Alec Hill, dean of SPU's School of Business and Economics, led the push for accreditation.

In April, Seattle Pacific University's School of Business and Economics received full accreditation by the AACSB-The International Association of Management Education. AACSB is the premier international accrediting agency for degree programs in business and accounting.

"For a business school that's only 20 years old, this is a major achievement," says Alec Hill, dean of the School of Business and Economics. "AACSB accreditation is a tribute to our outstanding faculty and a mission-driven focus on student learning."

Less than one-third of all business schools in the United States have received accreditation by AACSB. SPU is the first of the nearly 100 members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to achieve this level of distinction. "I am very proud of what Alec Hill and the faculty have accomplished," says Seattle Pacific President Philip Eaton. "This is another recognition of SPU's growing status as a premier national university."

SPU's School of Business and Economics is currently comprised of 21 faculty members, 500 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. It offers undergraduate degree programs in business administration, accounting and economics, and stresses three distinctives: ethics, applied learning and a collaborative learning community. Graduate level degrees include the MBA and a master of science in informational systems management.


Seattle Pacific University has received a $1.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a research center that will measure the progress of education reforms throughout the state. The award is part of a series of grants announced by the Gates Foundation last month aimed at facilitating student achievement by improving teaching and learning, and enhancing access to technology.

"Seattle Pacific has a long history of service to teachers and schools in Washington state," says Tom Vander Ark, executive director of the Education Initiative for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "We value this opportunity to join SPU and other organizations throughout Washington state in working on programs that help all students achieve."

The director of the new center is Seattle Pacific Professor of Education Jeff Fouts. For several years, Fouts and a team of researchers at SPU have studied education reform and presented their findings to education, government and business leaders. The team is currently researching structural, legal and personnel factors that are inhibiting reform efforts in Washington state.

"Right now, there is no organization in the state that provides the education community with research-based information about school achievement data," says Fouts. "We feel the work of the center will build on and extend our research to benefit educators."

Seattle Pacific President Philip Eaton looks forward to the Univer-sity's expanded role in strengthening education in the state. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Fouts and SPU," he emphasizes. "Reform is in the air, and the new center will play a key role in making a difference in the community on this critical issue."


Janet Blumberg (left) and lecture respondent Lambert Zuidervaart join Winifred Weter, who established the lectureship in 1975.

As the 2000 Weter Lecturer, Seattle Pacific University Professor of English Janet Blumberg used the tools of rationalism to show how rationalism gone awry robbed our lives of meaning. On April 13, she spoke on "Scientia et Sapientia: Enigmas of Science and Wisdom From Plato to Derrida."

Employing graphs and Microsoft PowerPoint, Blumberg demonstrated to the audience how pre-modern people had a richer and broader rationality than those in the modern era. "On the graph, we see the shrinking of 'intuitive rationality' in favor of a narrow rationality that is linear, mathematical, materialistic and anti-metaphysical."

The modern rationality is a "reductive rationality," which edged out all other interpretations of the universe, especially during the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, says Blumberg, who received her Ph.D. in English from Harvard in 1976. "Pre-modern cultures assumed an indwelling, divine, formal causation in the universe. But when science and the myth of progress became so dominant in the West, rational intuition about the nature of the cosmos was suppressed."

The results, Blumberg says, have been a yearning for deeper connections with the divine, and a dangerous backlash against intellectualism. Because science made far too sweeping and dogmatic claims for itself, she adds, some parts of the Church have reacted in a wave of anti-intellectualism.

A faculty member at Seattle Pacific since 1974, Blumberg argues that as more and more people continue to reject the reductive rationality of the modern era, "we'll see this as an aberration in the history of the Western world."


When Associate Professor of English Fan Gates retired last spring after 36 years at Seattle Pacific University, the English Department found a creative way to honor her and benefit students. Her colleagues have established the annual Fan Mayhall Gates Literary Reading Series, which will bring prominent writers to SPU for readings open to the campus community, alumni and the public.

The series, which will be directed by Instructor of English Jennifer Maier, is funded through an endowment, the interest from which will be used to pay the honoraria and expenses for visiting writers.

Gates is thrilled with the gesture. "The Writers' Series is a celebration of the past and present English faculty's love of the well-chosen word," she says. "I'm still stunned but pleased and grateful to be associated with it."

The endowment's fund-raising goal is $50,000, with $7,000 already in hand. Contributions may be sent to the Development Office, Fan Mayhall Gates Literary Reading Series, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, Washington 98199.


Seattle Pacific University conducted its first-ever "remote" Phonathon -- in Portland, Oregon -- last month. Led by Nate Olson, Class of 1955, volunteers gathered in the offices of the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association April 5-6. There they called 300 Portland-area SPU alumni and friends to update them about The University Fund and give them an opportunity to pledge their support.

The University Fund is made up of unrestricted gifts that support student scholarships, faculty enhancement, academic programs, and facilities. The deadline for meeting this year's goal of $1.3 million is June 30. Three quarters of the way through the year, more than $1.1 million in gifts and pledges had been committed by 6,128 individuals. That represents an 11.7 percent increase in the number of donors and a 2 percent increase in the total amount donated over the same time last year.

"We want to try some new things to augment our fall Phonathon from campus," says Dean Carrell, associate director of development for The University Fund.

One of the keys to SPU Phonathons has been caller Wayne Backlund, who retired this year after 10 productive years as a development officer. Taking his place is Doug Bickerstaff, a 1968 Cascade College graduate, member of the SPU Alumni Board, and parent of two Seattle Pacific graduates. "I can share firsthand the benefits of investing in this place," says Bickerstaff. "I've got a passion for it because of what it has meant in the life of our family."


Four Seattle Pacific University performing groups toured during Spring Break, appearing in 30 separate venues in northern California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Singing, acting and playing their way across a sizeable chunk of the West, the 166 students of the SPU Concert Choir, Women's Choir, University Players and Symphonic Wind Ensemble presented music and message in a variety of schools and churches.

"It's a real educational opportunity for students to stay with host families, see places they've never been, and work with other choirs and bands," says Performing Groups Coordinator Afarin Morgan. "It's also a real plus for SPU to have such talented students representing the school."

The four groups toured March 18-26 and performed to a combined audience of 9,400 people.

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