From the President







  My Response

  Letters to the Editor

  Online Bulletin Board

  Contact Response

  Submit Footnote

  Submit Letter to Editor

  Address Change

  Back Issues

  Response Home

  SPU Home

Summer 2003 | Volume 26, Number 3 | Faculty
The Retiring Class of 2003
SPU Says Goodbye to Five Longtime Professors

SERVING FROM 25 TO 43 YEARS each, Seattle Pacific University’s five-member class of retiring faculty members understands change. Together they saw SPC become SPU; they worked under six of Seattle Pacific’s nine presidents; and they watched the campus expand in acreage and buildings, including most recently a contemporary-style residence hall and a 64,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art science building.

SPU’s five retiring professors represent a total of 162 years in the classroom (from left): Joyce Erickson, Grayson Capp, Robert Hughson, Dick Wood and Marilyn Poysky.
Given that the U.S. Department of Labor reports Americans average only 3.7 years in any particular job, these SPU professors defied statistics in a big way — to the benefit of students, colleagues and the community. “The presence of longtime faculty members speaks well about the strength of the university,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs Les Steele. “It also says that this is a place they love and that this is a place that values people.”

Joining the Seattle Pacific faculty throughout the 1960s, the five represent an array of disciplines: chemistry, computer science, English, electrical engineering, engineering science, nursing, mathematics and physics. Three are Seattle Pacific alumni; three left the faculty at some point but returned (sometimes more than once); all five sent their children to SPU. Says Steele, “They carry with them ‘community memory,’ a rich lore that helps us connect with and understand the University.”

They also have strong opinions about a life devoted to Christian higher education. Showing obvious pride in his students, retiring Professor of Chemistry Grayson Capp not only remembers a myriad of their names, but he also remembers where they typically sat in in class. Joyce Quiring Erickson, retiring professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, sums up her career this way: “The coming together of the life of the mind and the life of the spirit is wonderful.” And Robert Hughson, retiring professor of electrical engineering, engineering science and physics, says, “If there’s a way to characterize SPU in the last 40 years, it’s change. Some changes I preferred; some I didn’t. But I think it would be a terrible thing to stop changing.”


Back to the top

Back to Faculty

From the President
Americans today are searching for a new tone for their lives. “We are talking here about another set of values — not the giddy sense of entitlement that emerges out of exuberant times,” says President Philip Eaton.

A Gift at Any Age
Young alumni are supporting The Campaign for SPU with the Young Alumni Endowment. They will provide scholarship support to students engaging the culture. [Campaign]

Like Grandfather, Like Grandson
On June 7, 80-year-old Sheldon Arnett finally received his bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific. His grandson, Jeremiah Johnson, earned his SPU bachelor’s degree the same day. [Campus]

Still Exploring
Missionary bush pilot Roald Amundsen ’41 founded Missionary Aviation and Repair Center (MARC) — becoming an explorer just like the famous Norwegian for whom he was named. [Alumni]

Second Wind
A marathoner, wife, mother and business alumna, Claudia Shannon came back after tough times. As a 45-year-old senior, she was on the SPU cross country team that ranked 14th in the nation. [Athletics]

My Response
After 25 years, Joyce Quiring Erickson, retiring professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reflects on glossy brown chestnuts, home and the Promised Land.