Dan Tripps

What makes for a successful person? What's the difference between greatness and mere celebrity? These are questions Dan Tripps has asked during his own career as a professor of physical education at Seattle Pacific University, and a leader at major events such as Goodwill and Olympic games.

Tripps attempts to find answers to these questions in his new book, Heart of Success: Conversations With Notable Achievers (Bainbridge Press, 2000).

To come up with a final list of 40 stories for inclusion in the book, Tripps interviewed 160 people, including luminaries from sports, government, medicine, the arts, and sciences — people like Walter Cronkite (who wrote the foreword for the book), Sandra Day O'Connor, Bob Dole and Paul Ehrlich.

In the course of writing the book, Tripps learned many lessons about successful people, such as: Although they do have "dark nights of the soul," times when they suffer from self-doubt, these tend to be "momentary events that are overcome through the right tools and decisions," says Tripps. "They also have in common an 'inner greatness,' a confidence that is not conceit."

Tripps adds that he was personally transformed during the investigation and writing of the book. "The biggest thing was learning the difference between celebrity and greatness. Celebrity grows from the outside in, and greatness from the inside out. These people were not seeking personal notoriety."

Tripps is now writing a follow-up book, In Search of Greatness: Attributes of Achievement and Lessons for Life.


Seattle Pacific University's publication Response was a Grand Gold Award winner in the "Periodicals" category at the 2001 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VIII conference in Victoria, B.C., in February. Response took the highest honor among magazines, tabloids and newsletters from the five U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces of CASE District VIII, and was a nominee for the Virginia Carter Smith Grand Crystal Award. SPU's primary communication to alumni, parents and friends of the University, Response has consistently won awards in the CASE regional competition, including seven Gold Awards and two Grand Gold Awards in the last 13 years.

Seattle Pacific also received a Gold Award in the "Publications" category for its Chapel Schedule and Chapel Poster, a Silver Award in the "Electronic Media" category for its University Web site, and a Bronze Award in the "Writing" category for the SPU Viewbook. Four hundred and sixty entries from 50 universities were judged in the 2001 competition.


Last year, a trio of Seattle Pacific University faculty and staff members took fourth place out of a field of 30 teams at the annual Washington Literacy Trivia Bee. Considering it was SPU's first foray into the Bee, it's not unreasonable to think that this year's team may have a shot at the top honors.

The "Dream Team of Academe" — made up of Associate Professor of Economics Doug Downing, Professor of Music Eric Hanson and former staff member Tim Surdyk, and coached by News and Media Relations Manager Tracy Cooper — will take their shot while helping a very good cause. The seventh-annual Trivia Bee is a major fund-raiser for the nonprofit organization Washington Literacy, which supports volunteer-based literacy efforts throughout the state.

The Bee will be held at Seattle's Town Hall on May 23, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Bill Radke, host of "Rewind" on National Public Radio, will once again emcee the evening, leading the teams through a labyrinth of peculiar and esoteric knowledge.

The ticket price of $25 includes a light supper, pre-event silent auction and audience trivia game. Tickets may be purchased by calling Washington Literacy at 206/284-4399, ext. 107.


Playing with words doesn't end with graduation from college — or with retirement. A team of Seattle Pacific University alumni, emeriti professors and friends, several of whom are in their 70s and 80s, know the joy of grappling with words to produce a winning publication.

From left: Don Spears, Alice Kalso, Don McNichols, Gordon VanRooy, Glen Williamson, Jeanne Kreider and Don Kerlee

Just ask emeriti professors Don McNichols and Don Kerlee. Ditto for alumni Jeanne Kreider '72 and Gordon VanRooy '45, and longtime Seattle Pacific supporters Don Spears and Glen Williamson.

As staff members of High Tide, the official publication of Warm Beach Senior Community, these wordsmiths celebrated a national first place victory at the 2000 Professional Excellence Contest sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women. The winning issue competed in the editing category against magazine entries that had received first-place awards on the state level.

What's inside? There's a story on the community's lay chaplaincy program, which trains volunteers in pastoral care. Another article highlights the expansion of the community's Thrift Shop, a resident-run ministry that serves refugees, low-income people, and families of nursing home residents, among others. A well-read section features mini-biographies of new residents. A cover photo shows Don Kerlee hugging his three-year-old grandson.

Alice Kalso '72, director of community relations and admissions, edits the publication. She emphasizes that it's a project designed to involve — and honor — residents who love to work with words, even in later life.

"To Don McNichols, who proofs copy, I'll always be the English student, and he the professor," she laughs, adding, "I've been blessed by the entire staff's dedication and enthusiasm. From the prayers at our planning sessions to the work of residents who help mail 7,000 copies, High Tide is a joyful endeavor."

Nearly 100 of the 360 residents at Warm Beach Senior Community are SPU alumni, retired professors and staff. The Community is a ministry of the Free Methodist Church.


For the Seattle Pacific University community, seeking or offering a job is now as close as a computer. SPU's Career Development Center (CDC) has launched a Web-based software program dubbed "Jobnet" that offers instant access to employment opportunities and job posting services.

Employers have already taken advantage of the new system, posting hundreds of jobs and internships. "They love it," says CDC Director Jacqui Smith-Bates. "They're used to working online, so it comes easily to them." Employers are given an account and a password, and enter job listings into the system themselves. Listings are reviewed by a career counselor on a weekly basis.

Students appreciate having "24/7" access to current job and internships, says Smith- Bates, but the system is a boon for graduates as well. "We've seen high-level jobs posted that are suitable for experienced professionals," she states.

The high-tech networking has other advantages for alumni as well. They may offer mentoring to current students, or seek a mentor of their own. And they are able to post jobs that are open in their own companies.

Jobnet is easy to access and, in fact, all students and alumni already have a password. "They just have to go in and activate it," Smith-Bates explains. The Jobnet Web address is www.spu.edu/jobnet or can be accessed through the "Resources for Alumni" section of the SPU Web site.

Please read our disclaimer. Send any questions, comments or correspondence about Response to jgilnett@spu.edu
or call 206-281-2051.
Copyright © 2001 University Communications, Seattle Pacific University.

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