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Photograph of Alexander Hall


Welcome to the History Department at Seattle Pacific University!

History is the study of the vast record of human experience, serves as the collective memory of humankind.  As memory defines selfhood and guides behavior, so history teaches about social identity and responsibility. 

And just as memory changes and matures, so does the collective understanding of the past change as new evidence is discovered and new perspectives are developed. Like a detective hunt, the discipline of history teaches us to seek facts, weigh interpretations, and draw conclusions.  It requires wide reading, deep thinking, and clear communication.

Historical study at SPU seeks a balanced understanding of world cultures, exploring the roots and development of Western civilization in the ancient and medieval periods, tracing the interaction between the West and the rest of the world, and probing more deeply into American, European, and non-Westernhistory.  Along the way, we are able to trace the impact of Christianity in both Western and non-Western settings.

Upcoming Events

Career Conversations with SPU history, sociology and philosophy alumni.

Thursday, May 7 - 5:30 - 7:00 pm in Demaray 150 (free refreshments)

Hear real-life stories, get job search tips and network with professionals who majored in liberal arts and found careers they love:


• Laura Onstot (Philosophy, Communication ‘03): Production Manager at Expedia

• Amy Salins (Sociology ‘04): Primary Care Social Worker at Neighborcare Health

• Ben Stiling (History, Political Science ‘07): Manager of Global Trade Services at Amazon

• Jamie Heil (Sociology ’08): Program Director at King County Boys & Girls Clubs

For more information: 


History Department Recognition Dinner

Monday May 18, 5:00pm, Library Seminar Room (second floor of Ames Library)

Please join us as we salute our graduating history majors and minors, announce awards, meet future History Club leadership, and generally celebrate together as a community of students, faculty, and friends.


 Guest Lecture

“The Battle for Senior Health Care: How Medicare became Law 50 Years Ago”

Dr. John Ryan M.D., Emeritus Surgeon, Virginia Mason Hospital

Tuesday May 19, 6:30p.m., Otto Miller 109

Medicare will be 50 years old on July 30, 2015. It is a very popular law with the US public. According to Dr. John Ryan, “Medicare has done amazing things for the medical-industrial complex. It was bitterly contested in the years leading up to the battles on the Congressional floor, in the White House and in the living rooms of American Citizens.” The cast of characters in this political battle is fascinating: Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Wilbur Mills, and Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Ryan will discuss the evolution of the bill and its transformation into the Medicare of today.  

Free and Open to the Public

Refreshments Served

Co-Sponsored by the SPU Pre-Health Club, the SPU Pre-Professional Health Sciences Program, the SPU History Club, the SPU History Department, and the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild



Announcing History Student Museum Interns for 2014-15

Congratulations to our three SPU History students in 2014-15 who obtained museum internships:
Kyra Bergan, Museum of History and Industry
Sarah Ewert, Museum Without Walls (2 quarters)
Christi Hester, Museum of History and Industry

In 2013-14 five SPU students completed museum internships:
Sarah Blake, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (2 quarters)
Sarah Ewert, Museum Without Walls
Becca Kuhn, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (2 quarters)
Hannah Monson, Museum of History and Industry
Stephen York, Museum of History and Industry

A total of twenty-three SPU History students have been interns at Seattle area museums in the past five years.


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