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FRANK CRANSTON and his wife, Ardie, were honored in June with a special reception hosted by his former fifth- and sixth-grade students. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of their graduation from the two-year experimental class program run by the Seattle School District in the early ’60s at Interlake Elementary School. Frank enjoyed a career that spanned more than 30 years in classroom instruction and school administration, including service as the supervisor of elementary schools. His former students gathered in the reception room of Shoreline Community Church to pay the couple honor and present them with certificates of achievement for their long-time dedication to public and community service. The Cranstons live in Shoreline, Washington.


SHARLEY MCMECHAN MCGUIRE has retired from 21 years of teaching first grade at Ellensburg Christian School and a total of 35 years in the profession. How does she sum up her years of guiding other people’s kids? “Children are God’s precious jewels, and it was a pleasure to work in his treasury,” she says. One of Sharley’s former first-graders, ELIZABETH LENZ ’13, has replaced Sharley teaching in the first-grade classroom at Ellensburg Christian. Sharley lives in Ellensburg.

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ROSE GAIN BROWN just retired from 29 years of teaching. She taught 18 of those year in Dufur
School District in Wasco County, Oregon. Her Dufur teaching started with half-day kindergarten,
high school art and home economics and ended with 8 years of teaching full-day kindergarten. Rose and her husband celebrated the beginning of new discoveries in retirement by going on a trans-Atlantic cruise which began in London and went as far north as Iceland, then crossed the
Atlantic in five days. She is looking forward to keeping active in church and her community in The Dalles, Oregon.


SIG SWANSTROM, former police detective, CSI, and SWAT team operator in Southern California, has authored an ebook, God, Guns, and Guts of Firearm Defense (Oxbridge 2013). He is the owner of Texas Republic Firearms Academy. The Academy provides firearm self-defense instruction for the general public, and training for national and international law enforcement
personnel. The former director of the Seattle Pacific University Fellows, Sig lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and former administrative assistant in the School of Business and Economics, PEGGY GRIFFIN SWANSTROM ’74.


SARAH GUNTER CANEZ and her husband, Daniel, have retired and moved to Cuenca, Ecuador, the country where they met as Peace Corps volunteers in 1976. “Any SPUers who travel to Ecuador, be sure to visit with us!” she says.


Your Alumni Chair

Retired Educator Supports Alma Mater

Gary Newbill ’64, MEd ’70, EdD ’99When Gary Newbill ’64, MEd ’70, EdD ’99, retired in 2012 after a 44-year career in education, he thought life might slow down. As he suspected, however, the former dean of the School of Education at Northwest University remains as busy as ever. Gary serves as the current chair of the Seattle Pacific University Alumni Association. He and his wife, Karen Jacobson Newbill ’67, enjoy their three young grandchildren; fellowship at Westminster Chapel, where they’ve worshipped for more than 40 years; and live in Issaquah, Washington, where Gary is president of Kiwanis Club.

At SPU President Dan Martin’s inauguration ceremony last spring, Gary brought wisdom and a warm welcome on behalf of the entire alumni community. His involvement on campus also includes attending the Veteran and Military Support Cadre activities and Centurion Alumni gatherings, and supporting special events hosted through the School of Education, where he served as a faculty member in the late 1990s while completing his doctorate in education. Gary has three degrees from Seattle Pacific and also holds a superintendent certificate and doctorate of law from the University of Washington.

Gary’s military service in the U.S. Marine Corps has afforded him several important leadership opportunities over the last 50 years, including what he considers a proud moment in education: administering the oath of enlistment to one of his high school students, who committed to a U.S. Marine Corps career. Now Gary maintains his connection as board member of the USMC Veteran Support Group of Seattle.

Looking forward to celebrating his 50-year reunion in June 2014, Gary says, “Seattle Pacific turned out to be a huge blessing. We’ve been supportive, and we really like the place.” HOLLY HARRIS WOOD ’07


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GREGORY GLENN, this year’s recipient of the Yves Congar Award from the Diocese of Salt Lake City, has served as director of liturgy and music at the Cathedral of the Madeleine since 1990. Congar was a Dominican friar who helped construct the reforms of the Second Vatican Council
and was named a cardinal. In 1996, Gregory established the Madeleine Choir School as a full-time co-educational Catholic school, and now serves as the school’s pastoral administrator. His role includes teaching upper-grade courses in theology, and he resides in Salt Lake City.

LINDA KING HEMRY is North Kitsap County’s Teacher of the Year for 2013. A teacher of second grade at Gateway Christian Schools, she has worked more than 20 years in education and is noted for her passion and gift of teaching. She lives in Poulsbo, Washington.


DAVID WON, a real estate investor who enjoys singing, last May joined three professional singers as a tenor soloist when Chorus Pro Musica under the direction of Betsy Burleigh performed Mozart’s C Minor Mass with the New England Philharmonic Orchestra at Boston’s Jordan Hall. While amateurs are rarely chosen for such an honor, David’s accomplished voice and dedication earned him the spot. What is still more remarkable is the fact that he nearly lost his voice after tuberculosis forced him to end his vocal performance studies at a South Korean university. He came to SPU where he studied religion instead before pastoring a church and earning a master’s degree in theology from Harvard Divinity School. He sang with the Harvard Glee Club, the first men’s chorus in the U.S., and the Church of the Advent Choir, composed of all professional singers. After marrying, starting a family, and becoming a real estate investor and mortgage broker, he resumed voice lessons and “by the grace of God” overcame all obstacles in letting the music come out of his voice again. He and his family live in Hull, Massachusetts.


TOM HAUSKEN, an art major when at SPU, was awarded the 2009 Clowes Foundation Award for Painting and received a full fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center in October 2010. An exhibit of his work can be seen at Fairweather House and Garden in Seaside, Oregon. The showing titled “Guys Take Over” features Northwest male artists, and runs September 26–November 26, 2013. The works on display by Tom are original abstract landscapes in oil that delve into the short stories of Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Tom lives and paints in Yakima, Washington.

AIDA KOUYOUMJIAN MA has published Between the Two Rivers: A Story of the Armenian Genocide (Coffeetown Press, 2011), what she calls “a true Cinderella of Mesopotamia story.” The book provides a different way of discussing the Armenian tragedy of World War I through her mother’s eyes and experience. Aida was born in Fallujah, Iraq, and raised and educated in Baghdad. In 1952, she came to the University of Washington on a Fulbright Scholarship. After a 30-year career teaching in the public schools, she now offers a course on Iraq at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington, and lives in Mercer Island, Washington.


EILEEN TREMAINE owns and operates Tremaine Consulting Group, a provider of community-based management consulting services to community health centers, rural hospitals, and public health departments. With more than 25 years of work in health care, and more than $11 million in grants received, she currently serves as a grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Eileen’s extensive training in emergency preparedness includes the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University and lives in Redding, California.


Buy This Land

Agros Founder Writes Life Story

Chi-Dooh “Skip” Li ’66How did a Spanish-speaking Chinese lawyer, born in India, with an American passport, come to buy land on behalf of indigenous people in Guatemala?

The only answer to this question is a story — the life story of
Chi-Dooh “Skip” Li ’66 — that is now the autobiography Buy This Land.

Kidnapped at age 2, later a refugee of the Chinese Communist revolution, Skip is today a successful attorney and founder of Agros International, a nonprofit organization that combats the root causes of poverty through land ownership and self-sufficient farming practices. Skip, Seattle Pacific University’s 1992 Alumnus of the Year, has served as his alma mater’s general legal counsel for more than 25 years.

“In so much of the world, justice is a distant aspiration, and historic injustice prevails,” says Skip. He is grateful for the U.S. legal system where, despite imperfections, “the little guy” has a chance.

Which, in part, is why Buy This Land came to be. Says Skip, “I want to bring more awareness of Agros and its great work, and to inspire others, especially college students and young people, to understand that one person really can make a difference.” The book is available through

Since 1982, Agros has helped create more than 42 communities in poor rural areas of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.Those who had never dreamed of
owning their own farmland have now, through Agros, successfully repaid land loans and received title to their plot of ground. CLINT KELLY


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MICHAEL “MIKE” WOOD and his wife, WENDELA “WENDY” WAHLSTROM WOOD ’87, are missionary educators with Global Professionals in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Since 2004, they have worked at Grace International School for children of missionaries, he as the spiritual life director and chaplain, she as a teacher of third graders. “We feel like we’re a part of something larger than ourselves in order to affect our world for the cause of Jesus Christ and his gospel,” says Mike, who earned a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He adds that a number of Grace graduates go on to study at SPU. The Woods have lived in Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand, with their two sons, Ethan, 15, and Alex, 11, since 2004.


LORAN LICHTY is an associate pastor at New Life Church in Renton, Washington, and a student in the Seattle University master’s degree program in nonprofit leadership. In cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and SU, Loran has produced Time to Listen, a 15-minute film on homelessness, viewable at Through the telling of six stories of homelessness, the film provokes small-group discussion and challenges viewers to find the places in their communities where they will serve. Loran lives in Maple Valley, Washington.


LAURA HILDENBRAND is director of social services for Orphans Overseas, an international adoption and humanitarian agency. Laura, who oversees preadoption and post-adoption services for adoptive parents, has both an undergraduate psychology degree from SPU and a master’s degree in social work from Roberts Wesleyan College. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon.


KRISTI CRAWFORD is vice president and business banking relationship manager for Home Federal Bank in Meridian, Idaho. Kristi provides business lending services as well as depository relationship oversight. She has worked in the banking and investment industry for more than 15 years. She resides in Meridian.

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SARAH KAUPPILA BERGEAUX and her husband, Jean-Paul, had a more exciting March than they had bargained for. Their second child, daughter Noelle, was born March 18 in the car on the Dulles Toll Road en route to the hospital in Reston, Virginia. Noelle had decided to come three weeks early. Jean-Paul, who pulled the car to the side of the road when it was apparent the time had come, put it succinctly to the local ABC news affiliate, “Between 6:30 a.m. and 6:40 a.m., it went from ‘I’m having contractions’ to ‘I’m ready to have a baby!’” The family came through the surprise arrival in fine form, and firefighters arrived just minutes later. The Bergeaux family resides in Leesburg, Virginia.

DANIEL SHAPIRO MS ’03, former strength and conditioning coach of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball franchise, is the new strength and conditioning coach of the University of Washington Huskies men’s basketball program. Daniel lives in Kirkland, Washington.



Creating Entrepreneurs

Alumnus Ministers to Japanese Business Students

Steve SakanashA common trend continued to emerge in Steve Sakanashi’s ministry with Japanese business students at the University of Washington.

“Students weren’t getting a lot of interaction with business professionals, and that’s what they wanted,” says Steve, a 2008 graduate of Seattle Pacific University. He wanted to address those desires as part of his ministry.

He originally planned to organize lunch meetings with business leaders. But, as Steve researched the declining Japanese economy, he discovered a need for entrepreneurship education.

“The world is changing so fast,” he says. “There are tons of new markets and new needs, and Japan is holding on for dear life.” Steve developed Sekai Creator, a nine-week entrepreneurship education program (“Sekai” means “world” in Japanese). Guest speakers teach, and students work in groups to develop business proposals. Some of the ideas have addressed needs such as helping Asian students get trendy haircuts in the United States, making Skype easier for senior citizens to use, and connecting people with artisans to get high-quality personalized gifts.

Steve’s father was a fourthgeneration Japanese American, and his mother grew up in Japan. After his father died of cancer when Steve was 18, he started to explore his Japanese heritage. Steve’s dad once told him, “The best thing you can do is to follow God where he leads you.”

Steve and his wife, Joy, plan to move to Japan in 2014 with their baby son, where they will continue Sekai Creator. “We want to love as Christ loves us,” Steve says. “I believe the highest gift I can give to someone is to introduce them to Jesus, but that’s not the only way to show love.” JULIA SIEMANS


SHANNON SMYTHE received a doctor of philosophy degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in May. The SPU double major in theology and educational ministries also earned a master of divinity degree from the seminary at Princeton. Shannon lives in Bellingham, Washington.


SARAH BUMPS is buyer for Davis Furniture, a small-business fixture in downtown Wenatchee, Washington, for more than 60 years. The business is owned by her father and has 20 employees. Sarah’s degree in textiles, clothing, and interior design makes her the ideal proponent of the company motto, “Your home is the heart of all we do.” She resides in Wenatchee.


KRISTIN “KRISTI” DAHLSTROM teaches American literature at Black Forest Academy, an international boarding school in Kandern, Germany. The Academy is a non-denominational K–12 Christian school serving the children of missionaries. What excites Kristi most about teaching there? “The opportunity to form relationships with children of ministry families,” she says. As a preacher’s kid herself, she knows firsthand “the joys and struggles of growing up in the (ministry) spotlight.” Kristi also taught public high school English and journalism in the U.S. for five years. She lives in Kandern.


BRIAN LIDDELL earned a doctor of osteopathy degree from Midwestern University College of Medicine on May 30. Later that same day, he was promoted to the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force. He has begun his residency in pediatrics at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Last October, he and his wife, HEATHER BECKLUND LIDDELL ’09, welcomed their first child.


JUSTIN FOX works for Boeing on the new 787-10 program and is enrolled in the engineering program at Oregon Institute of Technology. He and his wife, JESSICA BODNAR FOX ’07, live in Bellevue, Washington.

DAN PRICE, founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, was awarded the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” honors at the 2013 Geek-Wire Awards Gala. Held in May at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, the sold-out “celebration of the (Pacific Northwest) region’s tech rock stars” recognized Dan for starting Gravity Payments out of his SPU dorm room at the age of 19 and growing it into a nationally respected provider of an efficient and inexpensive way for small businesses to process credit-card payments. Dan, now 28, was nominated and chosen by readers. His story was also recently highlighted on KING 5’s Evening Magazine. He lives in Seattle.

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Derek Sellers

DEREK SELLERS was one of two principal gondoliers (Marco) in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s summer Seattle production of “The Gondoliers.” The other (Giuseppe) was DEREK HANSON ’11. Other SPU alumni in the production were BREANNA EDWARDS HANSON ’13 (Fiametta) and NANCY RUTHERFORD SLEIGHT ’77 (chorus), along with current SPU students AMY KORVER and JEAN SLEIGHT (chorus). SPU voice instructor Bernard Kwiram was music director for the comic opera that enjoyed a run of 11 performances at the Seattle Repertory’s Bagley Wright Theatre.

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