In the Loop

Yellow daffodils bloom, with Crawford Music Building, McKinley Hall, and Alexander and Adelaide Hall in the background

Spring Quarter 2023

Video: Meet SPU’s new president-elect


After an extensive national search, Dr. Deana Porterfield, president of Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary at RWU, was unanimously elected on Jan. 26, 2023, as Seattle Pacific's next president. She will assume her duties on July 1, 2023. Read more about her here.


SPU graduates line up for Commencements in their regalia

Countdown to Commencement 2023!

Do you have a student graduating this year? Congratulations!

We’re fewer than 75 days from Seattle Pacific University’s time-honored ceremonies, Ivy Cutting and Commencement, which take place on June 9–10, 2023. As you make your plans for this important milestone in your student’s life, you will want to check out the 2023 Commencement website.   

This is where you will find the weekend’s schedule; the location and directions to the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony venue, T-Mobile Park; information about parking, area hotels, and restaurants; and much more. Graduating students will also find their student instructions about picking up their regalia and closing out their Falcon Card accounts.


Red and white spring tulips in front of the Demaray Hall clocktower

2023 Winter Quarter Dean’s List now available

Undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who completed at least 12 credit hours at Seattle Pacific University during Winter Quarter and earned a 3.5 or higher quarterly grade-point average were recently named to the Dean's List quarterly honors. Check out the Winter Quarter Dean’s List here


SPU student musicians perform onstage, with violinists in the foreground of the picture

SPU musicians to perform at Benaroya Hall on April 28

The SPU Chamber Singers and SPU Symphony Orchestra will again take the stage at Seattle's Benaroya Hall on Friday, April 28.

Led by SPU professors Ryan Ellis and Christopher Hanson, the SPU student musicians will join forces with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra at the NWSO's final performance of the season on Friday, April 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.

During this joint performance, the SPU Symphony Orchestra will premiere “Fantasia in D minor: A Psalm for The Voiceless” by Joshua A. Idio. The SPU Chamber Singers will perform a cappella before combining with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra to perform Felix Mendelssohn's “Hymn of Praise.”

“We are acknowledging the centennial of the Music Department at SPU in this celebration,” said Ellis,who is director of choral music at SPU. “The opportunity to bring our faith and gospel message into the marketplace of downtown Seattle has always been a signature of these types of events, and this work is one of the only truly sacred pieces in the symphonic genre by Mendelssohn. Exciting stuff!”

Tickets are on sale now at the Benaroya Hall’s Hymn of Praise season finale webpage.


Lo Alaman, the 2023 Day of Common Learning keynote speaker, at the podium

2023 Day of Common Learning explored “Art & Atonement”

During Winter Quarter, faculty, staff, and students gathered for the 21st annual Day of Common Learning. Opening with a keynote address from spoken-word artist Lo Alaman, the annual event at which the campus community comes together to explore a single theme explored “Art & Atonement: Expressing Truth & Justice.”

Classes were canceled until 3 p.m. to give students and faculty members an opportunity to explore the year’s theme through a variety of afternoon sessions led by faculty members from across campus. The day closed out with an open mic night with Alaman, who is also known as Lo The Poet. Read a short Q&A with Alaman at “Less artist, more the artwork of God.” You can also watch the keynote address here.  


Four SPU students sit cross-legged on the grass in Tiffany Loop

Notes from Student Financial Services

Tuition for 2023–24 announced

In case you missed it, on March 9, Interim Vice President for Undergraduate Bryan Jones sent an email to current students and their families about the tuition and fees costs for the 2023–24 academic year. Wrote Jones, “In 2020, we launched Tuition Reimagined, and since then we have kept our commitment to cap future price increases to no more than 4%, making SPU one of the most affordable private universities in the region.” Visit the Student Financial Services Tuition and Fees webpage to see the tuition and fees for next year. You can also see the chart comparing SPU’s tuition to other Pacific Northwest private universities here.

Graduating seniors with student loans

Graduating seniors who are also student-loan borrowers will receive an exit-loan information email after the conclusion of Spring Quarter. Remember: Student Financial Services staff members are always available to answer students' questions on the repayment terms of loans, as well as the repayment benefits that various loans can offer.

Questions for SFS?

Student Financial Services has important information available 24/7 at the SFS website. Visit to find answers about making payments, important deadlines, scholarships, and more. You can also send questions via email to, or by calling 206-281-2061. Please allow up to three business days for a response.


SPU Falcon runner and national champ at the 800 M, Vanessa Aniteye out in front of the pack in this race

Falcon runner Vanessa Aniteye takes national title

Vanessa Aniteye — a senior transfer student, wife, and mother — won the NCAA, D II, indoor 800 meter in record time in March. A transfer student from Alaska Anchorage, Aniteye now has school records in the 400-meter dash and as part of the 4-100 relay, as well as an All-American sixth place trophy in the 400 meters at the NCAAs.

Her victory in March 2023 marked the eighth time the Falcons have returned from the NCAA indoor national with a championship trophy. Read more about Aniteye in “‘V' is for Vanessa’s Victory!” from Falcon’s Sports Information and “Mom, student and maybe national champ? SPU track star is racing toward her goals,” from The Seattle Times.  


SPU's 2023 Giving Day image

Don’t miss the Seattle Pacific University’s Giving Day on April 5

Join us online for SPU’s annual Giving Day — a 24-hour online event with one purpose — to raise support for the areas and programs at SPU that you care about. Donations on Giving Day support student scholarships, SPU departments and programs, athletics, and so much more.

All funds raised on Giving Day, no matter what you choose to support, help our students and campus community thrive. Gifts of all sizes add up to make an incredible impact. Join us and watch what happens when #SPUfalconsgive. Visit today to learn more and check out all the areas you can support on Giving Day. 


A headshot of George Scranton, professor emeritus of theatre at Seattle Pacific University

SPU Voices Podcast: “The Story of My Life,” with Professor Emeritus George Scranton

George Scranton taught theatre at Seattle Pacific for more than four decades. He's also written or adapted a dozen plays, five of which received national awards. He enjoyed an academic and professional acting career and directed more than 90 plays in both educational and professional venues.

Yet one of his most exciting achievements involves the hospitality he and his wife shared with both SPU and the local theatre community. 

Listen or read the transcript here. You can also listen to past episodes, view transcripts, and explore past shows. Subscribe on all streaming platforms. 



Upcoming events

All times noted below are Pacific Daylight Savings Time. 

Spring Quarter begins
Wednesday, March 29

Class instructions begins.

Falcon Regatta
Saturday, April 1
Lake Washington Ship Canal
SPU Sports YouTube channel

Come cheer on the Falcon rowers at the Falcon Regatta in the Lake Washington Ship Canal. For the latest news, roster information, and complete schedule, visit the women’s rowing website. You can also check out the SPU Sports YouTube channel.

Good Friday
Friday, April 7

No classes. Offices closed. 

2023 Annual Weter Lecture
Tuesday, April 11
7 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons

Assistant Professor of History Alissa Walter delivers this year's Weter Lecture, “20 Years After the Iraq War: Stories and Perspectives.” Visit the website for more information. This lecture is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

Spring Career Fair
Wednesday, April 12
1:30–4:30 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons

With more than 50 employers in attendance at the first in-person SPU career fair since 2019, SPU students will have an opportunity to talk to potential employers and distribute their résumés. Companies represented will include Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, U.S. Secret Service, Washington Secretary of State, McGee Air Services, and many more. Students will find more information on Handshake.

2023 Social Venture Plan Competition

Wednesday, April 19
2–6 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons 

The 17th annual Social Venture Plan Competition (SVPC) encourages teams of students from diverse disciplines to develop an entrepreneurial project that addresses dual bottom lines: social and financial. Prizes include the $5,000 Herbert B. Jones Grand Prize and the $1,000 People’s Choice Award. This event is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

Grad Fest

Friday, April 21
10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons

Graduating seniors can stop by Grad Fest at any time to pick up their pre-ordered caps, gowns, and tassels. If students forgot to pre-order their regalia, caps and gowns will be available for purchase. Graduating students can also order invitations, class rings, and much more. Student Financial Services will be available at Grad Fest from 2 p.m. to 5 answer questions about student-loan repayment.

2023 Annual John Perkins Center Lecture 
Monday, April 24
7 p.m.  
Upper Gwinn Commons

Author and historian Jemar Tisby is this year’s keynote speaker for the 17th annual John Perkins Lecture Series, which also includes a John Perkins Chapel on Tuesday, April 25, with Tisby and Rev. Dominique Gilliard. Both events are free, open to the public, wheelchair accessible, and in Upper Gwinn Commons.

Hymn of Praise: Season Finale
Friday, April 28
7:30 p.m.  
Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street, Seattle
Tickets: $26–$43

Led by SPU professors Ryan Ellis and Christopher Hanson, SPU student musicians will join forces with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra at the NWSO’s final performance of the season. Tickets are on sale now at the Benaroya Hall’s Hymn of Praise season finale webpage.

Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference
Friday, May 5 
4–7 p.m.
Otto Miller Hall

The 21st annual Erickson Undergraduate Research Conference welcomes keynote speaker Dr. Gretchen Huizinga, noted expert on the intersection of faith and artificial intelligence. At this conference, students in the STEM disciplines will present their research and design projects to the SPU community. Visit the website for more information.  

Mainstage Four: Everybody 
May 11–13 and May 18–20
7:30 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on May 13   
E.E. Bach Theatre, McKinley Hall
Tickets: $20/adult; $10/students; $12/seniors and military

In Everybody, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins takes the time-honored medieval morality play Everyman and updates it for a modern world. Everybody, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, is a theatrical high-wire act played without a net. Just like life. Tickets are available online here.

Memorial Day

Monday-only classes meet. Offices closed.

Final Exams
Tuesday–Thursday, June 6–8

Undergraduate students can visit the 2022–23 Final Exam Schedule to see when their classes’ final exams will take place.

Residence halls close for summer break
Friday, June 9
4 p.m.

Graduating seniors must vacate campus housing by Sunday, June 11, at 1 p.m.

Ivy Cutting
Friday, June 9
Tiffany Loop

Ivy Cutting has been part of graduation rites at SPU since 1922. Graduating students and SPU faculty don their academic regalia and assemble in Tiffany Loop beneath towering trees, continuing this tradition. No tickets are needed. Visit the Ivy Cutting website for more information.

2023 Undergraduate Commencement 
Saturday, June 10
10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.   
T-Mobile Park 

Undergraduate Commencement, a time-honored ceremony, recognizes the scholarship, service, and Christian growth of graduating students. This celebratory ceremony allows family members, friends, faculty, staff, and fellow students to congratulate graduates on their “new beginning.” For the complete schedule and more information, visit the Commencement website

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2023–24.