Institutional Milestones

Alexander Hall

Returning Students Boost Strong Enrollment

Students headed to class at Seattle Pacific UniversityWith 85 percent of the 2012 first-time freshmen returning, and with growth in graduate programs, SPU saw a record 4,270 students enroll Autumn Quarter 2013. New undergraduate students exceeded goal at 767, and graduate and post-baccalaureate students totaled 875. Of the 3,366 undergraduates enrolled, 1,715 students lived on campus. Ethnically diverse students made up 32 percent of the undergraduate population.

SPU Purchases Nearby Properties for the Future

SPU acquired 64,000 square feet of property this year along the north side of Nickerson Street, the major arterial running through campus. Most of the property lies within the University’s Major Institutional Master Plan zone, and, while there are no immediate plans for its use, it provides SPU with important future development sites. Also, in December 2013, the Seattle Pacific Foundation completed the acquisition of three office buildings adjacent to Wallace Field. These buildings — 2, 4, and 6 Nickerson — were purchased through a partnership and are expected to provide a significant investment return to the University’s endowment as well as meet future institutional needs.

Perkins Center Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

John Perkins, one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement, visited SPU April 21–22, 2014, for the annual Perkins Lecture and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University’s John M. Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development.

University Completes Year-Three Accreditation Visit

In April 2014, SPU successfully completed a Year-Three Accreditation Virtual Visit from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Evaluation Team, which spoke with students, faculty, staff, and administrators. At the visit’s conclusion, the chair of the Evaluation Team spoke highly of SPU. The team has submitted a series of commendations and recommendations to the Commission for review, and the Commission will notify SPU of its actions in the summer.

Campus Ministry Task Force Recommends Changes

Provost Jeff Van Duzer assembled a Campus Ministry Task Force comprising faculty, staff, alumni, and former campus leaders to assess the University’s current ministry activities on campus and provide recommendations for the future. In April 2014, the team affirmed “the centrality of Christian worship on campus.” Among other things, the team recommended creating a new position of university chaplain, and began a search to fill the new position.

Trustees Affirm Strategic Plan

SPU President Dan Martin has led the creation of a Strategic Plan with five central goals: academic excellence and relevance, transformative and holistic student experience, vital Christian identity and purpose, resource development and attainment, and operational effectiveness and efficiency. A draft of the plan was affirmed by the Board of Trustees in May 2014.

$2.5 Million Challenge Gift Supports Alexander Hall

Alexander HallThis spring, Board of Trustees member Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80 committed $2.5 million in support of the current capital campaign to restore SPU’s original building, Alexander Hall, built in 1893. Alexander Hall, which was recently designated a historic landmark by the city of Seattle, is currently being restored for the future, including a full seismic retrofit, and much-needed interior improvements — at the cost of $7 million.

Arnett Residence Hall Scheduled to Open Autumn 2014

Arnett Residence HallIn their May 2014 meeting, the SPU Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name the new residence facility under construction on campus “Arnett Hall.” The hall is named after the Arnett family, whose connection to SPU dates back to the early 1900s. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Arnett Hall will take place this fall before students move in.

SPU Student Receives Fulbright Scholarship

This spring, Meagan Dooley, a 2014 graduate in political science and women’s studies, was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Turkey. She will work in the city of Eskişehir during the 2014–15 academic year.

Professor and Staff Members of the Year Announced

At the President’s Spring Forum on May 22, 2014, the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific named Associate Professor of Music Brian Chin as the 2014 Professor of the Year. Staff Council presented the Oral V. Hemry Non-Exempt Staff Person of the Year Award to Mia Hays, administrative assistant in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Exempt Staff Person of the Year Award to Marci Walden, payments lead in the Finance Office.

Hartje Nominated for U.S. Professor of the Year

Each spring, the faculty of SPU selects one peer as the nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award, an honor given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This year, Sandra Hartje, professor of family and consumer sciences, was the SPU nominee.

SPU Holds First-Ever Graduate Commencement

This was the first year SPU held two Commencement ceremonies. The first-ever Graduate Commencement ceremony was held on June 13, 2014, in Tiffany Loop. The speaker for the event was Ron Sims, former King County Executive and deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development. Key Arena was the site for Undergraduate Commencement on June 14, 2014. Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, addressed the graduates and their families. In total, 905 undergraduate and 341 graduate students were eligible to participate in Commencement exercises.

Eight Faculty Members Retire

At a dinner on campus May 1, 2014, eight retiring faculty members were recognized for their service by President Dan Martin, Provost Jeff Van Duzer, and faculty colleagues. The 2014 retirees are Susan Casey, associate professor of nursing and associate dean of graduate programs in nursing; Jonathan Deming, associate professor of economics; Sharon Hartnett, assistant professor of education; Wayne Johnson, professor of music; Lyle Peter, professor of chemistry; Luke Reinsma, professor of English; Donald Yanik, professor of theatre; and Michael Ziemann, associate professor of European studies/German and linguistics.

Johnson Retires After 33 Years in SPU Administration

Marj Johnson, who came to SPU in 1981 as director of undergraduate admissions, retired on June 30 from her current position as senior vice president for university relations. For 17 years, she oversaw the University’s marketing and communications, as well as enrollment planning and management for undergraduate and graduate admissions, including student financial services. Johnson served as an administrator under SPU presidents David McKenna, David Le Shana, Curtis Martin, Arthur Self, Philip Eaton, and Daniel Martin.