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Winter 2003 | Volume 26, Number 1 | Letters to The Editor

Letters to the Editor

I was so pleased to attend SPU’s first Day of Common Learning on October 17. My thanks to President Eaton, Susan Gallagher and their team for carrying out this vision of expanding curriculum beyond books and knowledge to purposefully addressing issues of moral character and godliness. I believe in so doing the University, through its leaders, modeled the very thing purported in Dr. Carter’s speech: that education for character really takes place by example. To set aside classes for the day so that the students could be challenged and taught in this area revealed a deep and serious commitment to this issue. As alumni and parents of SPU students, both my husband and I applaud this course.

Dr. Carter appeared to be a man whose love and reverence for God was clearly reflected in his own character through his godly standards and strength of convictions. I loved the fact that students got to hear such an articulate and comprehensive argument for integrity, civility, patience and self-restraint. He was forthright in stating the need for living out these qualities and clear in his examples of those who have done so. I appreciated that many of his points were addressed to issues facing college students, yet what he had to say was applicable to us all.

Specifically, I appreciated Carter’s understanding that young people are taught virtues by the examples of important adults and that Christian students bring these virtues to the University because they have learned them at home. ... He gave this challenge: A Christian college has a right, an obligation and a privilege to reinforce the moral compass with which students arrive, saying that “while we are about intellectual inquiry in the strongest and most robust and exciting sense, we’re about that for God’s purposes.” As a parent, this is the approach that I can embrace.

My husband and I were also privileged to attend another “packed house” as Philip Yancey spoke on campus. We appreciate the fact that SPU is taking steps to address character in such bold and purposeful ways, and without excuse. This is what I have always felt should set the University apart. The message is wonderfully loud and clear. Education at Seattle Pacific is about more than books. SPU wants students to be wholly all God has for them to be and is working to help them do just that.

Paula Evans Gough ’70
Renton, Wash.

Kicking Off The Campaign for SPU

I ’d like to thank SPU for hosting the recent gala at the Seattle Westin Hotel to kick off The Campaign for SPU. My wife and I spent a pleasant evening getting re-acquainted with friends from the Seattle Pacific community while being entertained and inspired with top-notch entertainment. And the price was right!

Cliff McCrath was a wonderful emcee for the event, the musical numbers were first-rate, and the food was excellent. It was inspiring to see so many of the SPU extended family together in such a warm, comfortable setting that was so easy on the eyes and ears. And President Eaton’s words helped set the stage for our new, yet ongoing, venture of “engaging the culture, changing the world.”

I trust that this event was just the first of many around the country, even the world; we need to get this message out to all who have any interest in advancing Christian higher education. Thanks again to all who had a hand in staging this kick-off event; I ’ve already sent along my first “investment” check to support The Campaign — and with no pressure from anyone.

Lee Springer ’70
Redmond, Wash.

We were privileged to attend the recent Campaign Gala for Seattle Pacific University at the Westin Hotel. We enjoyed our evening so very much. The presenters were articulate and entertaining (emcee Cliff McCrath — need I say more?).

The “Engaging the Culture, Changing the World” theme that President Phil Eaton so ably promotes, not only on campus, but throughout the community, is inspiring. President Eaton walks his talk. I recently heard him interviewed on KIRO Radio’s morning show with host Dave Ross and also happened to read a wonderful article in The Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine about his approach to education for character and his involvement in the community.

Our daughter, Erica Baker ’02, thirdgeneration SPU alum, was placed in a business internship during her time at Seattle Pacific, and this turned into a fulltime job after she graduated. The faculty in Family and Consumer Sciences and Fine Arts was so supportive and encouraging. This networking is one of the great benefits that SPU gave her. It’s these types of opportunities that allow SPU graduates to really go out and make a difference in the world.

Thank you for the chance to remain involved with my alma mater.

Sheryl McGavin Baker ’74
Kirkland, Wash.

Those Brothers K
Editor’s Note: In the last issue of Response, we published an article by faculty member Christine Chaney about Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. We also offered readers a copy of The Brothers K if they wanted to join the University Scholars in reading the book. For the hundreds of people who took us up on our offer, bravo! This was the highest level of participation yet in our annual book feature. (Which means, unfortunately, we are now out of copies of the book.)

Don’t forget that the
Response Online Bulletin Board at is available for you to discuss the book with other readers. This kind of discussion depends on you to start it and keep it going — so check the Bulletin Board often and don’t be afraid to share your ideas and questions. Here is a sampling of the responses we received to the Chaney article and book offer:

I have enjoyed the new Responseimmensely. A former “General Honors Reading” student, I read with great interest “A Mighty Symphony of Ideas” and “Probing the Great Works,” and remembered how much I loved the readings and sessions during my years at SPU.

Send me The Brothers Karamazov and count me in on some online discussions!

Sandra Olson ’84
New York, N.Y.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “A Mighty Symphony of Ideas” and would very much appreciate reading The Brothers Karamazov. It has been many years since I have read a Russian novel of great proportions … I ’d love to take this course — as an audit! Sit in on the lectures, listen to youthful students, their young wisdom, difference of viewpoints. I ’ll love reading the book, might even make some notes to “grow by.” Maybe skip the final exam?

Elaine Dodd Williams ’53
Loma Linda, Calif.

I read with interest your article on The Brothers Karamazov and your offer to allow alumni to read it along with the students. I would be interested in receiving a copy and embarking on a voyage into the late 18th century with you. ... I like the new format [of the magazine].

David Grant ’67
Marysville, Wash.

As a new senior pastor to the Pacific Northwest, I ’m serving the Free Methodist church in Bellingham, Washington. I received the Autumn 2002 Response yesterday. A beautiful and effective publication! The article by Christine Chaney was excellent. It piqued my interest to read The Brothers Karamazov again, after these many years. Let me be so bold as to take you up on the offer for a complimentary copy.

Rev. Paul DeMerchant
Bellingham, Wash.

In the Autumn 2002 issue of Response, I saw that you offered a copy of The Brothers Karamazov. Our son is a freshman University Scholars student, and we would like to have a copy of this book. Thank you for giving parents the opportunity to follow along with what the students are studying.

David Garen
Canby, Ore.

Replaying the Sacred Sounds of Christmas

Please accept my heartfelt appreciation to [director Gerry Marsh] and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble for their part in the [Sacred Sounds of Christmas concert at Benaroya Hall]. Their expressions of praise and joy lifted us all. Where and/or when will I be able to hear all of the “Song of Luke”? And the three carols arranged by Robert Smith — I haven’t enjoyed Greensleeves so much since I played a Calypso version of it in a steel band … Thanks again for a wonderful afternoon of Advent anticipation.

Bob Cathey ’40
Seattle, Wash.

It behooves us all to extend our deepest thanks and heartiest congratulations to the Department of Music for the splendid Christmas concert that was held at Benaroya Hall. The staging was stunning, the musicianship was consistently wonderful and the ambience — established from the outset by Phil Eaton in his warm welcome to the audience, and maintained throughout by the conductors and the performers — was cordial but deeply reverent. At one level, the concert made me very proud of our university. But at a deeper level, it enabled me to forget the university entirely, and to contemplate anew the mystery of the Incarnation. Thanks to one and all — and to our wonderful students, who shortened their Thanksgiving holiday to bring us such splendid music.

Rick Steele
SPU Associate Professor of Moral and Historical Theology

More Responses to Response

I just wanted to say that we LOVE the new Response! The format is so much easier to read and the additional photography is great! I think my husband and I both have almost read this issue cover to cover because it is so easy to read. With the old format, we would look forward to reading it but at times it was pretty cumbersome so we didn’t always read as much of it as we intended to.

Great job to you and your staff — it’s wonderful!

Becky Tindall ’95
Lynnwood, Wash.

I just read through the new issue of Response — what an AMAZING piece of work you are doing with this magazine. It is incredibly impressive. … This new look and the content you are producing with your writers could not be more firstrate. Everything from your thematic concepts to the art to the texture and weight of the paper is evidence of serious thought, meticulous care and profound talent. Congratulations to you and your team! Makes me even MORE proud to be part of this great school. Again, congratulations.

Les Parrott
SPU Professor of Psychology

What Do You Think? Don’t be shy!

We’d like to hear your opinion about Response or any articles printed in the publication. To tell us what you think, send e-mail to, or visit You may also write Editor, Response, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, Washington 98119–1997. Letters must be signed and will be printed as space permits.