Institutional Milestones

Provost Introduces Five Strategic Plan Initiatives

As part of Seattle Pacific University’s strategic plan, which was approved in 2014, Provost Jeff Van Duzer identified five focus areas to help shape the future of SPU education:

  • Global Initiative
  • Reconciliation Initiative
  • Vocational Preparation Initiative
  • Academic Innovation Initiative
  • Character Formation Initiative

For each of these initiatives, a task force of faculty and, in most cases, staff members is charged with crafting a plan to improve curriculum and co-curricular programs that affect these areas. See more at

Opening of Arnett Hall

In September 2014, SPU dedicated and opened Arnett Hall, our newest residence hall. The building is named after the Arnett family, whose connection to SPU dates back to the early 1900s and continues today. SPU board member Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80 is one of more than 40 family members to attend SPU, and was present at the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 74,794-square-foot building houses 150 beds in 76 single- to triple-bed suite-style rooms and also boasts lounges, an exercise room, five common kitchens, and a rooftop deck.

Arnett Hall

Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80 (center) cuts the ribbon at the opening of Arnett Hall.

Professor and Staff Members of the Year Named

At the annual Celebration of Service ceremony on April 30, the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific named Professor of Geography Kathleen Braden Faculty Member of the Year. The SPU Staff Council awarded the Oral V. Hemry Non-Exempt Staff Person of the Year Award to Lindy Pearson, administrative assistant in University Ministries. The Exempt Staff Person of the Year Award went to Niki Amarantides, director of the Center for Learning. Faculty and staff who have served SPU for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years were also honored. Receiving awards for 40 years of service were John Glancy, director of SPU’s 125th anniversary celebration; George Scranton, professor of theatre; Dave Tindall, assistant vice president of technology services; and Laurel Tindall, women’s gymnastics head coach.

New Vice Presidents Lead Enrollment Marketing and Fundraising

Nathan Mouttet joined SPU as its new vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing, coming from Chicago’s North Park University. Already acquainted with the excellence of SPU alumni through his wife, Kristin Russell Mouttet ’95, Mouttet believes SPU is ideally situated to engage an increasingly urban world. 

Louise Sausele Furrow joined SPU as its new vice president for University Advancement, coming from Azusa Pacific University. With strategic and data-driven experience in nonprofit organizations, Furrow oversees the offices of Alumni and Parent Relations, Advancement Services, Annual Giving, and Major Gifts, and partners with the Seattle Pacific Foundation.

SPU Hosts Tent City 3 From December to March

For the second time in three years, SPU welcomed Tent City 3, a community shelter for up to 100 men and women experiencing homelessness. The community was located on the northeast side of Tiffany Loop, next to the Student Union Building. They interacted regularly with SPU students, faculty, and staff, who organized everything from potluck dinners, to poetry workshops, to foot-care clinics.

Tent City 3

SPU students helped Tent City 3 residents set up their encampment.

Scholarships — Including Free Methodist Scholarships — Increasing for Incoming Students

Beginning with incoming Autumn 2015 undergraduate students, SPU will increase academic merit, need-based, and constituency scholarships to strengthen the University’s commitment to top academic students at all income levels. For example, students from Free Methodist churches, the founding denomination of the University, will see their award increase from $2,000 to $4,000. The University also introduced a new needs-based initiative for students in the Washington state College Bound program — called Falcon Bound — which guarantees full tuition to College Bound students who receive 1150 or higher on the SAT (critical reading and math).

SPU Ranked No. 4 in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges — Best Value”

Seattle Pacific University ranked No. 4 in the category “Best Colleges — Best Value” in the West in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 college rankings. The calculation takes into account a school’s academic quality and the 2013–14 net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid.

President’s Seattle Times Christmas Morning Op-ed

In an op-ed for The Seattle Times published December 24, 2014, SPU President Daniel J. Martin reflected on the tragedy of June 5, the faith- and prayer-based witness of SPU’s response, and the message of hope that Advent brings.

Sacred Sounds of Christmas Concert Performs to Sold-Out Crowd

On December 1, 2014, the SPU Music Department’s nationally recognized student and faculty musicians performed Advent and Christmas music from around the world in the 15th annual Sacred Sounds of Christmas concert. Performed in McCaw Hall for more than 2,700 SPU and community members, this much-anticipated and sold-out event featured the addition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Sacred Sounds

SPU’s Sacred Sounds of Christmas sells out more quickly every year.

New Music Building on Nickerson Street in 2016

Recently acquired buildings on West Nickerson Street next to SPU’s Human Resources office are currently being renovated to house SPU’s Music Department. Bought in 2014 as the final piece of property within the University’s master plan zone, the former marine equipment company and martial arts studio will house six faculty offices, two ensemble practice rooms, a recording studio, a piano lab, and a choral/recital space.

SPU Hosts ICW Ethics Bowl

On April 17, 2015, SPU hosted the second annual Independent Colleges of Washington Ethics Bowl at First Free Methodist Church. A daylong competition among the debate teams of 10 ICW colleges, the Ethics Bowl is intended to showcase student knowledge of applied ethics. SPU’s team placed fourth in this year’s competition, where topics ranged from worker exploitation to humane animal treatment.