New Gwinn Commons Scheduled to Open in Autumn

The old Gwin Commons was demolished during the first few weeks of April.

When it was built in 1962, Gwinn Commons created a whole new dining experience for Seattle Pacific College students. It was the year of the Seattle World's Fair, and the then "ultra-modern" facility was designed to serve Seattle Pacific into the 21st century.

Now that the next century is almost here, the University is taking another leap in campus dining to serve a growing student body and changing needs. Construction of an updated commons began in March, and the remodeled facility is scheduled to open in Autumn Quarter 1999.

The new Gwinn Commons will extend 24 feet further south and feature an additional floor over the main dining level. In response to demand for more meeting space, the building includes one large, dividable room that can seat up to 700, as well as a private dining room with space for 35 guests.

The student dining area on the main floor will have a "marketplace" design with multiple cooking stations offering made-to-order meals and ethnic cuisine. Other innovations include a high-tech kitchen, a variety of seating arrangements, and a fireplace area for casual gatherings.

The old Gwinn Commons closed its doors at the end of Winter Quarter and students are temporarily dining in the Stearns Building, a refurbished warehouse located on West Nickerson Street, now dubbed "Stearns Café." Students can also grab breakfast in Hill Hall Lounge or a hot meal in Falcon's Landing at the Student Union Building. Mini-market snacks and espresso are available in other campus locations as well.

SPU's First Ph.D. Program Earns Accreditation

Seattle Pacific University's first Ph.D. program - in clinical psychology - was recently regionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. "It was like getting the 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,'" says a pleased Nathan Brown, chair of the Department of Graduate Psychology. "It's very significant because it gives our program a basic endorsement of quality."

The Ph.D., emphasizes Brown, is largely built on the legacy of Dennis Guernsey. Guernsey, who headed the Graduate Psychology Department before he died of cancer two years ago, had a specific vision for a Christian doctoral program in psychology. "The Ph.D. program's roots grew out of what Dennis planted," says Brown.

The doctorate combines an academic curriculum with clinical training, preparing graduates to be practitioners as well as researchers and teachers. It joins with the Ed.D. program in educational leadership and 10 master's degree programs to make up SPU's graduate offerings.

For Brown and his colleagues, the next step is achieving national accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA). Because the APA requires that the program produce graduates prior to application for accreditation, that goal is still several years off.

Brown is confident, however, that APA accreditation is in Seattle Pacific's future. "This will be one of the few APA-approved, university-based, explicitly Christian Ph.D. programs in psychology in the nation."

English Professor Explores "Christian Academic Freedom" in Weter Lecture

Associate Professor of English Mark Walhout

Is it possible for a university to nurture academic freedom while requiring its faculty to subscribe to a doctrinal standard of orthodoxy?

Associate Professor of English Mark Walhout made "Christian Academic Freedom" the focus of the April 22 Weter Lecture, an annual forum highlighting scholarship at Seattle Pacific University. In the lecture, he argued his view that it is indeed possible for both academic freedom and doctrinal orthodoxy to be nurtured, "provided that . . . the institution and its individual members . . . confess academic freedom, not as a grudging concession to secular authorities, but as a central article of faith."

In many ways, acknowledged Walhout, the Christian college or university offers more freedom to the Christian professor than a secular institution, where "religious expression is apt to be inhibited, both formally and informally." The challenge on a Christian campus, he said, is to balance the scriptural principle of not offending those whose faith is weak with the instruction to speak according to Christian conscience.

Walhout, who has taught at SPU since 1987, proposed a definition of Christian academic freedom as "the freedom of the Christian professor to teach, conduct research, publish and speak as a citizen according to his or her own conscience, consistent with the authority of Scripture and the high standards of the profession."

SPU Psychologists Bring Hope to Fragmented Families in China

Nathan Brown (left) and Don MacDonald

From Nathan Brown's bedroom window in Beijing last November, he counted no fewer than 36 construction cranes operating around the clock. A modern building boom has China's capital city in its steel grip.

But with rapid Westernization in the economic sector come less welcome social pressures like skyrocketing divorce, increased suicides and parent-child conflict. The traditional Chinese multi-generational family unit is eroding as young people flock to the cities, and the Chinese are seeking therapeutic models to help fragmented families cope.

Brown, chair of the Graduate Psychology Department at Seattle Pacific University, and Don MacDonald, professor of marriage and family therapy and clinical psychology at SPU, wanted to be of service. Last fall, at the invitation of Beijing Medical University (BMU), they presented the equivalent of a four-credit course in family psychology and therapy to 75 physicians.

"Our goal was not necessarily to give answers, since a Western approach might not translate well," says Brown. "Rather we tried to pro- vide them with a context for family therapy that would prove helpful."

The two Americans were well received and have not only been invited back to BMU, but to teach at other medical schools in several parts of China. The potential for learning in this type of experience runs both ways, they say. "In China, we learn a new appreciation for family heritage and extended family life," MacDonald cites as an example.

While the SPU professors didn't share the same religious beliefs as their hosts, Brown recalls one "amazingly open discussion" that took place with approximately 20 Chinese doctors in a biofeedback laboratory.

"A Buddhist asked if I believed in God. I said, 'Yes, I do.' Then he asked if I believed in a God who knows me personally. I said, 'Yes, God not only knows me but loves me and cares about me, and each one of you too.'"

Kierulf Forges New Partnerships in Entrepreneurial Poland

Herb Kierulff

Europe - East as well as West - is flexing muscle as never before in the modern era. Democracy has torn down many walls of division. Technology has made markets of some of the heretofore most isolated regions on earth. A growing economic challenge from the European Community is forcing a rapid rethinking of how the US and its allies do business.

And so it was with considerable anticipation that Seattle Pacific University's Herb Kierulff recently spent most of six months in Poland on an exploratory mission. The Donald Snellman Professor of Entrepreneurship addressed the best minds at several prominent universities and observed firsthand the swell of private enterprise that has made small business operators of 2.5 million of Poland's 40 million people.

"Poland's entrepreneurial spirit was not destroyed by either the Nazis or the Communists," says Kierulff. "Their Gross National Product is growing by nearly 6 percent a year compared to ours of just over 2 percent. They've only been free 10 years and yet they are truly an economic tiger."

Traveling under the auspices of the Center for Applied Learning (CAL) at Seattle Pacific's School of Business, Kierulff wanted to determine if interest exists for an international entrepreneurship program and for a student and faculty exchange between SPU and a Polish university of business and economics. He found strong interest among the Poles, and next fall a one-year post-graduate entrepreneurship program developed by Kierulff will be established at the Warsaw School of Economics (WSE).

"This kind of cross-cultural, international exposure benefits our students tremendously," says CAL Director Nancy Lucks. "No longer is it just something abstract they've heard on the news. Global alliances like these are the wave of the future."

This spring, as a result of Kierulff's work, two WSE professors of management join him in the Seattle Pacific classroom. They are Irena Hejduk and Wieslaw Grudzewski, Poland's former vice minister of science and technology.

From Roman to Romanesque: SPU Profs Lead 30 Students to Europe

Marilyn Severson (left) and Kathryn Bartholomew

Rome. Holy Week. Religious fervor meets three thousand years of art and architecture. Colorful history, stimulating culture and spiritual renewal. A teaching gold mine.

That's the way Professors Kathryn Bartholomew and Marilyn Severson perceive the European Quarter that has taken them and 30 students on a 10-week journey "From Roman to Romanesque." Bartholomew provided leadership the first five weeks, Severson the remaining five. When the trip that began March 26 concludes in early June, the educational adventurers will have tasted of Florence, Naples and Rome in Italy; and Avignon, Lyon, Paris and Strasbourg in France.

"To be in Rome during Holy Week is a wonderful opportunity to see how Christians in another part of the world observe these holy days and celebrate the Resurrection," says Bartholomew, an associate professor of foreign languages and linguistics, and the only one on the trip who speaks Italian.

The theme for the quarter takes students on an exploration of linguistic and literary changes in Europe; European civilization; beginning Italian; and beginning, intermediate and advanced French.

"It's a joy to introduce students to languages and cultures we know and love," says Severson, professor of European studies and French. The professors spent considerable time interviewing student applicants, looking for those whose academic credentials were strong, who would be able to live successfully in another culture and within a small community of travelers, and whose character and interests were compatible with the planned itinerary.

Such care is necessary. A team that meshes is a team that learns. "Students almost have a 'conversion' experience when they finally come to understand, say, impressionist art," Severson says. "And their joy is similar when they see how languages and cultures work together, or where historical events actually took place."

Nagy Conducts Literacy Research in Chinese Classrooms

Bill Nagy

At first glance, the title of Seattle Pacific University Professor of Education Bill Nagy's research project on reading is itself a reading challenge: "Learning to Read Chinese: Effects of Metalinguistic Knowledge and Volume of Reading on the Acquisition of Literacy in a Non-Alphabetic Writing System."

But picture American reading expert Nagy in China last year, seated in a classroom of first graders, closely observing young minds at work. Until then, most research on early literacy was done with children learning English and other alphabetic languages. That research has established that such children's awareness of "phonemes," the units of sound represented by elements in an alphabetic writing system, bears a strong relationship to their success in learning to read.

The eager kids in front of Nagy, however, confront a fundamentally different writing system. The characters in Chinese writing represent "morphemes," linguistic units defined in terms of both sound and meaning. Nagy's basic hypothesis is that Chinese students who receive intentional instruction about morphemes, and who are exposed to a greater volume of written Chinese, will become more competent and interested readers.

For the research project funded by the private Spencer Foundation, Nagy worked with first and fourth grade teachers in China; American scholars at the University of Illinois; and researchers at Beijing Normal University, where many of China's teachers are educated.

Nagy's credentials for conducting such an international reading study are as solid as the Great Wall. Besides being a guest reviewer for 20 different educational journals, he is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Educational Psychology and Scientific Studies of Reading. He also invested 18 years at the renowned Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois before coming to SPU in 1996.

SPU Scholarships for Christian School Educators

Educators teaching at Christian elementary and secondary schools are eligible for financial assistance to complete graduate degrees or advanced certificates at SPU, thanks to the Kingswood Scholarship. Selected teachers receive a 25 percent reduction in tuition.

Named for John Wesley's 17th century school for Christian teachers, the program currently provides scholarships for 30 educators. For information, contact Roger Long at or 206/281-2378.

The Arts Help Freshmen Explore "Character and Community"

Re-creating sections of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on huge sheets of paper this past winter was "pretty neat," recalls Marcy Kinzel. The Seattle Pacific University freshman joined a group of her peers in considering biblical passages that inspired Michelangelo when painting his masterpiece, then created their own artistic interpretations of the same stories.

Kinzel's group worked with the story of Eve's temptation, drawing a huge pair of hands reaching for an apple. With the devil depicted as flames on one side and with a heavenly cloud on the other side, their picture represented the age-old human choice between good and evil.

The Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of several great works that Seattle Pacific freshmen are exploring this year as part of the new Common Curriculum course "Character and Community." First-year students also study the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin, and the play being performed by the Theatre Department during the quarter. In Winter Quarter it was The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder; in Spring Quarter it is Marvin's Room by Scott McPherson. All are part of the group of common texts dubbed the "SPU Canon."

"In 'Character and Community,' we're using the arts to look at the tension between an individual and society," says Professor of European Studies Mike Macdonald. "A good work of art should be able to tell us something about that. Great Expectations is about Pip becoming a gentleman, but it's also about how we need one another."

"The arts are experiential," explains Assistant Professor of Music Education Ramona Holmes, who supervised the Sistine Chapel mural project. "So freshmen don't just sit there; they're learning by doing."

Even an art major like Kinzel found herself stretched by the experience. "Normally, I don't go to plays, but when I saw The Skin of Our Teeth I really enjoyed it," she says. "I understood the play because we had read it and discussed it. My eyes have been opened to theatre in a way they never were before. I've really had to grow."

New Plan Will Allow Parents to Pre-Pay Child's Tuition

Are you concerned about the ability of your young child or grandchild to afford tuition at Seattle Pacific University 15 or more years from now? A solution may be around the corner.

Some of the best private colleges and universities are backing a national move to establish a prepaid tuition plan similar to one already available through public institutions in nearly 20 states. Seattle Pacific is one of 120 private US institutions of higher education to commit to the plan thus far.

"The intent is to provide families with an early, creative financing option," says Don Mortenson, SPU vice president for business and planning.

The plan that is being developed would allow parents or grand- parents, for instance, to purchase a portion or all of a future year or years of tuition - at or below current tuition rates. Either lump investment or time purchases would be allowed.

An attractive feature of the plan is its transferability among many private institutions, giving students options depending upon academic interests and abilities.

"Any time you can plan ahead for college costs, your dollar will go much further," says Vickie Rekow, director of student financial services at Seattle Pacific.

Additional tax and financial aid issues remain to be worked out before the plan is formally opened for investment, likely during the next year. Look for further details in future issues of Response.

SPU Stretches to Meet 1999 Annual Fund Goal

There are many generous people who believe so strongly in the mission of Seattle Pacific University that they regularly send gifts in support of the Annual Fund. By the end of March 1999, those gifts totaled $883,504. Another $495,996 is needed by June 30 to meet this year's Annual Fund goal of $1,379,500.

"Meeting the Annual Fund goal is a real vote of confidence in the direction of SPU," says Robert Gunsalus, director of development. "The Annual Fund is made up of gifts that are unrestricted and may be used for any purpose. This provides a foundation for all the other giving programs - and for the operations of the University."

Among the primary uses of the Annual Fund are such critical needs as student scholarships, faculty salaries and teaching tools. In fact, the continued strength of Seattle Pacific depends in part on the generosity of those who have made the Annual Fund a giving priority, says Gunsalus.

"We're grateful for these vital gifts. I know people will pray and provide as they are able to help us reach the mark."

For further information on the Annual Fund or to make a gift toward the goal, call the Office of Development at 206/281-2131.

Two SPU Students Named Top ROTC Cadets in Nation

Tyler Whitworth (left) and Matt Cooper

Seattle Pacific University may not possess a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) division on campus - but that hasn't stopped two of its students from becoming the nation's top-ranked Air Force cadet and Army signal cadet.

The Air Force Association named senior Matt Cooper the number one cadet out of its 144 divisions across the US at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., last summer. The George C. Marshall Foundation named senior Tyler Whitworth the number one cadet in his battalion at a ceremony in Virginia in April. In addition, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association designated Whitworth top signal cadet in the nation. He will receive the award in mid-May in Seattle.

Both Cooper and Whitworth are the leaders of their ROTC programs at the University of Washington. An agreement with the UW allows Seattle Pacific students to participate in ROTC programs.

Cooper, a double major in mathematics and political science, carries a 3.97 grade point average and has earned five Academic All-America awards for cross country and track. He is the first Seattle Pacific student to win the distinguished Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award for graduate studies. This summer he will be on his way to the elite Euro-NATO pilot training program at the Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita, Texas.

In addition to Whitworth's duties within his battalion, he maintains a 3.88 GPA and works 15 hours a week. After graduation, he will serve the Army as a commissioned officer for at least four years.

Two Families Make Multi-Million-Dollar Gifts to SPU

President Philip Eaton recently announced major gifts to Seattle Pacific University totaling nearly $6 million. The donations included the largest single cash gift in the school's history, from the estate of Alma Meisnest.

A significant contributor to SPU over a span of 15 years, Meisnest was in her nineties when she died in the spring of 1997. The depth of her commitment to higher education came to light this winter when the terms of her estate left $2.5 million each to Seattle Pacific and three other schools in Washington: Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound and Whitman College.

"Mrs. Meisnest was a wonderful Christian woman who loved life and enjoyed being a friend to SPU," says Tom Box, director of athletics, who became friends with Meisnest when he served as director of development for nine years.

In a second large gift, a family with a long history of loyalty to Seattle Pacific gave $3 million to a fund that will support the University on an annual basis.

"We are deeply grateful to these wonderful donors," says Eaton.

The Seattle Pacific Foundation now manages endowments and trusts totaling $60 million. For information about estate planning or giving to the endowment, call 206/281-2702.

1998-99 Sprint Teams Travel the World

By the end of August, nearly 150 students will have taken part in SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International) mission trips during 1998-99. So far, international destinations have included Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica. Domestically, SPRINTers have traveled to California, Mississippi, Idaho, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey.

One highlight of the Christmas Break SPRINT trips was a visit to the Guatemalan village of El Paraíso (featured in the Spring 1998 Response), where a team of students delivered a desperately needed corn-grinding machine. Many Seattle Pacific students and staff members contributed to the purchase of the grinder.

A SPRINT team that went to Nicaragua also thanks the SPU community for donating utensils, clothing and cash in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. Manana Hunter, Seattle Pacific staff member and native of Nicaragua, led the team and says they were able to help 83 families with the donations.

Of the 13 countries SPRINT teams will visit this summer, several are brand new venues: The Republic of Kyrgyz, Lithuania, South Korea and South Africa. In addition, a team of SPU doctoral psychology students plans a trip to Bosnia.

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