Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News

Summer 2008 | Volume 2, Issue 3

Hearing Again the Voices of Truth

iTunes University - SPU

The rich smorgasbord of SPU lectures, chapel speakers, concerts, and more – nearly 3,000 files in all dating back to 1970 - is capturing the imaginations of people worldwide. "SPU iTunes U" averages 25,000 hits each month. There are as many as 60,000 hits and more when especially hot topics are featured (i.e., anything related to C.S. Lewis is popular since the recent theatrical release of the Narnia film, Prince Caspian).

Grateful teachers in Tobago listen to Professor of Education Art Ellis lecture on curriculum. An appreciative high school student in rural Tennessee and a graduate student in Australia listen in, as do alumni far and wide who want to stay current with their alma mater, hear again the address given at their commencement, or revisit classic lectures that left a lasting impression.

"This is wide open to anyone," says David Wicks, director of Instructional Technology Services in the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development. "This kind of ‘open courseware’ allows course content already taught in the classroom to extend its life into the public square." Current students are able to clarify their notes and review difficult concepts on their own time. The SPU iTunes collection produces a growing global awareness of the quality education offered at Seattle Pacific.

Check out your choices, see the top downloaded files, and choose from the complete listing of SPU iTunes offerings by category (such as the 1972 chapel talk by then-Seattle Pacific President David McKenna) at

Flat or Spiky? You Decide

Professor Reed DavisProfessor of Political Science Reed Davis has studied the effects of globalization in Europe. He’s seen firsthand the promise and perils of that globalization as captured by Thomas Friedman’s book, The World Is Flat. At a special complimentary luncheon for alumni, students, parents, and friends in Annandale, Virginia, on September 13, he will discuss the book and explore and challenge Friedman’s conclusions.

Davis, who takes students on a five-week study tour of France every summer, will add his own views on how globalization can further God’s Kingdom in a world that he believes is not so much flat as "spiky."

With advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia, Davis chaired the King County (Washington) Republican Party from 1994 to 2002. Now the chair of the Political Science and Geography Department at SPU, he maintains contacts on Capitol Hill and teaches a breadth of political science courses, including "Moral Foundations of Democracy."

To join the discussion and refresh old ties with fellow alumni in a beautiful and relaxed country setting, register at If you have questions, call 206-281-2586.

Special Agents Share a War Zone

AfghanistanThe Department of Defense equivalent of FBI agents, U.S. Air Force Special Agents Molly Spedding Long '97 and John "Aaron" Sullivan '98 served until recently in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Their mission was to provide counter-threat information to ensure the protection of personnel and assets of the Department of Defense from hostile action. Their surprise was running into each other at a tactics conference in Bahrain — and discovering they were assigned to the same base and the same commander.

"We enjoyed a few Middle Eastern meals and laughed about how small the world is," says Molly, who majored in psychology at SPU and worked in Facility and Project Services. The former vice president of leadership services in ASSP says her favorite student memories are walking between classes amid the fall colors and meeting "some incredible women of faith who shaped my life," including faculty and staff members Leslie Parrott and Lucy Guernsey. A child of a missionary, and used to living in other lands, Molly's chief impressions of the Middle East are of beauty and desolation.

The mountains of Afghanistan are breathtaking and the call to prayer five times a day "a stark reminder of where I am," she says. Sandstorms are "a nasty thing," the heat incredible (130 degrees F and higher), and the rain turns the sand "to a very thick concretelike mud."

"The food is wonderful and the spices, rugs, and gold live up to their mythical billing," adds Molly. She says that she had never before seen as many luxury automobiles as she did in the traditionally oil-rich countries.

The people she encountered while traveling in seven nations welcomed her graciously. Existing between the often clashing cultures of Islam and Christianity was for her an exercise in tact, understanding, and patience. As a woman, she had to be especially mindful to never make eye contact and remember that there the men are always served first. Respect for the culture of another, as in experiencing the smallness of the world, is the stuff of rich memories.

Freshmen Get Connected

Undergraduate AdmissionsTo help them find a sense of community this fall, incoming SPU freshmen are enjoying special send-off events in their honor at locations around the country. Undergraduate Admissions has partnered with the Alumni Center to bring alumni, staff, current students, and new freshmen and their parents together well ahead of the first day of classes as a means of welcome and adjustment. Questions get answered and the transition is demystified.

"This is the beginning of a lifelong journey for freshmen," says Kathy Hitchcock, associate director for alumni relations. "These gatherings are a means to make them feel more comfortable upon arrival to campus."

The send-off program is in its third year and continues to grow. Last year, there were eight events. This year there are 13: Portland/Salem (Oregon), Bay Area/Sacramento, Boise, Denver, L.A./Pasadena, Minneapolis, North Seattle, North Puget Sound, Seattle Eastside, South Seattle, South Puget Sound, Spokane, and Washington, D.C.

If you have friends with incoming SPU freshmen, tell them about these opportunities, and have them visit Undergraduate Admissions for remaining dates, locations, and other important details.

Wall Street Journal Lauds Alumni Hero

Jacob The world’s leading business publication, with the global circulation of its print edition topping 2 million, paid editorial homage to Jacob "Jake" DeShazer ’48 in an obituary upon his death this spring at age 95. The Wall Street Journal opinion memorial was carried in both the print and online versions and remarked upon the WWII Doolittle Raider’s example of "remarkable forgiveness." The writer joined those at the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, among other periodicals, that printed the details of the amazing life and missionary career of this humble and soft-spoken patriot.

Here is the Journal piece in its entirety:

War and Forgiveness
March 25, 2008; Page A22

The veterans of World War II are now at that age where they are dying ever more frequently, and their deaths should be an occasion to remember their achievement and sacrifice. Take the heroism and remarkable forgiveness of Jacob DeShazer, a bombardier on the famous Doolittle raid over Japan of April 18, 1942.

The Doolittle bombing raid was close to a suicide mission, a one-way trip to bring the war to the Japanese homeland for the first time. Coming not long after Pearl Harbor and before the Pacific island victories to come, the raid was a huge boost to domestic morale. Corporal DeShazer was one of five crewmen on Bat Out of Hell, a B-25 aircraft that took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, dropped incendiary bombs over Nagoya, and then flew on to Japanese-occupied China, where the crew was forced to bail out.

DeShazer was taken prisoner, and was starved, beaten and tortured by his Japanese captors. For 34 of his 40 months in captivity, he was kept in solitary confinement. His pilot (Lieutenant William Farrow) and engineer-gunner (Sergeant Harold Spatz) were killed by firing squad. But DeShazer survived the war, was liberated after V-J Day in August 1945, and went on to get a degree in biblical literature from Seattle Pacific College (now Seattle Pacific University). In 1948, he returned as a Christian missionary to the country that had nearly killed him, and he would continue his ministry in Japan for 30 years.

DeShazer died on March 15 at his home in Salem, Oregon, at age 95. It is one of life's safer bets that he is resting in peace.

SPU Soccer Stages Boot Camp

SPU Women's soccerThese freshmen won’t immediately be issued a campus map or class syllabus. Their first college orientation comes not in bustling Gwinn Commons or the lush Tiffany Loop, but at Interbay Field.

Soccer season precedes the start of school, so the Falcon athletes annually convene nearly two months before the rest of their classmates show up. The August "boot camp" is a familiar ritual for the current head coaches, both of them SPU alumni.

"We have a lot of new players, so getting them integrated into how we do things and the culture of Seattle Pacific soccer is going to be important," explains first-year men’s coach Mark Collings ’99. "We can take advantage of having their complete attention before school starts."

Ten freshmen will wear the maroon and white shirts of the SPU men for the first time. They join a team that posted a 7-6-7 record last season and has five starters returning.

Reigning national women¹s Division II Coach of the Year Chuck Sekyra ’89 values the time he spends with players before the fall academic schedule begins.

"You have the entire day to work with the team … without worrying about classes," he says. "We use our time wisely and get so much done."

The intense preseason workouts paid dividends last season for the Falcon women, who strung together 23 consecutive victories before falling in the national semifinals. Eight starters return from that record-setting unit. Seven incoming freshman will vie for playing time.

The SPU soccer squads begin practicing on August 10. Ten women’s soccer games and nine men’s contests will have been played before classes start on September 29.




Response Magazine

SPU Falcon Athletics

iTunes U

Giving to SPU

Film Review

Read a review of WALL-E by Jeffrey Overstreet ’94.

Did You Know?

Al Erisman, executive-in-residence in the School of Business and Economics, is also editor of Ethix magazine. Just a few of the influential people he has interviewed include former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Walden Media President Michael Flaherty, and Pepsico Chairman Steven Reinemund.

A few of the odd items received in the SPU Mail Center? Bovine brains and eyeballs destined for the Biology Department.

The commemorative bricks outside the entryway of the SPU Science Building had three previous lives: In the late 1800s, they were ballast in ships sailing around Cape Horn to Seattle; more than a century ago, they paved Seattle’s historic Denny Way; and in 1908, they were used in the campus construction of stately Tiffany Hall.

Campus Jobs

Assistant Sports Information Director
Assist with the coverage and promotion of the University’s 14-sport varsity athletics program.

Managing Editor, Response Magazine
Manage production of SPU’s award-winning institutional magazine.

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

Check Out These Service-Project Photos

Looking for past SPRINT, Urban Involvement, or CityQuest photos? You might find them here:

This Month’s Featured Podcast

Listen to The Book of the Duchess, a text by Chaucer read in its original dialect by Professor of English Luke Reinsma.

Published by: Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119-1950, U.S.A.
Website: | Feedback/Unsubscribe: | Phone: 206-281-2377