Seattle Pacific University

From the President

Kim Sawers

Has anyone else noticed how many songbirds have suddenly reappeared with the warmer weather and longer days?  I have enjoyed hearing the birds as they return after winter; it gives me hope – hope that the newness, color, and warmth of spring is not far away. Pam even commented the other day, “Hey, it’s staying light past 5 p.m. now!” We never thought that would be something to celebrate, but we have learned there is beauty to be discovered in every season of Seattle.

I’m not an expert on the migratory patterns of birds in the Pacific Northwest, but I can imagine that there are those that travel great distances while others may have a shorter pattern that is related more to elevation change than distance. Tom Riley, president of the Audubon Society, said “For me, bird migration is the greatest miracle of nature. We can witness this miracle in our own backyards with the arrival of songbirds, or on a trip to the Olympic Coast to see thousands of shorebirds.” Their journeys truly are miraculous regardless of the distance they travel.

This is Homecoming week at SPU. In a way, it marks the migration to a formative place for our alumni. As the Seattle air begins to fill with birds’ melodies, we will also hear the sounds of memories, laughter, and joy as our alumni reunite at their beloved alma mater.

I love Homecoming. Just like the birds’ return, Homecoming also gives me great hope – hope in the knowledge that as the faculty and staff of this institution, we are devoting our lives to something both life-transforming and world-changing. This is evidenced time and time again as I meet with our alumni, and hear their stories how SPU has shaped and equipped them to live a life beyond themselves. Just as the birds’ song is a foretaste of the reappearance of spring, our alumni returning to campus is a small snapshot of the influence SPU is making in the broader community of Seattle and the world.

I encourage you to participate in our Homecoming activities – I believe they will not only serve as a vital means of connection to those whose lives you have invested in through fulfilling your calling on this campus, but I also firmly trust that you will be encouraged for the road ahead.

The world possesses a valuable resource in our alumni – people of whom we can be extremely proud. I hope that we continue to celebrate their journeys alongside them.

Campus News & Events

Photo: SPU sign on campus
New Scholarship Amounts

SPU has announced a series of increased academic merit, need-based, and constituency scholarships.


Tent City 3 at SPU
Take a Tour of Tent City 3

If you’ve been meaning to visit Tent City 3 but haven’t stopped by, drop in for a group tour on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. or Thursdays and Fridays at 3 p.m. Tour groups gather at the Unicom desk in the SUB. For more information on Tent City 3 and ways to engage, visit the website.


2015-16 Upper Gwinn Calendar Open for Reservation Requests

A message from Conference Services. “The Upper Gwinn calendar is now open for the 2015-16 academic year. Request your preferred dates with supporting information by using SPU Room Finder. (Dates and requests sent to Conference Services via email will not be accepted.) Please note that by submitting a request via SPU Room Finder, you are only requesting the space. Once your request has been processed, you will receive an email that includes information regarding the availability of the space (a 'hold email') and instructions on how to confirm your reservation. If you have questions, call Conference Services at 206-281-2187."

Welcome Prospective Students and Their Families to Campus February 6 and 9

Prospective students and their families will be on campus Friday, February 6, and Monday, February 9, for two different events. Please welcome them to campus when you see them. February 6 is an “SPU Friday,” when high school students can visit classes, take a campus tour, meet students and faculty, learn about financial aid, and eat lunch in Gwinn Commons. The visit event is from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

On Monday, February 9, more than 50 top student applicants will be on campus to compete for five full tuition scholarships. If you have questions, contact Amanda Stubbert, assistant director for campus experience and events, at

SPU Gospel Choir Workshop and Concert

Experience the wonderful tradition of singing African-American gospel music at SPU at a special workshop and concert on Saturday, February 7, beginning at 12 p.m. in First Free Methodist Church. Assistant Professor of Music Stephen Michael Newby and a special guest will lead a gospel music experience and concert. If you have been a member of the SPU Gospel Choir, a friend of the community, or perhaps a gospel music lover, come sing and celebrate this tradition. The concert begins at 1:30 p.m.

Staff Payroll and Benefit Changes?

The 10th of each month is the last day to make changes to your upcoming payroll check. Do you need to remove your spouse and/or children from your health care plans? If so, contact Human Resources (HR) to complete the appropriate form. It must be submitted to HR by the 10th of the month, prior to your dependent's access to new coverage. Otherwise, the change can only occur the subsequent month, and any premiums paid will not be refunded. Changes might also include events that are expected to impact your benefits and deductions, such as your spouse or children gaining or losing coverage due to employment, birth, marriage, etc. Additionally, any changes you wish to make to your 403(b) account contributions must be made by the 10th of the month. For changes to your 403(b) account, contact Transamerica Retirement Solutions 1-888-676-5512 (5 a.m.-6 p.m. PST), or 1-800-755-5801. If you have any other benefits-related changes, call Mardeth Hughes in Human Resources at 206-281-2816.

Faculty Interviewers Needed in February

A message from Undergraduate Admissions: “For the SPU Scholars Competition on February 9 and 20 in Upper Gwinn, we have invited about 100 of the top applicants to campus to compete for five full-tuition scholarships. Faculty interviews are an integral part of the competition process, and we hope to have faculty participation from each discipline. This will be a chance for faculty to interact with our strongest applicants, as well be a time for the prospective student to learn more about his or her major of interest. It is an exciting opportunity, as many students fly in from around the world for this prestigious event. We are in need of faculty who are willing to commit up to three, half-hour interviews with the students between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on one or both of the competition dates. Faculty interviewers will be given questions to follow and a score sheet to rate the applicant. If you are interested, please email your availability to Visit and Events Coordinator Amanda McGovern at”

Tent City 3: “Beyond the One Night Count”

Learn how to get more involved in issues surrounding homelessness in our city by attending an advocacy training forum on Wednesday, February 5, 7-8:30 p.m. in the SUB Collegium. Alison Eisinger, executive director of the Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness, and Nancy Amidei with the University of Washington Civic Engagement Project will present practical ways to engage the political process locally and beyond regarding the issue of homelessness. The presentation will also provide results and next steps from January's One Night Count, which found 3,772 people without shelter in King County. The event is hosted by the SPU TC3 Committee. For more information on Tent City 3 and ways to engage, visit the website.


Stationery Orders Due February 3

You have until 9:59 a.m. on Tuesday, February 3, to have stationery order(s) delivered on February 13. Stationery orders are now delivered once a month. Stationery orders made after 10 a.m. on February 3 will be delivered March 13. To see deadlines and delivery dates for the remainder of the fiscal year, visit the “Create an Order” stationery page in Banner. For more information, contact Hope McPherson in University Communications at

SPU Theatre Department Presents King Lear

The SPU Theatre Department stages one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies about a king who decides to divide his kingdom among his daughters, and the disastrous consequences that follow. Performances of King Lear are February 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. in E.E. Bach Theatre in McKinley Hall. There will be a Saturday matinee performance on February 7 at 2 p.m. Learn more and buy tickets online. 


Alumni Show at the Art Center Gallery. Reception February 5

The SPU Art Center Gallery is hosting the first Alumni Show, featuring recent work from SPU graduates in visual communication design, studio art, and illustration/new pictures. The show runs until Friday, February 13. A reception for the artists is Thursday, February 5, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery. Admission is free. The Art Center Gallery, located at 3 West Cremona Street, is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit the website for more information.


SPU Student Employee of the Year Nominations Due February 16

Do you have an outstanding student worker to recommend for the annual SPU Student Employee of the Year award? If so, contact Student Employment Coordinator Danielle Richmond at for the nomination form. SPU’s winner will be submitted to the regional competition as well. Nominations are due Monday, February 16.

Nominate a Student for the 2015 Barnabas Scholarship

Do you know a student who demonstrates Christian character, has made a commitment to on- or off-campus service, shows a willingness to take on tasks regardless of recognition or challenge, demonstrates leadership, and is currently a junior? If so, we encourage you to nominate him or her for the Barnabas Servant Leadership Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship receive a $750 cash grant and a contribution of $250 given in their name to a charity of their choice. Online nominations are due by February 13, and can be found on the University Ministries Student Leaders website.


Falcon Home Games

Thursday, February 5
Men’s basketball vs Western Washington, Brougham Pavilion, 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 7
Women’s basketball vs Montana State Billings, Brougham Pavilion, 2 p.m.
Men's basketball vs Simon Fraser, Brougham Pavilion, 4 p.m.

For all the latest in Falcon sports, visit the Falcons online.


Faculty/Staff Bulletin Deadline

The Faculty/Staff Bulletin is published every week during the academic year. If you have information or event news, send it as soon as possible to Bulletin Editor Tracy Norlen at Submissions may be edited for clarity. The next deadline is Thursday, February 5. The next Bulletin will be published Monday, February 9.

Faculty & Staff News

Tim Nelson
Nelson in BBC Program

Professor of Biology Tim Nelson was interviewed for the BBC program “Nature’s Weirdest Events.” The interview regarded the massive seaweed bloom in Qing Dao, China. It aired January 13, 2015, in the United Kingdom, and will likely air in February in the United States.

ashley reese
Reese Speaks at MLKJr Breakfast

Ashley Reese, coordinator of Multi-Ethnic Programs, was one of two millennial speakers at the third annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at the Seattle Sheraton on January 19.  Ashley’s spoken word piece focused on the communities and experiences that have shaped who she is. Additionally, SPU sophomore Kaylun Gregory was one of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award recipients. The keynote speaker for the event was former Seattle Mayor Norman Rice. The purpose of the event was “uniting business, nonprofits, and church communities as well as the community at large to celebrate the spiritual legacy of Dr. King and support young emerging leaders from the Seattle area.” Visit the website for more information.


Bill Woodward
Woodward Invited Speaker

The Bellevue College History Department invited Professor of History Bill Woodward to give the January lecture in its monthly noonday series. His title was “1919: The Worst Year in American History?” In the lecture, he illustrated the values of a historical perspective that fosters both escape from a myopic present-mindedness (allowing “2014 wasn’t so bad after all”), and the need and possibility of empathy with people in the past whom we would tend to dismiss (allowing “rounding up and deporting foreign-born is understandable if not excusable”).

Clint Kelly
Kelly’s Profile on Van Duzer Published

A profile on Provost Jeff Van Duzer and his book Why Business Matters to God -- And What Still Needs to Be Fixed (IVP Academic, 2010) appears in the Winter 2015 issue of Alive Together! The quarterly magazine is published by Seattle’s University Presbyterian Church, and the article is written by University Communication Specialist Clint Kelly.

Volume #43 , Issue #5 | Published by: University Communications

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