Seattle Pacific University - Parents and Families In the Loop

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Spring 2010 | Volume 4, Issue 2

Reaping the Benefits

Tchobanoff Family

Dan and Doris Tchobanoff of Steilacoom, Washington, were optimistic when their daughter, Hannah, decided to attend Seattle Pacific University to become a teacher. Though not SPU graduates themselves, they had a meaningful college experience and wanted one for her.

Their hopes were rewarded. To Hannah, SPU was the place where world change took root, the place where she was not only equipped to teach students but also given the faith tools to build a strong Christian foundation for her profession. She earned an undergraduate degree in 2000, a master’s degree in 2007.

That’s why every month the three Tchobanoffs contribute to the University Fund for student scholarships at SPU. "This is part of what I give back for God blessing me," says Hannah, whose grandparents had contributed to her education fund when she was a child.

Read on to learn how Hannah’s education blesses the whole family.

An Investment Worth the Sacrifice

President Philip Eaton

We are two-thirds of the way through this academic year — the months have flown by. The young men and women walking across campus today are not the same people who stepped onto our campus in September.

These students have a more mature Christian faith, stronger leadership skills, and expanded knowledge about the world and their chosen academic area. They have gained valuable work experience, learned to live in community, and sharpened their critical thinking and communication skills. I’m so proud of them.

As parents, we often wonder about the development of our children. And during the college years it can be difficult for parents to assess what’s happening with their students. Are they learning, growing, maturing? Will they graduate with a solid set of life and vocational skills? Will they be prepared for the rigors of graduate school, employment, relationships, and more?

Continue reading President Eaton’s article.

SPU: A Best Value

Students find SPU to be a good value

Seattle Pacific University was ranked again this year among the top five "Best Values" in the West by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News says that schools selected as "Best Values" are not only academically strong, but they also "cost considerably less than many other schools when the financial aid they dispense is taken into account."

Still, determining the "value" of the education offered by a university can be a complex equation for students and families.

"The value of an SPU education is multidimensional," says Director of Admissions Jobe Korb-Nice. "The recognition from U.S. News is great, but it doesn’t really tell us why students choose Seattle Pacific."

Discover what students value about SPU.

A Quick Check-up With Jean Brown

Jean Brown

As director of SPU Health Services, Jean Brown works hard to keep SPU students and the campus community healthy. Find out more about her strategy in this Q&A.

Many parents worry about who will take care of their student if he or she gets sick or injured.

How do you identify students who need medical attention?

The University has a very good safety net for students — many people across campus are watching out for our students. Faculty and staff members, Residence Life staff, athletic coaches, Safety and Security staff members, and student leaders are just some of the people who refer students to us and help students discover the resources they need. We all work together to educate and support students.

Find out Jean Brown’s prescription for a healthy campus

Studying Away While at SPU


Studying abroad provides SPU students with many memorable moments.

Savoring a croissant under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Learning about apartheid through a theatre festival in South Africa. Touching giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands.

For SPU senior Joy McCracken, one of her more memorable moments occurred while hanging out with her Ugandan host family. "A family friend stopped by and I was introduced as their daughter Joy," says McCracken. "I began to realize families in the program who have students living with them really care about students."

It’s these essential moments of acceptance and understanding that SPU’s Study Abroad program and its affiliated partnerships seek to provide students as they become leaders in increasingly interdependent times.

Read more about SPU’s study abroad opportunities — and learn how McCracken’s trip changed her educational journey.

Choosing a Major

Choosing a Major

Choosing a major doesn’t need to be scary or intimidating. Help your college student choose a suitable major with tips from SPU’s Center for Career and Calling.

Tip #1: "Who are you?" is the starting point.

Parents understandably want their students to develop into productive adults who can support themselves. But starting with questions about the job market rather than about identity can be costly in the long run.

Why? The job market is ever-changing, and jobs in high demand this year may be in low demand when your student graduates. Plus, people who are genuinely interested in and passionate about their chosen field tend to be successful.

Read on for more insights and resources.

Student leaders

In Our Next Issue

Forging the Future: Student Leadership

Seattle Pacific University is the place where world change begins — especially through the development of tomorrow’s leaders. Find out about the myriad ways SPU encourages and helps students take the lead in the June 2010 issue of In the Loop.

President Eaton's Blog

Check out Saturday Morning From My Study for a collection of President Eaton's writings and videos about "things that matter" -- how the Christian gospel speaks into today's culture. Recent posts include "Can We Actually Teach Character Anymore?" and "Can We Actually Teach the Stories by Which We Live?"

Subscribe to the blog today.

Let Justice Roll On

In October 2010, SPU will release a documentary film about the life and legacy of John Perkins, renowned reconciliation advocate and partner with SPU in the John Perkins Center. Be among the first to watch the trailer.

The Buzz on Campus
Keep up with the latest happenings at SPU with The Buzz. Updated weekly on the parents’ website, The Buzz lets you know about the world-changing events, lectures, and stories going on at SPU.

Top Doctor Coming to SPU
April 6, 2010

Celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will be at SPU for a free public lecture on April 6 at 1 p.m. The Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient will discuss health care in America.

SPU Dad’s Day
April 17, 2010

Hey, SPU dads! "Go green" as you hang out with your students and other SPU families at an exciting Seattle Sounders FC soccer game. The fun-packed day starts with a special pancake breakfast. Find out more and register today.

Gospelfest 2010
May 1, 2010

Part of the Gospel Symposium at SPU April 29–May 1, Gospelfest 2010 is a public concert celebrating the legacy of gospel music. Church, college, and community choirs from around the Northwest will gather to worship and perform as they explore the "Sounds of African-American Heritage." This year’s performance features a 500-voice mass choir. Learn more.

Passionate Faith Conference
May 6–7, 2010

SPU welcomes Kenda Creasy Dean, founding director of the Princeton Theological Seminary Institute for Youth Ministry, for a public lecture on May 6 titled "Growing Up in Faith: The Church and the Currency of Hope." Dr. Dean joins the SPU community as part of the inaugural Bible, Youth, and Culture Conference, sponsored by SPU’s new Center for Biblical and Theological Education.

Commencement 2010
June 11–13, 2010

Plan to attend these memorable events with your graduating student. On Friday, June 11, the 2010 alumni participate in the tradition of Ivy Cutting in the morning, and worship at Baccalaureate in the evening. On Sunday, June 13, at 2 p.m., graduates will congregate at Safeco Field to celebrate their success with Commencement 2010. This year's commencement speaker will be Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Seminary. Check out the complete schedule.

Federal Student Loans Update

SPU will participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. For the 2010–11 academic year, students and parents will borrow new loans directly from the U.S. Department of Education instead of through private banks and lenders who participated in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Visit the SFS website for more information.

Late-Breaking Tweets

Keep up with the latest SPU news and tips via our Twitter feeds.
Center for Career and Calling
Student Financial Services

Are These Dates on Your Calendar?

When are grades available to view? (Answer: March 26). What is the last day my student can register for classes? (Answer: April 7). Find out more important dates.

Give Some Memories:
Cascade Yearbook

Help your student make his or her SPU memories last with the gift of a yearbook. You can even place ads for your grads in the book. Contact Alex Hancock at for more information.

Got High School Students?
Check Out etc Magazine

SPU's etc magazine serves as a bridge between the SPU community and high school and college students by telling the stories that make us uniquely SPU. It's fresh, fun, and award-winning. Check it out!

Keep Up With Falcon Athletics

Follow the Falcons as they pursue excellence through basketball, gymnastics, and more. Better yet, come join us!

Questions or Comments?

We'd love to hear from you. Let us know what's on your mind or how we can help. Submit your questions and comments or email

Engaging the Culture, Changing the World

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