Point Loma Nazarene University had the 3rd highest pass rate in California on the 2010 certified public accountant (CPA) exam, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). PLNU was number one among private and Christian universities. PLNU graduates also had the highest average score on the exam.

“I am pleased and proud of our PLNU accounting alumni,” said accounting professor Carl Hammond. “It is rewarding to see their hard work pay off, so they are able to build valuable careers. It is an honor to teach at a university that recruits this caliber of students.”

The University of California, Berkeley ranked number one with a 60.2 percent pass rate while UCLA took the second spot with 58.6 percent. PLNU was just a tenth of a point behind UCLA with 58.5 percent. Rounding out the top five were the University of Southern California and Chapman University.

There were 57 schools in California ranked in NASBA’s report.

Business, PLNU

PLNU is pleased to welcome David McCurry as its new associate vice president for university advancement.  

McCurry brings significant fundraising experience to PLNU, including a proven track record of fundraising success in Christian higher education. He comes to PLNU from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where he served as the senior development director. In that role, McCurry led the major gifts area and gave direction to annual giving and foundation relations. Prior to joining the fund development team at Westmont nearly 10 years ago, McCurry served as vice president of advancement at Corban University in Salem, Oregon. He also served as vice president of sales and marketing for PAR Distributors in San Jose before moving to Washington to serve as the northwest market manager for Honeywell’s automotive aftermarket division, where he managed his team’s sales and marketing efforts throughout a five-state region.

With a B.A. in business administration from Azusa Pacific University, an M.B.A. with a marketing concentration from City University, and an M.S. in nonprofit management and philanthropy from Bay Bath College in Massachusetts, McCurry is well qualified for his new role at PLNU. He has also earned the internationally recognized certified fund raising executive (CFRE) designation.

McCurry is thrilled to be a member of University Advancement at PLNU, according Joe Watkins, Ph.D., vice president for external relations, and is looking forward to interacting with alumni, parents, and friends of the institution; hearing people’s stories; and assisting donors in fulfilling their philanthropic dreams through PLNU.

As an active volunteer in the Santa Barbara area, McCurry’s community service included serving as a volunteer coach through AYSO and the Ben Page Youth Center. He has also served as a mentor at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and as board chair of Life Network. Because of that work, K-Lite Radio and the Santa Barbara News Press honored McCurry as a community hero in 2006.

Married for nearly 23 years, David and his wife, Susan, have three children, Morgan (18), Jonah (14), and Amanda (12). In his free time, McCurry enjoys walking at the beach, reading, teaching, and nature photography.

PLNU, University Advancement

The PLNU Speech and Debate Team finished the fall semester by winning first place overall sweepstakes in the four-year college division at the PSCFA Fall Championship held Dec. 2-4 at Cerritos College.  

“This effort was helped a great deal by having five of our six teams entered in the senior division of parliamentary debate advancing to the bronze round,” noted coach Dr. Skip Rutledge. 

PLNU team and individual accomplishments at the tournament included the following:

Senior Division NFA Lincoln Douglas Debate:

  • Frank Daniel, Gold Medal
  • McKayla Carpenter, Bronze Medal
  • Sydney Awakuni, Bronze Medal

Junior Division Parliamentary Debate:

  • Sam Mercaldo and Ryan Willey, Bronze Medal
  • Sam Mercaldo, 5th Place Speaker in Junior Division

Senior Division Parliamentary Debate:

  • Frank Daniel and Kasey Graves, Gold Medalists
  • Sydney Awakuni and McKayla Carpenter, Bronze Medalists
  • Haley Courtney and Kayla Cook, Bronze Medalists
  • Ben Carney and Christy Wright ,Bronze Medalists
  • Brooke Rakes and Andrew Schalin, Bronze Medalists
  • Frank Daniel, 2nd Place Speaker in Senior Division

Individual Events Results:

  • Sidney Awakuni, Fourth Place Senior Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Kayla Cook, First Place Novice Extemporaneous Speaking, Second Place Novice Impromptu Speaking
  • Frank Daniel, Third Place Junior Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Stephanie Haas, Finalist Informative Speaking
Communications & Theatre, PLNU

PLNU was recently ranked No. 28 in the Washington Monthly's 2011 College Guide, in the category of master’s universities. Their rankings rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s), and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). 

To view the complete list, click here.


On Dec. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., PLNU will be hosting the annual Red Cross Blood Drive. Located in Cunningham, the blood drive exists for those capable of donating blood to help save the lives of others in need. According to the American Red Cross, blood is needed by someone in the U.S. every 2 seconds, and one donation can save up to three people. When asked what her personal reason for donating was, senior international studies major Kristina Martinez said, “Because I have a blood type that is in high demand, I feel more inclined to donate. The more people I can help, the better.”

Every year, PLNU hosts the drive where volunteers are able to give freely and lovingly in order to save the lives of many.

For more information and to sign up for the blood drive, please go to or contact Chelsea Joanou at


On Nov. 28, 2011, the Point Loma Nazarene University Board of Trustees reported that the contract for Dr. Bob Brower, PLNU president, was renewed for the years 2012-2016, by an overwhelming vote of support.
During recent weeks an assessment and review of the president was conducted in preparation for the November 2011 board of trustees meeting. According to the president’s contract, a renewal must be authorized by the board at least 90 days in advance of the contract expiration. The assessment and review included responses to an online survey, in which 80 surveys were submitted from 136 randomly selected participants from the following groups:

  • Administration
  • Board of Trustees
  • President’s Cabinet
  • President’s Community Council
  • Faculty (including department chairs, undergraduate, graduate, main campus, regional centers)
  • Student leaders

The assessment and review was conducted and summarized by an appointed committee of the board of trustees, including Carol Van Buskirk, Jan Stone, Craig Furusho, and board chair Steve Scott. With the assistance of Dr. Joyce Falk and the Office of Human Resources, the survey responses were compiled, and then the committee submitted their report to the full board of trustees for official action.
"We are grateful for the manner in which Dr. Brower has served the Point Loma Nazarene University community over the past 14 years with integrity and distinction," Scott wrote in an email to the campus. "We anticipate a great future with his leadership and are grateful to serve alongside him as we continue to affirm and develop the mission of Point Loma Nazarene University."