Plan for the 21st Century to Include Four Specific Areas

At the outset of the 1997-98 academic year, Seattle Pacific University President Philip Eaton announced a carefully defined process to create a "Comprehensive Plan for the 21st Century." In May, the contours of the design were presented to the Board of Trustees for review. The completed plan, which may be approved by the Board as early as November, "will guide strategic decisions at Seattle Pacific well into the next century," Eaton has said.

In addition to defining SPU's vision of itself as a Christian university in the 21st century, the Comprehensive Plan will lay out four separate but related blueprints for achievement: 1) The Education Plan will identify academic and co-curricular priorities for Seattle Pacific. 2) The Enrollment Plan will lay out targeted goals for future enrollment growth, as well as the desired mix and profile of students. 3) The Facilities Plan will answer questions about what facilities are needed to accommodate the University's programs for the future. 4) Lastly, the Endowment Plan will set endowment goals and a strategy to achieve them.

"It will be an exciting moment when our plan for SPU's future is complete and we begin to implement it," says Eaton. "I can think of no other place I'd rather be, or no other work I'd rather be doing, in the year 2000."

Seattle Pacific Foundation Assets Reach $50 Million

A giant milestone was recently achieved in the effort to keep Seattle Pacific University affordable for students. Don Mortenson, president of the Seattle Pacific Foundation (SPF), announced in May that assets under management by the Foundation have surpassed $50 million. He anticipates that in the 1998-99 academic year more than $1 million generated by investment of those assets will be distributed in support of scholarships and academic programs.

This achievement, says Mortenson, signals that the University is now a "major player" in its ability to take advantage of significant financial investment opportunities. "The primary way for SPU to keep an education affordable is through its endowment," he explains. "Growing that endowment will continue to be the major thrust of our fund-raising and investment efforts."

"I'm very optimistic for our continued growth," says Gordon Nygard, SPF executive director and treasurer. "Over time, we have generated returns significantly higher than other endowments of our size. This investment success is the direct result of the efforts of a board and staff focused on building our endowment."

Noting the great number of charities seeking financial support, Gene Keene, director of planned giving, believes Seattle Pacific's consistent focus and commitment makes it an attractive investment. "People are stimulated to give by the wonderful success of the school and its graduates. People see that it's working. Success begets success, and that results in tremendous stability."

The SPF ended 1996 with $35 million in assets. In just the next 16 months, another $16 million was added.

Pastors' Breakfast to Feature the Parrotts on Marriage

On September 17, 1998, pastors in the Puget Sound region are invited to the Seattle Pacific University campus for a breakfast seminar called "What Every Pastor Needs to Know About Saving Marriages Before (and After) They Start."

The event features marriage experts Les and Leslie Parrott, co-directors of SPU's nationally known Center for Relationship Development, and is the first of two related presentations. The second, "Marriage Mentoring," is a half-day seminar October 31 designed to train experienced couples to link with engaged and newlywed couples for support and encouragement.

The first event for pastors is free and includes copies of the Parrotts' best-selling book Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. There is a nominal registration fee for the second event, which is co-sponsored by the Washington Family Council.

Many Christian clergy are planning to take advantage of such practical instruction -- including Tharon Daniels, senior pastor at Aurora Church of the Nazarene. Married to his wife, Barbara, for 34 years, he says he believes in marriage mentoring and thinks it is a secret of marital longevity.

For further information on the September 17 pastors' breakfast, call 206/281-2100. For more about the October 31 Marriage Mentoring seminar, call 206/281-2868.

Inner-City Teens Join SPU Women for Slumber Party

Seattle Pacific University junior Shannon Johnson could have easily become a statistic. Her father was abusive; her younger sister was hospitalized six months for anorexia. Johnson, on her own since 17, nursed her sister back to health while still a teenager herself.

Johnson emerged from her toxic past a stronger person. She transferred to SPU from a community college in Riverside, California, and soon became a mentor to at-risk girls from Seattle's inner city.

The psychology major took a work-study position with The Children's Project, directed by Dawn Siler '65, M.Ed. '78. Through the program, pre-teen and teen girls are taught life skills, social graces, career awareness and how to respect themselves and others.

Johnson decided to take the mentor model one step further. She and the other SPU students involved with the program -- Beth Butler, Alicia Lyon and Melanie Schwartz -- invited more than a dozen girls to slumber parties in their residence hall last Winter and Spring quarters.

"These are the 'wet cement years,'" says Siler. "To have college role models like this, to see their passion for life and learning, is just wonderful!"

Besides popcorn balls and a scavenger hunt, the girls learned all about issues of campus living, financial aid, and types of available majors from a panel of students. The girls from the inner city also witnessed that dreams and goals can be achieved even when the childhood environment is less than ideal.

"One of the women on our floor grew up in a dysfunctional family and wrote songs about the experience," Johnson says. "At the last party, she sang them for our visitors, four of whom hung on to me, crying. They saw that we have overcome and are able to move on with our lives."

In a child's world where pregnancy is a badge of courage, shoplifting is a rite of passage, and good grades will get you ostracized, The Children's Project can literally revolutionize a life. Begun in 1992, it teaches abstinence, honors moral choices, and rewards good grades.

Siler believes the issue of the inner city is about relationships: "II Corinthians 5 speaks of reconciliation between God and us, and between us and each other. We're here to reconcile these kids -- loving, listening and learning from each other."

Christians in Theatre Arts Visit SPU

The national conference of Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA) convened at Seattle Pacific University in June. The more than 300 individuals in attendance represented church, professional, and both secular and Christian school theatre programs.

"The kind of training we offer at Seattle Pacific has built a greater appreciation in churches for this art form," says Jim Chapman, associate professor of theatre. "They see that it's not just sermonizing, but a legitimate form of parable."

Besides workshops in every aspect of the theatre process, featured CITA performances included SPU's production of Unspoken for Time and Taproot Theatre's presentation of Busman's Honeymoon.

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