Robert Crandall and his wife, Marcile

Fourteen members of the Class of 1950 received special recognition by Seattle Pacific University at their 50th class reunion in June. "The Class of '50 is an unusually accomplished group of people," says Doug Taylor, Seattle Pacific University alumni director. "They've made a positive and lasting difference in the world — and we're very proud of them. It's a real pleasure to honor such remarkable people."

Receiving Medallion Awards for outstanding contributions to their professions, churches, communities and alma mater were the following 1950 graduates:

Wendell Beckwith and June Mitchell Beckwith are longtime volunteers who have made significant contributions to the church at large. Wendell's architectural stamp can be seen on the hundreds of churches he designed, and upon SPU campus buildings like McKinley, Moyer and Peterson halls.

Robert Cathey and Norma Howell Cathey are faithful servants of the church. Bob directs, composes and performs music in churches and public schools, while Norma has been historian and archivist for several organizations, including the Pacific Northwest Conference of the Free Methodist Church.

Gordon Cochrane is a professor emeritus of sociology at SPU, where he taught for 24 years and touched hundreds of lives. He is also a former member of the Falcon men's basketball team.

Robert Crandall is an accomplished pastor and professor at Western Evangelical Seminary. He founded the VISA program (Volunteers in Service Abroad) for the Free Methodist Church.

Leona Bownes Fear taught elementary grades for the Free Methodist Missionary Board's Light and Life School, served as dean of women and taught missions classes at Seattle Pacific, and has given strategic assistance to Free Methodist missions worldwide.

Wesley Johnson was a math teacher and administrator in the Seattle Public Schools for 24 years, including service as district director of math for 10 years.

Allen Nelson has pastored six churches and spent 14 years on the mission field in Zaire, where he helped build classrooms, dormitories, a road and a 200-bed hospital.

Robert Nelson made a 34-year career in the Seattle Public Schools, which included teaching and varied administrative assignments. In retirement, he has established several teacher retirement centers.

Dale Parker has been a coach at both Seattle Pacific and the University of Washington. He continues to improve the skills of coaches in the region and for 10 years has been part of a Christian sports ministry to Eastern Europe.

Norman Zook is a medical doctor of distinction in both the Pacific Northwest and in Africa. He and three partners in medical practice take turns financing one another on one-year stints at a mission hospital.

Two members of the Class of 1950 also received Distinguished Service Awards for service to SPU: Bud Hansen and Ruth Denison Hansen are very active in the Free Methodist Church, from teaching Sunday School to arranging flowers for Sunday services. A retired public school principal, Bud was a trustee of Seattle Pacific for 33 years, and served as president of the Alumni Association. Ruth supervised student teachers in the School of Education for more than 25 years and helped establish women's retreats at Warm Beach Camp. The Hansens are also longtime organizers of Casey Alumni Weekend.


Loyalty. Can it be quantified?

Alumni Director Doug Taylor thinks the rate at which Seattle Pacific University alumni are signing up for the new alumni credit card (double the rate predicted) is a strong sign of their allegiance. So strong, in fact, that the SPU Alumni Association has been able to give the first three Alumni Legacy Scholarships made possible through a percentage rebate of card expenditures.

The $2,500 scholarships will aid three new students who entered Seattle Pacific this fall. They are freshmen Myron Marston and Caleb Jackson, and Washington State University transfer student Paula Marston. All three come with excellent academic credentials. Jackson's parents are SPU alumni and missionaries to the People's Republic of China, and the two Marstons are the great-grandchildren of former Seattle Pacific Professor C. May Marston, whose tenure of 55 years remains the longest of any faculty member.

"It's appealing to me to know that my mother took classes at Seattle Pacific, and that my grandmother taught classes in the School of Education," says Taylor. "That kind of generational loyalty has gotten lost in our culture. We want to increase the retention of our alumni families long-term. These scholarships are a practical way to do that."

Anyone interested in an SPU credit card should call Kathy Hitchcock at 206/281-2447, or e-mail her at klh@spu.edu. Children of alumni who plan to enter SPU in 2001 may apply for an Alumni Legacy Scholarship by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800/366-3344 or 206/281-2021.


Seattle Pacific University's admissions counselors are teaming up with alumni again for a series of travel events. Teens and their families will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about SPU at area receptions, where they'll meet alumni, cheer Falcon sports or hear touring performing groups.

Events are being planned now and alumni are invited to join in. "SPU has a constant presence in many different areas around the country," says Jennifer Kenney, director of admissions. "We want alumni to know that, and we want to invite their support." Support, she adds, is as easy as bringing a church youth group to a basketball game or talking to a teen at an evening reception.

The following events have been scheduled for this year: January 16, Boise, Idaho; January 16, Denver, Colorado; January 18, Spokane, Washington; January 22, Portland, Oregon; January 22, Bay Area, California; January 23, Sacramento, California; January 25, Pasadena, California; January 26, San Diego, California; January 29, Seattle; and February 6, Chicago, Illinois.

If you live in or near a host city and want to help with a travel event, contact the Office of Admissions at 206/281-2021, or call toll free at 800/366-3344. You can also send e-mail to admissions@spu.edu.


February 1-3 are the dates for the 2001 Seattle Pacific University Homecoming celebration. You're invited to join the SPU community for a weekend that includes the annual Talent Show, exciting basketball and gymnastics action, a Thalia Symphony concert, the President's Luncheon and a theatre production of The Elephant Man.

A brochure describing the full Homecoming schedule will be mailed to alumni and friends in early January. Make your plans now to be a part of Homecoming 2001!


Robert T. Dixon

"You're a scientist and you believe in God?"

Give him a dollar for every time he's been asked that question and 1949 Seattle Pacific College graduate Robert Dixon could purchase another fine telescope. Which would go nicely with the planetarium that he designed and that was recently named for him in recognition of the 25 years he taught astronomy at Riverside Community College (RCC) in Riverside, California. RCC has three campuses and more than 26,000 students.

The Robert T. Dixon Planetarium, dedicated in December 1999, was home to one of the professor's most popular annual public lectures titled "The Christmas Star." It featured the reading of the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. "Bob likes to point out the harmony between God and science," says his wife, Marian Gau Dixon, a Seattle Pacific graduate of 1950.

His friends at RCC celebrated the naming of the planetarium by buying Dixon, 72, a powerful new telescope capable of defining 65,000 constellations. (To the vast relief of his students, they were required to identify just 35 constellations to pass astronomy class.)

Dixon's 49 years in education have been a supernova of activity. He has published six astronomy textbooks and three other science texts. He has guest-lectured on the heavens aboard cruise ships to Alaska and Mexico. He has toured Europe extensively and taught Sunday school for years.

"People need to realize what a wonderful creator we have," Dixon says. "I want to introduce as many students as possible to the heavens, something they can enjoy all their lives." He has taught at SPU and continues to teach at Edmonds Community College near Seattle.

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