ROBERT “BOB” RORABAUGH ’69 is a retired Baptist pastor married 46 years to Seattle Pacific College sweetheart JANICE “JAN” VANDEHEY RORABAUGH ’69. Bob is a runner and active volunteer. They have two daughters, including DEBRA RORABAUGH ’96, and live in Bothell, Washington.
Alumnus and Landloard Keeps Rents Reasonable
Alvin “Al” Hendricks ’54 and his wife, Narci, have owned the landmark El Capitan Apartments on Seattle’s Capitol Hill for 44 years. They were featured in the April 15, 2015, issue of The Seattle Times. Reporter Gene Balk offered them as examples of fair landlords who keep monthly rents reasonable in a city where rents are rising, and more expensive luxury rentals are out of the reach of many. Al says the reason they rarely have vacancies is because their tenants are treated fairly and honestly.
“When people move in here,” Narci told the Times, “it feels like home.”
The Hendricks also have more than a passing interest in SPU Athletics. Along with their son, Manny, they have made significant investments in SPU’s athletic programs — including supporting the first five Falcon Legend Hall of Fame luncheons. Most recently, the Hendricks provided funding for a major renovation in 2014 of what is now called the “Hendricks Falcon Club.”
About his reason for supporting SPU, Al says, “I believe in Seattle Pacific, and I appreciate what the University gave me.”Clint Kelly
MARILYN DAVIES ROBERTS ’71 is the Middle School Teacher of the Year as selected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8870. Marilyn teaches at Cedarcrest Middle School in Marysville, Washington, and was recognized for her ongoing efforts to promote American history, traditions, and institutions; for teaching and reinforcing citizenship education topics; and for promoting democratic values and beliefs. One of her goals in the classroom is to bring to life the extraordinary sacrifices made by ordinary people in the defense of their country. She considers her three adult children and one granddaughter her greatest achievements. Marilyn lives in Marysville.
BONNIE BURGOYNE BRANN ’72, for 30 years a member of the pastoral staff at Seattle’s First Free Methodist Church, retired on May 31. She will continue part time on behalf of the Set Free Movement, the antihuman trafficking arm of the Free Methodist Church. In March, Bonnie presented “Mobilizing Congregations to Fight Minor Sex Trafficking” at the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England. The paper was co-authored with SPU Assistant Professor of Economics GERI MASON. Both Brann daughters, KRISTIN BRANN STENDERA ’01 and KIMBERLY BRANN WARD ’05, share their mother’s alma mater. Bonnie lives in Seattle.
RICK CARLSON ’78 is interim lead pastor at First Covenant Church in Red Wing, Minnesota. After earning a degree in music education at SPU, he earned an MDiv at Bethel Seminary, has been lead pastor at two other Covenant churches, and been a church planter in Texas. In the 1990s, Rick led the creative team for the award-winning Christian video series, Quigley’s Village, and played the lead character, Mr. Quigley. He and his wife, PATRICIA “PAT” CARPENTER CARLSON ’77, live in Maplewood, Minnesota.
REBECCA GROOM TE VELDE ’78, director of music and organist for First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma, is releasing a series of seasonal print music she co-edits titled Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists (Oxford University Press). Rebecca is a contributing composer for the series, which when completed will cover the liturgical season and include volumes for communion, of seasonal print music she co-edits titled Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists (Oxford University Press). Rebecca is a contributing composer for the series, which when completed will cover the liturgical season and include volumes for communion, weddings, funerals, and general use in a total of 10 volumes. After earning a bachelor’s degree in organ performance at SPU and a master’s degree in organ performance and literature at the University of Western Ontario, Rebecca continued her studies in Germany on a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service. Her organ music has been published by a number of publishers. She lives in Stillwater with her husband, John, professor of German at Oklahoma State University.
Alumnus Takes Action to Help Quake Victims in Nepal
What began as a 30-day, high-altitude trekking adventure for Stan Barrett ’86 and his adult son, Ethan, ended in the chaos of this spring’s 7.8 Nepal earthquake, the worst that nation has seen in nearly 80 years. More than 8,000 perished and tens of thousands were injured and left homeless.
The Barretts raced to bring relief to 100 remote village families near the epicenter where 80 percent of the homes were flattened and 13 villagers died. Stan and Ethan, a local pastor, two doctors, and a handful of other brave Nepalis delivered 7,200 pounds of rice, medicine, and tarps by two rugged Jeeps owned by the trekking company.
Seventeen days later, still ministering to the village and a number of children left orphaned by the quake, the Barretts escaped a 7.3 aftershock described in Stan’s harrowing posts via Facebook and instant message:
“Huge, freight-car sized boulders exploding, violent earth-shattering moments that seemingly last forever, cries for those in danger of rock fall ...
“I tried to outrun boulders dropping … Lost glasses and hat ...
“Ethan and I narrowly survived … Dozens dead. Dozens of aftershocks, landslides … Filmed everything. Successfully aided village. Military evacuation. Back of cattle truck now, near Kathmandu.”
The CEO of Art Culinaire, sole U.S. distributor of French Lacanche Range ovens, Stan has a business plan that includes donating a percentage of the company profits to help the needy through Give Back Hope.
Give Back Hope, a nonprofit Stan started, has a grassroots presence in Nepal through in-country workers with whom the Barretts allied to bring humanitarian aid and spiritual comfort in the earthquake’s aftermath. They are also helping to support a safe home for newly orphaned children, who may be at risk of exploitation by human traffickers.
Stan lives near Monroe, Washington, and works in Woodinville, Washington.CLINT KELLY
FAYE RASMUSSEN ’82, MED ’89, special education teacher at Parkwood Elementary School, is Shoreline School District’s Teacher of the Year. All but three of her 32 years in the classroom have been at Parkwood teaching elementary students who have moderate to severe disabilities; Faye currently teaches grades 2–4. “She is exceptional in every way,” says Parkwood Principal Ann Torres. “Her students are her heart.” Faye mentors other teachers, uses therapy dogs to help high school students with behavior issues, and expects greatness from all her students. She lives in Shoreline, Washington.
RANDALL WIEGAND ’83 is vice president of administration and finance at the University of Guam. Prior to taking the post, he was chief financial officer of the Guam Power Authority. The finance major holds an MBA from the University of Washington and is a certified public accountant, a certified government financial manager, and a certified fraud examiner. He lives in Yigo, Guam.
KEITH ISBELL ’86 is a missionary kid and former clinical lab technologist and computer tech with Hospital Vozandes Del Oriente in Shell, Ecuador, on the edge of the country’s eastern Amazon basin. In 2008, Keith and his wife began a church called Agua de Vida (Water of Life) Ministries in their home. As an SPU student, Keith worked a summer doing research with missionary RON GUDERIAN ’67, a medical doctor whose research helped to rid Ecuador of river blindness. Today, the Isbells focus on Christian discipleship, counseling, and leadership training, and continue to live in Shell.
MICHAEL ERISMAN ’92 is chief human resources officer for Parallels, a company which helps telecom companies, hosting firms, and other service providers aggregate, manage, and deliver cloud-based services and apps to small and mid-sized businesses. Previously the senior director of human resources, global marketing, at Microsoft, Michael has also held senior HR roles for other companies, including General Electric, PepsiCo, and H&R Block. He holds an MA in industrial/organizational psychology from Radford University and lives in Snoqualmie, Washington, with his wife, Kathy, and their three children: Emily, Sophia, and Madison.
CHRISTY ANANA, MED ’97, is a school counselor at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary School in Tulalip, Washington. Mother of two daughters, she is a yoga instructor and is passionate about helping children and teens through effective calming strategies. She recently published two books. I Can Feel Better (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015) teaches stress-reduction techniques. A middle grade novel, A Finder of Lost Things (Limitless Publishing, LLC, 2015), features an articulate girl with a special gift for finding things. Christy lives in Snohomish, Washington.
LYNNE ROBERTS ’98, MS ’00, is the new head women’s basketball coach at the University of Utah. Former assistant women’s basketball coach at SPU (1997–2001), she was also head women’s basketball coach at University of the Pacific for the past nine seasons, and at Chico State University for the four seasons before that. She led her Pacific Tigers to postseason appearances in the last four seasons and was honored twice as conference coach of the year — Big West, 2012–13, and West Coast, 2014–15 (co-Coach of the Year). Her career record is 221–177. Lynne lives in Salt Lake City.
PAUL SALE ’98 is chief human resources officer at Mentor Graphics Corporation in Wilsonville, Oregon. The accounting major earned an MBA from Olin School of Management at Babson College and worked as an auditor before joining MGC 10 years ago. The company has more than 5,000 employees in 29 countries and provides electronic hardware and software design solutions. Paul has worked in various roles within corporate reporting and financial planning and analysis. Now he is responsible for organizational planning and development, talent acquisition, compensations, benefits, HR technology, and employee training and development. A former vice president of Hill Hall and 6th Ashton resident advisor, he now lives in Happy Valley, Oregon.
$70,000 “Minimum Wage”
A Dorm-Room-Founded Company’s Announcement Goes Viral
On April 13, 2015, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price ’08 announced to his 120 employees an annual $70,000 “minimum wage,” to be phased in over the next two years. An estimated 30 staffers will see their paychecks double. To effect the change without raising prices or sacrificing customer service, Dan had to commit as much as 80 percent of the company’s projected $2.2 million profit in 2015 and cut his own million-dollar salary to the new minimum.
The company’s average employee had been making $48,000 a year. When Dan read a 2010 Princeton study showing a person requires approximately $70,000 a year in salary to be happy, he saw it as a social issue in which he could make a difference.
“Our team thrives the most when we trust each other to make bold decisions and actions like this,” says Dan, SPU’s 2011 Young Alumnus of the Year. “Mutual trust within our team creates incredible success for our clients.”
The announcement rocked the business world. The stunned employee reaction video shown on NBC Nightly News was the most shared video in the network’s history. In the first six weeks following the announcement, more than 3,500 résumés flooded into Gravity’s human resources department.
Experiencing rapid growth since it was founded in his freshman dorm room in 2004, Seattle-based Gravity Payments is now the largest credit-card processing firm in the Pacific Northwest. Other Price innovations include an unlimited vacation day policy and, in 2013, raising employee wages 2 percent to offset a payroll tax increase.
“This is an incredibly courageous decision by Dan,” says SPU Professor of Business Ethics Kenman Wong. “It is a bold statement that the private sector may be able to lead the way in addressing wage inequality. Although no one knows how it will turn out, his convictions and actions are exemplary.”
Since the groundbreaking announcement, hundreds of CEOs have reached out to Dan, each wanting to do something similar. CLINT KELLY
MARCIA BUTCHART ’01 recently celebrated five years as a hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator for Frontier Home Health and Hospice in eastern Washington. She remembers some people questioning her decision to go to college at age 50 and major in English. Now, she says, she has discovered that hospice is about affirming individuals’ stories and the privilege of walking with them “through the last chapter of their lives.” As part of her bereavement support, she plans Annual Butterfly Release Memorials honoring those who have died while on hospice in Okanogan County. Marcia lives in Twisp, Washington, with her black cat, Zorro.
NATHAN ELLIS ’06 is a technology project manager at Stantec, an international professional services company in the design and consulting industry. This spring, Nathan was awarded Registered Communications Distribution Designer certification. He possesses more than nine years of experience in technology systems design with a focus on technology infrastructure, audiovisual systems, and electronic security systems design. Among his current projects are the Boeing Employees Credit Union headquarters technology renovation and the Seattle Central Community College mass notification system. Nathan lives in Seattle.
LAURA FRANCIS TERASAKI ’09 recently graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree and is a certified candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA. She lives in Anaheim, California.
EMILY FADENRECHT HOSTETLER ’06 and her business partner, ANNA FENNO BERGLUND ’06, operate Paper Moss, a custom design stationery studio in Boston. They specialize in high-end letterpress wedding invitations and have a national and international clientele. Emily lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Anna in Boston.
Alum Is a Multi-talented Microsoft Manager
If there’s one thing Caitlin Wasley ’09 has learned in her job at World Relief Seattle, it’s that people are always on the move.
“Even Jesus could be considered a refugee under the current U.N. definition,” she says.
A federally contracted resettlement agency, World Relief aids about 750 individuals and 300 families a year in Seattle, providing basic orientation and support during their transition in the U.S. They also collaborate with local church and community members, who come alongside refugees on everything from grocery store trips to paying the bills to employment opportunities.
That’s where Caitlin comes in. As match grant coordinator, she runs an early employment program that supports refugee newcomers as they work toward self-sufficiency. Her role includes ensuring that the program’s federal dollars are matched with volunteer hours, as well as with cash and in-kind donations.
“I’ll hopefully be working with refugees for the rest of my life,” she says. “They’re the most resilient, talented, resourceful people I know.”
Caitlin helps get people on the move in other ways as well. This June she worked on a team that organized a five-day, 400-mile World Relief bicycle challenge. Participants, who each raised $2,500 to support refugees in Washington state, pedaled from Seattle to the Tri-Cities and Spokane in the SEA-TRI-KAN Ride for Refugee Employment, visiting all three of World Relief’s Washington offices.
Caitlin is just one of many SPU grads who have worked at World Relief over the years, including more than 10 current employees. Many, like Chelsey Brown ’04 and Andrew Hays ’10, completed internships at World Relief while still at SPU. Liz Andes ’09 got connected to the resettlement agency through SPU’s John Perkins Center, while Nathan Nelson ’14 credits his global development studies and sociology majors with equipping him to empower refugees.
“At the end of the day, it’s the qualities of the students that sets them apart at World Relief,” SPU Professor of Geography Kathleen Braden says. “Providing services to immigrant and refugee families and treating them like human beings — it’s the students’ faith that requires them to see them that way. It’s part of the Christian commitment of kindness to the stranger.”KELSEY CHASE
JEFFREY “JEFF” BUDKE ’11 is athletic director at the Ballard Boys and Girls Club. He played basketball and tennis as a youth and began coaching high school junior varsity and assistant coaching varsity basketball while a theology major at SPU. He works in the Boys and Girls Club after-school programs and enjoys the immersion in the local community that comes with that kind of involvement. During some rough patches in his own childhood, Jeff learned the value of having a coach that cares. He is excited about a newly added girls’ volleyball program and hopes to start programs such as lacrosse or rugby for kids with different athletic interests. Jeff lives in Seattle.
MEGAN HOYE ’12 is founder of Tuli, a social enterprise company that sells jewelry made by impoverished women in Kampala, Uganda. The income allows not only a sustainable source of income but also a way for the jewelry artisans to save toward a better future. Sales are international, both online and in stores. In addition to overseeing Tuli, the SPU University Scholar and English major is preparing to go to graduate school and currently working as a freelance writer and editor in Tokyo. When stateside, she lives in Pasco, Washington.
DALE LARSON ’12 is director of IT for the Stevens Pass Ski Resort in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.
DRU SOLBERG ’13 is an intern with Christian Encounter Ministries on 86 acres in Grass Valley, California. The psychology and communication double major now provides counseling to young people desiring to overcome destructive forces in their lives, including addictions, suicidal tendencies, and sexual abuse. As an intern, he works alongside students in repairing buildings, feeding livestock, and building broken spirits through ranch work, school, and Bible study. Says Dru, “It’s crazy to watch what love can do” in overcoming the patterns of human brokenness.
ALISSA WILKINSON, MFA ’13, chief film critic at Christianity Today magazine, is also an assistant professor of English and humanities at The King’s College in New York City. Recently published in the Washington Post and Pacific Standard, Alissa spends the summer writing in her Brooklyn backyard.
DAVID DOWNS ’14 played professional basketball with team MBC Mykolaiv in Ukraine before becoming No. 24 on team Rhein Stars Koeln in Germany. Named the 2012–13 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the accounting major and standout Falcon point guard was known as an “Amerikanski” in Russian and is now an “Amerikaner” in German. David says that international play is unique and he’s enjoying the experience.
Army Linguist Serves With Intelligence and Endurance
Emily Sugimoto ’11 is on active duty with the U.S. Army at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. The cryptologic linguist is a former Falcon runner and continues to physically test her mettle in the military’s Best Warrior competitions.
As a cryptologic linguist using signals equipment, she is responsible for identifying and analyzing foreign-language communications, which comprise the majority of communications involving U.S. national defense. A third-generation Army intelligence linguist who minored in German and French at SPU, and is now trained in Korean, Emily was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Globe, the official publication of the Defense Language Institute and Foreign Language Center.
The DLIFLC identifies Korean as one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn. Language study is total immersion and the course is 64 weeks long. Emily emerged with advanced fluency and is especially proud to follow in the footsteps of her father and grandfather.
In World War II her grandfather used his Japanese language skills for the U.S. to interrogate prisoners of war and serve as interpreter during peace negotiations and the rebuilding of Japan. After the war’s end, both Sam Sugimoto and his wife served in the Central Intelligence Agency until retirement. Emily’s father, John Sugimoto, served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Army Security Agency. Her older brother, Daniel Sugimoto, is a non-commissioned officer with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
“What I particularly like about military intelligence is that we get to see the big picture behind various missions being executed,” Emily says. Her unit works closely with the Republic of Korea Army, where her language skills are highly valued. One day, while still serving the military, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in linguistics and German.
“Outside of the Army, I’ve never experienced such a channel of support as was offered me at SPU,” Emily says. “In both environments, the people you live and work among become an extension of your family.”CLINT KELLY