They had very different careers, but with a common theme: nurturing students, from the nervous freshman to the focused doctoral candidate. At the 1997 Recognition Banquet in May, Seattle Pacific University gave a warm thank-you to six retiring faculty members whose combined years of service to SPU totaled more than 180 years.
A world-class scholar in geography and urban planning, Ron Boyce left the University of Washington 21 years ago to become dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Seattle Pacific. He hoped to raise faculty academic standards in the school, and Professor Emeritus Ken Tollefson says that's precisely what Boyce did. "Ron always put his concerns for faculty ahead of his own career. He encouraged, listened and promoted our development."
Disagreements among the scholars found a tolerant ear in Boyce, notes Professor of History Bill Woodward. "Ron is not touchy. You could take issue with him and he would not be offended. I have great respect and affection for him."
As does Professor Emeritus Jesse Chiang: "Did you know Ron has written 22 books? And he is a wonderful human being."
The latter statement refers, in part, to Boyce's 20 years of playing his trumpet in nursing homes and at the Union Gospel Mission. "I do love music," he says. "It got me off the potato farm."
As a boy in Idaho, music was his ticket to college; now he helps students realize their dreams. When Seattle Pacific senior Don Kienholz waited for acceptance into a graduate geography program, Boyce wrote the school three times.
Students know the Boyce appeal cannot be ignored. Keinholz enters graduate school this fall.
M.E. Donovan dreaded statistics, but the course was required for her doctorate in education at Seattle Pacific. During the first class, she sat dumbstruck. "Afterward, I said, 'Dr. Hausken, I didn't understand a thing you said, but I'm determined to learn.'"
With Hausken's help, Donovan actually came to "love" number crunching. That's because, while teaching statistics in the schools of Education and Health Sciences, Hausken favored application over theory. "I get real data from nurses and from teachers, and we analyze that," Hausken explains. "I'm here to help them enjoy this beautiful field of study."
"Chet is the only person I know who enjoys sitting down with a statistics book for relaxation," laughs former student Bradley Portin. Now a professor at the University of Washington, Portin decided on Oxford for graduate studies, thanks to Hausken's urging. "Chet's good at planting ideas," says Portin. "He got me thinking, 'Why not? I can do this.'"
Associate Professor of Education Dick Smith calls Hausken "Dr. Stat," and offers three reasons for his success: "He knows the stuff. He can teach it. And he can make it seem fun."
Learning is fun for Hausken. "When I studied for my doctorate, we used slide rules," he recalls. "Now it's computers. There is never an end to education. Never."
He has not been at Seattle Pacific University forever, as some suggest, but Karl Krienke does challenge longevity records. "C. May Marston was here 50 years at least," notes Krienke, "but I may come in second."
In four decades, his alma mater went from small college to leading Christian university. Yet, for him, the true legacy resides in his students. "We sent a lot of people to graduate school and showed them one can be a scientist and a Christian," Krienke says. "That's very important."
His accomplishments are impressive: ordained minister, professor, dean of the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Professor of the Year, talented musician, scientist.
Krienke is engrossed in the study of galaxies using Hubble space telescope images and shares his research methods with students. "Dr. Krienke is really into astronomy," says physics major Doug Christensen. "It's what he loves."
One of Krienke's early students was David Brooks, now SPU professor of mathematics. Brooks has always appreciated Krienke's breadth of learning, including master's degrees in religion, physics and astronomy, and a Ph.D. in astronomy. "I've heard people say that Karl's a jack of all trades and master of all," says Brooks.
After 44 years, what does a master do? "The research will not stop," says Krienke with energy.
There's a comforting air of hospitality and community about Frank Leddusire. You can detect it in his office among the artifacts; experience it in his poetry; and hear it in the 10 languages in which he speaks, thinks and feels.
For all of his disarming ease, however, Leddusire is a complex man. He's so well versed in so much of life -- from language and history to literature and philosophy -- that Associate Professor of French Marilyn Severson concludes her friend and colleague is "irreducible."
Nevertheless, a summary of his career goes something like this: A graduate of Seattle Pacific College, he is a former Free Methodist pastor. He holds a divinity degree, a master's degree in linguistics, and a doctoral degree in Slavic languages and literature. Leddusire was a driver in the development of the European studies program at Seattle Pacific, and his has been the only ongoing Russian language program in the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities.
Russian language major Shannon Rise says her professor is a prime example of integrated faith and learning. "To practice speaking the language with us, he uses Bible stories and discusses the love of Christ in Russian." He shared his love for Eastern European people as well, she says, and "introduced us to the rich culture and spirituality of Russia."
In retirement, Leddusire wants to write and publish his poetry, and finish a video on Russia for his four children and eight grandchildren.
Engineers by nature are linear thinkers. The difficult study of electromagnetic theory is loaded with math and not for the faint of heart.
Enter Hugh Nutley: assigned after graduation from MIT to a top secret Russian missile telemetry project at the National Security Agency; NASA faculty fellow at California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; master's degrees in chemical engineering and English literature; Ph.D. in physics.
Get him up in front of those high-achievers at Seattle Pacific and what's he likely to do? Read them poetry. "It relaxes them, sets a different pace," says Nutley. "It really pays to show engineers more than one beautiful way to examine the world."
Not only is Nutley "very good at making engineering theory come to life," says 1994 SPU graduate Doug Miller, "he prayed with us, and had regular biblical devotions in class." Nutley was also active in the High Flight cadre for science and engineering students, and in a personal ministry to international students.
"His compassion is not contrived," says Associate Professor of Engineering Don Peter, who has been Nutley's student, fellow graduate school classmate and now colleague. "He has such a love for the Lord and enthusiasm for learning."
And undergirding it all, a delightfully wry sense of humor. A sign in Nutley's office urges others to "Legalize Physics."
Making friends and family a priority is a Middle Eastern tradition to which Wadad Saba heartily subscribes. For more than 40 years, this Palestinian-American has maintained contact with her friends as well as the American Presbyterian missionary who brought her to faith in Christ in 1954.
Of all her long-term relationships, those with former students are among Saba's most cherished. However, her ties go beyond the classroom to the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Jerusalem-born, she works through Palestinian aid organizations to raise funds for the medical and educational needs of children in the West Bank.
Saba's real passion is for classical music and opera. She served as president of the Civic Light Opera from 1987-1993 and for many years she was the Northwest regional governor of the National Opera Assocation.
The colorful admonition in her office window reads, "Sing for Joy!" and that, say students and colleagues, is what Saba does best. "I wouldn't give her up for anyone," claims sophomore Sara Reynolds, who started private voice lessons with Saba while still in high school. "She sprinkles some kind of magic in the air. "
Saba served as chair of the Seattle Pacific Music Department from 1993-96, culminating in a ten-year accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music. "She's a creative thinker endowed with a remarkable ability in languages," says Vernon Wicker, her successor as chair. "We'll be missing her in more ways than one."