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Response Spring 2010

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The Real Transformers

The Real Transformers
Spring 2010 | Volume 33, Number 1 | Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Your Response

Contentment RedefinedThe coupon-clipping, bargain-hunting, saving-for-a-rainy-day side of me shouted “Hear, hear!” as I read Jennifer Cooley Perrow’s Response article about facing the current economic crisis with hope and innovative ideas. But wait — there was a greater idea expressed here than just getting by with less: generosity despite circumstances.

Jennifer reminds us that being a good steward includes generous giving in many shapes and forms. Her examples of how this is impacting especially her children are what most parents would desire, that our children would show love by sharing what God has blessed us with. I was reminded and challenged that everything I have is God’s and is given so that I may share it to meet others’ needs and glorify Him. Thank you, Jennifer, for this timely reminder!

Sharon Iverson Hedman ’91
Puyallup, Washington

Jennifer Perrow’s article made me think about creativity, contentment, and cultivation in an economic and social environment that inspires anxiety, depression, and lethargy. The “cure” is a slow crawl towards the light — even if it is only a pinhole of light — so that we can find a new way of existing in the world. Cultivation of new attitudes in the midst of stress and worry is difficult but doable.

Western culture teaches us about what to have, how to get what we should have, and how to get more of what we need. It does not teach us how to live with meaning. We need to think beyond what we are told is “important” for success, beyond the cultural myths falsely infused into us — myths of the perfect life, the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect material objects.

Through my own economic and cultural upside-down turn, I have had to re-evaluate what is important and meaningful. The cultivation of a meaningful and authentic life produces contentment that rides out the waves of hardship.

Allyson Kelley Toohey
Woodinville, Washington

Putting “Things” in Perspective

In the last issue of Response, Richard Steele touches on the topic of the decade with his article “Unsearchable Riches: The Treasure of God’s Grace Is Ours for the Taking — and for the Giving.” After graduating from SPU in 1980, I spent eighteen years as a managing director at Bear Stearns in Chicago. Now I am part of SPU’s Athletic Department. It is key that we allow our student-athletes an understanding of the gifts they have and how they can share them with those around us. I often ask, “Do you own it, or does it own you?” The article is a great approach to faith-based finance. It’s a must-read by all business majors, or anyone that desires a true approach to how to “engage.”

“A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”  Luke 12:15

Mark Metzger ’80
Assistant Coach for Men’s Soccer,
Seattle Pacific University

An Invitation That Changed My Life

I am a Thomas Parker Society member, and in response to the Response article about the Society, I wanted to share this with you.

I’d like to believe that God prompted Jeffrey Overstreet to invite me to a Thomas Parker Society gathering in 1993. There was no earthly reason for Jeffrey to invite me into this group of writers and performers. … While I felt drawn to them, I wasn’t sure I was one of them.

I gained courage as my relationships grew, and they inspired me to share in a safe environment. With shaking hands and voice, I read my work. Their response was kind, honest and, well … they liked it for Pete’s sake. They liked me!

I continue to write, though not often enough. However, I believe with all of my heart that writing is my true calling. Jeffrey’s invitation may ultimately change the course of my life. I am willing to admit that it may have been God that prompted Jeffrey’s call. And the spirit of Thomas Parker, of course.

Leslie Meik Wisdom ’93
Mount Vernon, Washington

Homecoming Honors

I’ve known Del Wisdom [the 2010 Alumnus of the Year] since college days. We’ve gathered at Seattle Mariners spring training games for years, and we’ve had numerous other great times together.

But I have to admit that I never truly realized the depth of his commitment to helping others. It was at the Homecoming President’s Luncheon, when I heard the extensive list of Del’s accomplishments of the last 45-plus years, that I began to fathom the impact this friend of ours has had on his world.

Del is not one to blow his own horn and talk about the wonderful things he is and has been doing. His commitment to looking for ways he can help others better themselves is truly remarkable especially in today’s society where the focus is “all about me.” Del truly is an innovative, principled man of humble conviction, who has succeeded in bringing new creative insights and approaches to the business of agriculture.

Del’s life and work have consistently shown how one individual can “engage the culture and change the world.”

Steve Kenagy ’64
Roseburg, Oregon

Thinking back to the first time I met Bryan Papé [the 2010 Young Alumnus of the Year], I can hardly believe that we have known each other for almost seven years. Though time has gone by quickly, I’m proud to say that Bryan is still one of my nearest and dearest friends, and that I’ve had the privilege of watching him come into his own over the years. Thus it is no surprise to me that Bryan was chosen Young Alumnus of the Year.

In terms of leadership, Bryan is a natural. He is charismatic and loves to engage with people, but even more so, Bryan is unique in his ability both to see opportunities that others do not and to have the tenacity and gumption to go after them. Bryan exemplified this trait in his building and selling of a handwarmer company he joined as director of marketing and operations after his undergraduate studies at SPU. I can’t think of a more perfect example of leadership and responsibility than the work he accomplished there while simultaneously settling into his new life as a husband.

Last, but not least, Bryan continues to engage with his alma mater. Though Bryan has done much for a 24-year-old, he knows that these accomplishments have a direct correlation to the people and institutions that first invested in him.

Ryan Peterson ’06
Seattle, Washington

Who Would Think?

I commend your exceptional magazine. Who would think a college alumni magazine would be so great? I not only read most articles, but never dispose [of them] — as they have been good resources for me as a teacher. Thank you for your work, and continue the high standards and in-depth writing. It is so rich, rich, rich.

Please never remove us from your mail- ing list!

Jane Sullard
Auburn, Washington

That’s a very fine publication you’re putting out! Nice combination of material that is appropriate to the SPU family and material that is accessible to those of us outside the family. Be proud! Blessings on your ministry!

Doug Nason
Director of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Communication,
Fuller Theological Seminary
Pasadena, California