Presidential Election and Inauguration

The Inaugural Year

The Seattle Pacific University Board of Trustees elected Daniel J. Martin president in April 2012 after what was described as “one of the most important searches in Christian higher education.” The search committee and Board of Trustees came to the unanimous conclusion that Martin was “exactly the right person” to further SPU’s mission of engaging the culture and changing the world.

Nine months after he took office on July 1, 2012, Martin was inaugurated in a ceremony that celebrated both SPU’s history and its future. On the afternoon of April 2, 2013, five former presidents shared the stage in McCaw Hall at Seattle Center with more than 200 student performers. In the audience were faculty, staff, students, alumni, and delegates from 65 colleges and universities.

Martin was presented with the presidential medallion by then Board of Trustees Chair Dennis Weibling and retiring SPU President Philip W. Eaton. Greeting the new president were:

  • Benjamin McFarland, chair of the faculty;
  • Gary Newbill ’70, EdD ’99, president of the SPU Alumni Association;
  • Nathanael Strong ’13, president of the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific;
  • Edward Blews Jr. ’76, president of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities;
  • Tim Burgess, Seattle city councilman;
  • Les Steele, executive vice president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; and
  • Father Stephen Sundborg, president of Seattle University.

Earlier on April 2, Martin participated in a worship service and ceremony of commissioning in First Free Methodist Church adjacent to campus. The events of the day were the highlight of an Inaugural Year in which SPU hosted an Inaugural Symposium with guest speaker James Davison Hunter and 10 Academic Showcase events.

Advancing SPU’s mission to engage the culture and change the world had been Martin’s theme during the Inaugural Year. He pledged to pursue the mission within the “complex context” of challenges facing higher education today. “”We will pursue a vision that will challenge us, stretch us — one that is worthy of our past and reflective of our purpose,” he said in his inauguration address.

Inauguration Day Video
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Inauguration Day Video

See some sights and sounds of the inauguration of SPU President Dan Martin in this brief video.

The Inauguration As It Happened

Read the messages of students, faculty, staff, and friends as they followed the April 2 commissioning service and inauguration ceremony on Twitter and Instagram.

Congratulatory Messages

To celebrate the inauguration, people were invited to submit a note of congratulations to President and Mrs. Martin. Read the messages posted in this online bulletin board.