In the Loop

April 2022

Video: Easter greetings from Pete Menjares, interim president

My prayer is that all of us encounter the risen Christ. In the words of the Psalmist: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5 NRSV)

SPU is a community of active, living Christian faith that is expressed in diverse and meaningful ways throughout our campus, in Seattle, and beyond. My prayer for the whole of SPU is that this Easter would be a season of renewal and hope for you and your loved ones.


Winter Quarter Dean's List now available

The Dean's List quarterly honors were recently awarded to undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who had complete at least 12 credit hours at Seattle Pacific University and had attained a 3.5 or higher quarterly grade-point average. Check out the Winter Quarter Dean’s List here.

Commencement 2022 trivia

Although COVID-19 put a damper on holding live Commencement ceremonies in 2020 and 2021, there are now less than 60 days until the in-person Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 12, in the Tacoma Dome!   

To get the celebration started, we thought you may enjoy a few quick Commencement trivia and little-known facts:

  • The first Seattle Pacific Commencement ceremony took place in 1915, with five graduates.
  • Now 107 years later, more than 700 undergraduate students will become new SPU alumni in the Class of 2022.
  • Ivy Cutting, a time-honored Seattle Pacific tradition to symbolize young alums’ tie to the University, began 100 years ago in 1922 as “Ivy Planting.” In 1923, the event became “Ivy Cutting.”
  • The color of the tassels hanging from graduating students’ caps (also called “mortarboards”) represent the specific degree that the students are receiving. Learn what colors and degrees will be represented.
  • Tassels will hang from the right side of students’ caps at the beginning of the Commencement ceremony. After all the diplomas are received, the new graduates will be asked to flip their tassels to the left side.
  • The 2022 Commencement speaker will be announced by May 1, 2022.
  • Because the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated that 2020 and 2021 Commencement ceremonies be celebrated virtually, the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 have been invited to participate in the 2022 events.
  • More than 150 faculty members will don their regalia to celebrate with their students at Ivy Cutting and at Commencement ceremonies.
  • Faculty members’ regalia — robes, hoods, and tams (i.e., headwear) — represent the different degrees and institutions at which the faculty members earned their doctoral degrees.
  • Nearly 100 SPU staff members will also assist throughout the High Ceremonies weekend events.
  • Commencement 2022 planning has been underway since October 2021, with the Provost’s Office taking the lead.
  • Commencement 2023 planning will begin in just six months.

For the complete schedule of this year’s High Ceremonies events, visit

Easing student expenses with open-access textbooks

As prices for clothing, food, and gas rise, some SPU faculty members are creating open-access textbooks as one way to save their students money while giving them the cutting-edge coursework they need. ...

For years, SPU’s John Robertson had been interested in all open educational resources (of which textbooks play one part). As assistant dean for instructional design and emerging technologies, Robertson assists faculty with the digital side of their courses. Just after the pandemic hit in 2020, a professor asked for help to create her own open-access textbook. Read the article in SPU Stories.

COVID-19 protocols quick info

Do you plan to visit your student on campus this quarter? Will you come to celebrate with your graduate at the Ivy Cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 11?

If you answered yes, but aren't sure what, if any, COVID-19 health and safety campus restrictions will affect your visit, check out the COVID-19 protocols quick info page for highlights from the COVID health and safety expectations. Here you'll find information on vaccinations, campus events, living on campus, and more.

Notes from Student Financial Services

Student-loan exit interviews for graduates

Graduating seniors who are also student-loan borrowers will soon have access to Student Financial Services’ student-loan exit counseling sessions via Zoom. During these sessions, students will receive information about their rights and responsibilities, the terms and conditions of various types of loans, the repayment terms of loans, and the repayment benefits that various loans can offer.

Students who will graduate in June 2022, or by the end of the coming summer, will receive specific information about the dates and times of these sessions. If your student will graduate soon and has student loans but will be unavailable for a student-loan exit counseling session, SFS will send a recording of the session to your student.

Tips to help fill out a FAFSA form

We know filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form might not be at the top of your student's list of fun things to do, but it’s essential to getting money for college. And completing it early will maximize the amount of money your student might receive!

Many states and schools have a first-come, first-served program that gives out grants and aid until they run out, so fill your FAFSA out as soon as you can. Check out this brief article from SPU Stories to ease the process.

Short videos to help students with career prep

Encourage your student to check out the Center for Career and Calling’s library of videos about résumé preparation, networking career connections, job searches, and more.

Each brief video is filled with helpful information that can help your student stand out from the first meeting with future employers to the resumes, job interviews, and — even! — salary negotiations. Is your student considering graduate school before starting a career journey? The CCC video library has videos about applying to grad programs, too. Explore the CCC Video Resource Library here.

Upcoming events

All times noted below are Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

Easter Monday
April 18

Classes that begin before 12:30 p.m. on Monday, April 18, will not be held. Offices and departments will be open for their regular business hours.

16th Annual Perkins Lecture Series
Tuesday, April 25
11 a.m.: “It's Time to Tip,” morning plenary with Dr. Joyce del Rosario
6:30 p.m.: “Sacred Space: An Indigenous Perspective on Relocation” with Lenore Three Stars
Upper Gwinn Commons

Two regional leaders, Filipina American scholar and practitioner Dr. Joyce del Rosario and Oglala Lakota Lenore Three Stars, will be joined in the evening by artist and entrepreneur, Michelle Lang-Raymond for worship and as facilitator of a leadership panel with Perkins Foundation co-presidents Elizabeth Perkins and Priscilla Perkins. Learn more.

20th Annual Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference
Friday, May 6
4–7 p.m.
Online and Otto Miller Hall classrooms and lobby

The conference showcases the research and design contributions that SPU students are making in the fields of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, engineering, health and human performance, mathematics, physics, and sociology. Presentations range from single-quarter classroom-based original research projects to summative multi-year independent research programs and engineering design projects. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase, an astronomer, senior scientist, and senior education and communication specialist at the Planetary Science Institute. Learn more.

Voices of Autism 2022
Sunday, May 15
2–4 p.m.

SPU's School of Psychology, Family, and Community presents Voices of Autism: Individuals, Families, and Professionals. This annual event features a community resource fair and keynote lecture to share the experiences and perspectives of members within the autism community. Learn more.

GNAC Multi-Event Championships
Monday–Tuesday, May 13–14
2 p.m. (Pacific Time)
CWU Recreation Sports Complex, Ellensburg, Washington 

Falcon men’s and women's track and field teams compete in the GNAC Championships in Ellensburg, Washington. Visit the Falcon Athletics website for ticket information. You can also watch the meet on the SPU Sports YouTube channel.

Memorial Day
Monday, May 30

No classes; offices and departments will be closed.

Ivy Cutting
Saturday, June 11
3–4 p.m.
Tiffany Loop

Visit for more information.

Sunday, June 12
2–4 p.m.
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash.

Visit for more information.

Falcon Summer Sports Camps
June–July 2022
Royal Brougham Pavilion

Boy’s and girl’s basketball camps throughout June and July. Visit Falcon Athletics for more information.

Summer Tech Camps
June–August 2022
Seattle Pacific University campus

Offered by SPU’s Department of Engineering and Computer Science, SPU’s Summer Tech Camps introduce high school students to game creation, 3D printing, and more. Visit for more information.

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2021–22. 

Engage Events

Renowned national and international speakers, some of Seattle’s most engaging theatre performances, memorable concerts, and outstanding athletic competitions. Explore upcoming events.