Seattle Pacific University: Parents and Families In the Loop

Autumn 2008 | Volume 2, Issue 3

Sustainability at SPU

Bethany WalradUnless you live in a submarine, you've probably noticed that everyone is going green. SUVs are out, composting is in -- and your kids are embarrassed every time you forget the eco-friendly bag at the grocery store.

This movement has been working its way through the Seattle Pacific University campus for quite some time, as both a grassroots and an institutional effort. Students fix bikes for free, create energy-efficient projects, and research solar panels and other technologies. Meanwhile, the University recycles, subsidizes bus passes for students and employees, and is committed to building green.

Now, with the hire of 2008 graduate Bethany Walrad as its sustainability coordinator, SPU is creating a unified movement. A music major, Walrad started working with Facility and Project Management part time last year. This June, she was hired for a full-time position.

Read the rest of the article and learn more about SPU's efforts to increase sustainability.

Repeat the Sounding Joy!

The Sacred Sounds of Christmas ConcertTherefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. -- Isaiah 7:14

Join us November 30 at Benaroya Hall for SPU's ninth annual The Sacred Sounds of Christmas concert.

Featuring the University's nationally recognized Concert Choir and Wind Symphony, The Sacred Sounds of Christmas celebrates the good news of Jesus' birth through Advent and Christmas music from around the world.

This year for the first time, you can choose from two performances: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are only $15 through September 30, and special group rates are available for 10 or more people. Beginning October 1, tickets will be $17 and $20.

This concert sells out earlier every year, so be sure to get your tickets soon!

Visit The Sacred Sounds of Christmas.

Meet Ruth Adams

Ruth Adams, Registrar at Seattle Pacific UniversityTwo decades. That's how long Ruth Adams, university registrar and director of Seattle Pacific's Student Academic Services, has been serving the academic needs of students and their families at SPU.

For someone whose career plan included switching jobs every few years, Adams says the longevity has shocked her a bit. But she's not surprised to find both a career and a home at SPU.

"SPU is a place to make a difference," she says. "It's a place to impact student lives. And there is no greater calling. It's something my staff and I commit to every day."

Read more from Ruth Adams and learn how her office stands in the middle to serve SPU's students.

Student Housing: What to Bring?

Elonna Visser with Housing Services provides the following ideas to help your son or daughter know what to bring to campus as a freshman.

  • Less might be more. Space will be limited. Students should prioritize what they'll really need, and talk with their roommates ahead of time about who will bring what items.

  • Review the essentials. Do I need to bring towels and other linens? Should I have an ironing board? How about a refrigerator? Compare your list with ours about what to bring. (156 KB PDF)

For more tips, including what not to bring, visit the parents and families website.

What Do You Want to See?

Tell us what you like and what you'd like to see more of in this newsletter -- or tell us what topics matter to you and other parents. Just email

Orientation/Welcome Week

If your student is new to SPU, plan to attend Orientation/Welcome Week, September 25-28. This four-day event helps incoming students make a smooth transition into SPU and academic life as they discover the resources they'll need to succeed. There are even events for parents.

Convocation, Convocation

Help SPU kick off the new academic year with these two special ceremonies.

  • New Student Convocation. Join faculty, who will be robed in traditional academic regalia, on Friday, September 26, for this formal ceremony of initiation and adoption into the SPU community.

  • Opening Convocation. Join the entire SPU community on Tuesday, September 30, as we celebrate the beginning of a new school year and embrace the opportunities ahead.

Are These Dates on Your Calendar?

What is the last day my student can register for classes? When are the Autumn Quarter 2008 tuition refund deadlines? Find out these and other important dates.

Looking Ahead: The Day of Common Learning

An annual event, the Day of Common Learning is a cross-campus discussion that embodies the best of interdisciplinary learning. "It brings the Seattle Pacific community together to learn," says Les Steele, vice president for academic affairs. "And that is something we value highly."

This year's Day of Common Learning occurs on October 15, and it will feature a discussion of "beauty" by Nicholas Wolterstorff, professor emeritus of philosophical theology at Yale Divinity School.

Keep Up With Falcon Athletics

Follow the Falcons this Autumn Quarter in their pursuit of excellence through soccer, cross country, rowing, and other sports. Better yet, come join us for an event!

iTunes University

Heard any good lectures lately? Check out SPU's iTunes University to download and hear SPU faculty lectures, guest speakers, chapels, music, sporting events, and more.

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