Ruth Richstad

The average age of Seattle Pacific University undergraduate students is 21. Ruth Richstad is not your average student — in more ways than one.

She refuses to reveal her age, but the year Richstad graduated from Seattle's Queen Anne High School, FDR was elected for the second time as U.S. president.

Although she had enrolled in community college that year, a blind date changed her life. "It was love at first sight," Richstad recalls. She left college, married and the couple raised four children. She also became a successful real estate broker. Yet her college dream remained. "It was the biggest disappointment in my life that I didn't get to go," she says. "It was always a big gap."

Finally, in 1986, Richstad found a way. Because SPU allows people over 65 to enroll in classes tuition-free, she began taking German. Widowed in 1988 after 49 years of marriage, she continued her studies. By 1994, Richstad had earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies, with honors.

She wasn't done learning. This year, Richstad completed another degree, this time in classics — again with honors. "My favorite thing is Latin," she says. "I told someone I could just eat it."

Christina Roseman, professor of classics and art history, isn't surprised. "She is a delight to work with," says Roseman. "Over the years, she has been an inspiration to the other students in Latin. Her ability to ask penetrating questions has enlivened several of my classes."

Says Richstad: "College is one of the highlights of my life. I am so grateful to this school."


Reunite with old friends, make new connections, and get away — "A World Away" — at Casey Weekend, Seattle Pacific University's annual alumni retreat on August 17-19.

Hosted at Whidbey Island's Casey Conference Center, the event theme, "A World Away," seeks to uncover what God is doing in cities across the globe. "It's always exciting to see what other alumni and the SPU community are doing to impact the world," says Alumni Director Doug Taylor. "This year's Casey Alumni Weekend focuses on worldwide urban involvement, while bringing alumni together in a fun and fulfilling setting."

Ray Bakke '65, authority on the inner-city church, will deliver the keynote presentation drawing from his own experience in urban outreach. There will also be plenty of time for beachcombing, hiking, kite flying, a salmon barbecue, and a special outdoor Shakespeare presentation by SPU theatre alumni. For more information, contact the Alumni Office at 206/281-ALUM.

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