Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News

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Autumn 2010 | Volume 4, Issue 4

"Wedding Belles" About to Chime at YAC Event
Open to All Alumni and Their Guests!

New Alumni Center team

Taproot Theatre Company, founded by Scott and Pam Nolte, Class of '76, throws wide the doors of its newly renovated theatre for an exclusive Seattle Pacific University alumni performance and Northwest premiere of the funny, heartwarming play "Wedding Belles." Proceeds from the Tuesday, October 19, performance will fund the SPU Young Alumni Endowment Scholarship.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m.

Special guests to be honored at intermission include the 2010 Young Alumni Council scholarship winner, Joe Starmer '11, active in Young Life, and the 2011 Young Alumnus of the Year Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments and Small Business Administration National Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

"At intermission, we'll hear about the incredible things SPU students are doing today as well as be reminded of how important it is for us to support our university in a new way," says Chris Sharpe '06, president of the Young Alumni Council. "As young alums, we now have a chance to give back to the university where we were not only educated, but were also blessed by the generous donations of others."

Tickets are $35 per person, or $60 per couple. View complete details and register for this annual YAC event. Seating is limited. Audience members will be given the opportunity to make a gift or pledge to the Young Alumni Scholarship Endowment.

The endowed scholarship fund was established by young alums in 2002 as a means of giving back to SPU in support of students whose lives inspire others through academic achievement and community service.

Reunion Classes Enthusiastic for SPU

Greg EideIn addition to shared laughter, memories, and a luncheon in their honor, during their recent 50th reunion year, nearly 31 percent of the members of the SPU Class of 1960 made a financial gift to their alma mater. The effort produced $36,258 for funding priorities which included student scholarships, athletics, and endowment.

"Wow," says Ken Cornell, director of alumni and parent relations, "what an achievement. It just shows what a dedicated class can do." Energy is building for Homecoming 2011 and Family Weekend, January 20-22, where one huge draw is class reunions for the years 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006.

"Stay tuned for information about this year's Homecoming," says Cornell. "We're already in full planning mode with reunion volunteers to make the upcoming reunions some of the best. Don't be outdone by the Class of 1960!"

Plan now to attend your reunion. In addition, don't miss Godspell on stage, the Student Talent Show, Falcon basketball, and the President's Luncheon. It's a great weekend to both catch up and to catch a fresh glimpse of your SPU. For more details or to help make a few phone calls for your class reunion, call 206-281-ALUM.

Zero to 60 With New Alumni Board Chair

Jennifer KenneyWhirling dervishes? Twin tornadoes? Zip and Zam?

The two lively sons -- Karl, 2, and Jackson, 4 -- of Jennifer (Feddern '91) Kenney and Don Kenney '96 might well be labeled "Speed" and "Speedier." Days are filled with community Bible study, outings to local attractions such as the Ballard Locks, and Jackson's preschool. Dad is a real estate agent for Windermere. For Jennifer, a portion of any other precious time when the boys aren't sleeping is now devoted to providing leadership of the SPU Alumni Association Board.

As the new board chair for a two-year term, Jennifer's focus is on the association's mission to rally alumni to "connect, recruit, give, and pray."

"Those are action words; we have things to do!" she says. The plan as well is to work with the Alumni Center staff to connect with current students and make certain the Association is familiar to them when they graduate.

"We're not just a news service for alumni," Jennifer points out. "We want to connect with our alumni and aid them in reconnecting with each other."

Not always easy to do when the applesauce is flying, but a priority nonetheless. Thankfully, Jennifer's board team is comprised of 13 members and four staff representatives just as eager to build strong bonds within the broader SPU alumni community.

Legacy Students Impact Class of '14

For the third year in a row, nearly 8 percent of the incoming class of approximately 900 new students, or an average of 78 students each year, are the children of Seattle Pacific University alumni.

"This demonstrates the great impact that comes from alums choosing their alma mater for their children's higher education," says Ken Cornell, director of alumni and parent relations. "It shows just how highly they value what they themselves received."

Sharleen KatoSharleen Kato '84 sees the fruit of the Seattle Pacific vision lived out in the lives of her children, senior Alex and freshman Stefanie. Their mom, an SPU professor and director of Family and Consumer Sciences, says that hosting, with husband Dean, an August summer social for new SPU students and parents at Crossroads Bible Church was a natural fit. "There were lots of laughs as current students shared insights of campus living and learning." Son Alex served on the student panel that fielded questions from the incoming students, and daughter Stefanie was in the audience. Admissions staff and several Parent Council members rounded out the gathering of more than 100 people.

"SPU is a very special community to us," says Sharleen, an active Parent Council member along with Dean. "My parents -- Merlin '53 and Charlotte (Martinson '52) Gay -- met in Peterson Hall in the '50s, and many of my aunts and uncles are alumni. I received great encouragement from my SPU professors Barbara Bovy and Stella Warnick, but never expected to come back as a faculty member!" When her children began their college search, they visited many schools but after much thought, "made the decision that SPU was the right match for them."

Sharleen, who began her teaching career at SPU in 1986, is excited that her children have the opportunity to be third generation SPU students and to receive the quality education she received. "It is a very strong, rich legacy for our family that will continue to shape our values for generations to come."

Explore the Bible With Your Alma Mater

Bible ReadingWhat if you could explore the Christian Scriptures with your friends, your family, a small group at church -- led by a guide who is not only an outstanding biblical scholar but also someone with a deeply personal Christian faith? That's what SPU's Center for Biblical and Theological Education is offering with its Lectio: Guided Bible Reading -- and it's free of charge.

We invite you to join us today for a guided journey through Scripture. During Autumn Quarter, Frank Spina, professor of Old Testament and biblical theology and author of The Faith Of The Outsider: Exclusion And Inclusion In The Biblical Story, is leading us through Genesis 1–Exodus 19. To sign up now to receive notifications of weekly guided readings, and learn more about this campuswide and communitywide initiative, visit

Monument Honors Camp Casey Visionary

Memorial Rock GardenThere's a new memorial rock garden near the Sea Lab at Camp Casey Conference Center honoring Seattle Pacific College Biology Professor Charles Shockey and his wife, Grace.

Charles Shockey was legendary in the acquisition of World War II surplus items to equip not only the science classrooms, but also the rest of SPC as well. "Foot lockers, Jeeps, Quonset huts, microscopes ... Dr. Shockey got it all and got it cheap," remembers V.O. "Bud" McDole '52. "And then he found paradise."

Under the direction and support of then President C. Hoyt Watson, Shockey successfully bid on 80 acres of Whidbey Island property that was put on sale by the U.S. government. This acreage included considerable beachfront and the homes and barracks that housed the Army servicemen once assigned to Fort Casey.

Professor ShockeyTo Shockey, it was the ideal place to teach marine biology. Thousands of SPU students, alumni, faculty, staff, public school children, and other guests have since experienced education, athletic training, beauty, and personal renewal at Casey, thanks to Shockey's role in the acquisition.

"He could not know what a treasure this place would become," said President Philip Eaton in prepared remarks read at the memorial service by McDole. "Dr. Shockey was a pioneer ... I am particularly pleased to be able to have the University join with the family to honor him and his wife ... by providing a final resting place in this spot he loved so much."

In attendance at the July dedication service were dozens of Shockey relatives from five states; close family friend, dedication speaker, and officiating minister for the committal service Philip Capp '50; and SPU graduates/emeriti faculty Don Kerlee '51 (computer science), Karl Krienke '53 (physics and mathematics), and Robert Hughson '59 (engineering and physics).

Built by Darrell Jacobsen, site manager at Camp Casey, the Shockey Memorial Rock Garden overlooks much of what, through the farsighted professor's creative efforts, became one of SPU's finest investments.

Bauer Six Set to Wear Out Santa's Lap

Bauer FamilyWhat puts you in the mood for Christmas? Decorations? Hot cider? Nativity scenes?

For Heather and Aaron Bauer, Class of '96, it's Tradition at Seattle Pacific University. "Tradition officially kicks off the Christmas season for our family," says Heather. "For Aaron and me in recent years, it's given us a chance to visit with former students from our youth group who are new students at SPU, so they know we haven't forgotten them." Aaron is youth pastor at Seattle's Faith Baptist Church.

For the six Bauer kids, Tradition is the magic of the lights and the chance to give Santa an earful. Elizabeth, Maria, Kyler, Max, Ella, and Alex were adopted in just under five years and are living gifts from Guatemala and Nicaragua.

"God knits together each family in a precious and unique way," says Heather, and each year SPU Tradition for the Bauers is one more reminder of God's redeeming wonders.

So on Friday night, December 3, wear your loudest Christmas sweater and come on over to Tiffany Loop and join in the festivities. The Young Alumni Council will host the Santa booth and a reception for young alums to reconnect in the Science Building study lounge. Tradition features storytelling, costume contests, refreshments, photos with Santa, and six little Bauers having the time of their lives.

Alumna Earns Full Ride to Law School

Bree BlackhorseBree Blackhorse '10 earned her degree in political science from Seattle Pacific University in only three years, while working full-time at Nordstrom and traveling around the country attending powwows and art exhibits. Herself an accomplished artist, she exhibits regularly and is sought after for her work featuring the Seminole culture. She is both Seminole and Blackfeet.

So impressed with her accomplishments was the Seattle University School of Law, she was awarded their 2010 Native Scholar Award, a $120,000 scholarship that will cover all three years of law school.

With a focus on corporate law, Blackhorse, whose Indian name is "Prized Woman," knows what she wants. "Eventually my dream is to be a U.S. senator," she told Indian Country Today, "but I also want to help Indian people." She sees undergraduate and graduate studies as keys to making those aspirations come true.

"Historically, law has been a weapon of oppression used against my people," says Blackhorse, "but now I see it as a tool of empowerment."

Three Alumni Reap "40 Under 40" Accolades

To be recognized by the Seattle business media as "the cream of the crop" is an exciting prospect that came true for three SPU alums this summer. A combination of business savvy, exceptional leadership, and an entrepreneurial approach to business management and achievement -- before the age of 40 -- put this trio squarely in the spotlight:

Eric BestEric Best '95, CEO, Mercent Corporation
"40 Under 40" Top Seattle Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders
Puget Sound Business Journal

Founder and CEO of a leading provider of online performance marketing solutions for retailers, Best is cited for leading and continuing to shape the future of Seattle through his entrepreneurial talents helping some of the world's most successful online merchants, including 1-800-Flowers, GUESS, and Bass Pro Shops.

Terresa DavisTerresa Davis '07, Co-Owner, Blueacre Seafood
"40 Under 40" Top Seattle Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders
Puget Sound Business Journal

From the age of 17, Davis has worked in the restaurant industry. Equipped with an accounting degree from SPU, she has a thorough understanding of the front and the back of the house. Her talents have taken her far, including general manager of a 500-seat Bourbon Street nightclub (New Orleans), operations manager for Wild Ginger (Seattle), accountant at The Oceanaire Seafood Room (Seattle), and staff accountant for the famed Tom Douglas Restaurant Group. She also pursues a law degree.

Julia WashburnJulie (Bodine) Washburn '06, Executive Director, Washington Food Coalition
"40 Under 40" The Elements of Success
Business Examiner

For her marketing class at SPU, Washburn started a business. Motivo Coffee connected her to the nonprofit community, which spurred her passion for helping others as a career. With degrees in sociology and business, she was equipped for compassionate leadership. Washington Food Coalition is the collective voice of more than 300 emergency food providers in a state where an estimated one in 10 people are unsure of the source of their next meal. The goal? Alleviate hunger in Washington state.

Alumnus Brings Dry Bones to Life

Greg EideBack when Keith Roynon '60 was just 6, he roamed the hills near his home in Santa Cruz, California, in search of fossils. There were a lot more of them around in those days and the more he dug, the more fascinated he became with the world of paleontology.

A few years later, he came to Seattle Pacific University for a degree in zoology. He enjoyed his studies and vividly recalls a road trip he took with Philip Ogden '59, Richard Spann '61, and Marlin Hopfer '62 (deceased) to Baja California to dig fossil ammonites, big-shelled marine creatures that lived in the sea when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

The hunger for the old and the rare permeated his life. He studied geology at University of Washington before a 25-year career in antiques. Extensive travel in Europe supplied his four retail stores in San Diego with valuable period pieces to sell.

In 1997, Roynon retired from antiques and turned to his dream project of transforming the garage and later extensions into the Roynon Museum of Paleontology. By appointment only, nearly 4,000 school children annually tour the private museum in Escondido, California, which houses thousands of fossils, bones, and extinct creature replicas, including a hundred real dinosaur eggs from all over the world, an extremely rare three-toed horse that roamed the Badlands of South Dakota 28 million years ago, and a gape-jawed skull once belonging to a mighty T. Rex.

Included among the real bone fossils are camels and prehistoric hyenas. The children are allowed to touch some of the specimens.

"The number of visitors has sky-rocketed," says Roynon, who gives the tours and runs the museum in partnership with his wife, Judy (Sawyer '62) Roynon, a teacher in the Escondido (California) Union School District. The couple travels to trade shows such as the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase, an international marketplace of buyers and sellers, to obtain additional specimens for their collection. Finding legal fossil specimens has become considerably more difficult and expensive because of stricter international laws governing dinosaur remains.

"I'm the most fulfilled and happiest person who ever retired," says Keith, who often takes opportunity to urge the children he encounters to take a close look at Seattle Pacific for their college experience. He not only gained what he considers an excellent education from his alma mater but adds, "We learned the love of the Lord from SPU."

Bobbie Gonzalez, 9, a home-schooler, told a reporter for the North Country Times he enjoyed the Roynon museum experience last year, especially one particular aspect. "I really liked touching the crocodile and dinosaur dung, but all the girls were scared of it."


Did You Know?

Seattle Pacific University was awarded the 2009-10 men's Great Northwest Athletic Conference Academic All-Sports title. Leaders were men's soccer with a team GPA of 3.24, and men's track with a team GPA of 3.22.

The solar panels atop Otto Miller Hall are designed to produce enough energy to offset the energy used to operate the University's electric maintenance vehicles. Initiated by the senior honors project of Kenzie Brister '09, the solar panels were designed and installed by Ecotech, a company started by Dana Brandt '01.

Bryan Papé '07, the 2010 Young Alum of the Year, has taken the business acumen learned as director of operations and marketing for Little Hotties Warmers and started MiiR Bottles. Papé, whose bottles are 100 percent recycled stainless steel and fully customizable, donates $1 from the sale of every bottle to the purchase of clean water in underdeveloped countries.

Marquee Event Marks 50 Years of Theatre

50th Season of SPU Theatre

To celebrate 50 years of live theatre success at Seattle Pacific University, and to honor the late Professor James Chapman, the Theatre Department invites all theatre alumni and friends to attend its "50th Anniversary Reception" at Homecoming, 6 p.m., January 22, 2011.

The celebration follows a matinee performance of Godspell, which received its Seattle and Northwest premieres in 1974 under Chapman's direction. Plan to see Godspell, then reminisce with other theatre alums and honor "Chaps" at this marquee event.

In 1960, Chapman had a clear vision: to build a theatre major that integrated Christianity with the arts in a program that would be at the forefront of Christian university theatre programs. Fifty years later, Chaps' vision has become a nationally recognized theatre education and training program that graduates Christian theatre artists sought after by major theatre companies.

Time's Running Out for Sacred Sounds Tickets

Sacred Sounds of Christmas

Be sure to get your tickets soon for SPU's 11th annual The Sacred Sounds of Christmas. This year we're offering two performances, on Monday, November 29, and Tuesday, November 30, both at 7:30 p.m. in Benaroya Hall. This splendid celebration of the birth of Jesus -- featuring SPU's acclaimed Concert Choir, Wind Symphony, and other performing groups -- sells out earlier every year. Tickets are $17 and $20, and can be purchased by phone at 206-215-4747, online at, and in person at the Benaroya Hall Box Office. For more information, visit

With a Good Word
From You, Fee Waived

You can make a direct impact on strong enrollment at Seattle Pacific University. Because this is the time of year when students apply to college, your encouragement now could be the deciding factor that moves your friends and family members to apply to SPU.

And your word carries considerable influence with us!

With your recommendation as an alum, we'll waive the $45 application fee for anyone applying at your urging. All you have to do is go to and complete the form. Then follow up immediately with the student and "sell" them on SPU. Please submit the fee waiver form to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or include with the student's admission application.

Alumni Scholarships
for Dependents

Alumni scholarships of $500 per quarter are automatically awarded to full-time, dependent, undergraduate children of Seattle Pacific University graduates. They are renewable every quarter through senior status as long as the student continues to be classified a dependent. No supplemental application is required.

Read additional information on alumni scholarships.

Grant Provides for
Smoother Access

Seattle Pacific University is one of seven liberal arts institutions in Oregon and Washington (the Orbis Cascade Alliance) to share in a $123,188 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Given for archival development, the funds will enable SPU to advertise its archives to the general public. This will include a new online searchable list of SPU archive materials through Northwest Digital Archives. These lists for each of the schools in the Alliance will now reach a wider audience of scholars, researchers, alumni, and other interested people.

Taking stock to compile the list will allow SPU Archivist Adrienne Meier to serve alumni better by answering their questions and finding photos for them in a more efficient manner.

"The grant money will also provide me with more training in archival techniques so that I can deal with a lot of material quickly but thoroughly," says Meier. She urges alumni to do more research at SPU. "And if any alumni have a box of their 'college stuff' taking up space, I will be happy to give it a good home!"

Join the SPU Online
Alumni Community

Membership has its privileges, and because you are an SPU alum, you have exclusive and free access to the cyber community of SPU's online alumni directory. Register, search for friends, make new connections, and share in the legacy that is Seattle Pacific University.

Calling All Alums

Do you know an SPU alum who would enjoy receiving Alumni Connections? Forward this e-newsletter copy or urge the alum to contact Thanks for getting the word out!

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Assists with scheduling, budget and program, mail, and management of programs for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Supports the budget tracking needs of the assistant vice president for facility management for multiple universitywide capital accounts.

For more information and to apply for these and other open positions at SPU, see


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