SPU Enrolls Record Number of Undergraduates

Seattle Pacific University welcomed 2,624 undergraduate students when classes began Autumn Quarter -- the largest number of undergraduates in the school's 107-year history. Total enrollment is 3,376.

"We're extremely pleased with the size and the quality of our new class," says Kenneth Cornell, director of undergraduate marketing and admissions. "These numbers reflect SPU's position as a premier Christian university in the country."

There are 820 new students (freshmen and transfers) on campus this fall, also a school record. The percentage of students continuing their education at Seattle Pacific is 80 percent, up two percent from last year. The average total SAT scores for entering freshmen have also risen, climbing to 1144, 18 points above last year's marks.

One reason for the increasing numbers is an ongoing commitment by SPU to affordability. "Students and parents are responding to our five-year commitment to keep tuition, room and board increases at or below the rate of inflation," says Marj Johnson, vice president for university relations. "This year's 2.9 percent increase is one of the lowest increases in the state, and is below the four percent average increase nationally."

Not only are there more new students this year, but six percent more returning students requested to live on campus. To help meet the demand for on-campus housing, the University purchased an apartment complex and leased apartment units near campus.

"One reason for the increase is our campus life program, which builds a strong sense of community and belonging," says Kim Campbell, director of residence life. "Students are also choosing to stay on campus because the low apartment vacancy rate on Queen Anne Hill makes it harder to find something affordable."

With the record enrollment and higher retention figures, more than 1,400 students now live in SPU housing.

Admissions and Alumni Combine to Maximize Area Visits

Seattle Pacific University is on the road again this winter and spring for a series of special events in selected cities. The travel events, hosted by Seattle Pacific's Admissions and Alumni offices, will bring together prospective students, parents, alumni and representatives from the University.

"These combined events are great times of information and interaction," says Jennifer Feddern, associate director of admissions and this year's event planner.

The program will feature a time for alumni, prospects and parents to mingle, as well as separate sessions where specific questions of interest can be answered. One highlight at each event will be a "mini-lecture" by an SPU faculty member. Alumni talent will also be showcased.

Confirmed sites for the "road shows" include Seattle and Spokane in Washington; the Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego in California; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Chicago, Illinois. Invitations will be in the mail soon.

SPU Revives Its One-of-a-kind Graduate Program in PE

A special kick-off breakfast featuring President Philip Eaton was held this summer for the first 22 graduate students seeking Seattle Pacific University's new master's degree in physical education.

The revived program -- on hiatus for the past six years -- is unique in the region. "There's no other school in the Puget Sound area that offers a master's degree in physical education," says Grant Hill, program director. "With an increased need for competent, Christian leadership in athletics, we're eager to offer this degree."

This year's incoming class draws from a diverse and accomplished student base. For instance:

Akemi Takei, sports reporter for King 5 News, holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, but wants to pursue athletic administration.

Cathy Anderson, former assistant to Chris Gobrecht, women's basketball coach at the University of Washington, coached in the WNBA during the summer of 1998. She desires a master's degree in physical education to open up even more opportunities at the university and professional levels.

Both Dan Blackmer '73 and Daunte Gouge '92 teach at King's Schools in Seattle. They are determined to earn their master's degrees in order to enhance leadership and teaching skills.

Alumni of SPU's former graduate program in physical education are teachers, coaches, sports administrators, and exercise and fitness leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Fifteen Join the SPU Faculty

Seattle Pacific University welcomed 15 new faculty members to the academic ranks for 1998-99. "Each one brings a rich blend of mature Christian faith, scholarly excellence and teaching experience," says Provost Bruce Murphy. "I'm particularly pleased that several come from Wesleyan church backgrounds."

The newest SPU faculty members are: Douglas Anderson, Ph.D., professor of marriage and family therapy; Anthony Donaldson, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering; Aileen Maddox, M.A., assistant professor, library specialist for business; Randy Maddox, Ph.D., professor of theological studies, Paul T. Walls Chair of Wesleyan Theology; Gerry Marsh, M.A., instructor of music; Gary Newbill, M.Ed./ Juris D./ Ed.D. candidate, associate professor of educational administration; Delia Nuesch-Olver, Ph.D., associate professor of religion; Tina Sellers, M.S., instructor of marriage and family therapy; David Steele, Ph.D., associate professor of educational administration; Carolyn Strand, Ph.D. candidate, assistant professor of accounting; John Thoburn, Ph.D., associate professor in graduate psychology and marriage and family therapy; Aleydis Van de Moortel, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of classics; David Wicks, M.A., assistant professor, instructional design specialist, and coordinator for technology and learning; Beverly Jo Wilson, Ph.D., assistant professor of graduate psychology; Daisy Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry.

Pre-Med Advisor Elected to National Position

Last year, 12 Seattle Pacific University students applied for medical school. Nine were accepted.

The percentages are similar every year. Of the SPU students who apply for medical school, typically 67-80 percent are accepted, often to top institutions like Dartmouth, Tulane and the University of Washington. The national average is closer to 17-20 percent per school.

"It speaks well for the quality of education our students receive," says Ken Moore, professor of biology and pre-med advisor. "Medical schools look for a good general education program and SPU has that. And we've always been known for our strong science program, which is the foundation of medicine."

It also speaks well for the pre-med advising Seattle Pacific students receive. Recognized by medical schools across the country as an effective teacher and student advocate, Moore was recently chosen president-elect of the national Association of Advisors of the Health Profession.

This honor "helps keep SPU at the forefront," Moore believes. But he's quick to assert that it's ultimately the students who get themselves admitted to medical school. He tells them, "If you're dedicated, do the preparation and keep your priorities straight, you have a good shot."

On his list of recommendations for students who aspire to the medical profession are: learn to say "no" to too many activities; focus on a few things and do them well; read voraciously; and show respect for other points of view.

"I live with these kids and their emotions," he says. "But by their senior year, only 15-20 out of 60 or 70 will have remained in the pre-med program. From the beginning, I must help them understand it's a hard road. We can't give them false hope."

This year, Moore's conviction hits close to home. His son, Kris, completes pre-med studies at Seattle Pacific in December. The younger Moore has already applied to medical school and, along with dad, nervously awaits the result.

School of Business Honors Two of Its Own

In June, the Seattle Pacific University School of Business and Economics (SBE) named Denise Daniels the 1998 SBE Teacher of the Year and Kenman Wong the 1998 SBE Scholar of the Year. Both recipients are "richly deserving," said SBE Dean Alec Hill in making the announcement.

In just her third year of teaching management to both graduate and undergraduate students, Daniels rates consistently high on student evaluations. "I love it when students make the connections and the light bulbs come on," says the assistant professor.

Daniels considers it a special task to help students see how the Christian faith can influence their professions. "For instance, when we talk about leadership theories, we discuss the servant leadership exemplified by Jesus. We talk about accountability systems and how they affect performance. And we ask, 'What is my personal mission and how does it relate to my faith?'" She concedes that for a Muslim student, or an agnostic, questions like these may not be as easy to answer, but the entire class is sharpened in the process.

Like Daniels, Wong is a relative newcomer to Seattle Pacific, arriving in the fall of 1997. In the last two years, his scholarship has touched on a wide variety of news-making issues, including the ethics of managed health care, and tobacco advertising and children.

"Lately, my concerns have mostly been over the intersection of business and medicine," says Wong, an associate professor of management. "What of the conflict between profit motive and patient well-being? I want students to think about the issues they will confront and how their character will be tested in the professional world. I want them to see that character flaws do not come cost-free."

Wong has written two books on ethics. His most recent, to be released at the end of the year, is Medicine and the Marketplace: The Moral Dimensions of Managed Care. It was one of only 50 proposals chosen for publication out of 600 submitted to the University of Notre Dame Press last year.

Family Therapy Clinic Expands Its Community Base

For years, the developmentally disabled have been a highly marginalized group of citizens with little to say in their own treatment. That's why Seattle Pacific University's Family Therapy Clinic, staffed by graduate students in the marriage and family therapy degree program, has attempted to give them a voice.

Today, 20 percent of the 100 clients seen per week at the Clinic are developmentally disabled. "It's now a central piece of our work," explains Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy Michelle Naden. "Typically, these folks used to get bottom-of-the-barrel treatment from the medical and mental health communities. But at this clinic, we work with them in the context of their families and the larger culture, and we hear their concerns."

Naden has directed clinical training since she first joined the Seattle Pacific faculty in 1993. She created the Family Therapy Clinic in 1994 to provide a hands-on learning environment for students and make a significant contribution to the well-being of the community. There are strong signs of the Clinic's growth and impact:

  • An on-site partnership with Seattle Schools allows SPU students to help public school youth work through difficult family issues.
  • Seattle Pacific students regularly collaborate with the family medicine residents at the University of Washington Family Medical Center, and assist families at the Northwest Cancer Center.
  • Work with churches is a special focus this year. Currently, the Clinic joins with First Free Methodist Church to provide premarital counseling.

Naden is focusing on full-time teaching in 1998-99, while new faculty member Tina Sellers directs the Family Therapy Clinic. "The Clinic is a huge amount of work," says Naden, "but we've pulled in the students to help, and built our program around their areas of interest. Their energy and marketing abilities have made it go."

New Faculty Book: The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia

Assistant Professor of Political Science John West likes a full slate. In 1997, it was crowded indeed. In addition to his normal teaching load, planning SPU's upcoming C.S. Lewis centennial celebration, arranging summer programs for the Seattle-based Discovery Institute (where he is a senior fellow), and preparing for his own wedding, he helped edit the 800 entries that comprise The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia.

"I turned other projects down, but wanted this one because of my love of Lewis," says West.

Years ago, his sister gave her little brother one of the Narnia children's books and West began devouring Lewis' writings. By junior high school he had read the bulk of them, including the more difficult adult works. "What I read was very formative of my views on Christians and politics; and of my own spiritual walk. Through Lewis I found that belief in Christ was reasonable, and that prudence was a virtue.

Thirty-five years after his death, the books of C.S. Lewis continue to sell a reported one million copies a year. West jumped at the chance to help Jeffrey Schultz, his friend from graduate school days, compile a comprehensive resource for so loyal a readership.

Here they will find a brief biography and timeline, insights on the works of Lewis from many viewpoints, and appendices to Lewis web sites, organizations and bookstores.

Among the encyclopedia's 43 contributors are Michael Macdonald, SPU professor of European studies, German and philosophy; and Kristine Ottaway, a 1996 Seattle Pacific graduate.

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Copyright © 1999 University Communications, Seattle Pacific University.

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