Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News
Summer 2012 | Volume 6, Issue 2
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President Martin Is in the House

President Martin and his family
Jake, Pam, Daniel, and Josh Martin

About the same time you receive this edition of Alumni Connections, Seattle Pacific University's 10th president and his family will be settling into Seattle, making their home in Hillford House, and adjusting to the demands of leadership at one of the nation's leading Christian universities. The new President's first official day in the SPU office? July 2.

Welcome, President Daniel J. Martin!

Including more than 100 pounds of Great Dane named Josie, the Martins are making the transition to what the president calls a university with "the ability to actually pursue and fulfill its mission in ways not present at other institutions."

He's eager to become active in the communities on- and off-campus. "One of our great joys as a family is being involved in the life of a college campus," says the former president of Ohio's Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He says that observers may even gain a laugh or two "watching me trying to keep up with the college students on the intramural soccer field!" He anticipates experiencing life in "a world class-city" set in the natural beauty of the Northwest.

First Lady Pam Martin, a teacher and mom to their two teenage sons, Jake and Josh, has been active in civic, church, and university groups. Her involvement includes serving as president of two PTAs and as children's pastor at church.

Daniel Martin is eager for the academic year ahead: "I believe in SPU's mission and its commitment to engage students holistically. What is most inspiring and attractive perhaps, is the belief SPU's mission can truly change our world. 'Engaging the culture, changing the world' is an idea that forms the very essence of what a Christian university should be."

Phil and Sharon Eaton Goodbye, Good Friends. Those fortunate enough to have experienced the thoughtful ideas, encouraging words, and sincere hospitality of Phil and Sharon Eaton will long cherish those memories. The ninth president of Seattle Pacific University infused the campus with his warmth and heart. Under his leadership, the University grew in influence, and more than 13,000 graduates earned their diplomas. The prayers of many go with the Eatons into the next exciting chapter of their lives.

Young Alums Explore the Corps

Sarah Baggs

Sarah Baggs

Seattle Pacific University alumni are among the more than 9,000 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 75 countries. Each makes a 27-month commitment to live and work in diverse communities to attain goals in areas such as education, health, business, agriculture, the environment, and youth development.

Sarah Baggs '11 took her degree in cultural human development and went to East Java, Indonesia, to teach English at a senior high school of a thousand students. Because she was excited to live in another culture and experience another way of life, the teacher "expected to be the student as well!"

The Peace Corps first required her to live for three months with a host family in a village close to the school. She was immersed in the country's language before tackling her teaching assignment and working with youth development in her community.

Katie Leu and Katelyn Miller, both Class of 2009, were assigned to Bulgaria. They worked in small communities "teaching English, planning and holding camps, and other various jobs," says Leu.

Baggs will complete her service in 2014. Leu and Miller close out their service this month. "I would love to know if there are any other Peace Corps volunteers from wonderful SPU out there," says Leu.

Alumni Families Welcome in Study

ASD Study

Alumni families with children who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis are invited to participate in a study underway in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community (SPFC).

The Young Children's Self-Regulation Project, which studies the ability of children with ASD, ages 3-6, to regulate their attention, behavior, and emotion, currently has two SPU alumni families and 60 children among their participants. If interested in taking part in the study, contact principal investigator and professor of clinical psychology Bev Wilson at

 "Children's self-regulation skills have practical importance to their social, emotional, and academic competence," says Wilson. "Numerous situations in home and school settings require children to regulate their behavior and emotion, such as waiting to receive a desired object or resisting the temptation to act in an inappropriate way."

As part of its Initiative for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, SPFC hosted Annette Estes on May 22. The research associate professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington described innovations in the study of infants at high risk for autism and how these new findings might help identify autism earlier. Earlier detection could lead to earlier intervention and improved outcomes for people with the disorder. Hear the Estes presentation.

How Do You Like Your Pretzels?

Stacy Reed
Stacy Reed and her pretzel haul.

Contester Stacy Mullens Reed '00 and her daughter, Evelyn, 5, were inundated in the spring with a year's supply of Pretzel Crisps - 21 cases of the snack in seven different flavors. They built a tower out of the cases, took photos, and wasted no time sharing the 232 packages of pretzels with others.

Stacy, a recipe contester, harbors a sneaking hunch that "we'll be snacking on pretzels for a loooong time."

The crispy snacks were awarded to the finalists in the Pretzel Crisps - Appetizer Recipe Contest. Each finalist's recipe will be published in a recipe booklet. This is Reed's first recipe to make it to print.

Reed has also dreamed up original recipe entries for contests sponsored by Grilled Cheese Academy, Dole, Foster Farms, and Louisiana Sweet Potatoes.

Last issue, we told you that Reed was a finalist in the Hungry Jack "Use Up the Box" Recipe Contest. She has since learned that she shared runner-up honors for her "Denver Haystacks" and was awarded a gift basket "packed with goodies," including 13 packages of pancake mix, five bottles of syrup, a smiley face spatula, and other items for the kitchen.

Reed plans a fall pancake dinner for a large group of single moms and their kids.

Among her favorite comfort foods? Wood-fired pizza, roasted salsa with fresh chips, cinnamon chocolate ice cream, and a smoked gouda grilled cheese sandwich on kalamata olive ciabatta.

World's Fair Class of '62 Celebrates Their 50th

World's Fair Class

The Class of 1962 graduated at a giddy time. Seattle was abuzz with a World's Fair glimpse into the future known as the Century 21 Exposition. West Side Story won Best Picture and the sparkling new Space Needle, Monorail, and Science Center wowed the crowds and helped put the city on the map.

In the Tawahsi yearbook, Seattle Pacific President C. Dorr Demaray noted the "outer space" emphasis of the Fair and the "inner space" development of a growing student body and faculty with "intensified purpose."

On June 8, members of the '62 graduating class returned to campus to celebrate their 50-year reunion. The Space Needle is still there and so is a raft of rich memories told and retold during the day-long festivities.

Campus tours, a group photo, and the iconic Ivy Cutting Ceremony at which the members of the Class of '62 were honored guests helped create a special day that culminated in the "50-Year Ring" presentation and induction into the Founders Circle. The day concluded with a dinner and program in Upper Gwinn Commons. Check out the photos on Flickr.

Honoring SPU's Fallen

US flag

In a solemn ceremony at the flagpole in Tiffany Loop, 13 Seattle Pacific University students and alumni killed in war were among the names read, followed by the retiring of the flag. A special moment of honor was accorded the family of Nicholas Madrazo '05, killed in Afghanistan in 2008.

The ceremony on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, moved those gathered to dwell on the meaning of sacrifice. Hands on hearts, some weeping, the assembly of staff, faculty, students, and loved ones, listened to trumpeter Debbie Dawson '77 play "Taps" as the faded old flag came down, was incinerated according to military protocol, and a new flag raised in its place to the playing of "Colors."

The event, sponsored by the Veteran and Military Support Cadre (VMSC), was moderated by Army veteran Jim Rand, executive-in-residence in the School of Business and Economics. He noted that the first Decoration Day, the fore-runner of Memorial Day, was held in 1868, a day in which flowers were laid on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers alike.

Contact Psychology Professor Margaret Brown at for more details about the VMSC.

Alumna/Advocate Awarded Gates Scholarship

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver '08 has been named a 2012 Gates Scholar. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded her a full-ride scholarship to the University of Washington School of Law in exchange for five years of public service law practice.

The spark for Oliver's heart for the common good was ignited at SPU. She was challenged to service as a youth outreach intern with the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development.

"I believe in the power of community to heal, correct, and find solutions for the broken systems and pain we see around us," Oliver says. For her, the younger generations are the future and she hopes that by encouraging them to participate in the processes of change and government, this sidelined group can feel empowered and capable to be responsible citizens.

She doesn't worry that her approach may not make her prosperous. "I don't care to make money or be well known for great legal work," she says. "I care that the people around me understand their rights, their roles, and their power."

The Gates gift is in honor of UW law school alumnus and public service advocate William Gates Sr. Four other students, graduates of other schools, were also named 2012 Gates Scholars.

Champions Find Homes for Orphans

The statistics defy belief. According to UNICEF, the number of orphaned children in the world exceeds 163 million. If these children were counted as a single nation, they would comprise the seventh largest nation on earth. In Russia, alone, the alarming number of orphans and kids living on the streets is so high that it has become a sensitive political issue.

Through their nonprofit organization Doorway to Hope, Seattle Pacific University alumni Anita Deyneka '66, Richard Moore '04, and Jason Siler '04 promote indigenous adoption of such children by Christian families abroad. The initiative today places children in families across Eastern Europe.

"Doorways to Hope strives to make an impact on the Orphan Nation by calling people to prayer, raising awareness, and distributing physical and tangible support to foster and adoptive families," says Micala Siler, Jason's wife and executive director of Doorway. The support provided includes basic household essentials, medical treatment, and construction or renovation of homes.

The Silers have served with the U.S. Air Force, both completing tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moore is Doorway's board secretary, involved in SPU's Young Alumni Council, and director of legal and operations at a Seattle-based health insurance software and services company. Deyneka is past president of Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries and has 40 years of experience reaching the countries of the former Soviet Union through Christian missions. She is also an SPU Medallion Award recipient.

Doorway placed 969 children with families in 2011. Working with U.S. partners, a prayer movement is building to provide weekly and monthly prayer requests and updates to Doorway participants. One of the desired outcomes is to see children praying for children.

Better Than Safari

Angela Eller

Angela Eller

Four years of living in Kenya had a profound impact on Angela Eller. With parents who were missionaries with World Concern, Angela gained international experience and had her eyes opened by visits to slums and clinics. Volunteering at an HIV/AIDS orphanage during a high school trip to Thailand invigorated her desire for a career in health care.

Seattle Pacific University's nursing program drew her in, and she received scholarships that made it possible for her to attend. Now a senior and a recipient of the Brohamer Nursing Scholarship, among others, Angela says it is scholarships that have been instrumental in helping ease her financial burden of attending SPU.

"I had all of these ideas and goals and dreams, but scholarships made them realistic," she says.

Angela has less than one year until graduation and her nursing degree. She looks to her future and to the increased possibilities due to the decreased burden of student loans.

Angela is one of many students impacted by donor support. When you, as many have done, give back in gratefulness for the education you received at Seattle Pacific, you show one tangible way you engage the culture and change the world. Make a gift today by visiting, or calling 206-281-2063.

Welcome Class of 2012

Hail to the more than 1,000 new alumni who comprise the Class of 2012! This is your first issue of Alumni Connections, and we hope you will anticipate its arrival three times a year, interspersed with three print issues of Response magazine. We hear again and again that these two publications are among the chief ways that Seattle Pacific University alumni keep current with their alma mater. Our pledge in return is that Alumni Connections will be your reliable source for SPU alumni-specific news you can't get anywhere else.

Save the Date:
Class Reunions 2013

SPU Class Reunions

If you graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, or 2008, your five-year reunion will happen at Homecoming in January.

Mark your calendar for January 26 and go to for the specific reunion times and locations. And while you're there, browse your yearbook online, relive the memories, and make your plans to attend your class reunion!

Newbill's Hand at the Helm

Gary Newbill
Gary Newbill

Gary Newbill '64, M.Ed. '70, Ed.D '99, is the new chair of the SPU Alumni Association. Recently retired from a 47-year career in educational leadership, the admittedly "unabashed Falcon" is enthused about the new assignment.

"My retirement opened the way to do more of what I love, particularly service to Seattle Pacific," he says. "I will encourage our team of alumni board members to become more active in welcoming recent graduates to the Alumni Association and in encouraging alumni from the decades we represent to renew their support."

Newbill is the recipient of the inaugural Roy Swanstrom Distinguished Centurion Award presented at SPU Homecoming 2012. A member of the Centurions service honorary while a student at Seattle Pacific, Newbill was honored for demonstrating "rigorous servant leadership, devout Christian character, and the qualities of a true gentleman" in his personal and professional lives.

The one-time public school superintendent was, until this spring, the dean of the Northwest University School of Education, where he also taught teacher preparation and graduate studies.

Stepping down from two years as Alumni Association chair is Jennifer Kenney '91. "It's been wonderful to work 'behind the scenes' for my alma mater and to encourage my fellow alumni," she says. "There are some great things on the horizon with the new Alumni Directory, social media expansion, and working with our new SPU president, Dr. Dan Martin. Gary Newbill is just the right person to spearhead the Alumni Association opportunities that lie ahead."

The Newest Member
of the Alumni Team

Holly Wood
Holly Wood

In May, the Alumni Office welcomed its newest member, alumni/parent relations coordinator Holly (Harris) Wood '07. An English major, she returns to campus after several years at Side-by-Side, a ministry for families with seriously ill children at University Presbyterian Church.

Full of energy and enthusiasm for the alumni community, Wood will advise the Young Alumni Council and Student-Alumni Council, in addition to providing general support for alumni events and projects.

Holly met her husband, Dustin Wood '07, during freshman orientation on Fifth Hill. They are raising their first future Falcon, Duncan, who was born in January.

Facebook Likes
Alumni Directory

Your online SPU Alumni Directory recently had a "facelift" and now features a photo-montage and a Facebook application. Once you have logged into the Directory, you can add this app to your Facebook page. It allows you to switch between Facebook and the Directory in one click, and use your Facebook login to access the Directory.

Log into the SPU Alumni Directory today!

Did You Know?

The first bachelor degrees awarded by Seattle Pacific College went to Ward Folsom, Lois Newton, and Ruth Sharpe. The year was 1915.

SPU's new president, Daniel J. Martin, holds five earned degrees: a bachelor's degree in business administration, Southern Nazarene University; a juris doctor degree, The University of Kansas School of Law; an MBA, The University of Kansas School of Business; a doctor of education degree in higher education policy and leadership, The University of Kansas; and a doctor of education degree in higher education management, University of Pennsylvania.

Most of the coaches from the Falcon women's crew team and all seven of the men's crew team head coaches - David Covey, Doug Deardorf '78, Bernie Delke '75, Keith Jefferson '83, Rich Laurance, Bill Mickelson '78, and Jim Schultz '91 -- turned out at Homecoming 2012 in January for the 40th anniversary of crew at SPU. It was Covey, a national champion rower from UW and an SPU graduate student at the time, who in 1973 began recruiting for an SPU men's rowing club.

New Venue for
Sacred Sounds

Sacred Sounds

Sunday, November 25, 4 p.m.
McCaw Hall, Seattle Center

SPU's 13th annual The Sacred Sounds of Christmas, featuring our nationally acclaimed Concert Choir and Wind Symphony, the SPU Orchestra, and other fine SPU groups, has a new venue this year. This festive season opener will take place at McCaw Hall -- home of the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Watch for ticket information in August.

Plan for Tradition

Friday, November 30, 7 p.m.
Tiffany Loop

Stay Connected Links

Alumni Directory
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SPU Falcon Athletics
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Featured Podcast

Check out "Rule of Thumb: Ebert at the Movies" with Todd Rendleman, author of the book by the same name, film buff, and associate professor of communication.

Discover more about the innovative minds behind iTunes U and other Instructional Technology Services at SPU.

Campus Jobs

Visit and Events Coordinator
Responsible for hosting and recruiting individual visitors - our largest recruiting effort. Organizes and leads campus events that include, but are not limited to, summer socials, transfer open houses, and the National Christian College Fair of Seattle. Duties may encompass transportation, campus tours, class visits, overnight housing arrangements, and appointments with athletic coaches and faculty, and will require some evening and weekend work throughout the year.

Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator
Provides supervisory and instructional support for university chemistry professors and students. Includes oversight of teaching assistants, and preparation, handling, and inventory of chemicals and equipment.

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

Newest Alums Pursue
Music Therapy

Seattle Pacific University alumni are at the forefront of the burgeoning music therapy health care profession. Music therapists use music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages.

The music therapy major at SPU was the first of its kind in Washington.

Recently, Amy Whitley '12 was accepted to Orange Coast Music Therapy in Southern California, and Ann Hunsberger '12, the SPU program's first post-baccalaureate, was accepted to EarthTones Music Therapy Services in Portland, Oregon.

Color SPU Green

In the 2012 edition, The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges has again named Seattle Pacific University one of the nation's most environmentally responsible "green colleges."

Also named in last year's edition of the Review, SPU is recognized for demonstrating a notable commitment to sustainability in academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

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