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Pacifica Rises

A letter from Stephen Aizenstat
President, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Pacifica Graduate Institute

Being involved in the emergence of the Pacifica Graduate Institute was a labor of love. I was able to serve beautiful ideas and work with earnest students. When I left for a time to launch the Center for Story and Symbol, Stephen Aizenstat gave me a letter outlining my contributions (see below). I returned to teaching at Pacifica in 2012. My involvement in the distance learning graduate programs has been quite fulfilling. -- Jonathan

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December 31, 1995

Jonathan Young, PhD
310 West Quinto Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Dear Jonathan,

This letter of recommendation is based on your long service at Pacifica. You have been a key figure in the dramatic growth of Pacifica and it is a pleasure to acknowledge your skills. I have known you since 1974 and was aware of your abilities well before inviting you to join the faculty in 1982. Your contributions as a professor have been instrumental in the quality of the four Pacifica graduate programs, each of which you helped launch. Many of the courses you initiated continue with your innovations.

Your management of large projects has been especially outstanding. As a curator, your careful attention to all details of collecting and developing the Joseph Campbell Archives & Library on campus was followed by equally fine efforts for the James Hillman Collection and the Marija Gimbutas Archives & Library. You have carried out a wide range of formative tasks for the Institute. Some were large, such as launching the Academic Senate, establishing Pacifica's library, and serving on the board of trustees. Others were as routine as writing sections of accreditation reports, designing the school seal, and editing the newsletter.

The crowning achievement is clearly the initiation of the first humanities program at Pacifica, the Department of Mythological Studies. Serving as the founding chair meant creating interdisciplinary masters and doctoral programs unlike any available elsewhere. With great devotion, you handled the research, writing, planning, and recruiting of faculty. The four-year curriculum you created is designed with great care. The lasting result is a program which has already gained respect from leading scholars.

The students have given high praise for your stimulating teaching and thoughtful chairing of many dissertations and theses. I hope your proficiency as a mentor and scholar will be used as well in the future. I know you want to write and lecture more extensively, but it is hard to see you leave Pacifica.


Stephen Aizenstat, PhD
Pacifica Graduate Institute