Institutional Milestones

dr. Pete Menjares

President ends tenure

After nine years of leading the University, President Dan Martin resigned in April. He took office in 2012, building a reputation as a strategic planner, seasoned fundraiser, and “students’ president,” famous for knowing students by name and being present at hundreds of student events and athletic competitions each year. Provost Laura Hartley served as executive-in-charge through June 30.

New interim president named

On July 1, Pete Menjares began serving as interim president of Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Menjares most recently served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California), where he was also the founding senior director of the Institute for Faculty Development. He is a senior fellow for diversity with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (Washington, D.C.), as well as a current member of the Board of Trustees at Seattle Pacific University.

Dr. Menjares has over 27 years of leadership experience in Christian higher education, including serving as the 11th president of California’s Fresno Pacific University. He also spent 17 years as a professor and administrator at Biola University (La Mirada, California), where he held the positions of associate professor of education, Education Department chair, associate provost for diversity leadership, and vice provost for faculty development and academic effectiveness.

Pandemic adaptations

COVID-19 challenges dramatically altered curriculum, connections, and community, but faculty and staff rose to the challenges and created a rhythm that allowed students to thrive. Professors taught face-to-face, blended (partly face-to-face and partly online), or fully online, depending on the needs of each class and the availability of classrooms, under COVID guidelines regulating room capacity, air exchange, and downtime. SPU moved up the Autumn Quarter start by two weeks so students could finish before Thanksgiving. Approximately 950 students opted to live on campus amid health and safety protocols (typically about 1,500 students live on campus), and there was strong retention in both the undergraduate and the graduate student populations.

School of Education turns 100

The School of Education celebrated its 100th year of training teachers and administrators. The program has grown to include undergraduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certification, doctoral programs, master’s degree programs (including an online-only option), graduate certification programs, and a Center for Professional Education. While many students train to become teachers, others become school counselors, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, or professors in higher education. In all, thousands of educators have graduated from Seattle Pacific over the past century — each expertly prepared to meet the challenges of their field and serve their community. Read the Response feature for more about this institutional milestone.

Tuition Reimagined begins in 2021–21

Rising college costs across the nation are a barrier to students achieving their higher education goals. To address this need, SPU launched “Tuition Reimagined” — lowering undergraduate tuition by 25% — beginning in autumn 2021. The new annual tuition is $35,100 (before scholarships, grants, and loans), compared to an average of $49,296 at other Pacific Northwest private universities. The University is also offering new scholarships and will cap future tuition increases. All these changes open the door for more students to receive a world-class education at SPU.

SPU by the Numbers

Autumn Quarter 2020 enrollment: 3,605

  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,706
  • Graduate enrollment: 858
  • Post-baccalaureate enrollment: 41
  • SPU student-faculty ratio: 13:1

Academic Programs offered:

  • Undergraduate majors: 69
  • Undergraduate minors: 59
  • Master’s degree programs: 19
  • Doctoral degree programs: 5
  • Graduate certificates: 14

Top 10 undergraduate majors:

  • Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Physiology
  • Communication
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Political Science
  • Integrated Studies
  • Social Justice/Cultural Studies