And, Who Are You?

Photo of Andre Stephens

July 1, 2022, was my first day as president of Fresno Pacific University. With a mix of excitement and nervousness I made the eight-minute drive to the main campus, then spent an hour with IT setting up my computer and two hours in the Human Resources Office. I wondered if the six others being onboarded were excited, too? At the end of the session, I jumped up and thanked HR Director Jordan Sharp for leading us.

Since we had no opportunity to introduce ourselves earlier, I asked the others in the multi-purpose room to share where they were from, a little about their family and what they would be teaching. I am a relational leader and this was a special day for me—I wanted to know who was in the room.

One new faculty member raised her hand and asked, “And, who are you?” There were some chuckles (and I admit I had a grin on my face) as I explained I was the new president. Slightly embarrassed, our new faculty member apologized for not knowing me. Of course, no apology needed! The question is an important one. Not who am I in terms of my role, but who am I in terms of my life and leadership.

The FPU community is loved by God and is being renewed day by day by God’s spirit.”
André Stephens, Ph.D.

So, who am I and who is Fresno Pacific? I am a deeply loved child of God. The FPU community is loved by God and is being renewed day by day by God’s spirit. I came to FPU because I believe the grace and love of God is forming and transforming the hearts and lives of students on our campuses. My wife, Beth, and I are thrilled to join this work. Thank you for your prayers and support of FPU. I do hope that I can meet many of you soon.