I’m delighted to offer you this record of accomplishments and events at Seattle Pacific during the 2015–16 academic year. You’ll read about how we continue to grow and fulfill the high standards of our strategic plan; our high-level academic, athletic, fundraising, and alumni milestones; and the ways in which our students, faculty, and staff are serving our community.
Commencement 2016 ushered in our 125th year and a celebration that will continue throughout the 2016–17 academic year. Other significant milestones include hiring two new deans, receiving King County’s annual Executive’s Award for Community Preparedness, launching a robust new job posting and networking tool, and establishing a new program in Christian social entrepreneurship.
All of Seattle Pacific Seminary’s graduate degree programs were approved for accreditation; three new majors were launched — Film Studies, Urban Studies, and Asian Studies; SPU’s public lectures included such titles as “The Evolution of God’s New Creation” and “The Dialogue of Faith and Culture: Why the Arts Remain Essential”; SPU faculty published several notable books; and more.
World-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke at the 20th Downtown Business Breakfast and on campus; the SPU Library hosted a lecture series on the intersection of technology, theology, and culture; nationally recognized speaker and author Soong-Chan Rah taught the first course of the new Master of Arts in Asian American Ministry degree; and more.
Throughout the year, SPU faculty members increased their reach by lecturing around the world; students served across the globe on SPRINT trips; International Justice Mission Aftercare Specialist Lisa Slavovsky gave the keynote address at SPU’s 14th Day of Common Learning; students, faculty, and staff engaged in a series of ongoing discussions regarding issues of race, diversity, and inclusion; and more.
Falcon athletes garnered significant wins in men’s soccer, women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s basketball. The men’s soccer team won its second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. Hannah Huesers won her second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer scoring title and was named GNAC Player of the Year and West Region Player of the Year.
The Falconettes celebrated their 80th anniversary; a book written by MFA alumnus Michael McCarthy hit The New York Times best-seller list; Jon Meis ’14 was one of 24 people honored for heroism by the Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission; Tim Hanstad ’85 was named Alumnus of the Year; Moorea Seal ’09 was named GOLD Alumna of the Year; and more.
SPU’s endowment grew by nearly $3 million last year, a year that saw most university and college endowments posting negative growth. For the second year in a row, overall giving crossed the $10 million mark. Two works of art by African American artist Charles Ethan Porter (1847–1923) were donated by William Sacherek and Liselotte Lamerdin, in appreciation for the reconciliation work of the John Perkins Center.