David McKenna

Retired after 33 consecutive years as a college, university and seminary president, David McKenna decided to help others develop a spiritual discipline of daily reading Christian books. How to Read a Christian Book (Baker Books, 2001) is the former Seattle Pacific University president's twenty-first book. Besides a monthly reading plan, it provides several lists of enduring and thought-provoking titles, both fiction and nonfiction, and recommendations of books from a wide variety of categories.

In the preface, McKenna makes his intentions clear. "As a lover of Christian books, I want to enhance the potential of their ministry by encouraging readers to choose books of quality, judge their content with discernment, develop a reading habit as a spiritual discipline, and build their own personal library."

Anyone reading With His Joy (Light and Life Communications, 2001), former Asbury Theological Seminary Professor of Homiletics Donald Demaray's new book about David McKenna, will quickly discover the roots of McKenna's love of good books. "He reads, reads, reads," says Demaray, a former dean of the School of Religion at Seattle Pacific. "When he had to have eye surgery, I asked David how he managed not to read. You should have seen him react — a major slice of his life had gone for a period of time. He feels that print media can play a major part in developing true disciples of Christ."

McKenna has long been regarded as a visionary in Christian higher education. He is perhaps best known for taking Spring Arbor from a junior college to a four-year school; leading the initiative that gained Seattle Pacific College university status; and for shaping Asbury Theological Seminary into what many consider to be the world's leading Wesleyan theological school.


Alumni Director Doug Taylor enjoys few things more than to announce Medallion Award winners. Says Taylor, "These people are examples of the many, many graduates who uphold the values of Seattle Pacific University every day. They're alumni who use their very unique personal and professional gifts to serve in a variety of interesting and meaningful ways.

"This year's honorees include four graduates who stand for justice and a couple with a life-giving ministry to professional athletes. They are pretty dynamic people."

The 2001 Medallion Award recipients were recognized at the President's Homecoming Luncheon in February. They are:

Frank Furtado '61 and Sarah Furtado '53 helped the Seattle Sonics grow into a powerhouse NBA contender. Twice chosen for the NBA honor of "Trainer of the Year," Frank has been with the Sonics for 26 seasons and retires this year. He managed overall team health and travel arrangements, while Sarah spent 26 years in the Sonics front office as executive assistant to eight general managers. The Furtado era included 175 players and eight head coaches.

Dale Ramerman '64 has been a judge in King County (Washington) Superior Court since 1989 and a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. He has also served as a volunteer lawyer on behalf of Central American refugees and chaired the King County Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee.

Forrest Walls '60 and Viola Walls '61 have been faithful members of the SPU Society of Fellows for a combined total of 45 years. An expert in municipal law, Forrest is responsible for millions of dollars in municipal district funding. He is an attorney and senior partner at the firm of Preston, Gates & Ellis, the second largest law firm in Washington state. Vi was a physical education teacher and served on the Edmonds (Washington) School Board for 12 years. She was chair of the Cascade Symphony and has been active in the Free Methodist Church.

Dennis Yule '64 has practiced law for 34 years. During his first year, he clerked for Washington State Supreme Court Justice Matthew Hill. In 1986, Dennis was appointed to the Benton-Franklin Counties Superior Court, where he supervises the juvenile justice center.


For the Seattle Pacific University community, seeking or offering a job is now as close as a computer. SPU's Career Development Center (CDC) has launched a Web-based software program dubbed "Jobnet" that offers instant access to employment opportunities and job posting services.

Employers have already taken advantage of the new system, posting hundreds of jobs and internships. "They love it," says CDC Director Jacqui Smith-Bates. "They're used to working online, so it comes easily to them." Employers are given an account and a password, and enter job listings into the system themselves. Listings are reviewed by a career counselor on a weekly basis.

Students appreciate having "24/7" access to current job and internships, says Smith-Bates, but the system is a boon for graduates as well. "We've seen high-level jobs posted that are suitable for experienced professionals," she states.

The high-tech networking has other advantages for alumni as well. They may offer mentoring to current students, or seek a mentor of their own. And they are able to post jobs that are open in their own companies.

Jobnet is easy to access and, in fact, all students and alumni already have a password. "They just have to go in and activate it," Smith-Bates explains. The Jobnet Web address is or can be accessed through the "Resources for Alumni" section of the SPU Web site.

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