Moving Stories tells the inside story of moving this university from Pasadena to Point Loma in 1973. Why did it move? It had too few students, in part because the campus was too small. The cost of building a whole set of new buildings within a neighborhood opposed to its expansion, and in a town in decline did not offer much hope. The Point Loma campus had good buildings, space for expansion, and in a dynamic town. This is the story of that move.
Sounds simple, but it was emotionally hard, and it is profoundly moving to recognize the scars and stars within the participants. There was financial strain for faculty facing an immediate doubling of housing costs, and for the college which had to absorb payments on a new campus. There was the emotional strains of faculty who had to leave, and of the president who found the closing of escrow very difficult while knowing the move could put the very existence of the college at risk. There was the fear of church leaders who were pleased with the old-fashioned and staid nature of Pasadena and feared the impact of the San Diego beach community, and feared a decline in the percentage of Nazarene students if the enrollment grew while their church was not growing. While the story is moving in itself, it also presents a splendid opportunity to explore the reality of providence in our lives.
Most of Moving Stories is comprised of moving interviews of those caught in a difficult choice. The author is Dr. Ronald Kirkemo. He and his family faced the strains, received divine guidance to make the move, and helped build a better college in San Diego. He is an alumnus, joined the faculty in 1969, helped implement a new program in the political science department, and initiated the formation of the Wesleyan Center. He is author of Between the Eagle and the Dove about diplomats caught in difficult choices. He has also written two histories of the university, For Zion’s Sake and Promise and Destiny, as well as a daily devotional called Soulcraft.