June 10, 2015

Pacific Union College Ranked Top Place to Find a Spouse

, news editor, Adventist Review

If you want to tie the knot, consider enrolling at Pacific Union College.

The Seventh-day Adventist-owned college in Angwin, California, is one of the best places to meet a future spouse in the United States, according to a new ranking by Niche, a database of school information.

Two PUC graduates who met at the college: Flint Johnston (class of 2000) married Danelle Taylor (class of 1999). (Okeefe Photography via PUC)

Pacific Union College scored seventh place on Niche’s “50 Colleges Where You’re Most Likely to Meet Your Future Spouse” and is the only Adventist institution to make the list.

Officials at the college, established in 1882, said they were pleased to receive the high ranking and to represent the Adventist education system on the list.

“For all the generations of its history, Pacific Union College has been blessed to be a part of this beautiful tradition,” said Jennifer Tyner, the college’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “Not only do students at PUC tend to find their lifelong partners here among a supportive Adventist community, but often so did their parents and in some cases so will their children.”

Niche compiled the ranking by combining its lists of colleges with the friendliest students, the smartest students, and the most attractive students, Business Insider reported. A special emphasis was placed on religious colleges.

No. 1 on Niche’s list of marriage-friendly schools is Brigham Young University, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and located in Provo, Utah. No. 2 is the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, followed by Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Pacific Union College is ranked between Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California (sixth place) and St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota (eighth place).

Tyner said PUC was not alone in fostering an environment suitable for finding a spouse, noting that “nearly every Adventist parent” has sought to find a way to bring together young people who share common beliefs and values for marriage since the denomination first established schools in the 1800s.

PUC has helped bring together couples since it was founded in 1882. Here is the wedding of Lyle McCoy (class of 1945) and Ruth Hansen (class of 1942). (PUC)

“As just about every person who’s ever been a student at a Seventh-day Adventist school knows, academic excellence and a good institutional reputation are only a small portion of what parents look for in a college,” Tyner said. “The big factor for many parents, and one that doesn’t show up on many college rankings, is ‘Will my child find a nice Christian spouse?’”

Tyner speaks from personal experience. She met her future spouse while studying at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, about 500 miles (800 kilometers) south of PUC.

“All of our schools are great places for young people to meet their soul mates,” she said.

Student comments about PUC’s dating culture, as published on Niche’s website, help illustrate why the college got top marks.

“Students are really smart and outgoing. It's really easy to just go up to someone you have never met and spark up a conversation,” one student said.

Some students declared that Niche’s categories “Party Scene” and “Greek Life” were not applicable to PUC, saying that the college had neither.

“No parties, which is good,” a second-year student said.

Another student suggested that the opportunities to find a life partner were unlimited.

“Because we are such a diverse school, you will find guys and girls from all over the world,” the student said. “This just allows you to go out of your dating comfort zone, you are open to a ton of new cultures. You are never limited to the kind of people you can date.”

Some PUC alumni agreed that the college is the perfect place to find a spouse.

“Yep! Husband was a junior checking out the new crop of freshmen at the 1979 get-acquainted party! Married 33 years this month,” Esther Briggs Flynn said on PUC’s Facebook page, responding to the news about the Niche ranking.

“I saw the back of a guy's head in religion class and instantly knew he was my future husband, David Kanter,” Anna Warkentien Kanter said. “One year later we became a couple, 20 months later we became man and wife. Married eight years this July. God is awesome!”