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Autumn 2003 | Volume 26, Number 4 | Alumni
Business Student With a Big Vision
Gets a Boost From the Alumni Association

the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, Alex Ssebugwawo (say-boo-gwa-wor) boarded a plane in Uganda to fly to America for the first time — but he was not afraid. “My name is Alexander,” he says, “and I give my name a meaning of my own. Based upon a sense of destiny, it means ‘I have a future to consider.’ My inspiration is rooted in Jesus Christ. I desire to see everybody as through God’s eye.”

Like Alexander the Great, whose travels Ssebugwawo enjoys reading about, the Seattle Pacific University business student is making plans to conquer the world, but this time for Christ. “I have a sense of calling on my life,” he says matter-of-factly. “I want to help African, Hispanic and Asian people, advocating for social justice and social welfare together.”

He envisions building an industrial complex in Africa that will help support his proposed Heaven Race Ministries. “People can listen to God’s message better when they have jobs and food,” he points out.

By last spring, however, Ssebugwawo was experiencing financial hardship. “But I believed God was going to make a way,” he says. “My mentor and I prayed about it.” He found his business and spiritual mentor, Jill Esau, through SPU’s Center for Applied Learning. As executive director of We Care Northwest, Esau counsels nonprofit corporations.

So how did Ssebugwawo receive the money he needed? “It was God’s arrangement,” he says. “After praying, Jill said, ‘I believe God will give you the money tonight.’ But it was already Thursday afternoon; how could I get any money tonight? I have faith, I thought, but on the other hand, disbelief consumed me. But I said OK; after all, I had run out of options.”

Later that evening, the phone rang. It was SPU Alumni Director Doug Taylor. “We had an Alumni Board meeting tonight,” Taylor told him. “We found we had extra money in our scholarship fund, and we want to give it to you.”

As Taylor tells it, “We had heard that Alex might have to go home to Uganda. He’s a great student, and we wanted to make it work for him.”

Had Ssebugwawo asked the Alumni Board for the money? He shrugs. “I had no idea the board would have money for a scholarship, so how could I ask?” The student later came to an Alumni Board meeting in full African dress.

“You may never know how many people you have helped,” he told the Board. “But one thing is true: Giving hope to someone is relieving the world of another problem. Great are the people that choose not to let need go rampant. Sincere thanks to the SPU Alumni Board and the entire SPU community. You have made my vision a continued concern.”

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Back to Campus

From the President
“What is a college education really worth?” asks President Philip Eaton. With universities under scrutiny today, SPU must reflect about its influence and impact.

Closing the Gap
In the final year of The Campaign for SPU, the University has strong momentum heading into the stretch. [Campaign]

A Record-Setting Autumn
SPU welcomed its largest and most academically prepared freshman class in Autumn Quarter 2003. [Campus]

Fighting for Family
The U.S. Marines asked Les and Leslie Parrott for help to strengthen the home life of soldiers returning from long Iraq deployments. [Faculty]

Basketball Down Under
The men's basketball team took a journey to the other side of the world, and Assistant Coach Dan Barfoot shares his journal of the trip. [Athletics]

My Response
“Dear Time Capsule Openers,” wrote Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Bruce Congdon to SPU students, faculty and alumni in 2053. His letter is now in a time capsule in SPU's new Science Building.