"Y2KC": Alumni Weekenders Enjoy a Getaway

No doubt you've heard a lot about "Y2K," the technological bugaboo expected on January 1, 2000. Well, Seattle Pacific University alumni got a jump on it by celebrating "Y2KC," the lighthearted theme of Alumni Weekend at Camp Casey, August 20-23.

Instead of a meltdown, it was a great getaway from some of the pressures of modern life. "It was my first time at Casey Weekend and I had a blast," says 1987 graduate and Associate Director of Development Dean Carrell, who attended with his wife, Jennifer Kirby Carrell '86.

Among the many activities was "Alumni College," a chance to sit in on classes taught by SPU professors. Alums also took part in a host of other events, including sports; crafts; a talent show; and a worship service led by Seattle Pacific's new dean of the chapel, Tim Dearborn.

"People enjoyed great company, good food and three days that balanced the right amount of activity with relaxation," says Darlene Hartley, president of the Alumni Association.

Carrell concurs. "I went to the lectures and got involved in rocket-building, but I was also glad to have lots of free time."

At the last minute, one of the main organizers, Alumni Director Doug Taylor, couldn't make this year's event. He and his wife, Jean, were busy having their second child, a baby girl named Fiona, just a few days before Casey Weekend.

Nevertheless, Taylor kept in touch and is glad to report that "we had a good turnout, about 190 people in all."

When it was all over, Dean and Jennifer Carrell took the long way home so they could talk about what happened to them during the three days. "I learned more about how I want to live my life in those few days than I have in a long time," says Dean. "These are people who are living life large, and that's why I'll go again next year. Jen and I felt enriched by the entire experience."

SPU Grad Accepts Yale Faculty Position

Seattle Pacific University Professor of Political Science Doug Durasoff remembers very well the first time he had an office chat with his then-student John Lapinski. "I asked him if he knew where he would be in 10 or 20 years," Durasoff recalls. "He said he was pretty sure he'd be a high school teacher."

Lapinski wasn't altogether satisfied with the goal, so Durasoff suggested he stay in teaching but consider the university level.

The rest, as they say, is history.

In September, Lapinski began teaching at Yale University, having accepted a tenure track position as assistant professor of political science. He won the job over 300 other applicants.

"I would not have pursued this track without Doug Durasoff and Kathy Lee, a former SPU professor," says Lapinski. "And what I like about Yale is the same thing I like about SPU. There's a lot of interaction between students and professors."

He came to Seattle Pacific in 1988, transferring out of the much larger lecture halls at the University of Washington. "I had friends at SPU and I knew they had good relationships with their professors," he remembers. "I wanted that."

After graduating in 1991, Lapinski earned a master's degree at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City.

Lapinski's wife, Anjali Shaw '91, is a research faculty member at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology.

"They're a power couple," laughs Durasoff, who adds that Lapinski's appointment is especially sweet for him. "I got my Ph.D. from Yale and so seeing John teach there closes a nice circle for me."

Alum's Art Show a Big Success

When Squire Broel, Seattle Pacific University graduate of 1992, opened a show of 20 paintings and sculptures last August at Seattle's Gallery Eyremoore, he hoped to sell half a dozen pieces.

That almost all of the artwork sold -- 17 out of 20 -- stunned him.

"Making my living as an artist is a total step of faith," he acknowledges, "and this show affirmed it."

Titled "Still Lives and Lemons," the show was the culmination of years of work in which Broel has been exploring similar subjects in dissimilar ways.

"I like to see the same images in different mediums," says the resident of Walla Walla, Washington. He first rendered his subjects in paintings, then recreated the paintings as bronze sculptures.

At the show's opening, Broel was gratified to see many people from SPU, including art professors Larry Metcalf and Tim Malm; Alumni Director Doug Taylor; and Vice President for University Advancement Bob McIntosh.

Even with such a successful show behind him, Broel admits it's a challenge to make ends meet, especially with a young, growing family. When he visits friends his age in Seattle, he notes, "They all seem to have new cars."

As he begins work on his next group of paintings, Broel is also trying to build a group of patrons who are willing to invest in his career.

"Life is so short," he says. "If there's anything I can tell anyone, it is to follow your dreams."

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