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Q & A: An Interview With SPU Parents Dean and Jill Matro

By Jennifer Perrow


Matro Family

The Matros live in Honolulu, Hawaii, and are the proud parents of four children, two of whom have attended Seattle Pacific. Their daughter, Avery, was an SPU University Scholar; she graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in Classics. Their daughter, Arden, is a freshman at SPU; she is a mid-fielder for the women’s soccer team and is considering a degree in Exercise Science.





What first attracted your family to Seattle Pacific?

Dean: Seattle is a great city, but we didn’t know much about SPU until Avery and I took an admissions tour. We had seen a number of schools and SPU was the last one we visited. The campus was impressive, and the academics were substantial, but what really struck us was a sense of belonging. There was something familiar and comforting. I looked at Avery and said, “I think you belong here.”


In your opinion, what makes SPU different from other universities?

Jill: Dean and I both attended a number of universities, but we did not develop an emotional connection to the schools. The educational experience was a “means to an end.” In contrast, what I have seen at Seattle Pacific is that real life happens at SPU. Life that is holistically challenging and gratifying. Academic achievement feels most fulfilling when it is paired with authentic relationships and spiritual revelation.


Let’s be honest: You live in Hawaii, which is a slightly different climate from Seattle! How did your kids acclimate to the Seattle weather?

Dean: I guess you just do. Going away to school means exploring new surroundings, making new friends, trying new foods, and seeing new sights. During Avery’s first quarter in Seattle she experienced a wind storm, a rain deluge, and a snow storm that cancelled classes for two days.


Tell us about what your oldest (Avery, ’10) has been up to since graduation. How did SPU prepare her for what she’s doing now?

Dean: Avery is in her second year of law school in Hawaii, and is doing well. She’s grateful SPU encouraged critical thinking and gave her the freedom to ask hard questions. In law school, it’s important to think critically about what you are being taught, rather than just accepting everything as the gospel truth.


Arden's in her second quarter at SPU — how's she described the experience?

Dean: Arden is enjoying herself and acclimating nicely to college life. She has bonded with her teammates, and she attributes it to the hard work Coach Chuck puts into recruiting players not only for their playing ability, but also for their personalities, character, and values.


What would you say to parents who are considering SPU as a college option?

Dean: Remember that the college decision belongs to the child. As parents of college-entry students, we are called to guide and support them; sort of like a consultant. We can help keep them organized, remind them of what is truly important, and tell them that there is “no one best school.” That said, SPU is a great option for all students:

Location – 10 minutes from a major metropolitan city, and 30 minutes from the countryside
Student Body – diverse, vibrant, high academic ranking
Cost – ranked highly by US News for value
Faculty – focused on teaching, caring of students
Leadership – visionary
Purpose – serving a cause greater than the school itself, not afraid to show its Christian identity


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Jill: I am currently the VP of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu. I am blessed to do what I do, but look forward to retirement because I plan to attend SPU. I want to be a student too!

Dean: And I’ll carry her books.

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