August 20-22: Forget Your Cares at "Y2Casey"!

What better way to prepare for Y2K than to join friends and fellow alumni at "Y2Casey," August 20-22, for a fun, relaxing seashore getaway? Mark your calendars now, and details about Casey Alumni Weekend '99 will be in your mailbox soon!

Alumni Violist Selected for the National Symphony

Ruth Wicker

Musician Ruth Wicker has known a great deal of success since she graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1991. Now she's received one of the highest honors. An accomplished violist, she has been selected for the National Symphony Orchestra at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Musicians came from Asia and Europe to audition for this position in the National Symphony. Wicker survived four rounds of auditions to emerge the judges' number one choice.

After a "well-rounded education" at SPU, Wicker attended Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music in the footsteps of such alumni as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. Then came three years at the Cologne Conservatory in Germany, from which she graduated with distinction.

Back in the US, she earned a master's degree at the University of Oregon and was hired as principal violist for Michigan's Kalamazoo Symphony. Currently completing a season with the Oregon Symphony, she will assume her new tenure track position this fall.

Besides her father, Seattle Pacific Professor of Music Vernon Wicker, Ruth's primary mentor and teacher at SPU was Richard Skerlong, principal violist with the Seattle Symphony.

Alum Returns to SPU as a Madison Fellow

Wendy Sauer

A history teacher at Mercer Island High School, Wendy Hagen Sauer '92 didn't expect to begin graduate study while her husband, Michael, worked toward his master's degree in school counseling at Seattle Pacific University. But then Sauer learned of the James Madison Fellowship program and applied. Last summer she was awarded the prestigious fellowship.

Funded by an act of Congress, the James Madison Fellowship Foundation named 67 fellows in 1998, all of them secondary teachers of American history, American government and social studies. Fellows are awarded up to $24,000 toward a master's degree with an emphasis on history and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. They may attend any university they choose.

"The world was my oyster," says Sauer.

Yet even with the University of Washington and its large history graduate program nearby, Sauer chose SPU. "I stopped and thought, 'What kind of environment do I want to be in? What kind of professors do I want to be dealing with?'" recalls Sauer. "That's where the Christian connection of SPU was really appealing."

Because Seattle Pacific has no specific graduate program in history, Sauer will design three independent study courses with the help of history and education professors. "With a person like Wendy, who's so bright and creative and energetic, that's a wonderful atmosphere within which to work," says Don Holsinger, chair of the SPU History Department.

Now in her third quarter of study, Sauer and other fellows will spend July at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., taking a course on the U.S. Constitution.

Alumni Invited to Reception Honoring Gates, Chamberlain

Seattle Pacific University alumni and friends are invited to a special reception on May 17 honoring Associate Professor of English Fan Gates and Professor of Communication Robert Chamberlain, both of whom are retiring this year. Gates, whom colleagues call "the heart, soul and life" of the English Department, has taught at SPU for 36 years. Chamberlain, described as "a model of unselfish service," is completing his 21st year at Seattle Pacific.

Hosted by the faculty of the English and Communication departments, the reception is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. in the Fireside Room of the Student Union Building. Faculty and staff will formally honor Gates, Chamberlain and Professor of Mathematics David Brooks, who is also retiring, at a banquet on May 21.

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