Parents & Families | June 2017

Commencement 2017: Days of celebration and new memories

Ivy Cutting

On June 9, more than 750 graduating seniors donned caps and gowns to kick off Commencement weekend. Beginning with Ivy Cutting in Tiffany Loop, families and friends looked on as graduates surrounded SPU faculty members and alumni from the Class of 1967, who were on campus for their 50th class reunion.

Said this year’s Ivy Cutting speaker Professor of Biology Eric Long: “Class of 2017, you’ve left your mark on Seattle Pacific. … May you now leave your mark on the world, which desperately needs the gifts, the passions, the skills, and the wisdom you bring.”

The day continued with a Baccalaureate service and a rousing Falcons Forever BBQ (the third annual) for the Class of 2017 and Class of 2016.

Then on June 10, graduates came together again in downtown Seattle’s Key Arena. During an afternoon filled with equal parts solemnity and bonhomie, the Class of 2017 heard from Deborah Wilds, senior fellow at the M.J. Murdock Trust and member of the SPU Board of Trustees, whose address was aptly titled, “Your Walk, Your Impact.”

In addition to the hundreds of graduates walking across the stage, two students who would have joined the Class of 2017, were also remembered. Accepted by her sister, Erin Kimminau, who died in a car accident in November 2016, received a posthumous baccalaureate degree in linguistics. In an earlier private ceremony, the family of Paul Lee, who died in a tragic incident on campus in June 2014, received an honorary degree.

Meet some of our outstanding graduates of the Class of 2017, and see the Ivy Cutting and Commencement photo galleries!

Ivy Cutting video

You can get a new perspective on one of SPU’s most beloved traditions by watching an Ivy Cutting 360 video.


The #spubound photo contest!

If your student will be an incoming freshman or transfer this Autumn Quarter, he or she is invited to enter the weekly #spubound photo contest — and get to know other incoming students!

Have your student visit to discover each week’s theme and the rules to enter. Photos can be posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or sent directly to our snapchat.

Between June and September, weekly themes will include #bestpet, #mysummer, #whereimfrom, and more.


Every week, we’ll collect our favorite photos. But then it’s up to the incoming students to choose the winner — and winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card at Orientation 2017.

We can’t wait to see what photos your student enters!

What to bring in September

Moving in

We know students like to plan ahead for outfitting and decorating their new rooms in the campus residence halls. But sometimes they aren’t sure exactly what they’ll need. Residence Life wants to help.

Does your residential student need to bring a pillow? Yes. Office supplies and a laundry basket? Yes, and yes. What about that nice set of votives? Sorry, no candles of any kind are allowed in residence halls.

To make sure you bring what you need — and avoid what you don’t — here’s a What to Bring Checklist (PDF) to help with summer planning.

Summer socials

This summer, Undergraduate Admissions will be holding several summer socials in cities across the West Coast for incoming freshmen, transfer students, and their families to meet and connect with other future Falcons!

Will there be a summer social in your area? Find out at or call 800-366-3344. Check back throughout the summer, as more dates and locations will be added. We hope to see you then!

summer social 2017

New vice president to lead campus diversity efforts

Sandra Richards Mayo

On July 1, Seattle Pacific University welcomes the new vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sandra Richards Mayo, who was an associate professor and director of the doctoral program in educational leadership at Azusa Pacific University, will join Seattle Pacific’s Senior Leadership Team.

In her previous roles, Richards Mayo has focused on social justice, diversity, and equity. “This inaugural position represents SPU’s commitment to the ongoing work of reconciliation and provides a strategic opportunity to fulfill our institutional mission,” Richards Mayo says. “I am deeply honored to join the community as we set a vision forward to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do.”

Adds President Dan Martin: “Dr. Richards Mayo’s addition to SPU’s leadership team is part of our ongoing efforts to reflect the Kingdom of God in this community, living out the call to be reconcilers, and respecting each person’s humanity and uniqueness. This has been a focus for SPU for some time but we know that a senior leader focusing with intention on diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation is a vital step forward.”