Connections: Alumni News from Seattle Pacific University, Engaging the Culture, Changing the World
Summer 2015, Volume 8, Issue 3
The Orange Men cheer on SPU's Mens Basketball team at Homecoming 2015

The Student Talent Show is a perennial Homecoming favorite.

New and improved Homecoming for 2016

Make your plans now to attend Homecoming 2016 — Alumni and Parents Weekend, January 29–30. It’s the perfect weekend for alumni to connect with one another and for parents and families to revel in campus life and Falcon spirit.

Alumni and Parent Relations Director Bryan Jones says that Homecoming and the new Grand Reunion event (see article below) will reflect alumni feedback gleaned from the Alumni Pulse Survey taken in September 2014.

“New events throughout the year and changes in next year’s Homecoming weekend will provide more opportunities for alumni to connect with one another and with SPU in meaningful ways,” says Jones. “Many of those changes are the direct result of alumni input through conversations we’ve had and through the survey.

Homecoming 2016 Friday highlights

Students and their parents and families are invited to dish up at a special tailgate dinner planned just for them. The Student Talent Show onstage in Royal Brougham Pavilion is an annual fan favorite for all ages. And an invitation to sit in on selected classes in regular session will give you a Falcon’s eye view of faculty and students in academic action.

Homecoming 2016 Saturday highlights

  • The Homecoming Luncheon, a hot ticket every year, features President Dan Martin, alumni awards, student musicians, and a delicious menu in good company.
  • Falcon Women’s Basketball faces off with the Central Washington University Wildcats.
  • On stage in E.E. Bach Theatre, “The Illusion” promises to cast its spell over you at matinee and evening performances.
  • And don’t miss the All-Alumni and Parents Party being thrown in your honor!

Watch for complete Homecoming 2016 — Alumni and Parents Weekend details coming to you in the fall. 


Reunion at Homecoming 2015, Taste of SPU

Grand Reunion 2016 inaugural event

In celebration of Seattle Pacific University’s 125th anniversary year, an exciting new annual event makes its debut. And the Grand Reunion weekend October 7–9, 2016, is expected to be the biggest alumni gathering in Seattle Pacific’s history.

The Grand Reunion will be a wonderful mix of fun, food, and reuniting specifically tailored to alumni and their families, with child care available (Future Falcons Nest) and activities geared for kids (Falcon Family Fun Center). It’s a fall event, which means fairer weather and that new academic year vibe.

  • Thursday Highlight: President’s Circle Banquet for our most generous and most consistent donors.
  • Friday Highlights: Alumni College — See your favorite faculty at class visits throughout the day. A special Young Alumni Evening event is planned, as well as a Falcon soccer or volleyball match-up.
  • Saturday Highlights: Get your speed shoes on for the Alumni/Student 5k Run. Your hunger will be satisfied at the Academic Reunions Breakfast and the Class Reunion Lunch. A Falcon soccer game is on tap, along with Affinity Reunions and the Taste of SPU, the popular all-alumni reception in Gwinn featuring mouthwatering fare from multiple food stations.

Plan now to make history by joining in the festivities of Grand Reunion 2016 and SPU’s 125th Anniversary. Stay tuned for further details as they take shape. 


Alumni served better than ever by newest strategies

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations has made significant strides this year in providing new and improved services to the University’s more than 30,000 living alumni.

  • Debuting in late October is a brand new alumni website that will be mobile responsive across all major social media platforms. Features include news and information, stories on creative and innovative alumni, dynamic and compelling imagery, marquee events, and highlighted alumni benefits.
  • Check out the new Falcons Forever” video. Be inspired by the stories of four alumni – Greg Asimakoupoulos ’74, Kristi Drake ’83, Ashley Reese ’09, and Toms Lee ’14 . Discover the varied ways they are involved with their alma mater, everything from mentoring students in their career choices to serving on the Alumni Association board.

Graduation joys and new directions

More than 1,300 students experienced the joy/anticipation/relief of graduation from Seattle Pacific University on June 13, 2015. They included 930 undergraduates, 345 graduate students, and 30 doctoral students.

They and their families gathered in Seattle’s Key Arena for Commencement where they listened to speaker Steve Moore, executive director of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and former SPU vice president for campus life. 

Graduates at Commencement 2015

Graduates of the Class of 2015.

Among them were sociology major Madelyn Hogue and applied human biology major Ryan Alcantara. Hogue spent her first two years at SPU exploring different majors. With a passion for children with disabilities, she spent a study abroad quarter in Guatemala. One of her assignments? Discover how to better meet the needs of children with disabilities in rural villages.

Back at SPU, Hogue focused academically in urban and gender studies. In early 2015, she worked with two professors on research around a three-month stay on campus by Tent City 3, a residential camp for the homeless.

“We broke down the social distance between us and the TC3 residents, and friendships were made,” she says. “Those friendships allowed us to advocate with and for those experiencing homelessness. I have accepted a position at the University of Washington Autism Center where I can use the degree and skills learned at SPU to contribute to the early intervention, research, and professional development the Center is pioneering.”

Passionate about running, Alcantara’s dream job was to work in research for a large sports footwear company. His advisor cautioned him not to lose the dream and helped Alcantara build an academic plan to get him there. He entered the SPU Mentor Program, found focus, and was exposed to the material engineers, developers, and researchers at Brooks Sports Inc. through the mentor program’s Career360 emphasis.

Today, Alcantara works in the high-tech biomechanics laboratory at Brooks, just a mile from the SPU campus. “I have the mentorship program to thank for this,” he says. “I recommend the program to all my friends.” 


New legacy bell

New Legacy Bell rung at Ivy Cutting

This year’s Senior Class Gift was a new bronze bell to be rung each Ivy Cutting in recognition of multiple generations of SPU alumni families. The bell, cast in 1891, in addition to the traditional ivy sprigs for each graduate, is an enduring symbol of the SPU legacy. Falcons forever!


On the move with emeriti faculty

Dozens of SPU emeriti faculty are edified, encouraged, and connected through the Emeriti-Times Newsletter produced monthly by Emeriti Faculty President Mike Macdonald (philosophy, retired 2007) and newsletter editor Evette Hackman (family and consumer sciences, retired 2004). Recent newsletter highlights include:

Professor of Art Michael Caldwell (retired 2006) paints daily and continues to show his work at the Winthrop Gallery in Winthrop, Washington. This summer he was a volunteer host at the Shafer Historical Museum. During the school year, he will mentor at an elementary school.

University Librarian Gary Fick (retired 2013) is having a new home built on hill property overlooking Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Assistant Professor of Education Sharon Hartnett (retired 2012) worked with Hallmark for a year and takes long walks with her dog, Scout.

Track Coach Doris Heritage ’64, MS 70 (retired 2002) took a bike/river barge excursion out of Amsterdam with her husband, Ralph, and SPU Track Coach Ken Foreman (retired 2001). Their trip coordinator was author and Holocaust survivor Hannie J. Voyles.

Associate Professor of Art Tim Malm ’75 (retired 1997) will join the American Heart Association’s speakers bureau to expand on his stroke story. 


The Seattle Seahawks in action, photographed by Maurice Labrecque

Tight end Jimmy Graham, captured by Maurice Labrecque ’99.

Seahawks photographer once Falcon sports editor

As a communication/journalism major at SPU, Maurice Labrecque ’99 thought he would graduate and write for a daily newspaper. He combined his love of sports and writing into a job as sports editor for The Falcon student newspaper. Sadly, as he drew closer to graduation, he watched the number of viable newspapers across the country steadily dwindle. He decided to capitalize on his photographic abilities instead.

Enter Maurice Photo Inc., his business shooting weddings on location, fashion models on the rise, and sweaty professional football players in the game of their lives. As a writer and a photographer, he is a double threat in a highly competitive profession.

Though he’s been flown to Cancun and the Caribbean island of St. Martin to shoot happy brides and grooms, Labrecque says few exotic locations compare to being in New York’s MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVII.

Maurice Labrecque

“I took something like 12,000 images of the game and the Seattle victory parade that followed,” he says. “But even better was to be at the NFC Championship game in Seattle in front of the home crowd with everything on the line to get to the Super Bowl.”

It surprises some people to learn that Labrecque as part of the team’s photo pool receives no credit when one of his images is used. The payoff is the privilege of being one of the Seahawks photographers for the last 12 years. “It’s fun and good promotion for my business.”

Funny how life goes. He can’t say that he’s taken the perfect shot, something he’s always chasing. “Luck plays a big part. If I got the perfect shot, I’d probably quit the business.” A bigger motivator for Labrecque is pursuit of the funny, quirky, nontraditional shot that reveals a person’s personality in a unique way.

His wife, Kristen Labrecque ’98, MED ’04, is associate director of academic counseling at SPU. 


Andrea Heinecke

It’s the agent’s life for her

As a literary agent for Alive Literary, Andrea Heinecke ’01 works with award-winning and best-selling authors of adult, youth, and children’s books in both fiction and nonfiction categories. 

One of her recent projects was negotiating a publishing partnership between the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust and Convergent Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

“I’ve spent time in Henri’s Toronto archives where there is a great deal of unpublished material that is all very well preserved,” says Heinecke. “I’m particularly excited about Henri’s letters, which are beautifully written, prophetic, and capture the intimacy and compassion that characterize his published works.” Watch for Love, Henri, a collection of some of Nouwen’s best letters to be released in September 2016 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of his death.

Heinecke is also helping author Caleb Wilde shape his message into a book. “(His) wildly popular blog, Confessions of a Funeral Director, has been featured on numerous national media outlets,” she says.

The agent’s love of books was nurtured as an English literature major at Seattle Pacific University. For her British Isles Study Abroad program her junior year, Heinecke spent time in Oxford, London, Stratford, and Bath. The avid traveler has scuba dived in Israel, ridden an elephant in Thailand, and worked at an orphanage in Ukraine. Today, the mom of two is married to Matt Heinecke, instrumental music director at Coronado School of the Arts in San Diego, California.

For Alive Literary, she acquires books, develops and implements marketing and publicity plans, and negotiates contracts. She has contracted more than 100 books with major publishers and notes that a forthcoming book from Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae will share the personal account of his 15 years in a labor camp.



Join other alumni in the Holy Land

You are invited to experience the land that Jesus walked. Two of the Northwest’s most dynamic Free Methodist leaders are conducting a trip to the Holy Land in early 2016. They would like to include Seattle Pacific University alumni.

Matt Whitehead, superintendent of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the Free Methodist denomination, and Blake Wood, pastor of Seattle First Free Methodist Church, have joined forces on an 11-day trip to Israel and Jordan, January 31–February 10, 2016.

Included are visits to the famed sites of Petra, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Gethsemane, Masada, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. There is also an optional extension of three days in Cairo, Egypt.

Find more information online or email for more details


Restore Alexander Hall

Alexander Hall thank you!

Thanks to a groundswell of generous support from Seattle Pacific University donors, and monetary awards totaling $1.4 million from the Murdock and Norcliffe foundations, the $6.2 million renovation and seismic retrofit of Alexander Hall is close to being fully funded.

As of August 31, 2015, total giving stands at $5,985,394.41.

Because of the many gifts and pledges by those who appreciate the heritage of SPU’s original building, President Dan Martin says Alexander Hall stands “solid and secure” at the heart of campus. He asks for prayer in the remaining effort to reach the final goal. To make an online gift to help complete the funding, visit the Campaign for Alexander Hall


Did you know?

  • More than 50 percent of the exterior bricks from the demolished Tiffany Hall were used as pavers around Eaton Hall and Tiffany Loop.
  • The Ames Library has 118,000 bricks in its brick veneer.
  • The four SPU employees recognized this year for 40 years of service to the University, received commemorative awards incorporating bricks from Alexander Hall, SPU’s oldest building, in the award design.     

50-Year Reunion recap

Nearly 100 members of the Class of 1965 rallied on June 12, 2015, to mark a half century since their 1965 graduation and their 2015 induction into the Founders Circle.

“I didn’t expect such a strong sense of God’s love and care for our classmates, and the good will extended at this event,” says Darlene Dunkin Hartley ’65. What made it special for Pat Marchewka Turanski ’65 was “just to think that each person in that room recaptured the value of being part of such a great learning institution.”

Talon the Falcon mascot paid a visit. Ivy Cutting bridged the generations. A group photo captured the once-in-a-lifetime gathering. A delicious lunch and dinner allowed plenty of opportunity to catch up on the diverse lives and occupations represented, and, of course, a chance for classmates to think back and supply the all-important missing details in many golden memories.

To share in the good time had by all, see photos from the all-day reunion.

Talon the falcon posing with fans

​Falcons Forever BBQ a thundering success

Perfect weather, the excitement of graduation, and the blessings of friends and family resulted in an attendance of 462 at the first-ever Falcons Forever BBQ on June 12, 2015, preceding Baccalaureate.

Tables with red and white checked coverings were laid out in Martin Square and burgers barbecued in the open air while the Class of 2015, both undergraduates and graduates, and returning members of the Class of 2014, mingled and marked the occasion with stories and laughter.

Talon the Falcon mascot brought some serious school pride, kids zoomed among the tables, and proud loved ones toasted their newly minted graduates.

Mom’s Day

Saturday, November 14
Upper Gwinn Commons

Enjoy time with your son or daughter — and gain insights into your student’s campus life — by attending Mom’s Day. Hosted by the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, this is the perfect reason to come on campus and enjoy lunch and an optional boat cruise with your student.

Mom’s Day schedule includes:

  • Parent Prayer Meeting
  • Lunch
  • Special program including words of welcome from Pam Martin, wife of President Martin
  • (Optional) Afternoon activities, including an Argosy Boat Cruise on Lake Union and Lake Washington
  • Theatre Performance of “Elephants Graveyard” in McKinley Hall

Check In the Loop for the event details and registration information.

Sacred Sounds of Christmas

Sweet Sounds of Christmas

Tickets are on sale for the 16th annual Sacred Sounds of Christmas, November 30, 7:30 p.m., in Seattle’s McCaw Hall.

Enjoy the best of sacred Advent music from around the world performed by the Music Department’s nationally recognized student and faculty musicians. This year’s Sacred Sounds includes the addition of the SPU Gospel Choir.

Don’t miss this much-anticipated yuletide event. Discounted group tickets are available by calling 206-428-6303. You may purchase individual tickets through or by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Key Arena Box Office.

SPU women

Taking flight: Falcons in action

A special series of home and away alumni and parent athletic events are scheduled for 2015–16. Included are women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics. Gather with other Falcon enthusiasts and enjoy discounted tickets, fun prizes, and fan frenzy.

Visit for the latest game day information and registration. 

Your Help Needed

There are not enough internship training sites and clinical preceptors for our nursing students at a time of unprecedented demand for more nurse practitioners. Can you help?

If you are a nurse practitioner, physician, or physician assistant practicing in western Washington, will you serve as a clinical preceptor for the School of Health Sciences? The need is critical. And you can give back to SPU while promoting health in our communities.

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Christine Hoyle, associate dean, Nursing Graduate Programs, at

Keeping current in Florida

More than 100 Falcon folk attended a Seattle Pacific University reception at the Caribe Royale resort in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the Free Methodist General Conference, July 13–16, 2015.

President Dan Martin brought words of welcome and he and his leadership team shared important Seattle Pacific updates, including plans for the 125th Anniversary celebration of the school’s founding. Attendees enjoyed complimentary root beer floats. 

Seattle Mariners

SPU at the Mariners a big win

Seattle Pacific University alumni and friends filled two sections of stadium seating as nearly 400 Falcons swooped down on Safeco Field on August 23 for “SPU Day at the Mariners” hosted by your Alumni Association.

The Mariners returned the favor by beating the Chicago White Sox 8-6. And Falcon kids received free backpacks and got to run the bases after the game.

Judging from the positive feedback, alumni enjoyed the family event from first pitch to final out! 

Prayer corner

Your prayers help sustain faculty, staff, and students year-round. Would you please remember these requests in your prayers:

  • For God’s providence, peace, and blessing over the upcoming academic year and the freshman class of 2016.
  • For God’s continual protection for students, faculty, staff, residence halls, classrooms, offices, and the campus.
  • Guidance and wisdom for SPU senior leadership and the Board of Trustees.

Campus jobs

Communications specialist. A marketing/communications professional who assists the Office of University Communications in implementing Seattle Pacific’s marketing and communication goals as outlined in the University’s strategic plan. Manage and edit etc, the University’s award-winning bi-annual magazine for prospective students.

Office and transportation manager. Manages administrative and operational activities for Safety and Security, which includes student and staff scheduling for optimum coverage; oversees front desk reception and customer service; purchasing; and coordinates with other departments as needed regarding OSS support services.

Undergraduate admissions counselor. Manage five to six geographic market regions as assigned by the assistant director of freshmen recruitment. Responsible for implementation of recruiting strategy, recruitment travel, and recruiting students from designated regions. Detailed follow-up with both prospective students and key audiences in assigned regions.

For more information and to apply for these and other open positions at SPU, visit