Letters to the Editor
Response just keeps getting better and better with every
issue. It is so good these days that I read it from cover to cover.
The Winter 2004 issue with a focus on business was of particular
interest to me since I have found myself in recent years speaking
at management seminars for such international business groups as
Samsung Aerospace and Rolls Royce International. Although my fields
are theology and Asian studies, I have found that business leaders
are interested in doing the right thing and that there is a deep
concern for building character as well as making a profit. Response and SPU are to be complimented for providing leadership in the world
of business, and doing so from a Christian perspective.
— Daniel James Adams ’65, Jeonbuk,
I JUST READ THE MAX DEPREE interview in the SPU Response.
I want to thank President Eaton, the University and especially
Sarah Jio and Jennifer Johnson Gilnett for this great piece. I’ve
had the privilege of being a member of the Herman Miller family
for the past 26 years, the past 15 in Seattle. This interview captures
Max as he lived and led Herman Miller. He is the real deal. Thanks
for honoring and featuring a great leader and a man of God.
Koster, Herman Miller, Seattle, Wash.
THE ARTICLES AND LETTERS in Response draw
me to write with a plea for balance, particularly as it relates
to the magazine’s
recent emphasis on “successful” businesspersons taking “biblical” principles
to the world. Not bad in its own right, if admitted as a bias,
yet problematic in a pluralistic society and age. A worldview
that perpetuates the dichotomies of society in terms of sacred/secular,
Christian/ non-Christian business and the like, equating this blend
of market spirituality with living a spiritual life, undermines
any honest attempt to serve together with diverse communities
to get anything worthwhile done. Until the purveyors of this outlook
recognize they are shutting out a majority of the world and,
I would say, a large segment of God’s people, we
will never move beyond the Us/Them thinking that has held back
a full expression of E Pluribus Unum, a fundamental of
our nation many of the “faithful” can’t seem to handle.
My nine years as a
chaplain among homeless persons has revealed mountains of tensions
between the life of faith and the “success” orientation of
American society, or Seattle Pacific. I’m not saying that all
these folks you exemplified in Response aren’t doing great things
or aren’t good people. I think I’m reacting to the slickness
of the “beautiful people” who are the focus because they are “successful
Christians.” That’s a bit scary to me as a spiritual leader,
as a person who works with wonderful friends of all religious
traditions, and as someone who learned long ago that while we all
focus our attention on the Great People, it is the Little Folks
who often bring the message, the good news, we most desperately
need to hear.
— Chris Highland ’78, Chaplain, Interfaith Homeless
Chaplaincy, San Rafael, Calif.
Congratulations to the Alumnus of the Year
THE GENEROSITY OF
SPU Alumnus of the Year Ed Vander Pol and his company,
Oak Harbor Freight Lines, allows Northwest Harvest to provide a
diverse selection of nutritious food to our clients. To get by,
many of our clients feed their families the same low-cost packaged
foods day after day. The hundreds of thousands of pounds of fruit
and vegetables we receive through Oak Harbor Freight Lines improves
both their physical health and their spirit, as this client shares:
I came to your food bank with my niece, because I didn’t have enough
food in my house to make a meal or enough canned goods and dried
food items that would stretch until next Friday at which time I
would have some money. The caring and friendliness that your staff
showed my niece and me was unbelievable.... When I walked out
of your door I felt renewed, with a little more pep in my step
because Northwest Harvest showed me that people care. Again, thank
On behalf of this client and the thousands of others served
by Northwest Harvest, I would like to extend my gratitude and
congratulations to Ed Vander Pol, a true leader in the fight
— Shelley Rotondo, Executive Director, Northwest
Harvest, Seattle, Wash.
Thoughts on Science and Faith
I’VE DAWDLED OVER WRITING my reaction
to a letter in the winter issue of Response. The writer was dismissive
of scientific knowledge and repulsed by current stem cell research.
Time has persuaded me that unless supporters of science speak up
in the ongoing — and dare I say “unnecessary” — debate over creationism
versus evolutionary evidence, the battle will be lost to those
who cherish literal readings of the Scriptures over the observable
phenomena of our planet and our universe.
It appears that the religious
fervor that led to the destruction of the libraries in Alexandria
1,600 years ago — an event that did immeasurable damage to
the progress of civilization — is still a force today. Religious
faith — that “incredulous leap” in the words of theologian Paul
Tillich — does not require science for support just as science
must be founded solely on physical observations and extrapolations
instead of faith.
Sadly, I recall sitting in a Survey of Physics
class at SPC in the early ’50s and being told that space travel
was an impossibility “because a force exerted in a vacuum would
bring no movement.” (The professor was oblivious to the fact that
the opposing force is exerted against the front of the expelling
It is even sadder that, with all of its efforts and
excellence in the SPU science departments today, the scholarly
reputation of SPU is diminished by the presence of the Discovery
Institute on campus. Promoting an “intelligent design” theory seems
to demonstrate a lack of faith. One’s faith should not be so fragile
that one is compelled to resist any theories that confound a literal
interpretation of Genesis.
— Dan Näsman ’55, Port Townsend, Wash.
Note: Although SPU has co-sponsored some events with the Discovery
Institute, people have on occasion assumed a connection between
the organization and SPU that does not exist. Vice President for
Academic Affairs Les Steele says, “The Discovery Institute is not
on campus nor is there any official relationship between Seattle
Pacific University and the Discovery Institute.”
A Team With Passion, Leadership and Class
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE
SPU women’s basketball team for another phenomenal season! What
Coach Presnell, his staff and the players have accomplished over
the past two seasons is truly amazing. They’ve been such a joy
to watch, and they’re great representatives of SPU. With all the
negative things reported in the media about sports and athletes,
the SPU women’s program is a shining example of what is good about
athletics. These women play hard, smart and as a team, and the
results over the past two seasons have been incredible.
Betsy, is in the sixth grade, and has gone to the Falcon Girls
Basketball Camp the last three summers. As a result, we have come
to know several of the women players. These women are not only
great basketball players on the court, but great people off the
court. I can’t begin to explain what it has meant to our family,
especially Betsy, to be able to watch this team, and to see such
effort, passion, leadership and class.
These are people and
experiences that Betsy will remember forever.
— Steve Kingma, Bellevue,
MY WIFE AND I WERE convinced that watching Falcon women’s basketball
was the sports bargain of the Seattle area. We watched a TEAM and
not a group of individuals. Coach Presnell again assembled a talented
group of young women who played an enthusiastic, selfless, disciplined
and exciting game.
The team was our team and made us proud
to be associated with Seattle Pacific University.
— Andy Montana ’51
and Kay Montana, Edmonds, Wash.
Memories of a Favorite Professor
Note: The following is a recent campus email conversation about
the late Seattle Pacific Professor of Economics M.B. Miller.
IS THE LAST PLACE I want to find myself.” M.B. Miller. This
was one small part of [Professor of Theatre] George Scranton’s “JB” lecture
in UCOR 1000 plenary session Wednesday last.
— Michael Macdonald,
Professor of European Studies
MICHAEL, ET AL.: For “newer” faculty
members: M.B. Miller was a “legend in his own time,” and greatly
admired by us (then) “younger” faculty. He was noted for his wit
and wisdom, his liberality and his laughter — and his many “quips.” As
he would get up from the “faculty” table in the SUB (where many
of us would gather for coffee), he might say, “Well, I have other
fish to fry that are not of this pan,” or “I have other sheep to
fold that are not of this pen.” The quip that I quoted, which Michael
alluded to, was classic M.B. and has now come true. Since his death
a number of years ago, he is now in the “last place he wanted to
find himself — in heaven.” May his memory still remain with us
who are not yet there. He was one of those grand faculty members
who make SPU the kind of place in which I have been able to live,
love and thrive.
— George Scranton ’69, Professor of Theatre
THE REMINISCENCES of M.B. Miller reminds me of my student days
at SPC. Frequently, the highlights of my week were hearing him
read chapel announcements in the mornings. It wasn’t that I had
such a pathetic lifestyle, but that M.B. was exceptionally gifted,
making the mundane delightfully humorous.
— Lyle Peter ’72, Professor
CELEBRATING THE MEMORIES of M.B., quite simply, make
my day. May his memory (continue to) be blessed.
— Frank Spina,
Professor of Old Testament
WITH ALL OF THE CLASSES I took from M.B.
I should have all kinds of M.B. quotes. The only thing I can
remember is that in one of his classes he said that the population
explosion was due to the invention of the station wagon.
— Mel Gimmaka ’66,
Priest, St. Innocent Orthodox Church, Everson, Wash.
ORCHIDS TO YOU! As a still-functioning member of the
class of ’52, I am always thankful for Seattle Pacific and that
I was blessed to have my four years of undergraduate study there.
As for your publication, I have watched it through the years and
am thrilled to see the caliber to which it has come. To Jennifer
and staff, I would say God bless you. You are making a difference
in God’s kingdom as you encourage often tired saints and give cause
for praise and thanksgiving to many alums serving all over the
— Harry Oldenburger ’52, Retired Pastor, Vancouver,
What Do You Think? Don’t be shy!
We’d like to hear your opinion about Response or any
printed in the publication. To tell us what you think, send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit
www.spu.edu/response. You may
also write Editor, Response,
Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 116,
98119–1922. Letters must be signed and will be printed as space