Pacific University is a private university located in Forest Grove, Oregon, United States about 38 km (23 mi) west of Portland. Established as Tualatin Academy in 1849, the school has an enrollment of 3,000 students. Founded by the United Church of Christ, the University's motto is Pro Christo et Regno Ejus, which is Latin for "For Christ and His Kingdom". A small liberal arts school, it offers graduate programs in education, optometry, writing, and health professions.
In the late 1890s an alumnus gave Pacific a Chinese statuette. The statuette was purchased from a Chinese family who used it as a sort of coat of arms. It appears to be a mix of a several different mythical creatures although it is often simply called a "dragon dog" and serves as the foundation for the university's mascot, the Boxer.
The central building on the Pacific campus is Marsh Hall, built in 1895 and named for Pacific's first president, Sidney Harper Marsh. It houses several classrooms, in addition to administrative offices, including the financial aid office, president's office, University Relations, and faculty offices. Marsh Hall was gutted by fire in 1975, but its shell was preserved, and the structure reopened in 1977.
Dr. Phillip D. Creighton became Pacific's sixteenth president in August 2003, and will retire in June 2009. Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist of the band KISS was elected to the university's board of trustees in 2005.
At the graduate level, Pacific University is probably best known for its College of Optometry, but also offers graduate programs in several allied health fields via its College of Health Professions in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, professional psychology, dental health science, and pharmacy.
Pacific also has a full range of undergraduate liberal arts degree programs and a College of Education. The College of Education offers an undergraduate major in early childhood education and elementary education. There are also a number of graduate education programs including MAT/MAT Flex, MAT Special Education and M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies and a joint program with the Optometry school in visual function in learning.
Pacific University is presently in the process of expanding. A state-of-the-art University Library was completed in 2005, as well as a separate campus for the health professions in Hillsboro. A new residence hall was completed in August 2006. In February 2008, Berglund Hall was opened to house the School of Education and the business department. As of 2008, another new residence hall is under construction in the northwest corner of the campus.
Pacific's newspaper, the Index, was first published in 1893. The next year an annual yearbook began as the Heart of Oak.
Pacific University is one of the few U.S. programs to officially have women's wrestling as a Varsity sport.
All of the Greek societies at Pacific University are "local", meaning that they are unique to the campus.