Appeal Planned for Ruling Against Independent Colleges

The Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) will appeal a ruling that the awarding of state Equal Opportunity Grants (EOGs) to students at Seattle Pacific University and other private institutions violates the state constitution's provision for the separation of church and state.

In essence, the suit charged that educational institutions operating under the auspices of church denominations stifle academic free- dom. Thurston County Superior Court Judge Daniel Berschauer issued his decision in late May. In the ruling, he said that he "fully expects that this decision will be reversed by the [state] Supreme Court." He wrote that the state constitution's provision for separation of church and state was "never intended to apply to institutions of higher education."

WAICU will appeal the ruling in Washington State Supreme Court. In the meantime, students at SPU and other private colleges will continue to receive the grants. "We are very optimistic about a positive outcome in the appeal," says SPU President Philip Eaton.

Mary Gallwey, a former Washington State University professor, brought the suit against the Higher Education Coordinating Board, which administers the grant program, and former state treasurer, Daniel Grimm, who was responsible for disbursing the money. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing Gallwey.

WAICU is representing 10 of the 11 independent schools that are also named in the suit. The institutions include Gonzaga University, Heritage College, Pacific Lutheran University, St. Martin's College, Seattle University, the University of Puget Sound, Walla Walla College, Whitman College, Whitworth College and SPU.

The EOG program awards students up to $2,500 to use at the institution of their choice. Approximately 1,100 students in Washington state benefit from the grants. Seattle Pacific students received $87,500 in EOG money last year. The average recipient is a 31-year-old single woman with an annual income of $19,000.

SPU Welcomes New Development and Alumni Leaders

Robert Gunsalus

Kathy Hitchcock


Recently appointed to key positions at Seattle Pacific, Robert Gunsalus and Kathy Hitchcock say they are looking forward to making the acquaintance of alumni and friends of the University. Both are members of the University Advancement team headed by Vice President Robert McIntosh, and both will have leadership roles in helping to fulfill SPU's new Comprehensive Plan for the 21st Century.

Robert Gunsalus, Director of Development. It has become rapidly apparent that this former director of development for Bartlesville Wesleyan College and manager of political campaigns possesses strong interpersonal skills and vital experience in his areas of responsibility at SPU. According to McIntosh, these duties include campaign management, the University Fund, the Society of Fellows and development services.

"He came with extremely strong references, and his doctoral program at Purdue in American politics and theory also emphasized philanthrophy and higher education administration," says McIntosh. "Robert's a man of strong Christian faith with a commitment to giving that supports Christian higher education. He has a personal style that will fit in very well at Seattle Pacific."

Kathy Hitchcock, Associate Director of Alumni Relations. While not a Seattle Pacific University graduate herself, Hitchcock has 27 relatives (of the Higbee clan) who have attended SPU.

Professionally, she has a wealth of alumni relations experience. She was the associate director of the University of Washington Alumni Association for three years, and acting executive director for one year. She has marketing experience with a variety of engineering and architectural firms, plus marketing and student programming experience in higher education.

"It's great to have Kathy's expertise and kind and gentle spirit," says Alumni Director Doug Taylor. She will direct her energies toward marketing, special projects and the formation of area alumni chapters.

Common Cirriculum Course Explores Christian Formation


When Melissa Fiskum makes her way in the fashion world one day, the apparel design major will do so as a Christian. How well will she balance children's clothing design with her personal Christian growth? That may depend, in part, on the relationship between her studies in fashion style and technique with Common Curriculum courses like "Christian Formation."

"The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis made me really think about the way I live," Fiskum says of one of the key texts in the freshman course. "And class discussions made me think about issues I've neglected."

At one point during the Spring Quarter class, discussion centered on the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. Fiskum and her classmates pondered the fact that one victim was killed when she confessed her belief in God.

"I thought a lot about whether I would have admitted I was a believer in that situation," Fiskum says. "I've never really thought much about persecution before."

This is the type of introspection Professor Rick Steele hopes to spark when teaching students that it's OK to examine their faith. "We furnish them with some intellectual tools to analyze their own religious experience," says Steele.

It's a process that can be unsettling at times, like when a student learns the history of the biblical canon and discovers that it did not drop from the sky fully made.

"The first day of Formation class I write on the board, 'To enter religious studies carefully is to be conscious of one's own story,'" says Professor Bob Drovdahl. "In addition to helping students explore the particular influences that have shaped their faith, the course makes them aware of other Christian faith traditions and their different strengths."

A range of Christian writers from Francis of Assisi to C.S. Lewis provides a mirror into each student's personal faith. Students also attend and report on a church in a tradition not their own. In addition to what they hear, they examine the art, architecture and imagery they see and ask how it promotes Christian worship.

Coming Soon: Phonathon 1999 and Homecoming 2000

Now is the time to mark your calendars for two Seattle Pacific University traditions.

Phonathon 1999, October 18-21 and 25-28, is the annual opportunity for alumni to pledge their financial support to student scholarships, academic programs and other areas of vital need. Alumni, faculty, staff and student callers will be phoning graduates on eight evenings.

Homecoming 2000 is scheduled for February 5. On the program are the traditional favorites such as basketball action and class reunions, as well as a few surprises. Watch for more information in upcoming issues of Response.

Nursing Student Receives Top National Fellowship

Angeline Fujioka traveled to New York City and London as part of her Fuld Fellowship.

As health care grows more complex, its leaders must be prepared to meet great challenges. The Helene Fuld Health Trust annually searches for nurses with the talent to do exactly that. Now for the first time in its 10-year history, the Trust has awarded a fellowship to a Seattle Pacific University nursing student, Angeline Fujioka.

Nominated by Lucille Kelley, dean of the SPU School of Health Sciences, Fujioka was one of only 20 fellowship winners selected nationwide, based on leadership abilities and potential. "I was struck by how much she has accomplished at such a young age," says Kelley.

Fujioka, who transferred from the University of Washington to enter SPU's nursing program, already had an impressive array of achievements. She was one of only five winners of the 1998 King County Nurses Association Scholarship, and she had been a special education teaching assistant, a therapeutic preschool assistant, and a medical assistant in a Seattle Women's Clinic and in Guatemala.

This summer, as part of her Fuld Fellowship, Fujioka participated in a five-day program in New York City, followed by a week in London, England, to attend the International Conference on Nursing. In October, she'll return to New York for a capstone retreat. Twenty-four-year-old Fujioka and the other Fuld Fellows are exploring issues facing 21st century nursing, from financing to understanding how public policy affects health care delivery.

By year's end and into the future, the fellowship will also provide with her a mentor. That individual will help guide her as she works toward her goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. Says Kelley, "I think she will make a difference in nursing."

Former Professor Donates Musical Legacy to SPU

Former Seattle Pacific Professor of Music Donald Blair has made a unique gift to the University of more than a thousand classical and operatic LPs. The collection has an estimated worth of $10,000 and represents a lifelong interest.

"I've been buying these records since my high school days," says Blair, who turns 87 this December. "Most of them are very expensive, and I didn't want them thrown out someday. I thought the University could use them."

It can, says Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Martin Abbott. "It's a generous gift, one that will benefit countless students in the future. We're very grateful."

Blair's relationship with SPU is long and deep. As a student at Seattle Pacific College, he sang in the campus Victory Quartet and met his wife, Marguerite Brown Blair. His two brothers and two daughters are also graduates of Seattle Pacific.

In 1991, Blair published a comprehensive book on the topic he knows so well: Great Opera Singers of the 20th Century. Available in the SPU Library and the SPU Bookstore, the book features an introduction by famed opera singer and personal friend of Blair, Frank Guarrera.

Blair is pleased to be able to give his alma mater a gift that is so close to his heart. "SPU has been awfully good to my family," he says. "I'm glad I could do this."

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