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Autumn 2004 | Volume 27, Number 4 | Alumni

Out of This World: Alumni Engineers Help Make the Launch of SpaceShipOne Possible

the imaginations of such luminaries as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin. They recently stood with a multitude of well-wishers and stargazers to watch SpaceShipOne rocket into the sky from California’s Mojave Desert. The successful second flight of the first private-venture craft to leave the earth’s atmosphere and enter space earned Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team a prize of $10 million.

It was also a dream come true for four Seattle Pacific University graduates and a group of SPU student interns. They developed the Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) that provided critical state-of-the-art back-up for the spacecraft’s cockpit instrumentation.

Electrical engineer Nick Bogner ’00 at Dynon Avionics heads the team that built the EFIS. He was joined by Dynon colleagues and fellow alumni Bryce Schober ’01, Paul Dunscomb ’01, and J.R. Willett ’02. SPU student summer interns also helped along the way.

Bogner, who was in on the project from the beginning, has worked at Dynon for four years. He is energized that space is now within reach of the common man. “The greatest thing about technology is that it makes more things accessible to more people,” he says. “Even space travel is now a possibility for people other than government astronauts.”

Soon after Bogner began work at Dynon, SPU Director of Engineering Anthony Donaldson invited Dynon’s president, John Torode, to the Greater Seattle Community Breakfast hosted by Seattle Pacific. The businessman told Donaldson how impressed he was with Bogner. Since that time, Torode has almost exclusively hired engineers and interns from SPU.

“God uses prepared people,” says Donaldson. “Our engineers are called to serve, and their contributions continually bear fruit. They represent the University so well that one San Diego company just decided to relocate to Seattle to have direct access to our graduates.”

Bogner says it was his yearlong senior project at SPU — designing a sophisticated controller for a saltwater reef aquarium — that gave him the experience and the confidence to tackle something out of this world.

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From the President
In 2000, Seattle Pacific intensified its commitment to racial reconciliation. Is it possible, asks Philip Eaton, for SPU to discover ways to tear down walls that divide?

In Trust for the Future
Charitable trusts are benefiting students and donors. One couple, in fact, has seen their trust provide income for them, while supporting student scholarships. [Campaign]

Zorn to Largent
Sarah Zorn and Kramer Largent have teamed up as Falcons, showing the same competitive spirit as their famous NFL fathers. [Campus]

A Fabulous Time to Be Alive
Astronomy is revealing never-before-seen wonders. “We are in the process of discovering a God far greater than we’ve ever imagined,” says Professor Emeritus Karl Krienke. [Faculty]

Life Stories
A filmmaker talks about his visits with SPU students and his project to share the internment stories of Japanese Americans during World War II. [Books & Film]

Mutual Inspiration
Falcon men’s and women’s soccer teams cheered each other on to success in 2004, as both teams continued the University’s tradition of being a national force in soccer. [Athletics]

My Response
For Sharon Hartnett, assistant professor of education, diversity reflects a piece of heaven on earth. “After all, heaven is a multicultural place,” she says.