Parents & Families | May 2017

A Special “SPU Day” and resolution

In a salvo of “whereas” and “therefore,” Seattle Pacific University’s 125th anniversary celebration gained special recognition from both the City of Seattle and the state of Washington.

Campus photo

The Washington state Legislature issued House Resolution No. 2017-4643 on April 13, 2017, honoring SPU’s 125-year commitment and recognizing “the lasting contributions of this irreplaceable institution, its faculty, and its alumni to the strength and vitality of our state and our citizenry.”

A month later, the City of Seattle declared May 20, 2017, SPU 125th Anniversary Day, proclaiming, “On this day, Seattle Pacific University is marking its 125th year as an institution of Christian higher education in the City of Seattle and recognizing alumni who have dedicated themselves to engaging the culture and changing the world.” The official proclamation was signed by Seattle Mayor Edward Murray and the Seattle City Council.

Everyday products take center stage in 2017 Social Venture Plan Competition

Things we use every day can make a big difference — or so said the aspiring entrepreneurs who competed in the 11th annual Social Venture Plan Competition held April 20, 2017. Several of the top projects featured household products such as diapers and lotion in new and imaginative ways.


The Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize winner and recipient of the $5,000 award was MycoVate Solutions. Comprised of graduate students Tasia Baldwin, Rebecca Ewing, Remy Hudson, and Tamarah Lee, MycoVate Solutions' project aims to reduce the waste created by disposable diapers by converting them to substrate to produce high-quality compost and mushrooms. Those mushrooms, then, would be ground into a powdered protein source for pet food. Currently, disposable diapers are the third largest solid waste product, creating over 3.5 million tons of unrecycled waste and 3.25 tons of greenhouse gases every year. These graduate students are in SPU's one-year master of arts in management with an emphasis in social and sustainable management (MAM-SSM) program.

The second place $3,000 award and the $1,000 People’s Choice award went to the Selam team, which developed a skin lotion that serves as a natural mosquito repellent that lasts for up to six hours.

Over 600 million people worldwide are affected by malaria, and this product would be manufactured and sold in Hawassa, Ethiopia, a region with a high incidence of malaria. The Selam team was comprised of seniors Rahel Gaguro, Abigail Jensen, Tsion McNichols and Tara Rasing and juniors Deanna Hines and Madison Dierickx. All six are global development studies majors.

Three honorable mention prizes of $2,000 each were also awarded at the competition showcase. In all, 90 students on 25 teams presented to 75 community judges and 500 students, faculty, and staff. Read the complete 2017 SVPC recap.

Livestream: 2017 Undergraduate Ivy Cutting and Commencement


Is your student graduating on June 10, 2017? If so, you may already have your tickets for the June 9–10 Commencement weekend events. But if you have family and friends who won't be able to join the celebration in Seattle, they don't have to miss the events. Visit the Commencement website for more information.

Dad’s Day recap

SPU dads from all over — including President Dan Martin, the parent of a junior — and their students came together on May 6 for Dad’s Day 2017.

The day began with a hearty breakfast including sounds of the jazz trio and the taste of lots of bacon. We then moved to Century Link Field for a Sounder’s game (and the sun came out!). Lastly, we headed back to the SPU theater for Into the Woods, a fabulous musical collaboration between theater and music.

Dad's Day

Thanks to all the dads who were able to join us. We loved having you here! See the fun for yourself in these Dad's Day photos.

Spring arts events

Don't miss Seattle Pacific's year-end music events. Enjoy the senior recitals by talented graduating seniors, tap your toes at the May 30 Percussion Ensemble Concert, and come to the June 2 world premiere of Symphony of Psalms composed by SPU Emeritus Professor of Music Eric Hanson in commemoration of SPU's 125th anniversary celebration. Find out more about these free, accessible events.

Eric Hanson

Philosophy and tech team up

Tech-inclined philosophy students now have a major designed just for them. The philosophy major’s new technical track combines courses in topics such as logic, ethics, and metaphysics with key computer science and programming courses. In fact, the connection between philosophy and tech is more logical than you might think. Read more about SPU students combining philosophy and technology in their careers.

Associate Professor of Philosophy Rebekah Rice and students

Associate Professor of Philosophy Rebekah Rice meets with philosophy majors Kelsey Tuohy and Qadar Omar.

Video: Washington’s 2017 Teacher of the Year

Come visit alumna Camille Jones' unique classroom called the “STEAM Lab,” find out why she believes student achievement starts with opportunity, and hear what she says about how SPU taught her to see the world differently. Watch the video.

Students choose the 2017 SPU Professor of the Year

In May, Seattle Pacific University students named Assistant Professor of Political Science Bradley Murg as the 2017 Professor of the Year.

Bradley Murg

The Associated Students of Seattle Pacific student-governing body had received 112 nominations for 60 faculty members. The Undergraduate Faculty of the Year Selection Committee, chaired by ASSP president Lola Sosanya, reviewed the nominations, using the criteria for Professor of the Year that include teaching excellence; integrative approach to faith and learning; interest and enthusiasm conveyed to students; Christian commitment; aid to individual students outside of class time; and service to SPU and its community.

Said Sosanya, students described Burg as humble, bearing a servant’s heart, intentional, gracious, encouraging, and passionate. “Though the amount of work on his plate is large, he is known as being highly available and accessible — always making time for his students,” she added. “As a mantra, he encourages his students to always embrace humility.” Also the director of the Global Development Studies program, Murg joined the Seattle Pacific faculty in 2015.

SPU payment plan application available for 2017–18

The 2017–18 Academic Year Combined Payment Plan application is available to all students online through the Banner Information System account after they’ve registered for their Autumn Quarter courses. The payment plan divides a student’s quarterly charges into nine equal installments (three per quarter). The application deadline is September 5, 2017. Read more about payment options and methods.

Do you know a prospective SPU student?

While you can take a campus tour and meet with an admissions counselor any weekday during the summer, you can get a good sense of SPU life at one of our Summer Visit Day events.

Summer Visit Day events are offered on select Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon. Summer Visits offer the opportunity to take a campus tour, hear about the admissions process, learn about financial aid, and meet current students, staff, and professors. We'll even throw in a light lunch! Check out the dates and see the sample schedule.