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Wendell Phillips Center 151
Lou Matz
Department Chair
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Success After Pacific

The Department of Philosophy is proud of the hundreds of living alumni who have their degree in Philosophy from University of the Pacific. Take a look at where some of them have taken their Philosophy degrees since they graduated from Pacific.

Matthew Hurley '12

Committee Secretary

Philosophy alumnus Matthew Hurley

Matthew Hurley, a 2012 graduate from the Department of Philosophy, currently serves as the Committee Secretary to the State Legislature's Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy. Regarding his job, he enjoys the freedom to contribute to California state policy and legislation without being constrained by a politician's singular agenda, as he is allowed to focus on the purview of the committee as a non-partisan.

Some of his favorite memories at Pacific included engaging in discussion and debate (not just about philosophy) with his friends from class and his fraternity over meals at the UC and at their house on campus.

To students that are interested in studying philosophy at Pacific, Matthew says, "I would advise them not to underestimate the application of their major and education. Take those courses which emphasize formal logic and don't worry about being able to quote any particular philosopher at any given time; the most rewarding part of philosophy is what it offers in terms of introspection and insight into everyone you will come into contact with." At Pacific especially, the Philosophy Department faculty cultivate students' academic growth as individuals so that, even post-graduation, students can translate their degrees in the humanities into a job-pitch.

Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham '11

Art Curator

Philosophy Alumna Marie-Clare Treseder Gorham

As an art curator, Marie-Clare cut her teeth in college. As a double major in philosophy and art history, she curated her first exhibition on campus, and was able to work her way up curating shows for galleries, and then museums. Now, she acquires art for private collections throughout California. One of the perks of working for herself is that, wherever she travels is her museum: haggling in Palestine over pottery for a client, buying bronze figures in Nigeria; it all builds on her initial education at Pacific.

"If college is where you find yourself, the Philosophy Department is where you build yourself. Better than simple self-reflection, the study of analytic philosophy empowers the individual to delineate between good and bad arguments (a big deal in the real world!), introduces the charm of logic, and serves as an unparalleled intellectual backbone," Marie-Clare says of her experience studying philosophy at Pacific.

Regarding her favorite memory at Pacific, she adds, "I can't deny the chimes of a campanile will immediately take me back to Pacific, where many of my fondest memories remain. Meeting my future husband in Philosophy Club-- well, that's gotta be one of the highlights."

Andrew Gorham '10

Principal at BMNT and Co-Founder of the App Factory

Philosophy alumnus Andrew Gorham

A triple major in philosophy, economics, and mathematics, Andrew Gorham now works as a principal at a small consulting shop in Palo Alto called BMNT, where he runs tech innovation workshops for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. He also owns a software development shop called App Factory and co-teaches a summer entrepreneurship course at Standford called SVIA. Regarding his job, he really enjoys the variety of his day-to-day, getting to work on tough problems with great people from around the world.

To students considering studying philosophy at Pacific, Andrew says, "Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most. Philosophy provides an excellent theoretical foundation for understanding yourself in this way. Combine the theoretical stuff with lots of feedback from people in the outside world and you have a great recipe for success."

When asked what his favorite memory from Pacific is, Andrew said, "Meeting my future wife at a Philosophy Club meeting. We almost broke up when I became a Solipsist-- it's not you honey, it's me. Luckily that was just a phase."

Some of our alumni shared their accounts of the value of studying Philosophy at Pacific.

“I enjoyed all the philosophy classes I have taken at the University of the Pacific but the upper division courses like Meta-Ethics and Metaphysics were especially a treat because they forced me to think critically about things I talk about and think about cursorily all the time. Although, I have to say, the best thing about being a part of the Philosophy department was that I had great professors who were all very engaging and passionate about their fields of study and enjoyed engaging young people, like myself, in those discussions. Philosophy is never about feeling bad because you don't know the answer but about feeling good that you asked the right questions.”
Chinwe Ohanele
Philosophy & Economics double-major
Pre-Law minor
Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ezibota

“When I decided to take Introduction to Logic in order to fulfill both my major and general education requirements, I was rather skeptical about the course. Not being a huge fan of math, I thought that the class would be fairly boring and tedious. However, my experience in Logic could not have been further from that. Not only was the material interesting, but -- lame as it might sound -- I actually found the class fun. Dr. Rennard engaged the students in a way that made me eager to come to class. In addition to the personal gratification I received from taking the class, Logic also has a number of practical applications. For instance, I have heard many students comment that taking the course helped improve their reasoning ability and better prepared them for taking the LSATs.”—Kyrsten Keith
Philosophy and English double-major
Film Studies minor
J.D. Candidate, University of Virginia School of Law

“Environmental Ethics was constantly interesting and balanced a broad range of different philosophical ideas in a setting that was open to student discussion and ideas. Even from the standpoint of a Pre-Pharmacy student, the course was a lot of fun and helped me to round out my views on the world and my impact on the environment.” —Casey Ardrey
2+3 Pre-Pharmacy major

“Philosophy of Science was definitely the most useful class for me as a philosophy major. I found myself referencing the arguments and ideas covered in Philosophy of Science in many other classes.” —Andrew Gorham
Philosophy-Economics-Math triple-major
Founder, The App Factory