Bryan Jones, alumni and parent relations director, still has his SPU crew blanket.
When Bryan Jones ’99 looks out the fourth-floor window of the SPU library, he sees places rich in history and relationships that have shaped every step of his SPU career.
“As I work here, I develop new memories,” says SPU’s new director of alumni and parent relations. “But if I stop and think about it, my student memories come rushing back.” This view — looking east from the Library toward the Highway 99 bridge — is just the first stop in Bryan’s three-part personal tour of campus.
As a student, he took refuge from distraction to study here, earning a double-major in physics and biology. Bryan had planned to work in education all along: “I was leaning toward teaching high school physics — I had a love for high school students.”
Instead, he ended up working with high schoolers as an admissions counselor, from his office in Demaray Hall (visible through the Library’s north-facing windows). Hired in 2001, Bryan eventually became assistant director for undergraduate admissions, helping hundreds of families and their students find a place at SPU.
The tour’s second stop is Hill Hall, where Bryan spent his freshman and sophomore years, a “transformative” time. His faith and friendships flourished among the Centurions, a men’s service and discipleship club (a group that he now advises). In his junior and senior years, Bryan served as a student ministry coordinator and then a residence hall ministry coordinator in Ashton.
He says he’s grateful for the way that SPU opened his eyes to theological and cultural diversity. “One thing I love about SPU,” he says, “is how, for a protestant Christian university, we strike a good, ecumenical balance.”
The last stop on Bryan’s campus tour is a Brougham Pavilion display of historic SPU Crew photographs.
“I’m not a morning person,” he laughs. “But I got up at 4:45 in the morning and rowed out on Lake Union for practice.” In an image from 1996, he’s a freshman rowing in the Men’s Novice 4 at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. “We won that regatta,” he says, “which qualified us for the national championship.” In a 2000 photo, he’s one of the smiling Dad Vail Championship silver medalists. Crew taught him commitment and discipline, and he cherished the camaraderie. One teammate rowed even further with him: He married Kristen Goetz Jones ’01 ’05, MSN ’09.
Making — and keeping — meaningful connections is a gift that served Bryan well in 2011 when, after a decade in the admissions office, he went to work establishing lasting relationships with alumni donors as an SPU development officer. And it will continue to inform him in his new role as he connects with alumni and parents, inviting them to help SPU into a bright future through student mentoring, professional networking, financial support, and volunteer service.
“I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve and collaborate with our alumni and parents,” he says. “Seattle Pacific alumni are absolutely critical to the future success of this wonderful place.”