09: The College restructures its tuition and financial aid programs, resulting in a 23 percent reduction in the cost of tuition and fees for the 2008-09 academic year.
  • 2008-09: WPC embarks on a $5.5 million campus commons project on the College’s main campus.
  • May 2008: President Barber announces his retirement from the presidency of WPC, and he is named President Emeritus in recognition of his vital service to the College.
  • September 20, 2009: Dr. Andrea Cook is inaugurated as WPC’s seventh and first female, president.

The 2010s

  • US News & World Report: Best Colleges 2011, 2014, and 2015 Regional West
  • 2012-13: Warner Pacific College celebrates its 75th Anniversary at Homecoming in February, celebrating over 39 million moments in the life of the college.
  • 2013: WPC is awarded the CCCU Andringa Award for Advancing Racial Harmony.
  • 2014: Warner Pacific ranked 48th in the nation on the Washington Monthly’s Baccalaureate Colleges list.
  • Fall 2014: WPC welcomes the largest incoming class of traditional undergraduate students.
  • 2014-15: WPC reestablishes back men’s wrestling and is the first in the Cascade Collegiate Conference to start women’s wrestling.
  • 2014-15: WPC launches online programs through the Adult Degree Program.
  • 2015: The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awarded a $71,000 grant to establish an educational technology design lab.
  • 2018: Warner Pacific College changed its name to Warner Pacific University to reflect the growth and development it experienced in the scope of programs offered.
  • 2018: The Oregon State Board of Nursing approved Warner Pacific University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
  • 2019: The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awarded a $350,000 grant to Warner Pacific University’s Nursing Program.

The 2020s

  • August 1, 2020: Dr. Brian L. Johnson becomes the eighth and first minority president in Warner Pacific University’s 83-year history.
  • 2023: The U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, $3 million grant to further develop Warner Pacific University as a Hispanic-serving institution.

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