The launch of inauguration week began with a prayer.
Pete Menjares makes the 11th president for Fresno Pacific University.
A former public school teacher and pastor from Los Angeles, Menjares says he always had an interest in Fresno Pacific University.
" I was really struck by the people here how kind they, friendly and serious they are about educating people," Pete Menjares said.
His goal is to bring a new vision to the school.
" Any student who wants a FPU education should be able to get one," Menjares said.
He also believes his personal struggles in life can help him relate to many students.
Menjares failed college the first time around, but through perserverance he was able to graduate with a PHD from USC.
" I think that gives me insider perspective into latin community. I'm a first generation college grad," Menjares said.
And students already see him as a role model.
" I'm a latino as well, so knowing that he came from a background like that, it gives us all motivation," Jocelyn Garcia said.
Many students who attend here rely on financial aid.
" That need has grown because of the economy," Diana Mock, VP of Communications said.
Fresno Pacific is seeing an influx of new students coming from the state school system, and that's why Menjares hopes to one day expand the school, to meet the demand.
" Looking at classroom space, staffing resident, and education operation," Menjares said.
They're expecting a couple thousand people to attend the official inauguration service Friday.