Dr. Jack Paduntin Inaugurated as Pacific Oaks’ First Asian-American President

Published : Wednesday, October 9, 2019 | 11:07 AM

On Tuesday, October 1, Dr. Jack Paduntin was inaugurated as the 11th president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School and the first Asian-American to assume leadership of the social-justice centered institution. More than 175 people—including staff, faculty, alumni, students, elected officials, and community partners—gathered for the ceremony at the Pasadena campus, which featured speeches from Congresswoman Judy Chu, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, TCS Education System President Dr. Michael Horowitz, President Emeritus Dr. Pat Breen, as well as faculty and staff. The ceremony and speeches revolved around Pacific Oaks’ connection to the community, and the mutual impact both have continued to share.

“Together, let’s make Pacific Oaks known as an institution that prepares its preschool and college students—those that are just beginning their educational journeys and those that are near the end—with relevant knowledge and skills that are progressive,” stated President Paduntin. “Let’s continue to ignite their higher sense of social justice and social responsibility so that they become positive change agents for our generation and for the next—to inspire those who, like me, seek opportunity and advancement in this country.”

Dr. Paduntin, Pacific Oak’s first Asian-American president, spoke of the impact of education on his life and others. “Because of education, I’m among thousands of immigrants who have realized the opportunities this country has to offer. Because of education, our teachers, faculty, staff, and administrators are here to positively impact lives of young children and adult learners. And because of education, we together are improving our community.”

Additional special guests included City Councilmember Andy Wilson, Dr. Erika Endrijonas, President of Pasadena City College, Consul Chatchawal Horayangkura from the Office of the Thai Consulate in Los Angeles, as well as representatives from the offices of California State Senator Anthony Portantino, California Assemblymember Chris Holden, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School is affiliated with TCS Education System, and fellow TCS college presidents Dr. Nathan Long (Saybrook University), Dr. Tiffany Masson (Kansas Health Science Center), Dr. Michele Nealon (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), and Dr. Matt Nehmer (The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law) were in attendance.

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