Engaging the City

Sacred Sounds of Christmas 2016

Sacred Sounds of Christmas

The annual Sacred Sounds of Christmas featured traditional Advent and Christmas carols from around the world, performed by the SPU Music Department’s nationally recognized student and faculty musicians. Held at McCaw Hall at Seattle Center on November 29, the concert featured performances from the SPU Concert Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, and Gospel Choir, along with other SPU musicians and readers. The 2017 concert will be held November 26 at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

Students showcase ideas for annual Social Venture Plan Competition

The April 20 Social Venture Plan Competition showcase, an annual live trade-show display event in its 11th year, was the setting for businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and other community partners to evaluate and score the entrepreneurial project plans of student competitors that aim to address dual bottom lines: social and financial. Participants tackle a social need while proposing a way to provide sustainable funding through a business plan and present their projects to faculty, staff, students, and judges. The teams with the highest cumulative scores from the two phases of the competition win cash prizes. This year, MycoVate Solutions took the first-place prize of $5,000 with a decomposing diapers project.

Theology professor publishes book, Race and Place

David Leong, associate professor of missiology at Seattle Pacific University, challenges the discussion of race as solely individual, and urges people to engage with historic and geographic policies and structures in his latest book, Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation, published by InterVarsity Press. Leong’s work is designed to inspire a new framework for Christian churches regarding location. He believes an understanding of race as a structural issue and location as an extension of a physical address — how the texture of their social networks is shaped by that geographic reality — is vital to effective and meaningful discipleship.

Land-rights advocate Tim Hanstad honored at gala

A commitment to securing land rights for the world’s poor is what motivates Tim Hanstad ’85, co-founder of Landesa. “Land rights are a fundamental building block not only for helping poor people climb out of poverty, but also for establishing and maintaining peaceful and prosperous societies,” he says. Honored as SPU’s 2016 Alumnus of the year, Hanstad was recognized for his advocacy and spoke about Landesa’s work at SPU’s 125th Anniversary Gala.


Seattle Urban Academy Principal Sharon Okamoto honored at gala

The principal of Seattle Urban Academy, Sharon Okamoto ’76, MEd ’79, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SPU, as well as her principal certification. She was honored at SPU’s 125th Anniversary Gala for her work at the private Christian high school that delivers “academic intensive care” by providing rigorous academic standards coupled with supportive care to equip its students for a college education. With a graduation rate of 95 percent, Seattle Urban Academy empowers students to transform their futures. As principal, Okamoto has hired more than a few SPU graduates to join her teaching staff.