"This day is so special, so exciting," said new Fresno Pacific President Pete Menjares.
On Monday morning, Fresno Pacific officially welcomed its new leader in the first of a series of week-long inaugural celebrations.
"This process started for us almost a year ago and to actually be standing here in this beautiful courtyard, to be prayed for, to be loved on by this community is just overwhelming," he added.
Menjares and his wife Virginia lead the crowd in prayer at the campus cross. He comes from Biola University where he spent the last 18 years working as a provost in Academic Effectiveness and Diversity Leadership as well as a department chair and associate professor of education.
He said he's looking forward to taking F.P.U. to new heights.
"It's been growing, it's been becoming increasingly important to this area and I think I have an opportunity to take it to new places it hasn't been before," said Menjares.
While the new president focuses on growing the University and expanding its reach within the community, students are looking forward to more diversity on campus as well as, what they call, a sense of togetherness.
"I would mainly want him to bring more activities as far as that don't deal with school," said student Nilaja Rhodes. "I came from the University of San Francisco and there wasn't a lot of school spirit."
"The campus is predominantly Caucasian and I came here with a very different culture, so I think having an Hispanic president this year will possibly bring more diversity to this campus," said junior Vasmer Vang.
Students also said, being named the first Hispanic president of the university can only help his mission.
"He seems very personable and really humble," said Dave Lund.