Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News
Summer 2014 | Volume 7, Issue 3
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New Alumni Director Eager to Meet You

Bryan Jones

New Alumni and Parent Relations Director Bryan Jones sports his four-year varsity athlete blanket for crew.

One of Bryan Jones' favorite parts of working at Seattle Pacific University has been the stories told him by senior alumni about their early years on campus. "We have such a rich history, and meeting and connecting with other alumni is exciting," says Jones. "I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve and collaborate with our alumni and parents. Seattle Pacific alumni are absolutely critical to the future success of this wonderful place."

As Seattle Pacific's new director for alumni and parent relations, he plans to do some traveling in order to visit with alumni and parents in their regions, hear what's on their hearts, and engage with them where they live and work.

"Anyone who would like to connect with me and learn more about the University and how you can be more involved is invited to get in touch," says Jones, who can be reached at or 206-281-2250.

Jones has experienced SPU as a student, assistant director of admissions (10 years), and development officer (3 years). His passion for his alma mater only increased as he worked with students and their parents, guiding them through the admissions process and through the building of lasting relationships with alumni donors.

"We're at a pivotal time as a university," says Jones. "We have a dynamic new president who has said he believes God wants to do so much more with this place and that our brightest days are still ahead. To get there will require significantly more alumni and parents involved on all fronts, certainly with their financial support, but also through professional networking, student mentoring, and volunteering their time with the University."

Jones assumed the helm in Alumni and Parent Relations July 1. Soon after, he bid a sad farewell to program manager Bobbie Taylor, whom many alumni fondly know from her work on major events, including the Downtown Business Breakfast and Sacred Sounds of Christmas. She has accepted a new position in higher education.

"My thanks to Bobbie for her years of great service to alumni and the University," says Jones. "Fittingly, she was selected as SPU staff member of the month just before she announced her departure. She will be missed by us all."

Jones and Assistant Director for Alumni and Parent Relations Linda Nolte are ready for a robust 2014-15, and eager to be advocates and a resource for SPU alumni and parents.

A Homecoming Not to Be Missed!

Homecoming Talent Show WinnersDo not let another year go by wishing you had attended. Homecoming 2015, February 4-7, promises to be a kaleidoscope of the old, the new, and the oft-quoted.

Shakespeare will be in the house when "King Lear" takes to the stage in E.E. Bach Theatre. Don't miss Professor George Scranton in his final acting performance before retirement.

Saturday's basketball doubleheader features the Falcon men vs. the Simon Fraser University Clan, and the Falcon women vs. the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets.

Show your Falcon spirit at a special post-game reception for alumni, and stop by to see the recent renovation of the Brougham Pavilion Weight Room. It is now an even more valuable facility for training and athletic injury rehabilitation, thanks to a number of generous donors who funded the entire $300,000 renovation.

Tour Arnett Hall, the new student residence on campus, and the newly renovated and restored Alexander Hall.

Enjoy reunions with old friends, the Student Talent Show, and the alumni/students Ultimate Frisbee competition. Attend the Homecoming Luncheon and alumni awards presentation, and cheer on the Alumnus of the Year, the Young Alum of the Year, and the Medallion Award honorees. Watch for complete details to come about these and a full slate of other Homecoming events.

"I love Homecoming! It's such a tremendous source of encouragement for students, parents, staff, faculty, and alumni alike," says Alumni Director Bryan Jones. "We're making some exciting changes this year that I am confident will leave you with an even stronger connection to your alma mater and a fresh appreciation for all who have gone out from this place. New and exciting things are happening. Seattle Pacific will soon be 125 years old and we'd love to have you celebrate with us!"

SPU's First Building Gets Boost From Alumna's Gift

Alexander Hall & Becky Arnett Gilliam 80SPU Board of Trustees member Becky Arnett Gilliam '80 has generously committed a $2.5 million gift in support of the current campaign to restore SPU's first building, Alexander Hall, built in 1893. Gilliam structured her donation as a "challenge" gift, which means it is intended to inspire others to give to the campaign. The Arnett family's connection to SPU dates back more than 100 years to the early 1900s, with more than 40 family members having attended or graduated.

The restoration of Alexander Hall holds special meaning, as it was the residence hall where her father, Paul Arnett, lived when he was a student at Seattle Pacific College. "I consider it a privilege to have a part in the restoration of a building that holds so much significance for my family and for SPU," she explains. "I offer my gift to honor the legacy passed down by the Arnett family: a deep-seated love for God, a belief in the value of a Christian education, and a great respect for Seattle Pacific."

At the May Board of Trustees meeting, the Board unanimously voted to name SPU's new residence hall, which is scheduled to open this fall, "Arnett Hall." A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Arnett Hall will occur this fall as we celebrate the opening of SPU's newest living and learning community.

Read more about the Alexander Hall Restoration Project and how to respond to Becky Gilliam's challenge gift.

For One Alumni Couple, Sharing the Gospel Means Buying the Tickets

Johns and Rose StifflerEquipping and training missionaries is good work. Just ask Rose Velasquez Stiffler '10, director of training for Youth Missions International. The English major says she has a schedule that "keeps me going at 90 miles an hour." Running beside her is husband John Stiffler '12, a music major who is college program director and director of operations for YMI.

"Our purpose is to get youth to live and share their faith at home and around the world," says Rose, whose job includes purchasing airline tickets, getting mission team members through airport security, and maintaining emergency contact with teams, whether they're in Ghana or stateside. While there are glorious, life-changing moments in ministry, she is quick to share with missionaries-in-training that the job also entails its share of tedium, stress, and anxiety. "It isn't a glamorous job, but it's worth it!"

John recently traveled to Asia to forge bonds with career missionaries and to scout mission trip locations for future high school and college teams. His itinerary included Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and The Philippines.

Out of the headquarters office in Tacoma, Washington, the Stifflers work with schools, churches, and indigenous missionaries, and provide logistics for short-term mission experiences. Since 2007, YMI has trained and sent more than 100 short-term mission teams to six continents. The Stifflers have helped recruit team leaders, camp cooks, and coaches for sports camp outreach, and facilitated pre-mission trip retreats. The retreats include instruction on how to articulate one's faith in unfamiliar places with people of other cultures, and how to adapt to new, uncomfortable circumstances without sacrificing a passion for evangelism.

YMI has other SPU alumni on staff, including its president, Brian Hughes '02.

Scholarship Winners Love to Volunteer

Katarina Krueger and Josh HemphillShe is a Tent City 3 outreach volunteer with extensive cross-cultural experience studying in Guatemala and evaluating rural health needs in Kenya. He is a church youth leader and volunteer tax preparer who serves food to homeless teens. Together, global development major Katarina Krueger and accounting major Josh Hemphill are this year's recipients of the Young Alumni Council scholarships.

"Locally and globally, both award recipients have found ways to utilize the education within their majors to match their benevolence towards the poor and the marginalized," says Linda Nolte, associate director of alumni and parent relations. "Our selection committee was impressed by their commitment to academic excellence and their calling to love the way Christ loves."

Post-graduation, Krueger plans to live abroad as a missionary. Because she is responsible for paying most of her way through SPU, the scholarship will take some of the pressure off. She works as a childcare provider for a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program and as a resource development assistant at Agros International, a nonprofit organization helping the poor of Central America.

Hemphill plans to become a CPA. Because his parents have shouldered much of the financing of his education, he says the scholarship will ease some of that burden for them. As an accountant, his facility with numbers and concern for others will be a double threat. "I believe that helping others for no other reason than to show God's love demonstrates your living faith and draws others to him," Hemphill says.

Gifts of any size help the YAC scholarship endowment to grow. Please visit to make a difference in a student's life.

The "CEO" of This Company Can't Drive
for Another 14 Years

Haily, Kevin and Lucy MeyersThe namesake and inspiration for the business Lucy Darling runs full speed around the house, getting into stuff, and acting like a kid. In fact, Lucy Meyers is 2 and her entrepreneur mom, Haily Braumberger Meyers '06, runs to keep up not only with Lucy but with the rapidly expanding online business of original baby stickers, pregnancy belly stickers, alphabet cards, and art prints for nursery walls she designs.

Despite virtually no paid marketing, Haily's Lucy Darling graphic designs have taken off on social media, where a growing community of happy customers talks glowingly about the brand. In addition to Amazon, Etsy, and, Lucy Darling product is found in hundreds of boutiques throughout the country and will soon be featured in the Itsy Bitsy catalog produced by Home Depot's Home Decorator Collection.

"I can't stop thinking of design ideas even if I try," says Haily, a visual communication major who minored in interior design. "Professor Laura Lasworth helped me develop a 'palette' of skills and set me free to work hard and pursue my passions. Each of my SPU professors poured their precious time into my life."

At the end of the first year of operation, Haily's husband, former geography teacher Kevin Meyers, left the classroom to head operations. One year after that, they hired Tiffany Rand Perko '06 from Nordstrom's marketing division to market Lucy Darling full-time.

What started as a supplement to the household income now fully supports the Meyers clan. "The best thing about it," says Haily, "is that it has blessed us with the ability to all be home together." Arizona is where they reside and where they met each other one month after Haily moved there in 2009. They are active members of Scottsdale Bible Church.

Currently, baby Lucy's favorite nursery rhyme is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and her mom has already incorporated it into a new art print. If it weren't for meal times and the need for naps, it might prove impossible to keep up with Lucy's surging imagination.

Sociology Major Helps Pioneer New Dance Form

Kelsey Rote"The Zouk Movement" has cast its spell over Kelsey Rote '09. The sociology major is part of a Seattle dance team pioneering Brazilian Zouk in the Pacific Northwest. Zouk is described as a dance that is both lyrical and hypnotic. Already big in Australia, Brazil, and Europe, this sibling of salsa and Latin dance is gaining steam in the U.S.

Not only is Zouk fun to learn, says Rote, but the dance has allowed her to connect with other Seattle Pacific University alumni, such as Tamami Eggers '91. "We met at Salsa con Todo (dance studio) and now we partner on the dance team."

The team ran a successful Kickstarter funding drive for the $15,000 needed to throw the first Seattle Zouk dance festival in September. "It'll focus mostly on Zouk," says Rote, who was a University Scholar, "but will also feature Kizomba, Bachata, Fusion, and other dance forms and skills." The funds allow organizers to bring in world class instructors for the festival.

Rote hopes other SPU alumni will join the excitement and discover the beautiful rhythms of Zouk.

Foodie Creates Perfect Summer Treat

Watermelon CakeAward-winning food blogger Ashley Rodriguez '04 shared this recipe, inspired by her children, in her May 30, 2014, post at

Rodriguez says she wouldn't be opposed to vanilla ice cream or some sort of sorbet served alongside the slices, "but really the kids didn't need it."

Watermelon and Peach Fresh Fruit Cake

  • 1 small watermelon (for a 6- to 8-inch cake)
  • 2-3 peaches, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

There really isn't much of a recipe. The size of your cake depends on the size of your watermelon.

Cut four 3/4 to 1-inch layers and run a knife just on the inside of the rind. Stack the layers on top of each other and trim up the edges to make sure they are the same size.

In between the layers are thinly sliced peaches.

Plunge a skewer through it all so the layers hold together and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.

Did You Know?

SPU Intramurals (23 sports and counting) has a Facebook page. Stay informed and cheer them on!

Recent lunch menu options in Gwinn Commons Dining Hall included Aegean fish plaki, chicken Florentine pizza, anise roast pork loin with figs and apples, and bok choy and shitake mushroom stir fry. For simpler tastes, Jell-O parfait still rules in a variety of flavors.

The Seattle Pacific Agriculture for the Community and Environment (SPACE) Club held a spring plant sale in the SPU greenhouse on the third floor of Eaton Hall (science building). The sale included a variety of cuttings from the permanent greenhouse collection, as well as flowers, tomatoes, and other garden starts. Proceeds from this year's sale supported the Seattle Youth Garden Works (SYGW), a nonprofit organization that gives homeless and at-risk youth in the Seattle area an opportunity to garden and learn how to grow their own food.

Looking for Work? Considering a Job/Career Change?

  • Get LinkedIn! It can be difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving social media world, particularly when it comes to job hunting. By creating a LinkedIn profile, you are plugging yourself into a global résumé database (300 million+), and there is a chance you could be tapped by recruiters for job opportunities.
  • Use LinkedIn to connect with fellow alumni for advice and networking. Be sure to join the private SPU Alumni group on LinkedIn. SPU also recently launched a public university page where you can search for alumni by company, geographic location, and other criteria. This is an excellent way to discover and connect with fellow alumni working in companies, cities, or roles that you are targeting.
  • Attend free Center for Career and Calling job search workshops and events. All CCC workshops are free and open to alumni. Look for upcoming events at, or follow us on Facebook.

Dad's Day Delights

Dad's Day Sounders Game

All-you-can-eat pancakes and an action-packed Sounders game (a win over the Colorado Rapids 4-1) were the bookends for Dad's Day April 26. Wearing Rave Green and rally scarves, Seattle Pacific dads bonded with their undergrads over bacon and SPU trivia, as student emcees made introductions and took selfies with the crowd.

President Dan Martin welcomed the proud parents with favorite "dad-isms" and an update on campus life and expansion. The entertainment continued as Taproot Theatre Company Improv performed hilarious comedy hijinks with audience participation. Smiles all around at this event that sells out every year!

Burgers and Goodbyes Head a Menu of Fun

On May 16, picnic blankets lined Tiffany Loop and a barbecue grill worked overtime when the Young Alumni Council hosted the first annual "Senior Send-Off" celebration for graduating seniors. Student bands -- the 007ths, Caedmon, and JJ Kim -- performed. Inspirational speeches were given by young alumni Michael Chew, Emily Binford, and Stephanie Rubesh. SPU trivia and raffle prizes rained down and iced coffee came courtesy of 6th Hill Coffee Roasters. Whether competing over beanbag tosses in Cornhole, spiking a volleyball for the win, or dueling with mallets in classic croquet, students played on the lawn and made some final memories on a breezy spring afternoon with friends.

Class of 1964 Celebrates
50 Years

Welcome banners and nametags bedecked with vintage photos greeted nearly 100 members of the Class of 1964 upon their return to Seattle Pacific for their 50-year reunion. The all-day event June 13 celebrated treasured alumni with VIP seating at Ivy Cutting, an induction into the Founders Circle, and a chance to reconnect with former classmates and an ever-changing campus.

"It was a priceless experience," says alumnus Bob Screen, who emceed the reunion dinner and helped fuel the storytelling. "I was so impressed with the accomplishments of my classmates. You need to look no further than the Class of '64 to see what it means to engage the culture and change the world." Gain an inside glimpse by visiting the reunion photo gallery.

Top Doc One of Our Own

Christopher Jones '94 was recognized as one of nine Top Doctors for 2014 in the Seattle region by Seattle Magazine. Nominated by area physicians, Jones is a recipient of the Community Service Award for his work with HopeCentral, a health clinic partnership with Union Gospel Mission that serves some of Seattle's neediest children. Jones operates in the belief that "God loves everyone and wants them to have good health." He is also the older brother of SPU's new director of alumni and parent relations, Bryan Jones '99.

Veterans Campus Update

The SPU Provost's Office will fund a campus VetCorps representative, who starts Autumn Quarter 2014. The VetCorps is administered by the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs and provides support, resources, and information that meet the unique needs of veterans making a transition to civilian life, including achievement of their higher education goals. As well, the University will provide early registration for student veterans. Both initiatives were strongly advocated by the SPU Veteran and Military Support Cadre and the Alumni Association Board.

Jordan Crouch 5k Run/Walk

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Registration: 8 a.m.
5k Begins: 9 a.m.
Marine Park, Vancouver, Washington

To benefit the Jordan Crouch Memorial Scholarship Endowment for SPU students in financial need. Awards and drawings for door prizes. Details and registration. See a photo of Crouch and learn more about him under "Giving Freely."

The Dance Festival at the Center of the Universe

Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 2014
Fremont District of Seattle

Day workshops and evening dances. For details, see the Festival Facebook page.

Campus Jobs

Director of Assessment
Coordinate all activities of program assessment in the School of Education.

Program Coordinator
Manage the noncurricular aspects of the School of Business, Government, and Economics graduate programs, including student recruiting, marketing, admissions, advising, operations, and student life activities.

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

Alumni Bookshelf

Burnt Offerings

Beyond Never
(CreateSpace, 2014)
by Mimi Hurd Harrington
Carlson '68

$9.95 (paperback)
Details and ordering

The Blood Cries Out

The Blood Cries Out
(Light Switch Press, 2014)
by Karl Erickson '91

$7.99 (Kindle Edition)
Details and ordering

The Crucified King

The Crucified King
(Zondervan, 2014)
by Jeremy Treat '03

$26.99 (paperback)
Details and ordering

Stay Connected Links

Alumni Homepage
Alumni Directory
Response Magazine
SPU Falcon Athletics
iTunes U
Giving to SPU
LinkedIn Alumni Group
Alumni Facebook Page
SPU Twitter

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