Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News

Spring 2008 | Volume 2, Issue 2

SPU goes global at Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The 40 fortunate individuals who snap up Seattle Pacific University's special Oregon Shakespeare Festival package, June 26–27, are in for a global ride. There will be classic Shakespearean tragedy, of course, with the love, jealousy, and betrayal of "Othello." But from Venice, it's on to Northern India and "The Clay Cart," one of the theatrical treasures of that ancient land.

Imagine the fun and insight Professor Emerita of English Fan Gates will bring to this material! Under her guidance, you'll experience the best of Shakespeare and an exotic international tale of passion and misunderstanding — and, perhaps, find common ground with another people and culture. Because of its size, history, and complexity, India is a key player on the world stage in terms of both the promise and the perils of globalization.

"The Clay Cart" was specifically chosen in support of SPU's signature commitment to "know and understand what is going on in the world." It proves that great storytelling transcends cultures and centuries.

To learn more about the special package price for the Shakespeare event sponsored by the Seattle Pacific Alumni Center, and to register, visit The registration deadline is June 11.

Alumna "goes German" and encounters classmate

Zetzsche FamilySometimes college friends travel halfway around the world before they meet again. That's what happened to Kristen Kenagy Zetzsche '87 when she, her three children, and husband, Jost, went home to his native Berlin to live for a year.

At a church attended by many doctoral students of theology from Hong Kong, who should Kristen see for the first time in 25 years but her Seattle Pacific University freshman buddy Christopher "Chuck" Rentz '87? The young man she knew as "Chuckles" is now married, a father of four, and a missionary working with the local Chinese church in Berlin. "I think that's the very definition of serendipity," Kristen writes in her blog (, "or a divine appointment for renewing old friendships."

Berlin TravelsKristen is the daughter of Jerome Kenagy '56 and Donna Schneiter Kenagy '59 of Reedsport, Oregon. Kristen's time in the German capital has been rich and international — the Zetzsches have purchased vegetables from a Turkish produce stand; eaten strawberries from Morocco and pesto from Dubai; ice-skated on the frozen moat of a castle built in 1385; and made a host of multicultural friends including an Iranian jeweler, who gives them cans of pineapple juice whenever he sees them.

Kristen urges you to visit the amazing, cultural mecca that is Berlin.

Keeping up with Jane

Jane LarsonJane Larson of Fall City, Washington, has spent the majority of her two years as a Seattle Pacific University distance runner chasing down fellow sophomore Jessica Pixler.

When Jessica won the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championship last fall, Jane finished just 25 seconds behind, earning All-American honors in ninth place. As Jessica successfully defended her national title in the indoor mile, Jane finished just four seconds behind, claiming a 1-2 finish for SPU.

But with outdoor season in full swing and Jessica forced to the sidelines with a stress fracture, it is Jane who is now being chased. In fact, she currently holds the nation's top time in the 3,000 meters (9:49.48) and also ranks second in the 1,500 meters (4:29.66).

"Jane trains hard and with great joy," says Doris Brown Heritage ‘64, who coaches the runner in both cross-country and track and field. "She uses the natural ability God gave her, but is willing to get in there and pay the price."

Watching her steady improvement every step of the way are her parents Bill and Sharleen Larson, both members of the SPU Class of 1980. During their days as a Centurion (Bill) and Homecoming royalty (Sharleen), they probably never imagined their daughter would someday spend her days racing around the oblong track adjacent to Brougham Pavilion.

But as Doris can attest, one of the Larsons is nearly always in attendance at their daughter's meets. They too are trying to keep up with Jane.

The class president who built a SUB

SUB MailboxesErnie Leach '58 plans to return to campus this summer for his 50-year reunion. The former chief deputy chancellor of the California Community College System was once the director of admissions at Seattle Pacific and assistant director of admissions at the University of Washington. But to his classmates, Ernie Leach will forever be the driver behind the building of SPU's SUB (Student Union Building).

The story goes that as senior class president in 1958, Ernie pushed for the SUB and, with funding approved by the Board of Trustees, asked President C. Hoyt Watson, "How much authority do I have?" The president replied, "As much as you need." Like a class president wanting to leave a legacy, Ernie thought big. The next day, he went into downtown Seattle and hired an architectural firm to design what became known to every student thereafter as "The SUB." That June, the Class of '58 cheered their diplomas and ground was broken on the center for student services.

Ernie's take-charge accomplishments came at a critical time. The post-war student population had zoomed from 400 students to 1,400. Surplus military buildings provided student housing for veterans and their families, and student services functioned in a one-story frame portable that barely contained the student government offices alone. The need was obvious and classmates remember Ernie championing the adoption of a student fee to help fund the new construction.

This June marks the 50-year anniversary of the successful building campaign that resulted in both the SUB and the Student Health Center. So it's hats off to "Look Ahead" Leach who knew a good thing when he foresaw it.

Parents take leadership

Parent involvement in Seattle Pacific University programs and events is on the rise, and, in some cases -- such as Orientation -- setting records. In addition to supporting their children who are enrolled at Seattle Pacific, parents want to know how to pray for the University and how to be more involved in preserving and strengthening its vision. A new initiative has been launched to help parents participate more fully in the life of SPU.

The Parent Council is led by a group of invited parent ambassadors that includes Laila Sharpe ‘73, associate director of alumni and parent relations, and parent of three SPU graduates: Jonathan Sharpe '00, Katrina Sharpe '03, and Christopher Sharpe '06. (Their father, also named Jonathan, is a member of the Class of 1972.)The Parent Council supports Seattle Pacific in a variety of ways that include assisting at student/family events, recruiting and welcoming new students and their families, providing students with professional career development information, and promoting and advancing the University.

An online newsletter, In the Loop, provides a quarterly helping of news, events, interviews of particular interest to SPU parents (such as a conversation with Steve Maybell, director of SPU's Student Counseling Center), and tips (handy pointers on how to track a student's academic progress toward graduation).

"Our goal is to improve the quality of the university experience for our students and their parents," Laila says. "We want to be a resource for all SPU parents."

Engage Event Series

For more details, visit the Engage website.




Response Magazine

SPU Falcon Athletics

iTunes U

Giving to SPU

Film Review

Read a review by Jeffrey Overstreet '94 of The Visitor.

Did You Know?

Nearly one in two first-year SPU students are from out of state.

Theology Professor Frank Spina has studied a number of ancient languages including Ugaritic and Akkadian.

The largest and most diverse music library on campus is found at KSPU College Radio. Listen at Request Line: 206-281-2691.

Campus Jobs

Security Officer
Provide emergency response, first aid, incident investigation, customer service, and building and property protection.

Systems Analyst – Administrative Systems
Provide design and development support for computer systems software; act as professional liaison representing Computer and Information Systems (CIS) to campus computer users.

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

etc Magazine

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