Alumna of the Year: Beth Thompson Kawasaki
SPU Alumna of the Year Beth Thompson Kawasaki ’81 is a marketing guru and co-founder of ReBoot Accel. She educates, inspires, and catalyzes women to restart their careers, build businesses, dream bigger, and pursue their next-stage goals. More than 80 percent of ReBoot’s clients actively seeking work have secured jobs or started businesses within six months of participating in the company’s 32-hour career accelerator programs. Formerly in marketing management for big commercial brands, including P&G, Apple, and Levi Strauss, Beth put her career on pause to pursue graduate school, join the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, and serve her community, church, and kids’ schools. “In 2015, I returned to work and began parlaying my lifelong passion for the potential of all women into a second-stage career,” she says.
GOLD Alumna of the Year: Megan Chao
For SPU GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Alumna of the Year Megan Chao ’09, the turning point in her education occurred while doing an internship in Rwanda in fulfillment of her global and urban ministries minor. She encountered a number of boys living on the street, ages 5–17, some in trouble with the law, others abused and disconnected from their families and barely surviving. Megan could not turn away, and Hope for Life, a ministry to homeless Rwandan youth, was born. Today, 76 boys are housed, educated, fed, counseled, and loved by the staff of HFL in Kigali, Rwanda. As U.S. executive director, Megan raises funds, helps find child sponsors, and grows the outreach. “SPU gave me a vision of what it looks like to be aware of the world, what’s happening in it, and how to respond to its needs,” she says.
Medallion Award winner: David Boxley
SPU Medallion Award honoree David Boxley ’74 is a nationally recognized totem pole carver and a culture-bearer of the Tsimshian indigenous people of southern Alaska. He has soared to national prominence with his artistry on display at Disney World, the Memphis Zoo, and in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. David is known for having produced the most carved totem poles of any living artist, more than 70 in his lifetime. Leaving his career teaching high school in 1986, David dedicated his life to the revival and rebirth of Tsimshian art, culture, and tradition.
Medallion Award winner: Joshua Van Eaton
SPU Medallion Award honoree Joshua Van Eaton ’97 was lead attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the government team that won settlement agreements totaling $17.4 billion against Volkswagen for auto emissions fraud. For his exemplary work, Josh was named a Federal Employee of the Year for 2017 and received the Service to America Medal. Josh earned his law degree from Baylor University in Texas. He served in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, and taught law at the JAG School.
Alumna Nancy Lurker, pharmaceutical leader, lectures on campus
Nancy Lurker ’80, president and CEO of EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Inc., returned to SPU in March as the School of Business, Government, and Economics’ Burton and Ralene Walls Distinguished Speaker. She shared insights with SPU students and faculty from her 30-year career leading pharmaceutical corporations. One lesson Lurker has learned is the importance of “failing fast” — learning from mistakes and moving on quickly. “In life there is a little bit of luck, lots of perseverance, and, for me, enjoyable hard work,” she says. “I made a lot of mistakes — I learned, and I learned to pick myself back up.”
New director appointed
Amanda Heath Stubbert ’95 is SPU’s new director of Alumni and Parent Relations. She worked at Seattle Pacific soon after graduation as the performing groups coordinator and director of the University Players. In 2013, Stubbert became assistant director of campus experience and events for Undergraduate Admissions, where she expanded the visit program and created compelling encounters at SPU for prospective students and their families. In 2015, she moved to the office of Alumni and Parent Relations as assistant director. Since 2017, she has been its interim director. “Sharing the inspiring stories of how our alumni are changing the world is my favorite part of the job,” Stubbert says.
Alumna Camille Jones featured in TIME magazine
Camille Jones ’08, Washington state’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, was featured in the January 15 issue of TIME magazine. The article focused on Jones’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum, as well as her integration of the disciplines and efforts to universally test children for admission to highly capable programs.
Homecoming and Parents Weekend hosts first-ever baseball reunion
The 2018 baseball season kicked off early this year as a dozen former Seattle Pacific University players, two of their coaches, and 10 family members gathered in February to recall the glory days of Falcon baseball. “It has been on my heart to do this for a while,” says organizer Gordy Hansen ’69, an English major with teacher certification, former Falcon outfielder, and member of the 1968 Seattle Pacific team that took second place in the NCAA regionals. “We had such good players, guys of good character, who represent Falcon history well.” The former players were particularly excited to honor their former coaches: Dale Parker, who recently turned 93, and Lorin Miller, 82, who made the journey from his home in Oklahoma. In 1967, Miller brought the team into its first national ranking (13th) by the collegiate baseball poll.