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Seattle Pacific University
Autumn 2007 | Volume 30, Number 2 | Campus

Retirees Made a Difference

129 years of service


Four SPU professors retired in June 2007 with a combined 129 years of service.
2007 faculty retirees (from left): Ken Moore, Martha Worcester, Michael Macdonald, and Ruby Englund
In June 2007, four Seattle Pacific University faculty members with a combined 129 years of academic service packed up their memory-laden offices and began a new chapter of their lives: retirement.

Among them was Ruby Englund, associate professor of nursing. Drafted in 1966 into the newly formed School of Health Sciences (SHS), Englund worked to “hand-embroider students” for successful service. Today, as technology dominates our attention, Englund has reminded nursing students it is their job to connect with patients. “People still have to describe what hurts,” she says.

Englund chaired every major committee in SHS and served on Faculty Council. In 1990, she created the innovative Nursing Camp for high schoolers, which continues to develop young people’s interest in nursing careers. The 2007 Professor of the Year, Englund leaves SPU with the highest honor that students can bestow on one of their professors.

Joining her as a 2007 retiree is Michael Macdonald, professor of German, European studies, and philosophy at Seattle Pacific for 40 years. A supporter of those values which he called “permanent things” in his 1986 Weter Lecture, Macdonald is the founder of SPU’s long-running C.S. Lewis Institute. For years, he even traveled weekly to the Snoqualmie ski area to direct the SPU Ski School.

One of Macdonald’s many other contributions to Seattle Pacific has been his involvement with European Quarter, through which he led countless students abroad to discover European cultures and languages. Students say they will miss his caring spirit — and his trademark German hat, complete with feather.

Something else that will be missed are Professor of Biology Ken Moore’s legendary lectures in “Anatomy and Physiology.” Many students talk about Moore as their inspiration for careers in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy.

In his 32 years at SPU, Moore served six years as chair of the Biology Department and 10 years as coordinator for environmental studies. Perhaps most notable is his work in premed and pre-health career advising. As Moore retires, SPU is enrolling twice as many pre-health students than eight years ago, and the acceptance rate of students into graduate health programs is nearly twice the national average.

Also rising is the number of nationally certified nurse practitioners graduating from SPU, thanks to retiring Associate Professor of Nursing Martha Worcester. She began her career at Seattle Pacific in 1989 teaching undergraduate nursing courses, but switched in 1994 to full-time work in the Nurse Practitioner Pathway — a program she helped to develop.

Along with mentoring nursing graduate students, Worcester also secured full grant funding to help students focus on an often-neglected specialty: work with elderly populations. “I’m always looking to find places where my abilities and the world’s needs meet,” she says.

It’s a life philosophy echoed by each of her fellow retirees.

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Department Highlights

Accreditation for Psychology
SPU's doctoral program in psychology is now in an elite group nationwide.

A Record Freshmen Class
The largest and most ethnically diverse freshman class arrived on campus this fall.

Homecoming ’08
The action-packed Homecoming and Family Weekend is January 24-26.

Retirees Made a Difference
Four SPU faculty members retired with a combined 129 years of service.

Goodbye to Three Trees
Dying big-leaf maple trees removed from Tiffany Loop.

Planning for Casey’s Future
SPU moves ahead with a master plan for developing 82 acres.

Weter’s Legacy Lives On
The late Dr. Winifred Weter left SPU a gift of $4.83 million.