FPU celebrates the publication of its 75th anniversary book

Turning the pages through 75 years of history at FPU

Fresno Pacific University celebrates 75 years of history and memories this school year. On February 24, 2020, a book filled with photos and commentary titled Fresno Pacific University: The First 75 Years was released. The authors of this book were Archivist Hannah Keeney and Library Director Kevin Enns-Rempel. 

The inspiration for creating a book to celebrate the 75 years of this institution came from Rempel and Keeney. They wanted to somehow find a way to encompass the history of FPU into something tangible for people to have. 

Rempel was the archivist before Keeney for 26 years and, having worked with all these photos, he wanted to find a way to encompass pictures and show them off. He also explained how pictures are powerful and that he’s enjoyed interacting with them over the years at FPU.

“The old saying about pictures being worth 1000 words. There’s a lot of truth to that … they tell stories in a very vivid, compelling way,” Rempel said. 

When putting the book together, Rempel and Keeney knew they didn’t want to organize the books by decades, but instead they wanted to put the book into 4 sections. These four sections were related to the four main institution name changes FPU has experienced. 

The four sections are titled Pacific Bible Institute 1944-1960, Pacific College 1960-1976, Fresno Pacific College 1976-1997, and Fresno Pacific University 1997-Present. 

“The thing about the four names, is they really do coincide with some pretty significant shifts in how the institution understood itself. The names didn’t cause it,” Rempel said. 

As the idea of how to divide the book formed, so did the footwork for the psychical book. Keeney explained that she and Rempel began to work on the book in summer of 2019. She explained that a lot of people were surprised when the book came out because they hadn’t heard much about it. 

“I think we just sort of very quickly got so far into the trenches of just doing it that we didn’t really think to, like, tell people until we’re publishing a book,” Keeney said.

Keeney went on to explain how there were certain requirements from the publisher on how to format the book.

“The publisher has a format where you plug images and information, but you have to come up with everything. We went through photo archives and picked photos … put narrative with the photos,” Keeney said. 

The process of picking photos did take Keeney and Rempel many hours due to the fact that they needed to encompass 75 years into a picture book. However, once they picked the photos, Keeney had to scan the photos to the specifications of the publisher. 

Despite the countless hours of scanning photos, Keeney did express that there was something fun in putting the book together. 

“It was actually kind of fun because, I mean, you’re sitting there running the flatbed scanner which is kind of boring, but you get to look at the photos,” Keeney said. 

A copy of this book can be found on Amazon and on Arcadia Publishing’s website.The links can be found below. 

https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467104593

https://www.amazon.com/Fresno-Pacific-University-Campus-History/dp/1467104590

Author: Nikki Campos|News Editor

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