Alumni Highlights

Talon’s Birthday Bash

Talon’s Birthday Bash was a part of Homecoming 2016.

Falconettes celebrate 80th anniversary

SPU students belong to dozens of campus organizations and clubs. But only one of those clubs is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Founded in 1936, the Falconettes have exemplified for decades the spirit of service common among Seattle Pacific students. For decades they’ve built cross-generational, enduring friendships. They’ll celebrate their anniversary at the Grand Reunion, October 7–9, 2016.

MFA alumnus’ book hits New York Times bestseller list

Michael McCarthy, a Wall Street Journal reporter and graduate of SPU’s MFA in Creative Writing program, made The New York Times Bestseller List with Ashes Under Water: The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck That Shook America, a book about a ship that sank in the Chicago River in 1915, causing the drowning of almost 800 people.

Jon Meis ’14 honored with Carnegie Hero Award

In December, Jon Meis was one of 24 honored by the Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission. The Carnegie Hero Awards are given for “acts of civilian heroism.” Jon Meis pepper-sprayed and, with the help of other students, subdued a gunman on SPU’s campus on June 5, 2014.

Alumnus of the year Tim Hanstad

Tim Hanstad Alumnus of the Year Tim Hanstad ’85 is co-founder and senior advisor of Landesa, a Seattle-based nonprofit that partners with governments and communities in more than 50 countries to strengthen land rights for the world’s poor by developing, monitoring, and implementing land-related laws and programs. With a particular focus on women, Landesa has helped more than 115 million families gain land rights. In October at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Landesa was chosen to receive the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the biggest philanthropic honor for humanitarian groups. The funds may be used by Landesa for any purpose.

GOLD alumna of the year: Moorea Seal ’09

Moorea Seal McDaniel GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Alumna of the Year Moorea Seal McDaniel recently expanded a storefront that she runs in Seattle’s trendy Belltown neighborhood. She boasts nearly a million Pinterest followers, has published her first book — a guided journal called The 52 Lists Project — and has an online retail store at, seven percent of whose proceeds goes to a rotating group of charities and nonprofits.

Alumnus assists Jill Biden in Syrian refugee camp tour

In March, Stephen Allen ’05, who works with UNICEF, helped give Jill Biden a tour of the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, which was home at the time of their visit to more than 40,000 Syrian refugee children. “The problem in Syria is not just a problem for the Middle East, it’s a problem for the world,” says Allen. In a Facebook post about the visit, Vice President Joe Biden wrote, “For my wife, a lifelong educator, meeting these mothers and daughters was an incredibly powerful experience. We cannot turn our back on the suffering of so many.”