University of the Pacific (United States)

University of the Pacific (Pacific or UOP) is a private university that has three campuses located in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton, California. It is the oldest chartered university in California,[4] the first independent co-educational campus in California, and both the first conservatory of music and first medical school on the West Coast.

University of the Pacific
Former names
College of the Pacific (1911–1961)
California Wesleyan College (1851)
EstablishedJuly 10, 1851
168 years ago
Religious affiliation
Endowment$450 million (2019)[1]
PresidentMaria Pallavicini (interim president)
Administrative staff
Students6,493 (2018)
Undergraduates3,701 (2018)[2]
Postgraduates1,156 (2018)[2]
Other students
1,636 (2018)[2]
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban, 175 acres (71 ha)
ColorsOrange and Black          
AthleticsNCAA Division IWCC

It was first chartered on July 10, 1851, in Santa Clara, California, under the name California Wesleyan College. The school moved to San Jose in 1871 and then to Stockton 96 years ago in 1923. Pacific is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[5] In addition to its liberal arts college and graduate school, Pacific has schools of business, dentistry, education, engineering, international studies, law, music, and pharmacy and health sciences.

It has extensive collections pertaining to jazz musician and alumnus Dave Brubeck, who in 1953 released the live album Jazz at the College of the Pacific. It is also home to the papers of environmental pioneer John Muir.[6]


Pacific was founded on July 10, 1851, in Santa Clara. It was originally named California Wesleyan College, but one month later, it petitioned to have its name changed to the University of the Pacific.[7] In 1858, the college opened the first medical school on the West Coast; it was called the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific. The medical school was later affiliated with University College under the name Cooper Medical College, and in 1908 it was taken over by Stanford University and became the Stanford University School of Medicine.[8]

In 1871, the campus was moved to the College Park neighborhood of San Jose and opened its doors to women, becoming the first independent co-educational campus in California.[4][9] In 1878, the Conservatory of Music was established at Pacific, making it the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River.[4][9] In 1896, Napa College merged with the college. In 1911, the name was changed to College of the Pacific (COP or Pacific).

In 1923, the campus relocated from the Bay Area to the city of Stockton[10] becoming the first private four-year university in the Central Valley; it changed its name back to University of the Pacific in 1961.[11] In 1925 the San Jose campus was sold to Santa Clara College which moved its Santa Clara Prep to the campus and renamed it Bellarmine College Preparatory.

The university expanded into graduate and professional education in the 1950s, establishing the School of Pharmacy in 1955 and the Graduate School in 1956.[12]

In 1962, Pacific merged with the San Francisco College of Physicians and Surgeons (established in 1896 in San Francisco), and then in 1966, with the McGeorge School of Law (established in 1924 in Sacramento).[13]

In the late 1960s, when "... federal law about public funding of church-related institutions became an issue ..." the university stopped receiving funding from the United Methodist Church, but maintains its affiliation with the church while operating as a non-denominational school.[14]

In 2013, the university received an estate gift of $125 million from Robert and Jeanette Powell. It is the largest gift in the university's history.[15] This gift increased Pacific's endowment to $334 million.[16] That same year, Pacific awarded its highest honor, the Order of Pacific, to the Powells.[17]

In fall 2018, the university announced a planned tuition increase and budget cuts. This was the third consecutive year of such plans. In response to these financial plans and the perceived secrecy with which they had been developed, faculty voted "no confidence" in the university's president and students protested.[18][19]

In May 2019, the university’s Board of Regents approved a new health school, to launch in fall 2020 with four new graduate health care programs. The board also approved merging the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education with University College to form a new school focused on innovative educational programs with flexible pricing and delivery methods, including hybrid and online programs for working adults.[20]


Stockton Campus

The Stockton Campus, featuring a tower, rose gardens, architectural columns, brick-faced buildings, and numerous[21] trees, has been used in Hollywood films, due to its aesthetic likeness to East Coast Ivy League universities: High Time, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Sure Thing, Dead Man on Campus, and Dreamscape, among others.[22] Part of Disney's 1973 film The World's Greatest Athlete was also shot at Pacific.

The Stockton Campus is home to three main residential halls: Grace Covell Hall, Southwest Hall, and the Quad Buildings. The Quads are composed of several separate smaller residence halls in proximity to each other. Grace Covell is the largest residence hall on campus holding more than 350 students while Southwest and the Quads hold a lower number of students. Junior and seniors can find housing in the University Townhouses on the northwest side of campus, McCaffrey Center Apartments located in the center of campus or in the three apartment buildings: Monagan Hall, Chan Family Hall, and Calaveras Hall, which is named after the river that flows through the campus, the Calaveras River.[23] There are also fraternity and sorority houses located on campus.

In 2008, the university opened the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center (DUC), at a cost of $38 million, to centralize all campus student-centered activities. The DUC houses a central dining hall, student cafe, pub, bookstore and conference centers, replacing facilities in the McCaffrey Center. The university also built a new $20 million Biological Sciences Center in 2008 that provides advanced classroom and laboratory facilities for students studying the natural sciences and the health sciences.

The university opened the LEED Gold-certified John T. Chambers Technology Center, home of the university’s School of Engineering[24] and Computer Science, in 2010. Calaveras Hall, a new apartment-style residence hall, opened in 2018.[25] In 2019, the university is in the process of renovating the William Knox Holt Memorial Library.[26]

The campus is home to Morris Chapel, a non-denominational church.[27]

Sacramento Campus

Pacific's 13-acre Sacramento Campus houses graduate and professional programs and a degree completion program in the Oak Park neighborhood, south of downtown. It consists of 24 buildings, including academic facilities, four residential facilities, and a fitness center/pool [28]

The campus is anchored by McGeorge School of Law, which is the only law school approved by the American Bar Association in Sacramento County. In 2015, Pacific began a transformation of its Sacramento Campus by adding graduate and professional programs. The campus is now focused on law, education, health sciences, organizational leadership, and public policy.[29]

Programs currently offered at the Sacramento campus[30]:

San Francisco Campus

Pacific's San Francisco Campus is located in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, containing classrooms, administrative offices, a simulation laboratory and clinics offering dental care to the public through the Dugoni School of Dentistry. The San Francisco Campus also includes graduate programs in analytics, audiology, food studies, and music therapy.[31]

Campus sustainability efforts

The university strives to promote environmental responsibility. Students are given opportunities to take part in sustainability service projects through the M.O.V.E. (Mountains, Ocean, Valley Experience) program. The on-campus dining services participates in the Farm to Fork Program, buying food locally where feasible. In 2009 students from the Residence for Earth and Environmental Living and Learning (a campus residential learning community), the Students for Environmental Action, and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences designed and implemented the "Tap That" campaign, whose goal was to inform students, faculty and staff about the effects of disposable water bottles on the environment.[32][33] The university has been listed in the Sierra Club's list of "Cool Schools, " of universities that value sustainability, for eight years running.[34] The university has opened several LEED certified buildings, including the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center, the John T. Chambers Technology Center, and the Vereschagin Alumni House[35] and has an interactive garden program on its Stockton and Sacramento campuses.[36]


As of 2018, the Stockton Campus had 4,996 students (3,684 undergraduates, 686 graduate, 626 first professional students).[2] The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco had 654 students (15 undergraduates, 139 graduate, 500 first professional students), and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento had 843 students (2 undergraduate, 331 graduate, 510 first professional students).[2]

Student Body Composition, 2018 [2]
UndergraduateU.S. Census[37]
White American 22.3%65.8%
African American 3.2%12.1%
Asian / Pacific Islander 37.5%4.3%
Hispanic American 20.9%14.5%
Multi-Ethnic 5.5%(N/A)
Native American < 1%0.9%
International student 7.2%(N/A)
Race/Ethnicity Unknown 2.9%(N/A)


Pacific is fully accredited and offers more than 80 undergraduate areas of study, including 12 accelerated programs, more than 30 graduate and professional programs in 11 schools and colleges and a continuing education program.[38]

The university's 11 schools and colleges are:[39]

  • Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry: San Francisco
  • Gladys L. Benerd School of Education: Stockton, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
  • College of the Pacific: The university's school of arts and sciences (liberal arts), Stockton
  • Conservatory of Music: The first conservatory of music on the west coast, Stockton
  • Eberhardt School of Business: Stockton [40]
  • The Graduate School: Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco
  • Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Stockton
  • McGeorge School of Law: Sacramento
  • School of Engineering and Computer Science: Stockton
  • School of International Studies: Stockton, housed within College of the Pacific. One of six undergraduate schools of international studies in America.[41]
  • University College: Stockton

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, an adjunct professor, teaches at the McGeorge School of Law in Salzburg, Austria, in the university's summer program abroad.[42]


First-Time Freshmen Profile[2][43][44][45][46]
Freshman Applicants 13,54513,0648,87014,44915,183
Admits 8,5988,4755,8539,3288,335
% Admitted
Enrolled 954899726937924
GPA 3.543.523.543.453.49
SAT Composite* 12301198116311501173
(*SAT out of 1600)

Admission to University of the Pacific is rated as "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report.[47]

For fall 2018, Pacific received 13,545 freshmen applications; 8,598 were admitted (64%).[48] The average GPA of enrolled freshmen was 3.45, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 560-660 for evidence-based reading and writing, 560-690 for math.[48] The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 22-30.[48]


University rankings
Forbes[49] 238
Times/WSJ[50] 113
U.S. News & World Report[51] 125
Washington Monthly[52] 131
QS[53] 801–1000

National rankings

The 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking of U.S. colleges and universities ranked University of the Pacific's undergraduate program tied at 125th in the "Top National Universities" category.[54] Also for 2020, USN&WR ranked Pacific 53rd in "Best Value School," tied at 87th for "Best College for Veterans," and tied at 39th for "Top Performers on Social Mobility" [54]

White House College Scorecard

The 2018 White House College Scorecard ranked the salaries of Pacific alumni 10 years after attending the university no. 3 among similar-sized universities in California, no. 12 among California universities and no. 32 among similar-sized universities in United States[54]


Pacific had previously competed in the NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association conference but left in 1950. In 1952, Pacific became a charter member of the California Basketball Association, which soon became the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC) and is now the West Coast Conference (WCC). They remained in the WCAC until joining the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, now known as the Big West Conference, in 1969 for football and 1971 for other sports. Pacific dropped football after the 1995 season, and returned to the WCC in 2013.

Facilities on the Stockton Campus include the 2,500-seat Klein Family Field for baseball, the 350-seat Bill Simoni Field for softball, the 6,150-seat Alex G. Spanos Center for basketball and volleyball, Knoles Field for soccer, Chris Kjeldsen Pool for swimming and water polo, the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center, Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium and Performance Center.

University of the Pacific competes in NCAA Division I athletics as the Pacific Tigers in the West Coast Conference. After over 40 years of being in a conference (the PCAA/Big West) in which they were the only private school ever to have been a member, they returned to a league that is now composed exclusively of private, faith-based schools. (BYU is affiliated with the LDS Church, Pepperdine with the Churches of Christ, and the other seven members are Catholic.) The athletics department sponsors 17 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's cross country, women's track and field, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, women's softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball, women's sand volleyball, and men's and women's water polo. The university's two national championships have come in women's volleyball, a sport in which the school advanced to 24 straight NCAA Tournaments (1981–2004) and appeared in nine Final Fours (2 AIAW, 7 NCAA).

Fundraising Campaigns

In 2000, the university undertook a $200 million fund-raising campaign, “Investing in Excellence,” to construct a university center, biological sciences center, multipurpose gymnasium, a library addition, and the Klein Family Field for baseball. In the summer of 2007, the university announced it had vastly exceeded that goal, having raised a total of $330 million,[55] including a bequest gift of $100 million from Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, which grew to $125 million upon its distribution to the university in 2013.

The current fundraising campaign, “Leading with Purpose: The Campaign for University of the Pacific,” started in 2013 and publicly launched in October 2017. With a goal of $300 million, it is the university’s largest campaign to date. As of May 2019, more than $230 million has been committed in the campaign.[56]


Provost Maria Pallavicini currently serves as interim president during the search for a new president following the retirement of Pamela A. Eibeck, the university's 24th and first female president. [57]

The president is selected by the university's Board of Regents. The board has up to 35 members, many of whom are alumni, and strives to include graduates of all three campuses and professional schools. Former members include U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Connie M. Callahan, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England, former NASA Astronaut José M. Hernández, and former San Diego Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos.

Fraternities and Sororities[58]

About 10% of students are members of a social fraternity or sorority[59] at University of the Pacific, where there are three on-campus social fraternity houses and three on-campus social sorority houses overseen by the university. In addition to the four social fraternities and three social sororities,there are four multicultural organizations. There are also a variety of professional organizations and fraternities.[60]



Multicultural fraternities

Multicultural sororities

Professional fraternities

Service fraternities

Honor societies

Notable alumni

Additional notable alumni include:

See also


  1. As of June 30, 2019. "University of the Pacific University Budget". University of the Pacific. 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  2. "Fast Facts 2018". University of the Pacific Institutional Research.
  3. "NAICU – Member Directory". Archived from the original on 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  4. "Key Dates in Pacific's History". University of the Pacific. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  5. WASC Institutions,, Retrieved March 30, 2014
  6. Welcome to the University Library. Retrieved on 2013–07–17.
  7. "Pacific's Mission". University of the Pacific. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  8. Wilson, John Long (1998). "Stanford University School of Medicine and the Predecessor Schools: An Historical Perspective". Lane Medical Library. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  9. "Pioneering Firsts". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  10. "History and Mission". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  11. "History and Mission". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  12. "History and Mission". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  13. "In The Beginning". University of the Pacific. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  14. "General Questions/Is Pacific a religious or church-related university?". University of the Pacific. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  15. "University of the Pacific receives $125 million gift". University of the Pacific. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  16. "Endowment Investments".
  17. "University of the Pacific receives $125 million gift". University of the Pacific. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  18. Whitford, Emma (October 25, 2018). "Revolt at U of the Pacific". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  19. Whitford, Emma (November 6, 2018). "Faculty Vote No Confidence at U of the Pacific". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  20. "Board of Regents approves new health school and merger of Gladys L. Benerd School of Education". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  21. "Beautiful Campus Environment". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  22. "Hollywood at Pacific". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  23. "Upper Division, Graduate and Professional Housing Options". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  24. "John T. Chambers Technology Center". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  25. "Calaveras Hall - Our Newest Housing Option". University of the Pacific. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  26. "Renovation". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  27. "Morris Chapel". University of the Pacific. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  28. "About McGeorge". University of the Pacific. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  29. "University of the Pacific to launch five new graduate programs in Sacramento". Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  30. "Sacramento Campus Programs". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  31. "Pacific announces new Sacramento degrees: Expansion is milestone in region's higher education".
  32. "The College Sustainability Report Card". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  33. "Sustainability at Pacific". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  34. "We knew it already, but Pacific is a 'Cool School'". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  35. "John T. Chambers Technology Center is Certified LEED Gold". University of the Pacific. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  36. "The Pacific Garden Program". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  37. See Demographics of the United States for references.
  38. "Majors and Programs". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  39. "Schools and Colleges". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  40. "Eberhardt School of Business".
  41. "School of International Studies". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  42. Mark Sherman. "Liberal group: Pro-business tilt on Roberts court". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  43. "Fast Facts 2017". University of the Pacific Institutional Research.
  44. "Fast Facts 2016". University of the Pacific Institutional Research.
  45. "Fast Facts 2015". University of the Pacific Institutional Research.
  46. "Fast Facts 2014". University of the Pacific Institutional Research.
  47. "University of the Pacific". U.S. News & World Report. 2020.
  48. "Common Data Set 2018-2019" (PDF). University of the Pacific.
  49. "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  50. "U.S. College Rankings 2020". Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  51. "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  52. "2019 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  53. "QS World University Rankings® 2020". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  54. "University of the Pacific Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  55. "Investing in Excellence". University of the Pacific. June 21, 2008. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
  56. "Leadign with Purpose". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  57. "Honoring President Eibeck and presidential transition update". University of the Pacific. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  58. "Greek Organizations". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  59. "University Fast Facts". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  60. "Greek Organizations". University of the Pacific. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  61. "Iota Gamma Website".

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