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Summer 2009 | Volume 32, Number 2 | From the President

The President’s Portfolio

Guiding the speaking, writing, and travel of President Eaton this year are SPU’s five signature commitments, including its focus on global education. Here are some of his recent activities:


The President’s Blog

In June, President Eaton launched a new blog, “Saturday Morning From My Study” at His aim? to engage blog visitors in a conversation about how the Christian gospel speaks into today’s culture in order to make the world a better place. “My posture will be, ‘These are my thoughts. I care about these things. Now tell me what you think.’” You’re invited to read Eaton’s posts and book reviews and watch exclusive videos. Most importantly, you’re invited to join an important conversation on “things that matter.”

Travel and Speaking Engagements

Seattle, Washington

May 28, 2009
President Eaton met downtown with a select group of 30 young professionals who graduated from SPU. The president had a conversation with the group about the economy and a new vision for the future.

Indian Wells, California,

March 22-25, 2009

President Eaton extended his stay in Washington, D.C., to join leaders who share an interest in representing private colleges and universities on public-policy issues with the federal government. Conference attendees discussed the potentially enormous impact of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act that will emerge from Congress soon. “NAICU is doing a superb job of representing our interests in D.C.,” says Eaton.

Phoenix, Arizona

February 17-21, 2009

Annual conferences for the Association of Free Methodist Educational Institutions (AFMEI) Conference and the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU) both took place in President Eaton’s hometown this year. “These are fabulous organizations,” says Eaton, “and the issues we discuss are very important to Seattle Pacific because of our status as a private, Christian university.” During their stay in Phoenix, President and Mrs. Eaton hosted an event for alumni, friends, and trustees.

Washington, D.C.

January 14-19, 2009

President Eaton, Athletics Director Erin O’Connell, and Faculty Athletics Representative William Woodward attended the 2009 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Convention in Washington, D.C. These SPU leaders are presiding over the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Management Council until the summer of 2010. While in D.C., President Eaton also hosted a luncheon for area supporters of SPU.

The President’s Bookshelf

An avid reader, President Eaton loves books — of all kinds. Here are a few of his recent favorites:

N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope (HarperOne, 2008). I have been deeply impacted by this fresh, stimulating, provocative view of the resurrection. I know some of this is a bit controversial, a challenge to our conventional views of heaven. But Wright reminds us that the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that mysterious claim at the center of our faith, is profoundly fundamental to the way we carry out the mission of God’s people in the present. There is hope out ahead! –– and so we can and we must live as hopeful people, changing the world in anticipation of what’s yet to come.

Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter (Counterpoint, 2005). This is one piece of Berry’s marvelous saga of rural life in Southern Kentucky — families caught up in social and cultural forces of profound change beyond their control. This is the tragic passing, in Berry’s view, of the deep agrarian roots of American culture. Hannah watches her children leave the farm to pursue their own vocations and comes to the painful realization that she will be the last to live and flourish, even through the hardships, on this precious land. The book is beautiful, reminding us of deep, important values of an agrarian society — hard work, perseverance, living without debt, keeping on in the face of hardship and loss, celebration of bounty, stamina during lean times. This book mourns the loss of the passing of a way of life. We have much to learn from Hannah Coulter.

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President Highlights

The Biblical Imagination and the Economy
President Philip Eaton considers how today’s economy might help us reorient our priorities.

The President’s Portfolio
President Eaton’s new blog, travel and speaking engagements, and what he’s reading and recommends.