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Response Magazine Seattle Pacific University 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 116, Seattle, WA 98119

Mailbox Letters From You

Once Lost, Now Found

I loved the article in Response about the John Newton letters. As a former member of the Library staff, I had known of those letters for many years and always hoped they could be transcribed. Enhancing and posting some of them on Digital Commons was a great idea.

Laura Arksey
Salen, Oregon

Your article “Once Lost, Now Found” mentions 43 letters of Newton, but the link has only 36. To whom are the additional seven letters written and do you have PDFs of these? I was aware of your collection of Newton letters because in the mid-1980s I corresponded with (Donald) Demaray about them when I was working on a master’s of theology thesis on Newton.

Grant Gordon
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

Editor’s note: According to University Archivist Adrienne Thun Meier ’04, the seven letters not yet publicly available are letters Newton wrote to people other than John Campbell. They will be posted to SPU’s Digital Commons at a later date.

The Price of Business

As a practicing business attorney and a recipient of Response (I attended SPU for two years in the late ’70s and early ’80s before graduating from the University of Washington), I read with interest the recent highlighted “Footnote” about Daniel Price ’08’s much-acclaimed “minimum annual salary” of $70,000 for employees.

My first thought ... was “Price must be economically illiterate — it will never work in the long-term, nor should it, for dozens of reasons having to do with economics, the labor market, employee morale, etc., etc., etc.”

My second thought was: “Price had better be the sole shareholder of his company, because if he isn’t — then it’s hard to see how somebody isn’t getting well and truly [taken advantage of].”

G.D. Holcombe
Minocqua, Wisconsin

What happens when a worker is paid more than his market worth? In Seattle, you have two answers to that question. For a micro view, let’s take Dan Price and his Gravity Payments, which has gained fame for paying all workers at least $70,000. What could go wrong?

A recent article in The New York Times answers that question: Some are upset that experience and longevity aren’t being honored. Others don’t want to be trapped by too-high wages. Some customers are concerned that Mr. Price’s 15 minutes of fame are going to cost them.

Mr. Price himself has discovered that his new labor line item is unsustainable. At the minimum, Mr. Price has broken the cardinal rule of playing all his cards at one time. And now we all know Mr. Price’s earnings, a subject most of us shouldn’t bring up in polite company.

Todd Frederick ’85
Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Editor’s note: Read an extended Q&A with SPU Professor of Business Ethics Kenman Wong about Dan Price’s decision to increase his employees’ salaries. Video: Dan Price speaks on campus November 17, 2015.

Abolitionist Roots

I find it interesting that the article, “Reviving Our Abolitionist Roots,” arrived in my home just as the United States Supreme Court recognized a basic human right by legalizing gay marriage in our country. The article correctly points out the excellent work the Free Methodist Church is doing to help those exploited through human trafficking, and Doug Strong says that SPU’s School of Theology believes “wherever we see inequities, we are required to be engaged in that struggle.” However the Free Methodist church — my church — shows little concern for the inequities long suffered by LGBT individuals in our country. Not only has the church loudly protested marriage equality, it also continues to perpetuate inequities for LGBT Christians within its walls. Sure, my Christian gay friend can come through the doors of the church with me to hear the sermon, but she cannot become a church member, teach, or serve like I can. She is a second-class church citizen, much like African-Americans were when early churches made them sit out of sight in the galleries. Free Methodists showed love for our African-American brothers and sisters by helping in the charge to abolish slavery. They are showing love to prostitutes through the current Set Free Ministry. When will they learn to love, and fight for the equality of, our LGBT friends, family members, neighbors, and SPU students?

Gabrielle Miller Dudley, ’82

Campus Memories

A photographer for the Tawashi and The Falcon in the early ’60s, I kept very few copies of the many group photos I was assigned. I did keep this one, taken in the spring of ’63, of the philosophy majors of the ’63 and ’64 classes. I found this in a box of photos I hadn’t been through for a while. I think I was proud to be a friend of several of these upper class stars.

From left to right are Warren Barnes, Roger Dexter, Ray Holcomb, Dale Ramerman, Skip Matthews, Del (not Dar) Wisdom, and Jim Watson. How many Response readers can identify the lot?

Ken Andrews ’66
Bonney Lake, Washington

Social Justice

Thank you for a wonderfully written article. I truly appreciate the time and interest you took in learning about human trafficking, and becoming so well informed and knowledgeable about the myriad of issues in the anti-trafficking movement.

Ye-Ting Woo ’87
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Seattle

I do not want my alumni magazine to spend half its pages informing about whatever social or cultural problem it deems important at the moment. I want my university to inform me more about itself. As social and moral issues intersect with the University and its students these things are of course relevant. But the magazine does not serve its essential purpose if its real emphasis in each issue supersedes the institution itself as the essential focus and end point.

Paul Andrews ’70
North Attleboro, Massachussetts

Thank you for shining more light on the devastating reality of human trafficking and how God’s people are rising up to fight this injustice and bring healing to one life at a time.

David McNicol
IJM Director of Strategic
Partnerships, Seattle

I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder to be part of SPU after reading this edition of Response. You did a magnificent job tying together everything that is going on around campus.

Thanks so much for taking on this topic.

Margaret Diddams
Assistant Provost, SPU

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