Alumni, Parent, and Family Relations

Connections Summer 2016

Summer 2016, Volume 9, Issue 3

Alumnus opens, Crowder headlines Grand Reunion concert

If you like your music innovative and original with a side order of conviction, don’t wait. The historic Grand Reunion for all Seattle Pacific University alumni is October 7–8, and buzz for the three-act finale concert is shaking the hive. Tickets are modestly priced but limited. Order your tickets today.

Crowder Concert

It promises to be one of the most riveting and memorable concerts to hit Royal Brougham Pavilion in years. Concert opener is SPU’s own Evan Egerer ’10, a crowd favorite at this summer’s Creation Festival Northwest. The guitar man with the soulful vocals is followed by Tedashii, the Christian rapper with the deep voice and even deeper lyrics. Then comes the main event, the incomparable David Crowder. His Grammy-nominated musicianship continues to soar. Be there when he fills the room with “Run, Devil, Run” and “Come As You Are.”

The concert is but the satisfying finale to a celebration weekend for the record books. Falcons from every point of the compass will converge on campus for the largest gathering of SPU alumni in history.

Susan “Sue” Kennedy Schultz ’74 will be there, along with her husband, Larry Schultz ’72. “We’re looking forward to it,” Sue says. After a 40-year career teaching elementary music in Oregon and Washington for her, and two careers for him — social work and Boeing production engineer — they’ve got a lot to share with their classmates. “We’re still close friends with many of our fellow Falcons.”

Beside specific reunions for Founders and the classes of ’71, ’76, ’81, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’01, ’06, ’11, and ’16, alumni of all years can attend academic reunions, affinity reunions (such as Falconettes, Centurions, and Athletics), and the Taste of SPU All-Reunion Dinner hosted by SPU presidents past and present. Students will challenge alumni to an athletic contest, and Future Falcons Nest childcare will be provided 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Graduates of the Last Decade

“Falcons to Watch” to be honored at Grand Reunion

In honor of their success in their careers, contributions to their communities, and fulfillment of Seattle Pacific University’s mission to engage the culture and change the world, GOLD alumni have been chosen “Ones to Watch.” The recognition was inspired by Seattle Pacific’s 125th Anniversary year.

The GOLD honorees will receive special recognition at the Grand Reunion, October 7–8, and a complete list of those chosen will appear in the November issue of Response magazine.

The GOLD alumni have graduated from Seattle Pacific in the last 10 years and include Rachel Ellis Hammer ’07. The biochemistry major is a resident physician at Tulane University in New Orleans. She desires to achieve a “double board” in medicine and psychiatry to best serve the health needs of her community.

Through her MFA in creative writing, the marathoner and jazz singer was able to write about teaching in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “New Orleans is a city with unbelievable poverty and incredible culture,” says Hammer.

Another one to watch is Cory Shepherd ’08, a financial advisor with Sound Financial Group. It was through an industry connection in the mentor program of SPU’s Center for Applied Learning that he found his first job, which eventually led to the launch of his own practice. “Cultivate habits of action,” he tells students. “Now is almost always the perfect time!” Involved with GOLD Council, Shepherd says that most of his friends in Seattle “are the people I know from my time at SPU.”

SPU: 125 years in the making

Historic photo of Alexander Hall

Educating the heart as well as the head has been the singular goal of America’s church-affiliated colleges since inception. It became readily apparent when planning Seattle Pacific University’s year-long 125th anniversary party that it was important to elevate and celebrate service, a hallmark of educating the whole person at Seattle Pacific since day one.

There is no clearer call to service at SPU than that of Jesus’ words etched into the marble in Martin Square: “I have come to serve, not to be served.”

Service is in the DNA of SPU, from the founders’ desire to prepare graduates for foreign missions, to the increasingly broadened scope of service engagement in SPU’s programs today.

As part of SPU’s 125th anniversary celebration, we will highlight the institution’s historic commitment to serve others by organizing a 125,000-hour service challenge. During 2016–17, we will record service hours volunteered by SPU students, faculty, staff, and alumni in curricular and co-curricular projects. Everything from student mission trips, to graduate counseling internships, to helping at a local food bank will all be documented and tracked on the SPU 125th website. To follow our progress, or even better, to participate, visit


John Glancy

Ask faculty and staff members at Seattle Pacific who is Mr. SPU, and the name John Glancy will come up time and again. A graduate of the Class of 1970, he also earned a master’s degree in communication from the University of Washington and a doctorate in education from SPU. For 46 years, or more than a third of the University’s existence, he has been student, athlete, admissions counselor, college editor, and director over five distinct departments — including University Communications, Graduate Admissions and Marketing, and the 125th Anniversary Celebration. When asked what that means to him, the devout Free Methodist replies, “I believe I’ve been blessed, and called, to essentially live out my life in one place.”

His parents saw to the early years. The family home was a long block from campus, and his dad, Roy Glancy, was often in charge of the timing crew for Falcon athletic events. “I’m sure that many of the attitudes, ideas, and plans I bring to the 125th grew out of my experiences at Seattle Pacific — as a child growing up on campus,” says John. He took his first piano lessons from Mabel Moyer, attended church in McKinley Auditorium, and took many a turn around The Loop on his bike.

As a student of business and English, John also distinguished himself as a Falcon athlete in both basketball and track. He hit 83.3 percent of his free throws and in 1968 was anchorman for the 440 four-man relay team (including Glen Miller, Roger Hansen, and Jim Hilliard) that to this day holds the school record for the fastest 440 relay time — 41.6 seconds.

In succeeding years, John has become the go-to source on the people, events, and strategic emphases that have shaped the University. His outgoing warmth, affirming personality, and remarkable recall of names and faces have made him a rich resource to administrators, faculty members, and coworkers alike. John networked before networking was a thing, and was a personal friend of C. Dorr Demaray, M.B. Miller, Dorothy Kreider, James Chapman, Lydia Green, and others who have shaped Seattle Pacific in significant and lasting ways.

John, who will retire in 2017, says that coordinating SPU’s 125th commemoration is a fitting way to conclude a career at his alma mater. “I have the opportunity not only to highlight the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Seminary/College/University, but also to celebrate SPU’s present and project where it’s going in the future.

“As I reflect on our history, and the people who created it,” he continues, “I’m both amazed and gratified at the consistency of mission each generation of administrators, faculty, and students have demonstrated. Academic quality and Christian outreach have been the defining purpose of Seattle Pacific University. It makes me proud to have lived, studied, and served in this place.”

Enjoy SPU’s 125th Anniversary four ways

  • Grand Reunion. October 7–8, 2016. We’re planning the largest gathering of alumni in SPU history! There will be class, academic, and affinity reunions; Falcon soccer; Taste of SPU All-Reunion Dinner; and Crowder in concert, to name just a few of the events. See the complete schedule and register today.
  • SPU Fine Arts Exposition. May 2017. Special on-campus arts celebration includes an alumni/faculty art exhibition, student-written one-act plays, and a combined music and theatre presentation. All events will be open to the public. Details to come.
  • 125th Anniversary Gala Celebration. May 2017. A gathering of SPU donors and friends of the University in Fremont Studios, a unique off-campus venue on the north side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The invitation-only event will feature a video history of Seattle Pacific, inspiring stories from SPU alumni, and a time of vision-casting by President Dan Martin.
  • Inside story of Seattle Seminary. By retired Asbury Theological Seminary professor Howard Snyder, the book is titled: Rooted in Mission: The History of Seattle Pacific University, 1891–1915. Revival, romance, and rarely seen historic photos of early Seattle and early Seattle Pacific. Own your own copy of this well-researched hardcover book, available for sale only at the SPU Bookstore.

    Rooted in Mission cover

Alumni newsmakers

Stephen Allen

Stephen Allen ’05 is a field coordinator for UNICEF in Jordan’s Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp. It is a refugee tent city of tens of thousands of people trying to survive displacement from their homes and war-torn homeland. Forty thousand of them are children. The camp has seen protests and riots, but UNICEF continues to provide food, medicine, and child protection. The problem in Syria is not just a problem for the Middle East, its a problem for the world, says Allen, who recently assisted in a tour of the camp by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. Allen, a literature major, has also worked on the humanitarian front lines in Afghanistan, Libya, South Sudan, and Uganda, and under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Rescue Committee, and Mercy Corps.

Jason Holstrom

Jason Holstrom ’98, who in 2012 created music for NPR’s “This American Life Live,” is still making music with the release this year of four albums following the seasonal/solar cycle. The albums, devoted to ambient sounds that correlate with the seasons, are meant to foster a therapeutic inner peace and balance. The weather and other aspects of nature at the time they were recorded helped producer Holstrom curate the music. Fans of his danceable pop music when Holstrom was a member of The Lincolns and United States of Electronica (U.S.E.) will find this mix of sonic mood music more conducive to meditation. Have a listen.

Megan Lindsay ’12

Megan Lindsay ’12, a foods, nutrition, and wellness studies major, has since graduation played professional soccer for teams in Finland, France, Iceland, and Norway. In her senior year with the Falcons, she was the top scorer in the Great Northwest Athletics Conference, with 12 goals. In finding her dream job on fields of international play right out of SPU, Lindsay says, “I feel kind of blessed to be in this position.” A striker for Norway’s Roa IF last fall, she currently plays for the Spokane Shadow and was recently named the first Player of the Week in the newly formed Northwest Premier League.

Rick ’92 and Rebecca ’96 Newell

Rick Newell ’92 and his wife, Rebecca Roork Newell ’96, are founders of Mentoring Urban Students & Teens (M.U.S.T.) in south Seattle. The nonprofit provides positive male role models by pairing responsible college-age men who were once themselves at risk with youth who are struggling to be free of poverty, abuse, and low educational achievement. An award-winning program director for Boys & Girls Clubs in the inner city, Rick now trains and pays his mentors a modest wage to mentor high-risk youth while the mentors pursue their own higher education. The example modeled inspires high school students to desire and to work for similar outcomes.

Kevin Rindal

Kevin Rindal ’02, a Seattle chiropractor, was a medical support staff member caring for the nearly 50 Olympic swimmers on Team USA at the Rio games this summer. He has worked with some of the top athletes and organizations in the world, including USA Swimming, USA Hockey, Brooks Beast Professional Running, and Garmin-Barracuda Professional Cycling Team. With a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from SPU and a doctoral degree in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic, Rindal specializes in sports injury rehabilitation and is founder of InHealth, a sports injury and performance clinic.

Five Falcons witness French Open

Wes Lingren ’52, former Seattle Pacific College varsity tennis coach (1963–70), says this year’s “pilgrimage” to the French Open with four of his former players “was hatched in the summer of 2015 over coffee.”

The professor emeritus of chemistry met with his one-time singles standout Wil Look ’71, whose professional career includes T-Mobile USA. Lingren bemoaned he could find no one to go with him to the premier event. Look jumped at the chance.

The word was out, and in May Lingren and Look were in Paris in the stands of the French Open. With them were Bob Thompson ’69, a distinguished Washington/Oregon cherry executive; Denny Rydberg ’67, the retiring president of Young Life; and Sheldon Ekland-Olson ’66, professor of sociology and former provost at the University of Texas (Austin) — all varsity Falcons in their day. Look and Thompson won the West Coast NCAA college division regional doubles crown in 1969, a feat never before, or after, accomplished by a Northwest collegiate tennis team, according to Lingren.

Alumns at the French Open

(Left to right) Ekland-Olson, Lingren, Rydberg, Thompson, and Look.

As French Open tickets can cost in the hundreds of dollars, Thompson came to the rescue with five tickets at a “very good price” through a friend who knew people in the U.S. Tennis Association.

In addition to witnessing Grand Slam action on the court, the Falcons visited American war memorials, Versailles, and the cathedral at Chartres. “It was a great adventure,” reports Lingren. “We had great weather and wonderful fellowship.”

Survey says?

In a recent Phonathon Survey, Seattle Pacific University’s Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) reported doing well. Of the 451 GOLD alumni who responded, just over 91 percent reported they were either employed (80.4 percent) or in graduate school (10.7 percent).

Their most rewarding experiences since graduation?

  • “Landing a job in my field of study.”
  • “Being where God wants me to be.”
  • “Helping launch the first new treatment in 40 years for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on the commercial market.”
  • “Working in the operating room, seeing borderline miracles … 

Alumni in other age brackets surveyed said the four things they most highly value about Seattle Pacific, and want to see continue, are:

  • Strong Christian emphasis
  • Close relationships with professors
  • Small class size
  • Overall sense of community

These alumni were also asked, “What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in the last five years?” Answers included:

  • “Celebrated 40th anniversary with my wife that I met at SPU.”
  • “Toured the world as a professional musician.”
  • “Received human rights certificate from Congress for starting a feeding program for the homeless in Palm Springs.”
  • “My ministry as a jail chaplain working with women with addictions.”

The Phonathon Survey was conducted last spring by members of the Falcon Investment Team, comprising student employees who enjoy making fundraising calls on behalf of student scholarships.

Pursuit of the best

Lesha Engels

The nearly 19,000 students in Washington’s Issaquah School District have a new champion. She is Lesha Engels, the district’s director of STEM and CTE.

The 2006 Seattle Pacific University graduate embodies the “Olympic ideal” of an SPU alum. Not only was she given charge over the education of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and in Career and Technical Education (CTE), she is the 2016 Alumna of the Year in Seattle Pacific’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

A natural and driven leader, Engels wants to maximize career opportunities for students. She believes that by helping students “experience” and “do,” she and her team can reduce the number of students who ask of science and math, “When am I ever going to use this?”

Right out of SPU, Engels went to work teaching FCS classes to Issaquah students. So effective were her teaching and advising skills that in 2013 she was named the Washington State Family Career and Community Leaders America Advisor of the Year. Later, she provided leadership as college and career readiness director for the Peninsula School District before returning to Issaquah in her current position.

Through it all, Engels has never lost the thrill of exposing students to career options they might not otherwise consider, and assisting them in getting connected to local professionals working in those jobs.

“At SPU, I was taught to develop a broader perspective for my interactions with the world,” says Engels. “I was captivated by the core FCS value of improving the quality of life for individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which they live. I want students to pursue their best version of themselves.”

Do you know SPU grads like Lesha Engels? Tell us! With Homecoming fast approaching, this is the time to recognize SPU classmates and acquaintances who have invested themselves in family, church, community, and career. If their lives, priorities, and successes embrace the University vision of “engaging the culture, changing the world,” we need to hear about them. Please nominate worthy alumni today! It’s easy and only takes a few minutes.

In the know

Professor Emeritus of Sociology Robert Larson sings in the Everett Norwegian Chorus, established in 1901.

Professor Emeritus of English Tom Trzyna is engaged in a project to improve medical care in Iran. His short story “Sunspots” won honorable mention in the January/February 2016 Glimmer Train national short story contest.

Professor Emeritus of Biology Ken Moore and his wife, Voy, took a two-week cruise late last year to Mexico on the Pacific Princess. The trip celebrated the 50th anniversary year of the Princess line by bringing back the cast of TV’s “Love Boat.” The Moores dined with several of the cast members, who are still active in the entertainment world.

Alumni and the law

  • Debra McKenna Blews ’76 was admitted on March 2, 2016, to practice as an attorney before the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts granted the motion for admission in open court. An active member of the State Bar of Michigan, Debra lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Edward Blews ’76.
  • Matt Cooper ’99 is chief legal counsel, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
  • Josh Van Eaton ’97, a JAG (Justice Advocate General) in the United States Air Force, was recently promoted to lieutenant colonel.

GOLDs share gems

Sometimes it’s whom you know that counts. More than 70 SPU Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLDs) reconnected April 14 at the GOLD Gathering hosted by the MiiR flagship store in Seattle’s Fremont district. The GOLDs were there to share information and to network with alumni in the same or similar career fields.

MiiR provided the ideal source of inspiration. Owned by Bryan Pape ’07, the company produces functional, lifestyle water bottles. A portion of the profits supports clean water, access to transportation, and education in developing countries. Every MiiR bottle purchased provides clean water for one person for a year.

What’s in SPU’s future?

Seattle Pacific University’s strategic plan represents our priorities and focus for the coming years. In pursuing the five goals outlined in the plan, SPU aims to realize more fully the University’s vision of engaging the culture and changing the world. To familiarize yourself with the University’s prime objectives, watch a message from President Dan Martin and read a summary of the plan.

Falcon license plates within reach

Wouldn’t you look good cruising down the highway sporting SPU Falcon Washington state license plates fore and aft? You sure would!

All that’s required is an indication that there would be a minimum of 3,500 purchases of the special license plates by Washington state vehicle owners. We already have hundreds of people who have expressed interest.

SPU License Plate design proposals

To make it happen, we need you to indicate your interest (no obligation). See the plates, get more details, and fill out the form indicating interest. You do not need to be an alum of SPU to own a set of these plates!

When the special plates are available, Seattle Pacific will contact you to let you know Falcon plates are available for order — with $28 from each plate going to support SPU student scholarships.

SPU’s Forcier works the Magic

While still a student at SPU, Chad Forcier ’95 interned with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics, then spent five seasons with Seattle working for Coach George Karl. In June of this year, the Orlando Magic announced that Forcier would come aboard as an assistant coach.

Forcier spent the last nine seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, where he was responsible for player development. He was a member of the San Antonio staff that won the NBA World Championship in 2013–14. His brother, Todd, is the sports performance coach for the Portland Trailblazers.

Where did those 50 years go?

Jerry and Sandi Ulsund attended a very exclusive party back in June. Jerry, Seattle Pacific University Class of 1966, was celebrating his 50th year since graduation. SPU threw a party marking the occasion for nearly a hundred ’66 grads.

Fellow graduates joined the retired J.C. Penney manager for a day of recognition that included Ivy Cutting, a class photo, delicious meals, a garden tour, and induction into the Founders Circle. According to the Ulsunds, the campus was beautiful, the meals and the company were topnotch, and getting reacquainted with classmates made the day special and over too quickly.

See the photo gallery.

Alumni bookshelf

Book coverGone Ahead, by Kevan Lee ‘05
Amazon Digital Service LLC, 2016
E-book, paperback

Book coverLearning to Rejoice in the Middle of … !, by Mary Kline ’45
iUniverse, 2015

Campus jobs

Office Manager/AA – Facility Management. Create and prepare construction and renovation contracts, manage three office budgets, and manage payment of invoices.

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

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Seattle Pacific University, Engaging the Culture, Changing the World

The Office of Alumni, Parent, and Family Relations
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206-281-ALUM (206-281-2586)

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