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Standing (and Staying) in the Middle

Ruth Adams, Registrar in Student Academic Services at SPURuth Adams, university registrar and director of Seattle Pacific’s Student Academic Services, has been helping students and families at SPU for 20 years. Ruth reflects on this milestone and why she’s stayed the course.

I have just celebrated 20 years at Seattle Pacific University, 13 as university registrar. Frankly, I’m surprised. Actually, shocked! How did I, a product of the ‘80s — where everyone switched jobs every seven years — come to find both a career and home at SPU?

True, SPU is a legacy in my family. My parents both graduated from SPU, as did my uncles, my sister, and her husband. I completed my master’s degree here, and my husband completed his teacher certification. You could say this place is in my blood.

SPU Is an Opportunity

But it is more than that. This is a place to make a contribution, a difference — to impact student lives. There is no greater calling and the staff in Student Academic Services are committed to this work, every day, and in so many unique ways.

I am blessed to work with a team of people who have big hearts and strong minds. They know that students need to be educated in the classroom, and also educated about the processes and systems they will face in university and for the rest of their lives. The 16 SAS staff members, with a combined 127+ years of work experience, make an effective, knowledgeable resource for faculty, students, and parents.

SAS Stands in the Middle

I always say that SAS stands in the middle at SPU: Our work comes from all parts of campus and we get the privilege of working with every department over the course of an academic year. It makes us the knowledge center in many respects. And in those areas where we aren’t, we sure know who to ask.

Speaking of, if you ever have a question or don’t know who to ask, you can always email parents@spu.edu or sasinfo@spu.edu. Either one will be received by SAS staff.

SAS Will Support Your Students

Whether your student needs to verify her enrollment for auto or health insurance; has a question about a particular class; wants to apply for a major or minor; needs to see how he is tracking toward graduation; or is curious how to improve her academic standing, SAS is the place to start.

Most of these needs are addressed by services on our SAS website. But the staff members in SAS want students to feel welcome to come in and check on everything from academic requirements to taking a transfer course over the summer to investigating a study abroad program.

After 20 years of working with SPU students, nothing makes me swell with joy more than when they march into Tiffany Loop each year for the annual Ivy Cutting ceremony the day before Commencement. It is a culmination of the students’ hard work and time when SAS and the entire university community comes together to celebrate with them.

It’s an event you will treasure when your student completes his or her degree. And I’ll still be there, standing outside the Loop, keeping them lined up two-by-two!

Read other stories in the Staff Story Archives