2017–18 Year in Review

students at gasworks overlooking lake union and downtown seattle
Daniel J. Martin

From the President

I am pleased to share with you the Year in Review, which celebrates the accomplishments of the alumni, students, faculty, and staff of Seattle Pacific University. It highlights how the greater community of SPU is making a difference in our world, bringing hope and faith for the future.

flame design

Institutional Milestones

Seattle Pacific University is the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities list. Other significant milestones include being named a 2018 Christian College of Distinction; the development of a new University brand identity; and front-page coverage by The New York Times of SPU's engagement with homelessness. 

Winning Social Venture Plan Competition

Academic Achievement

Music therapy program garners acclaim; Rachel Scherr named national fellow for her physics research; DNP program launches; SPU Art Center hosts social justice exhibit; students win "best original score" in film competition; and new majors announced for 2018–19 academic year. 

chaplain lisa ishihara

Faith Formation

Noon prayers every Monday; campus focus on sustainability; Seminary hosts a multiethnic conference; Weter Lecture explores imagery in faith; and research looks at how faith communities can engage young adults. 

Engaging the City - gardening

Engaging the City

Sacred Sounds of Christmas concert sells out Benaroya Hall; Tent City 3 comes to campus; freshmen serve Seattle through CityQuest; SPU students and staff participate in housing advocacy day; and Susan Okamoto Lane receives justice award. 

Research with tent city 3

Engaging the World

Design professor teaches in China; Soong-Chan Rah delivers keynote at 16th annual Day of Common Learning; Sociology faculty publish research on homelessness engagement by students; and faculty publish racial justice statement.

SPU Gymnast Darian Burns


SPU receives NCAA President's Award for Academic Excellence; gymnasts compete at USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships; basketball player Jordan McPhee named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America second team; women's basketball goes to NCAA Division II championships; and Renick Meyer and Scout Cai dominated the GNAC heptathlon.

SPU Medallion Award Winner, David Boxley

Alumni Highlights

New director appointed; first-ever baseball reunion at homecoming and parents weekend; Pharmaceutical leader, Nancy Lurker, lectures on campus; Camille Jones featured in TIME magazine; alumni awards; and more.  

weiblings receive award


Faith & Co. initiative launched; Dennis and Beth Weibling receive SPU's 2017 President's Award for Philanthropy; new Nursing building opens; and Seattle Pacific Foundation sees excellent rate of return.