Connections: Alumni News from Seattle Pacific University, Engaging the Culture, Changing the World
Winter 2016, Volume 9, Issue 1

Plan for two of the biggest SPU events of the year

Homecoming and Parents Weekend, January 29–30, 2016

Make your plans now to join us for one of the most spirited weekends of the campus year! Homecoming and Parents Weekend is the new and improved celebration of all things Falcons and includes both traditional and new events.

Back by popular demand is hard-driving basketball action featuring the Falcon Women battling the Central Washington University Wildcats. The Homecoming Luncheon will honor Medallion Award winners Thom Kroon ’72, Philip Marston ’70, and Trude Deffenbaugh Marston ’71; Alumnus of the Year Tim Hanstad ’85; and GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Alumna of the Year Moorea Seal McDaniel ’09. Come be inspired by their achievements and enjoy a delicious meal together.

At the high-octane Student Talent Show, expect the unexpected when students go all out in a dazzling variety show judged by local celebrity judges.

New this year is the Post-Game Birthday Bash in honor of Talon, the SPU mascot, who turns 82! Snacks, cake, and ice cream in Upper Gwinn Commons will follow the basketball game. A surprise appearance is in store!

Class visits, campus tours, crew regatta, live theatre, and much more. See the full Homecoming schedule and registration. We can’t wait to welcome you and your family to the festivities! 

Grand Reunion

Grand Reunion, October 7–9, 2016

Circle the dates for what promises to be the biggest alumni gathering in Seattle Pacific history! The Grand Reunion is the signature event of our 125th anniversary year, and includes all class reunions, all interest group reunions, and all academic program reunions.

In the 2014 Alumni Survey, you told us that you wanted a greater emphasis on reuniting with fellow alumni, faculty members, and classmates. We heard you, and this is the event you asked for!

Grand Reunion 2016 features an all-alumni, family-friendly mainstage event that is not to be missed, plus reception celebrations for graduating classes of ’71, ’76, ’81, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01, ’06, and ’11. We’ll also feature a Founders Reunion for all graduating classes of 50 or more years ago.

Come help us make history at SPU’s grandest reunion weekend ever! 

New alumni website provides one-stop information

Be sure to regularly check the freshly redesigned Alumni and Parent Relations website. The new site is fully responsive, which means you can easily engage with it on any device, including a phone. Make it your go-to resource for benefits, events, and ways to stay connected with your alma mater and other alumni.

Meranda Clausen

Good as GOLD: Graduates of the Last Decade have new advocate

If you are a Graduate of the Last Decade, then you are GOLD. Seattle Pacific graduates over the last 10 years (formerly Young Alumni) have a campus liaison in Student and GOLD Engagement Coordinator Meranda Clausen ’15. A GOLD alumna herself, the newest member of the Alumni and Parent Relations team earned a degree in communication with a minor in women’s studies.

Among Clausen’s assignments is providing special programming for GOLD members at upcoming 2016 events, including Homecoming and Parents Weekend, January 29–30, the Falcons Forever BBQ preceding Baccalaureate in June, and Grand Reunion in October.

She is pleased to announce one new GOLD initiative: Instagram for all GOLD members. If you’re GOLD, you can follow @SPUalum on Instagram to see posts about fellow GOLDs and to access ways to stay connected, alumni benefits of specific interest, and the latest on future events planned just for GOLDs.

SPU is also on the search for 125 GOLD “Up and Comers,” graduates of the last decade whose activities and goals make them people to watch. Email your nomination(s) today to

One such “Up and Comer” is the 2016 GOLD Alumna of the Year Moorea Seal McDaniel ’09. The jewelry and fashion artist has nearly 1 million Pinterest followers, an online retail site, and a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle’s trendy Belltown neighborhood. She donates 7 percent of all proceeds to nonprofit charities that support women, children, and the environment. You can help honor her by attending the Homecoming Luncheon on January 30.

Support. Celebration. Connection. Recognition. These are but a few of the ways GOLD is here for you.

Some merchandise for sale at the Mistletoe Market

Some merchandise on display at the market.

Generous shoppers make Mistletoe Market shine

It was Christmas in October at Hillford House, the residence of President Dan Martin and his wife, Pam. Most of its surfaces, including the furniture and the fireplace mantle, were covered in a festive array of yuletide items for sale, from handbags, pillow throws, and jewelry to handmade pillowcases from students, fresh flower arrangements by Loida Arabia Kennedy of Dining Services, and fresh wreaths by Master Gardener Jeff Daley.

Traffic was brisk at Mistletoe Market and comprised alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends of the University, even a busload of retired alumni and faculty wives from Crista Senior Living. The Martins and members of Sigma Rho hosted while Sodexo food services donated complimentary cookies and beverages.

Miseltoe market

Mia Hays and Pam Martin.

The more than $15,000 raised, plus an additional $2,000 from additional Christmas sales at Mom’s Day, will go to provide scholarships for students in Family and Consumer Sciences programs.

“It’s always fun to work together for a common cause,” says Mia Hays, administrative assistant in FCS and co-leader with Pam Martin of Sigma Rho. “Our scholarship recipients are such high-caliber students.”

Refer a future Falcon

Refer a Future Falcon

If you know someone who was born to be a Falcon, invite him or her to apply for Winter, Spring, or Autumn Quarter 2016. When a student you refer submits a completed application to SPU, you receive $25!

Have the student complete the Common Application to SPU now through February 1. In the SPU member section, under “Contacts,” have the student list that he or she heard about SPU from you. What do you do? Fill out the form.

Thanks for helping us recruit handpicked, stellar students, who, with an assist from you, can soon be sporting their Falcon pride! 

The Shattenburgs

Do you know the Shattenbergs?

Jamie Shattenberg ’99 and his wife, Alissa Wuertz Shattenberg ’00, spearhead one of the largest reforestation projects in the world. Twelve hundred villagers in the island nation of Madagascar have gainful employment and by their hands have planted 80 million trees. As a result, farms and fisheries have improved, diets are healthier, and parents can afford to send their children to school.

The project is so successful that the Shattenbergs and their Red Island Restoration project were featured in the First Quarter 2015 issue of Inside WorldVenture magazine. WorldVenture is the missionary-sending agency with which the SPU alumni couple is aligned.

Interesting facts from the article about the Shattenbergs and their adopted home:

  • Jamie, the son of missionaries to Madagascar, rescues 10-foot boa constrictors from village chicken coops. He’s also rescued crocodiles and lemurs, the island’s trademark animal.
  • Ninety percent of the plants and animal species of Madagascar are found nowhere else on earth.
  • The presence of Jesus Christ with Jamie and his planting crew caused one village king to refuse them entry to his region. Refuse, that is, until his children begged for jobs with the project. And now a small Bible study has begun in the village.
  • Alissa is mom to the three Shattenberg kids and worked with a team of Malagasy midwives and health educators to open a maternity center in support of infant survival and stronger families.

Lifting a populace out of poverty by reversing the devastating effects of deforestation has also sparked renewed interest in the Christian faith among the people of Madagascar. 

Angela Tucker and her parents

Angela Burt Tucker ’08 (center) with parents Teresa and David Burt at their family home in Bellingham, Washington.

Alumna a national voice for the adopted

As one of 5 million adoptees in the world, Angela Burt Tucker ’08 likes to speak up. In finding and exercising her voice, in sharing her vulnerabilities in public, she is able to give voice to other adoptees. In the acclaimed documentary “Closure,” filmed by her husband and fellow 2008 Seattle Pacific University graduate Bryan Tucker, she openly discusses her search for her birth family and the challenges facing a transracial adoptee who travels that road.

Released in 2013 and screened in more than 30 U.S. cities, “Closure” is available for streaming on Netflix and continues to inspire discussion. On November 7 (November is annual National Adoption Month), the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University and Friends of the Adopted Life hosted the film’s Washington, D.C. premiere. The 100 tickets for the event were claimed within 24 hours of registration opening.

“Adoption is a necessary solution to an unfortunate need, and the journey often begins at the intersection of grief and loss for birth parents and great joy for adoptive parents,” says Angela, also a featured speaker in Raleigh, North Carolina, at November’s “Together for Adoption,” one of the largest Christian adoption conferences.

The Tuckers’ latest film project is “The Adopted Life Episodes,” three 10-minute episodes in which teen and preteen transracial adoptees from New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles give voice to their experience. As with “Closure,” the production of “Episodes” is Kickstarter funded.

A guest last summer on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Angela is a program coordinator for Disability Support Services at SPU, while Bryan is currently producing several projects for public TV channel KCTS 9. 

Tim Hanstad

Tim Hanstad works with formerly landless women in India to gain title to land of their own.

Alumnus and his organization bring home $2 million prize

Tim Hanstad ’85 labored long and hard as president and CEO of Landesa, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated land-rights group that has helped millions of the impoverished in 45 countries win ownership of their land. In October at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Landesa was chosen to receive the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the biggest philanthropic honor for humanitarian groups. The unrestricted funds may be used by Landesa for any use.

Other prize-winning organizations to have received the Hilton honor include Operation Smile, known for promoting cleft-palate surgery, and Fountain House, which focuses on empowering people with mental illness.

Hanstad, co-founder, past president, and senior advisor at Landesa, has recruited a team always thinking how best to leverage their strong reputation for getting things done. For example, Landesa’s Global Center for Women’s Land Rights advocates for laws, policies, programs, and practices that provide secure property rights for women and girls, such as making certain that women’s names are included in land titles.

“The resources and the attention accompanying the Hilton Humanitarian Prize will allow Landesa to elevate the power of land rights on the global development agenda,” says Hanstad. “It means we can establish a larger Landesa presence in Africa, and work with governments to obtain secure legal land rights for hundreds of thousands more marginalized women and men. We are so grateful to the Hilton Foundation and others for supporting this work that provides opportunity for the world’s poorest women and men to pull themselves from poverty.” 

Puget Sound Business Journal names two SPU graduates to 2015 “40 Under 40” list

Forty top business leaders under 40 years old have been recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal for excelling in their industries and showing dynamic leadership. Two of the honorees are graduates of Seattle Pacific University:

Ian Cook
  • Ian Cook, managing director, Slalom LLC. Ian Cook is a member of the SPU Class of 2000, a double-major in business administration and computer science.

    While still a student, he worked at two technology startups. Making software is his passion, and he often writes code at home for fun. He went to work for Slalom three years ago and built their National Delivery Network from scratch. Today he runs the $86 million operation that employs more than 450 people at software development centers in Seattle, Chicago, and Boston.

    He also volunteers his personal time, and helped build four homes for Habitat for Humanity and encouraged his Boston team to partner with Junior Achievement to make software engineering training with middle school students part of their leadership program.

    Cook attends Grace Church on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, is nearing a black belt in karate, and annually mentors one or two SPU seniors as they prepare to enter the work force.
Tiffany Turner
  • Tiffany Oakes Turner, CEO of the Inn at Discovery Coast, Adrift Hotel & Spa, Pickled Fish Restaurant, and Ashore Hotel. Tiffany Turner, Class of ’01 and mother of two energetic young boys, has not only grown her business by 29 percent this year, but overhauled an underperforming restaurant, served on six civic boards (including chairing the Washington State Budget and Policy Center), and launched a hotel in Seaside, Oregon. She brings with her a lot of natural savvy, such as in 2010 when she could not get an expansion loan from her local community bank. Rather than admit defeat, she landed face time with President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, and then-Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to discuss “the crisis of small business capitalization.” She soon had her loan. A former elementary school teacher, Turner helped her husband build a small, 12-unit inn on the coast and was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Two more hotels and a restaurant followed, and today her 71 loyal employees are paid a significantly higher wage than the industry average. “I’m proud of empowering people,” says Turner.     

Kristen Eddings Tetteh

Class of ’06 lady sings the blues

At October’s Pioneers of Global Health Awards Dinner and Auction at The Triple Door, the top item up for bid was a trip for two to South Africa with a stay in a plush safari lodge. Hosted by the Washington Global Health Alliance, the gala evening not only raised funds for worthy global health initiatives but featured the vocal talents of Kristen Eddings Tetteh ’06, the director of communications at WGHA.

In song, accompanied by a live band, Tetteh lauded the year’s successes for the WGHA’s partner organizations, including the opening of the Fred Hutchinson Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala. From “Don’t Stop Believing” to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Tetteh belted pop and R&B hits that underscored achievements in the fight to make planet earth a healthier place for all people.

Singing for success is a natural for Tetteh, the political science major who in 2007 was chosen Miss Washington and a runner-up in the Miss America Pageant. Her featured talent? Vocal performance. 

Ron Jones

A film-score star treks back to the Northwest

Ron Jones ’76 has built what he calls a “Mad Max, tribal world” 43 miles north of Seattle near the town of Stanwood. Jones is the award-winning composer of musical scores for “Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage,” TV, and video games — a collection of original musical scores numbering in the tens of thousands. SkyMuse recording studios is his Mad Maxian creation, in which tribes of pop, jazz, and church musicians hunker down to chase their chosen musical genres.

“Many other cities around the globe are picking up on how Hollywood works,” says Jones. “So work can go anywhere now. I’ve built a large guest house by my studio so I can fly up the best players I need for projects.” He prefers human-to-human musical performance over “computer manipulations.” If the budget’s there, he won’t hesitate to hire an orchestra of 75 musicians backed by a 30-voice choir to get the sound he wants. He was early inspired by legendary composer John Williams of “Star Wars” fame.

Jones’ wife, Laree, is further inspiration. She plays 12 musical instruments.

At Seattle Pacific University, Jones made great friends and enjoyed the “wide open hearts” of the faculty. But he was on a personal trajectory to graduate and move to L.A. He played in several campus ensembles while focused on the music of movie-making magic.

Thirty-eight years and many hundreds of projects later, he’s back home to be near family, but not to retire.

“I am never retiring. I did not leave Hollywood with the idea of sitting around,” says Jones, whose television work can be heard from “The Smurfs” and “Scooby-Do” to “Magnum, P.I.” and “Family Guy.” “I am actually busier now than before. I am building something I hope will be amazing, like nowhere else in the world … I dearly want the young kids to have access to a world of art and craft, and to be able to create, to build, to make what is next.”

In other words, to live long and creatively prosper. 

Did you know?

  • Jerry Collum, assistant professor of theatre and technical director, first wanted to become an Episcopal priest.
  • At SPU’s Faith and Science Club, students discuss evolution, creation, science, and religion with professors, outside experts, and their peers. The topic for their first meeting of this academic year was “original sin.”
  • Graduates of the Food and Nutritional Sciences program have been employed by a variety of employers, including The Northwest Kidney Center, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the YMCA.

Alexander Hall

Alexander Hall Campaign crosses the finish line

The $6.2 million fundraising campaign to restore and retrofit stately Alexander Hall to seismic standards is now complete. Nearly 300 gifts and pledges large and small poured in from generations of Seattle Pacific University alumni, some of whom lived, studied, and were mentored there and hold an affectionate place in their hearts for Seattle Pacific’s first building. Completed in 1893, the historic hall for several years contained the entire school – classrooms, chapel, dining hall, and residences for students and faculty.

Among the generous gifts received for the Alexander restoration was $2.5 million from Becky Arnett Gilliam ’80, whose family ties with SPU go back more than 100 years. The Norcliffe Foundation provided $750,000 and the Murdock Foundation $400,000. All who gave may take satisfaction in knowing that Alexander Hall, turrets and all, will far into the future continue to represent the fulfillment of the SPU vision to engage the culture and change the world.

Preceptors needed stat.

If you are a nurse practitioner, physician, or physician assistant practicing in western Washington, you can help prepare the next generation of nurse practitioners. As a clinical preceptor for the School of Health Sciences, you can give back to SPU and promote health in our communities.

Each year, SHS places 20–25 MSN students in the nurse practitioner pathways for clinical internships. At the same time, the availability of clinical preceptors is shrinking. If you or someone you know is an NP, an MD, a DO, or a PA, let’s talk.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Christine Hoyle, associate dean, nursing graduate programs, at

Life after College. Prepare now! Don

Life After College Week

January 11–15, 2016

Mostly Demaray Hall 150. See website for complete list of campus locations.

Seattle Pacific University alumni are invited to attend the Center for Career and Calling’s biggest annual event. For free! Take advantage of a week’s worth of workshops to assist with building a strategic employment advantage and creating a balanced life in line with your calling.

Workshops led by SPU faculty include “Faith, Work and Community” (Jeff Keuss), “Is Graduate School for You?” (Margaret Diddams), and “Dress for Success” (Raedene Copeland). Professional speakers will share how to “Market Yourself Into Your Next Job,” “Determine Your Worth and Negotiate Salary,” “Get LinkedIn!” and “Manage Your Money.”

SPU alums will share about these topics: “Working Internationally” (Lauren Kubik ’12), “How to Be Who You Were Meant to Be” (Philip Jacobs ’08), and “Get Hired: Recruiters Share their Tips” (Chloe Hays/Sandvik ’13, Mara Sims ’05, Zyra Layaoen, ’15, and Toby Salado ’12).

More CCC Events of Interest to Alumni

Employer Meet-ups are a chance to shake hands with local professionals and ask questions about their organization and opportunities. Alumni are welcome to attend these casual presentations in Weter Hall Lounge:

3 p.m., January 21, 2016

Gravity Payments
5 p.m., January 27, 2016

Peace Corps
3 p.m., February 10, 2016

Weyerhaeuser Company
2 p.m., February 23, 2016 

Day of common learning speaker Lisa Slavovsky

A day devoted to justice

Lisa Slavovsky of the International Justice Mission told a packed audience in Royal Brougham Pavilion that there is power in both justice and injustice. Power, she said, is on the side of the oppressors, and thus the biblical mandate for people of faith is to champion the oppressed. Four billion of the world’s people live outside the protection of the law.

Slavovsky’s remarks framed the keynote address for the 14th annual Day of Common Learning on October 21, this year devoted to examining justice and the building of community in a broken world. Her topic was “Who Is My Neighbor? — Responding to God’s Call for Justice for the Poor.” Slavovsky assists IJM’s global teams in designing and implementing effective models of service for child-trafficking survivors.

In afternoon sessions, students, faculty, staff, and other members of the SPU community chose from a number of breakout sessions that explored justice through a variety of lenses, such as the arts, gender, ethnicity, economics, and the environment. 

Tradition open house

Tradition Open House a Christmas season hit

More than 85 alumni and their family members brought their good cheer to the Alumni Open House at Tradition on December 4. An espresso cart, photo booth, letter-writing to Santa, and Christmas music set a right-jolly yuletide tone.

Check out this year’s Tradition Alumni Open House photos, and put it on your Christmas list to attend next year’s Tradition!

Sacred Sounds of Advent 2015

Sacred Sounds 2015

A sellout audience of more than 2,800 people gathered at Seattle’s McCaw Hall on November 30 for the 16th annual Sacred Sounds of Christmas.

Showcasing performing groups from the SPU Music Department, including for the first time the 80 vocalists and instrumentalists of the SPU Gospel Choir, Sacred Sounds celebrated the birth of Christ the Redeemer.

Presented as a “gift to the Seattle community,” the event is also a popular draw for alumni and their families. In anticipation of next year, start checking for ticket information in September on the SPU home page or the Alumni home page

Prayer corner

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

  • Students starting their Winter Quarter.
  • The upcoming 125th SPU celebration year, beginning June 2016.
  • Unrest on college campuses nationwide regarding issues of diversity, racial division, and discrimination.

Campus jobs

Cataloguing specialist. Employee performs a variety of tasks relating to the cataloging and processing of new and already held library materials, including monographs, DVDs, and CD-ROMs.

Lead maintenance electrician. Performs journeyman repairs on all electrical-related systems. Alters, maintains, repairs, or installs wiring, cables, switches, controls, fuse boxes, breaker panels, power circuits, and communications circuits. Constructs new facilities from blueprints and specifications.

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

Our Story ... His Story: One Couple

Alumni bookshelf

Our Story … His Story: One couple’s encounter with the Grace of God in the Crucible of Affliction

(Xulon Press, 2015)
by Rick Rood ’72


Full Moon at Noontide by Ann Cunningham Putnam

Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye

(University of Iowa Press, 2015)
by Ann Cunningham Putnam ’67

(Hardcover, paperback, and e-book)