Vice Provost named President of Fresno Pacific University

Pete Menjares selected as school's 11th president

Mar. 2, 2012 By Brenda Velasco

Pete Menjares was named Fresno Pacific University’s 11th president. Menjares is also making history as the second Hispanic president to serve at a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) school. The FPU Board of Trustees voted to appoint Menjares during regular board meetings, today.

“Pete Menjares has served Biola with distinction and wisdom for 16 years. Having come to know him as an advisor on the presidential search committee that called me here, I have seen from day one that Pete has a heart for others, a love of God that is deep, a keen mind, a discerning spirit and an array of gifts that a leader must possess,” said President Corey. “He will be missed in this community and is irreplaceable. May God give him strength and favor as he and Virginia step into this new calling at a such a fine university as FPU and succeeding a remarkable leader in Merrill Ewert.". I look forward to Dr. Menjares as my newest peer.”

For the last 16 years, Menjares has served at Biola as a professor in the School of Education, Associate Provost of Diversity Leadership and recently as Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Academic Effectiveness. He came to Biola from Nimitz Middle School in Huntington Park where he taught seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts. He also served as a senior pastor of a local church in his hometown of Pico Rivera.

“Biola has been at the center of my life and service for the past 16 years and I have been privileged to be part of this grace-filled community in the fulfillment of its mission. It will be a difficult transition, but I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the 11th president of Fresno Pacific University and to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education in the Central Valley,” said Menjares.

Menjares has also served with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities as a conference presenter and consultant on intercultural diversity. Currently, he is a member of the Leadership Development Institute, which provides leadership training for CCCU institutions. Appropriately, his leadership style is a trait that sets him apart.

“Dr. Pete Menjares is a man of integrity, quiet resolve and sterling character.  He has served Biola well without seeking to draw attention to himself,” said David Nystrom, provost and senior vice president. “We are saddened to lose him, but proud that he has been selected to lead such a fine institution as Fresno Pacific University.”

The FPU presidential search committee included faculty, staff, students, board members and community representatives. Four final candidates were presented to the search committee for interviews. The committee then recommended Menjares to the board as a finalist, and the board invited Pete and Virginia to the university in February for three days of meetings with members of the FPU community, who provided feedback to the board.

Menjares will succeed D. Merrill Ewert, who will retire effective July 31, 2012, after 10 years as president.

“I have come to know Pete through our shared participation in CCCU. He has the respect of leaders throughout Christian higher education and I am confident he will lead Fresno Pacific to a whole new level of success,” Ewert said.                                                                

Menjares and his wife, Virginia, have been life long residents of the Los Angeles area. They will be uprooting and moving to Fresno over the summer.


  • Jack Schwarz Mar. 4, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    Congratulations Pete! What a wonderful affirmation of all the special qualities that you embody. It was a great privilege for me to have served with you at Biola for many of your 16 years. The entire Biola community has been immeasurably enriched by your work among it! I look forward to hearing of God's rich blessing on your leadership at FPU.

  • Candace Arce-Lindsay Mar. 4, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Wow! I'll miss seeing your cheerful person! (I dunno if you remember me. I work at Common Grounds and you'd always say hi to me :) Hope all goes well! My friend goes to Fresno Pacific. Small world.

  • Jill Coppler Mar. 5, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    We are excited to welcome you to FPU Dr. Menjares! Congratulations!

  • Debby White Mar. 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Congratulations, Pete! You are so ready for this. May you sense the wind of the Spirit propelling you as you take this big step forward. AND, know that you make your fellow LDIers proud.

  • Robert de la Torre Mar. 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Congratulations and welcome to the Fresno Pacific University Family

  • Cynthia & Quentin Kinnison Mar. 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    We pray for you during this time of transition. We look forward to working along side you at FPU and pray God's wisdom for you and Virginia during this time. Congratulations!

  • Herb Purnell Mar. 17, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Congratulations, Pete! I just came across this announce and wish you God's blessing as you undertake a new challenge. It was a pleasure to work with you on committees at Biola.

  • Byron D. Klaus Mar. 20, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Pete, congrats on your new appointment. Dios le bengiga ricamente! BDK

  • Andrew Hartman May. 4, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Congratulations Dr. Menjares! (I was in your education classes in the early 2000's)

  • David Dunbar May. 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Pete - Congratulations on your appointment as President of FPU. I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to be your colleague, Dean and friend for several years. I'm glad that you decided to stay at Biola when you finished your Ph.D program and didn't take that "other" offer at another institution. So pleased to see how God has led you and Virginia and I am delighted that you have this new opportunity to be of service to God and to community.

  • Steve Bradford, Partner, Musick, Peeler & Garrett May. 18, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Pete, my only regret is you are taking with you one of the best persons and workers I've ever known here at my law firm - the one and only Virginia Menjares. You two will make a great team at Fresno Pacific.

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