In the Loop

May 2021

COVID-19 vaccines to be required for students

Seattle Pacific University has announced that undergraduate and graduate students will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 1. The decision was made with an eye to returning to in-person instruction, housing, and campus activities for Autumn Quarter 2021. 

“As we finish this challenging year, we are hopeful and encouraged that having a vaccinated community will provide important opportunities for learning and connections,” said Jeff Jordan, vice provost for student formation and community engagement. “Vaccines are ‘one more tool in our campus toolbox’ that allow for more interactions and experiences for our students, faculty, and staff.” 

Have questions? Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the vaccination requirement.

Face-coverings update

As of May 19, 2021, Seattle Pacific University will no longer require face coverings outdoors but will maintain current indoor requirements through the end of the academic year. SPU is continuing to follow the most recent CDC guidance to allow more options in outdoor settings while still following Washington state and Public Health – Seattle & King County guidance for size of gatherings and limitations on indoor gatherings. Read the complete announcement.

Tuition Reimagined lets students take a free course

For students graduating this June, Tuition Reimagined has a benefit just for them: Current SPU undergraduate students can now take an undergraduate or graduate course of their choice for free after continuously enrolling and graduating from SPU.

What does that mean for students? Students could take extra time to complete a required course, take a course they dreamed of taking but didn’t have time to fit in, or they can get a head start on graduate studies at SPU. Find out more about how your SPU student can take advantage of a free course.

SPU theatre to perform on the (virtual) stage

Although COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the 2019–20 and 2020–2021 in-person theatre seasons on campus, theatre students stayed busy with Zoom workshops, virtual Shakespeare performances, and more.

Now you're invited to Held Together, an original production that weaves together three artists’ stories as they live through pandemics: the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the 14th century’s Black Death. Written and developed by students and writer/director Candace Vance, the play was developed during the Autumn and Winter quarters of 2020 and 2021. 

Register here to watch one of three free performances: Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, at 7 p.m., and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 23.

Virtual SPAC Senior Exhibitions

Near the end of Spring Quarter during a typical year, the Seattle Pacific Art Center has invited visitors to stroll through the gallery to view the culmination of the graduating art majors’ creative work. This year, although COVID-19 has the SPAC closed, you are invited to stroll through the exhibitions virtually

Now available: The Illustration/New Pictures Senior Exhibition DAWNING and the Studio + Visual Art Senior Exhibition !Vamos! Coming soon are the senior exhibitions for art graduates in photography/digital media (available Friday, May 28) and for art graduates in visual communications (available Thursday, June 3). Tour the exhibitions anytime from your computer by visiting the SPAC Gallery online.

Summer courses offered at reduced cost

To give current undergraduate students more options to meet their academic goals on time, Seattle Pacific is again offering an expanded selection of summer classes at a reduced cost of $600 per credit, a savings of $375 from the $975 per credit cost for the upcoming 2021–22 academic year.

Students are encouraged to work with their faculty advisor and Student Academic Services counselor to identify how to complete general education requirements over the summer. Encourage your student to visit the Summer Sessions website for more information, as well as an updated list of courses.

SPU tops GNAC with 19 rowing scholars

A league-high 19 Seattle Pacific student-athletes, including five nursing majors, were honored for their scholastic excellence when the 2021 women's rowing All-Academic Team that was recently announced by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

SPU boasted more academic honorees than any other school, with Western Washington University coming in as the runner-up with 10 selections. Read the full story. Go, Falcons!

Students can SPRINT into Seattle this summer

For decades, the student ministry SPRINT — Seattle Pacific ReachOut International — has sent students to serve and learn in locations such as Puerto Rico, Haiti, India, Brazil, and Colombia.

This summer due to COVID-19, however, students will have an opportunity to “SPRINT Stay in Seattle.” From June 14 through June 18, students will explore the city of Seattle together, learning about global issues, engaging with local nonprofit partners, and deepening their connection to Seattle. The cost will be a $100 administrative fee, with an additional $150 housing fee for students who live more than 25 miles from campus.

For more information and to apply, you and your student can visit the SPRINT website.

Networking and mentoring: Falcon Connect

Encourage your student to join SPU’s new professional networking and mentorship platform, Falcon Connect.

Replacing Switchboard, Falcon Connect is the place where students can connect with SPU alumni and other students to share advice and resources, ask questions, join discussions, access valuable resources, schedule meetings and conduct video calls, sync their calendars, and more. Share the link today.

SPU Voices Podcast: From grit to soul

The SPU Voices Podcast is a bimonthly interview show dedicated to telling inspiring and compelling stories about the greater SPU community. Recent episodes include:

  • “The Grit Factor,” with author Shannon Polson, founder of the Grit Institute for leadership and resilience development. Shannon was one of the first women to fly an Apache helicopter in the U.S. Army.
  • “Building a Strong Body, Mind, and Soul,” with SPU doctoral nursing student Glenda Shepard.

Visit the SPU Voices Podcast website to listen to the episodes, view transcripts, and explore past shows. Subscribe on all streaming platforms.

Upcoming events

Spring (Virtual) Mainstage: Held Together
Friday–Saturday, May 21–22 | 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 23 | 2 p.m.

Held Together weaves together three artists’ stories as they live through pandemics: COVID-19, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and the 14th century’s Black Death. Visit the website for more information and to register.

Memorial Day event and memorial tree
Thursday May 27
10:30 a.m. | On Zoom at

In anticipation of Memorial Day, you are invited to add the name of a fallen service member who impacted your life. Then, on Thursday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom, you are encouraged to join a short virtual Memorial Day gathering to connect as a community.

NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships
Thursday–Saturday, May 27–29
Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium
Allendale, Michigan

Visit SPU Falcon Athletics for the latest on this upcoming meet and for news about Falcon sports and SPU’s scholar-athletes.

NCAA Division II Rowing
Semifinals, Grand, and Petite Finals
Friday–Sunday, May 28–30
Nathan Benderson Park
Sarasota, Florida

Visit SPU Falcon Athletics

 for the latest on this upcoming meet and for news about Falcon sports and SPU’s scholar-athletes.

Memorial Day 
Monday, May 31

No classes. Offices closed.

Spring Quarter final exams
Monday–Thursday, June 7–10

Gwinn Commons closes for summer break
Thursday, June 10
6 p.m.

Residence halls close for summer break
Friday, June 11
4 p.m.

2021 Undergraduate Commencement
Sunday, June 13
4–6 p.m.

Visit the Commencement website for the most up-to-date information on this year’s Commencement events.

Graduating seniors vacate campus housing
Monday, June 14
1 p.m.

IMMERSE Youth Discipleship Academy
Sunday, July 11–Saturday, July 17
SPU campus and Whidbey Island’s Camp Casey
$850 per student

A seven-day youth discipleship academy for high school-aged Christian leaders, IMMERSE is hosted on campus at SPU and at our beautiful Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island. Visit the IMMERSE website for complete information.

Academic calendars

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