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Autumn 2002 | Volume 25, Number 4 | Faculty
In Search of Greatness: Professor Creates New Book and Luncheon Speaker Series

IN REFERENCE TO his latest book on achievement, Dan Tripps, chair of the Physical Education and Exercise Science Department at Seattle Pacific University, asks this question: “Do you want to be considered great or to live great? There aren’t many people who can do both.”

In Search of Greatness: Attributes of Achievement and Lessons for Life (The Town Book Press, 2002) is Tripps’ second book about people who have reached incredibly high goals. In The Heart of Success, Tripps wrote 40 profiles of heroes, then arranged his second book according to some common qualities of greatness, such as intuition and perseverance. “The project began,” he says, “because I wanted to understand the results of the life path I have taken.”

Of the 120 successful people Tripps interviewed, the one he admired most was Belding Scribner, the physician responsible for a breakthrough that led to kidney dialysis. “Unlike other extraordinary achievers,” Tripps says, “Belding has never changed who he is. He was able to weave work and home life together. In his mid-80s now, he’s still fishing off his houseboat dock, living with his wife of 65 years. He didn’t even want to capitalize financially on his invention.”

Tripps teaches a graduate course at Seattle Pacific in the psychology of achievement. To build a bridge for his students between academia and the “real world,” he began a luncheon speaker series this summer at SPU. For the events, he brought in an unlikely trio of experts on success: Gerard Schwarz, music director of the Seattle Symphony; Kent Stowell, artistic director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet; and Karen Thorndike, the first American woman to sail solo around the world. “Lessons of leadership cross all domains,” explains Tripps.

A winter luncheon will be presented on Saturday, March 1, 2003. According to Tripps, a panel of executives in sport from across the United States will talk about their core strengths, followed by informal discussions between the speakers and students. The events are open to alumni and friends of SPU as well. For more information, call Karyn Kiemele at 206/281-2391.

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