In the Loop

May 2020

Video: “Zoom in with Dan”

In this first of a series, President Dan Martin interviews key University leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on campus operations, remote learning, and resuming full campus operations in the summer and fall.

Cindy Price, vice provost for academic affairs, talks about academic preparation by faculty and students as classes switched to a new learning environment; Sandy Mayo, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, shares how the current environment is impacting SPU’s ongoing reconciliation efforts; and Jeff Jordan, vice president for student life, explains the work of building community for students both on- and off-campus, and preparations for the fall.

Centurions: Student service organization serving for more than 60 years

By Bryan Jones ’99

In 1958, the late SPU history professor, Roy Swanstrom, founded Centurions as a men’s service honorary named for the centurion of the New Testament commended by Christ for his great faith. Swanstrom’s vision and purpose: Disciple junior and senior men in their Christian faith and serve Seattle Pacific and the greater community. 

On Tuesday evenings, the young men gathered for a Bible study and to plan service events, concluding each meeting with a heartfelt singing of the hymn “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.”

Sixty-two years later, the Centurions — comprised of the latest generation of SPU’s junior and senior men — still meet Tuesday nights (via Zoom during this COVID-19 season), study the Bible together, and plan ways to serve SPU and the greater Seattle area.

A call for new Centurions occurs each spring. Male students who want to grow deeper in their Christian faith and serve others in the name of Jesus are invited to apply.

Centurions today, as in the past, serve in whatever way asked: help at SPU high ceremony events such as Ivy Cutting and Commencement, assist a refugee family or an elderly alum to move, serve meals at local homeless shelters, and provide a Memorial Day weekend of labor at Seattle-area Christian camps (a tradition since 1999 until this spring’s COVID19 restrictions did not permit it).

The club has been advised for the last 10-plus years by Centurion alumni — Professor of Management and Information Systems Ryan LaBrie ’93 from the School of Business, Government, and Economics, and Bryan Jones ’99, who serves in University Advancement. Both will tell you they relish the opportunity to invest in the young men’s lives.

As in 1958, Centurions close each meeting singing “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” and focus on one of Seattle Pacific’s founding versus: “Not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).

Bryan Jones is a Class of 1999 alumnus and a senior gift planning officer in the Office of University Advancement.

Summer courses offered at reduced cost

To give current undergraduate students more options to meet their academic goals on time, Seattle Pacific is offering an expanded selection of summer classes at a reduced cost of $600 per credit, down from $829 per credit. Students will be encouraged to work with their faculty advisor and Student Academic Services counselor to identify how to complete general education requirements over the summer.

Included this summer is THEO 3100 ($50 for the class), a community Bible study taught by professors Katie Douglass, Bob Drovdahl, Sara Koenig, Bo Lim, Rick Steele, and Rob Wall. Titled “Texts of Hope,” the course will guide students through Scripture to help them navigate these challenging times. The course is open and accessible to all undergraduate students, freshmen through seniors. Registration is open now. Visit the Summer Sessions web page for more information. An updated list of courses is available here.

Demaray building

Notes from Student Financial Services

Current students: Application are now available for federal emergency grants for current students experiencing additional expenses from the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. View FAQs and complete application here.

Parents of incoming students: Make sure your student grants you access to his or her account. Once students are enrolled in classes, we can no longer provide information on their financial aid offer or answer parents' specific questions unless access has been granted. Students' instructions to grant access.

Four new 1-credit classes can help prepare students for the workplace

Beginning Autumn Quarter, four new 1-credit online work-at-your-own-pace courses will be available to help prepare students for life and career after graduation.

The courses, “Explore Career Options,” “Discover Your Calling,” “Prepare for Life After College,” and “Launch Into Your Next Steps,” will be taught by staff in the Center for Career and Calling. Because the courses have no prerequisites, students can jump into the series wherever it suits them best. The courses will help prepare students to enter the world of work confident in their skills, abilities, professional presence, and sense of calling.

SPU Voices Podcast: “Being Social,” with Danny Ciaccio

When Danny Ciaccio ’15 was a Seattle Pacific University student and sports editor of SPU’s The Falcon student newspaper, he started working as a game day media assistant for both the Seattle Sounders FC and Seattle Seahawks.

After graduating with a degree in communication, Ciaccio worked his way into becoming the Sounders’ social media manager, giving him a front row seat for all three of the team’s MLS Cup finals. Hear him on SPU Voices Podcast, describing how networking on campus led him to living his dream as part of the Seattle professional sports world.

SPU student-athletes honored for their academic prowess

SPU athletics has a long tradition of cultivating athletes who pursue excellence in their sports and in their classrooms. And while the COVID-19 pandemic put a sudden end to the year’s remaining meets, during Spring Quarter, Seattle Pacific University’s student-athletes — in gymnastics, rowing, and track and field — were honored for their academic accomplishments.

  • Eleven SPU gymnasts were named 2020 Women's Collegiate National Scholars by USA Gymnastics, including all four of the team’s graduating seniors.
  • Representing track and field student-athletes, 14 women and three men were named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Track and Field All-Academic Team, including four SPU women for whom this was their third time on the team.
  • The GNAC 2020 women’s rowing All-Academic Team included 17 Falcons, the most scholar-athletes from any GNAC-member university. 

Upcoming events

Summer Sessions registration 
Open now

Students can take advantage of Summer Sessions to complete required courses in their major or take courses to complement their majors. Visit the Summer Sessions: Undergraduate website for more information.

Grab-and-Go Sharpen Lunch for students
Tuesday, May 26
12–1 p.m.
Fine Center, First Free Methodist Church

University Ministries and First Free Methodist Church are co-sponsoring a grab-and-go lunch for students living off campus and in campus apartments (SPU student I.D. required). Students will also receive a $25 gift card to Trader Joe’s or Safeway.

Autumn registration for continuing students
May 18–22

September Sessions registration for continuing students
May 18–22

Courses offered in the September Sessions can be found in the SPU Time Schedule. September Sessions’ credits are included in a student’s Autumn Quarter load. Those eligible for Autumn Quarter financial aid may apply that aid toward September Session.

Autumn registration for incoming new students begins
Friday, May 22

Memorial Day
Monday, May 25

No classes meet, offices closed.

Last day of instruction
Thursday, June 11

Virtual Undergraduate Commencement
Saturday, June 14
4 p.m.

Visit the Virtual Commencement website for more information.

Provost Laura Hartley arrives on campus
Wednesday, July 1

Dr. Laura Hartley begins her role as the new provost at Seattle Pacific University. Most recently associate provost for student academic success at George Fox University, Hartley will oversee undergraduate and graduate faculty and academics at Seattle Pacific.

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2020–21.