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Shaping Lives That Change the World

By Philip W. Eaton, SPU President

Last week I stood on a platform at Seattle’s Safeco Field for Seattle Pacific’s Commencement ceremony and watched some 800 students become distinguished graduates of SPU. This is always a thrilling time for me, to witness the culmination of such hard work by our students, and to witness as well the fulfillment of our mission at this great Christian university.

Working Toward a Purpose

Commencement is an important moment for any university. For us, it highlights our special purpose
and mission.

From the moment that each student sets foot on our campus, all of us — faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents — are working together to ensure that each student discovers a sense of what he or she can do with their lives. We want them to be highly educated, with the competencies that matter in this world, but we hope they will discover a calling that will enable them to engage the culture and change the world.

What a delight it is to imagine the variety of ways that these young men and women will make a difference in the world. Some of them already have firm plans — they are headed to medical school, graduate programs, the mission field, teaching jobs, business and technology jobs, social services positions,
and more.

Other students are planning to travel the world, or get married, or enter politics, or conduct research projects. And some of them, certainly, have no idea what they will do next — and that’s OK too for a while.


Partnering With a Vision

But all of them, I believe, have explored, under our guidance, a vision for their lives. These graduates know that there is more to life than simply making money or being famous or getting published. They understand that their God-given gifts should be used to bring hope and healing to a world that desperately needs their help.

Thank you, as parents, for being part of this whole grand enterprise of shaping lives that can change the world. We seek in all ways to be faithful and obedient to God’s call on our University for this time. We believe this is our mission, to educate young people at the highest levels of learning, but as well to help them find their way in the world so that all of God’s children might flourish.

So many things are going on all across our campus. I look forward to sharing with you in the days and weeks ahead the tremendous momentum I feel at SPU at the moment. Thank you for being our partners.

Philip W. Eaton



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