A new partnership between Fresno Pacific University and San Joaquin Memorial High School was celebrated Thursday, September 6, 2018, in a ceremony on the main FPU campus. The five-year agreement provides a direct pathway for SJMHS international students to study at the university. This partnership will promote faith-based education and include opportunities for exchange activities between administrators, teachers and students, as well as the potential for dual-enrollment for SJMHS students at FPU and internships for FPU students at SJMHS.

The partnership sets the foundation for the Valley’s Christian university and Fresno’s Catholic high school to collaborate on exchange activities among administrators, teachers and students. SJMHS has 45 international students among its enrollment of about 600, and students come to FPU from 40 countries.

“FPU is pleased to partner with SJMHS to welcome well-qualified international students in the form of this direct pathway program,” said Katie Fleener, dean of the FPU School of Business, who served as event emcee. “Through this partnership, made possible by God, we are excited to further solidify the relationship between our educational institutions as we do God’s work of educating students in the Central Valley and helping to shape the next generation of international leaders. I believe that I speak for both of our communities when I say that we are honored and privileged to share in this opportunity and to serve God by educating students.”

The partnership strengthens both institutions, according to FPU President Joseph Jones, Ph.D. “There’s an African proverb, ‘If you want to run fast run alone, but if you want to run far run together.’ We look forward to being part of the journey for your students, and having our students be part of the journey for students at San Joaquin Memorial,” he said.

SJMHS Principal Tom Spencer talked about what brings the schools together. “The thing we share most in common is our love for Jesus and our love for our students,” he said. The partnership will also encourage graduates to stay local, he added. “Students can continue their journey in a Christian atmosphere in the Valley.”

Other FPU attendees included D. Gayle Copeland, Ph.D., provost/senior vice president for academic affairs; Jon Endicott, vice president of enrollment management; and Dale Scully, vice president of student life; along with members of the faculty and staff. In addition to Spencer, SJMHS guests included Monsignor Robert Wenzinger, rector and board member; Mona Faulkner, superintendent; and Sung Chu, director of international recruitment & strategic partnerships; and four students.