Two 50-Year Alumni Receive Medallions
AT THEIR 50-YEAR REUNION in June, two alumni of the Seattle Pacific University Class of 1955 were honored for service to their professions,
communities, and alma mater. The recipients of SPU’s Medallion Award have engaged the culture in very different ways:
Gary Higbee ’55 is a “semi-retired” pastor who hails from a long line of Seattle Pacific graduates. After all, it was 1911 when the first Higbees enrolled at what was then Seattle Seminary. With a degree in biblical studies from the family college of choice, Gary went on to postgraduate work and emerged from Fuller Theological Seminary with a doctorate of ministries and a heart for the church.
Decades of service followed. As a pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (CMA) in California, Oregon, and Washington, Gary planted the Woodinville Alliance Church in Washington and became a CMA district superintendent. In addition, he and wife Nola Whittaker Higbee ’57 held biennial spiritual renewal retreats for missionaries
in Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines.
In 2004, Denton Palmer celebrated a golden wedding anniversary with college sweetheart Eva McCleery Palmer ’56. He also became president of the SPU Alumni Board, having already served as a member for nine years. “It’s important to me that I’m part of the ongoing mission of the University,” says the Medallion Award recipient, who still demonstrates the commitment that helped him as a Falcon track competitor and later as a respected educator.
Denton’s 35-year career underscores a life of accomplishment and character. He became an elementary school teacher and eventually superintendent of schools in Turlock, California.
Active in the First Reformed Church of Oak Harbor, Washington, the Palmers now count three generations of their family among Seattle Pacific alumni.
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