Seattle Pacific University: Connections Alumni News

Winter 2010 | Volume 4, Issue 1

Keatley Snaps the Big One?

John Keatley

John Keatley '03 is a fast-rising star in the photography world. A specialist in advertising and editorial portrait photography, his growing client list includes the Discovery Channel, the Pacific Science Center, Seattle Sounders FC, and numerous national magazines such as Forbes, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Time.

His celebrity photo list includes Hollywood icon Anthony Hopkins and Project Runway fashionista Tim Gunn.

Perhaps his biggest coup yet came last fall when he was chosen by HarperCollins Publishers to photograph Sarah Palin for the cover of her new book, Going Rogue. Keatley's cover photograph of the possible 2012 presidential contender has been seen by millions on television and the Internet. "This was a really big opportunity for me professionally," Keatley blogged, "and I enjoyed it immensely. I am excited to see what happens next."

Keatley's work is regularly seen in Response and other SPU publications.

Networking Pays Off for Eby

Marcus Eby interacts with visiting children at Seattle's Children HospitalIt helps to have connections, and perhaps no one knows that better than Marcus Eby '09. His exciting first job as the mobile Science Adventure Lab scientist for Seattle's Children's Hospital is a direct result of taking a general studies class in career and calling taught by SPU career counselor Karen Altus.

Besides facilitating good job search practices like precision resume- and cover-letter writing, the class learned effective networking skills such as keeping the business cards of others and following up on those contacts. After hearing Mikke Lindblom, research human resources consultant with the Seattle Children's Research Institute, present in class, Eby gave her a call. Within the month, she needed a scientist for the new lab. Her recent conversation with the biology major was on the top of her mind. He got the job.

"We're thrilled to have him join us," says Lindblom. "He's my new 'see what can happen' example."

"It was Seattle Pacific which enabled me to land a wonderful job fresh out of college during a very competitive time," says Eby. Since September, he has traveled Washington state and visited thousands of students at underprivileged and under-resourced schools. In the 45-foot state-of-the-art mobile lab, the children receive innovative, hands-on science experience, including isolating their own individual DNA (see photo).

"I truly enjoy working with children in a scientific setting," says Eby, who hopes to enter the field of pediatrics after medical school. "Nothing is more rewarding than to see their faces light up as they grasp a new idea. The cure for cancer could potentially be resting inside the mind of any elementary student."

Multiple Alumni in Haiti Help Earthquake Victims

Child from HaitiHaiti, the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, is often wracked by natural disaster, and its people live in poverty and illiteracy, burdened by superstition and voodoo. As this article went to press, the devastating 7.0 earthquake struck. A number of Seattle Pacific University graduates, highlighted here, live and work in Haiti, dedicating their lives to countering the bad news with the Good News and practical assistance.

We have added updates in italics on each one since the earthquake. Please hold them all in your prayers.

Among the SPU young alumni living and working in Haiti:

Corrigan and Shelley Clay, Class of 2000, are co-founders of the Apparent Project, a nonprofit organization providing artisan training to produce a sustainable income, and an orphanage that facilitates adoptions. When the Clays first arrived in Haiti in 2008, they were the house parents for an orphanage of 24 boys. Though their house is not structurally sound, the Clays are safe and have been sleeping outside.

Brooke James '03 works with Child Hope International, a charitable Christian organization dedicated to rescuing suffering and abandoned children in the capital of Port au Prince, Haiti. She assists in the orphanage of Maison de Lumiere (The Lighthouse). Child Hope reports all staff and children safe, but running low on medical supplies. Their schools have suffered severe damage. Of Brooke, they write, "Brooke and Ashley, our nurses, haven't stopped. I know they're tired, but they go from one person to the next. It's been a blessing to see them do what they do, be stretched, and continue to smile, even after a good cry."

Kurt Hilderbrand '00 is the head of the Mennonite Central Committee in Port au Prince, helping the populace with disaster relief and development assistance. Kurt is well and busy distributing aid and helping an injured member of his staff evacuate. "I feel very supported, though I have no idea what I need right now."

Stephanie Kotecki '00 works in the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince. Stephanie Kotecki at the U.S. Embassy is confirmed safe by Wendy Moy '99 who heard from her the day of the quake.

Hillary Prag '06 taught at Quisqueya Christian School, where more than 250 students study. Most of them are children of missionaries or "business class" Haitian children who have a strong chance of becoming members of the ruling government. Hillary Prag moved from Haiti a month ago and was not in-country at the time of the quake. Her boyfriend is Kurt Hilderbrand (see above). "I have a feeling he'll also be translating for aid workers and the international community as they come in to assess and make decisions."

Trisha Koorn Zakhour '00, has taught at Quisqueya Christian School for 10 years. In that time she has survived a hurricane, been awakened by gunshots in the early morning hours, and teaches in a fourth-grade classroom with bars across the windows for safety. "Parents have come to know the Lord through their children, and when they are in trouble, they turn to God for help." Trisha is safe (was on maternity leave) but there are fears that her father-in-law died in the quake.

Not Your Grandmother's Yearbook - or Was It?

With some tongue-in-cheek, Bill Meyer Jr. '84 recently wrote the SPU Alumni Center with two persistent questions:

"What does Tawashi mean. I know it (was) the yearbook, but where does the word come from? Second question: Does SPU have a fight song, or is that not really Christian? These questions have haunted me for over 20 years. I'm having trouble sleeping at night. Thankfully, work provides a needed solace to catch up on the sleep I miss. I've tried contemplation, supplication, sackcloth, ashes, fasting, and even feasting. Nothing seems to provide the answers … Please, can you help!?"

In order to ensure the man gets his rest, Laila Sharpe, associate director, alumni and parent relations, researched the puzzles he posed and responded:

"Hello, Bill, let me hopefully give you some peace of mind. 'Tawashi' is an Indian word meaning 'friendship.' The yearbook, originally named Cascade, was changed in 1950 to Tawashi to symbolize joyous associations at SPC ..." In 1985, the name changed back to Cascade to make that year stand out as special, a year, wrote yearbook editor Mark Shipley '85, 'in which so many megatrends were beginning, and SPU was in transition.'

"Your second question may be a little more challenging to answer. According to the book A Growing Vision, there have been seven school songs. The first one, 'The Dear Old Sem,' dates back to 1914 when we were still a seminary. Our current alma mater was derived from the 1922 school song written by Frank Warren '22, which was updated to reflect our university status and abridged in 1986 by Ruth Elkin Booth '27. Whether these are 'fight songs,' I'll leave to your discretion. Peace, my brother!"

Meyer's last word? "Thanks to you and your crack team of SPU historians, I now have no choice but to become a contributing member of society."

A Lifetime of "Drawing" Others to Christ

Some of Ray Streutker's work
Career Free Methodist pastor and missionary Ray Streutker '48 used his God-given artistic talents as a means of "illustrated" evangelism.

Discipled by Philip Capp '50, grounded by Seattle Pacific College, guided to ministry by roommate Byron Jacobson '46, and saved from bachelorhood by his wife, Lorraine Johnson Streutker '48, Ray spent 30 years in the Philippines. Audiences in isolated coastal villages were held spellbound by Gospel sermons illustrated in vivid oil-based chalks as Ray talked and drew. Sales of his original drawings supplemented his missionary salary. Few would guess that he had limited eyesight so severe that the Army refused him for service in World War II.

Ray and Lorraine"Many have inquired as to how I could draw in spite of my visual deficit," says Streutker. "I cannot explain it myself. It may just flow out in conformity to the mental image already formed.

"Every day I thank God that I can see at all, if not all."

The Streutkers and their four daughters endured fire, flood, robbery, typhoons, earthquakes, and remote frontier deprivation in the service of Christ. During 38 years of full-time and 24 years of part-time service, Ray and Lorraine moved 37 times, including 12 trans-oceanic voyages.

Partners for 60-plus years of marriage, the Struetkers now make their home in Chula Vista, California.

Event Brings Moms Together

Moms DayThe first SPU Mom's Day, November 7, drew 120 mothers (including six alumni parents) and their 120 current students to the full slate of events. Another 20 mothers came for the athletic events only.

"Our goal is to create a vibrant parent community at SPU, one that develops life-long relationships among parents and with the University," says Laila Sharpe, associate director of alumni and parent relations. "This event was one of the first steps in that mission."

Hosted by SPU Parent Council and the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, the day included brunch with SPU First Lady Sharon Eaton, special speaker Professor of Clinical Psychology Beverly Wilson, the Gospel Ensemble, and Falcon volleyball and soccer competitions in the afternoon. Student art was on display and printed questions based on the theme of "Sharing the Journey" helped mothers get acquainted with one another around the brunch tables.

"I felt I was at a women's retreat," said one mom in an after-event online survey, "with the great food, music, (the) feeling of being pampered, and the pleasure of an excellent speaker ... It's nice for a mom to take her child's 'pulse' early in the school year."

Cheri Miller-Burkhardt '79, who lives in Seattle, shared the day with her daughter, Kaelin, a nursing major (see photo). "We bond more when we're laughing about what it used to be like for her back in the olden days," says Kaelin. "It's fun showing her the changes that have happened since she went here."

Her mom was a student when disco was in and white leisure suits were popular. At Mom's Day, Cheri enjoyed the student presentations and hopes one day to see an expansion into other programs such as acting and fashion. "It would be fun, too, to broaden the event to include crafts like a joint mother/student art project," she suggested.

A Dad's Day is planned for the spring featuring attendance at a Seattle Sounders FC soccer game with President Philip Eaton.

A Stronger Taproot Survives Trial by Fire

Firemen work to save Taproot Theatre from flames "There's no way to describe the surreal feeling of watching 100-plus firemen trying to prevent a three-alarm fire from destroying the theatre as your other building burns to the ground," says Scott Nolte '76, co-founder and producing artistic director for Seattle's Taproot Theatre Company (TTC). "But the staff felt this was an unchosen opportunity that God had placed on Taproot Theatre's mission and staff, and that we would become stronger."

The arson-caused fire October 23 did limited damage to the theatre facility, but the extensive water and smoke damage forced much of the theatre to be gutted. The adjacent Roosevelt Building, owned by Taproot, and the four cafes it housed, was a total loss.

Workers gather within Taproots walls before working on gutting and restoring the theatre As news of the fire spread, encouraging emails, donations, prayers, and calls poured in from the Seattle arts community, as well as from around the globe. On December 4-5, TTC presented a "pay as much as you can" reading of "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" in SPU's E.E. Bach Theatre. The event was a fundraiser for the Greenwood (Community) Fire Relief Fund benefitting the small businesses devastated. More than $2,000 was raised.

As part of Taproot's ongoing commitment to its Greenwood neighborhood, a separate $15,000 in burglary and arson insurance coverage went to a reward fund. The person thought responsible was later apprehended and jailed.

On December 31, Taproot unveiled an 89-foot mural, created by local artists, that celebrates the community. The installation runs along the sidewalk in front of where the Roosevelt Building once stood.

TTC's board of directors and staff are reviewing the long-term vision for the now-empty adjacent property, as well as immediate options. "With God's help, the contractors' efforts, and the support of many friends, the theatre will be restored," says Nolte. A renewed Taproot will open the 2010 Mainstage Season January 29 with C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce."

Honor Roll of Donors Available Online

SPU thanks donors for their contributionsThis year, the Honor Roll of Donors is available online, where you can search for your own name and those of your classmates. You can read a message from SPU President Philip Eaton; watch a new, short video taken during Ivy Cutting; learn about current enrollment milestones; and read stories of other donors (including the successful Young Alumni Council). Best of all, when you visit the site, $1 will be given toward student scholarships by an anonymous donor.

All proud Seattle Pacific alumni are invited to check it out! And thank you for giving to the place where world change begins.


Margie Meberg Atkinson '65, a member of SPU's Alumni Board and a vice president of human resources for Young Life (YL), died December 27, 2009, at the age of 66. In a 40-year career with YL, the Fuller Seminary graduate and her husband, Neil, also established YL in Naperville, Illinois; developed YL in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and directed YL in the Mid-America Region. Known as a master of conflict resolution and a pioneer of YL's Women's Leadership Council, Margie is survived by her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.

Jordan Crouch '04, former Centurion and member of SPU's Young Alumni Council, died January 1, 2009, at the age of 28. One of the next generation of marketplace leaders, Jordan not only served in the commercial finance industry, but was a director of the Seattle chapter of Kiros, an organization that helps connect, encourage, and equip Christians in business. His other involvements included youth ministry at Seattle's Aurora Nazarene Church. He is survived by his wife, Staci Goerz Crouch '04, and son Jack.

Did You Know?

Autumn Quarter 2009 enrollment hit an all-time high of 4,000, which includes 3,016 undergraduate students, 956 graduate students, and 28 post-baccalaureate students. The single undergraduate academic program with the largest enrollment is biology.

Twenty-eight percent of SPU's new students (high school and transfers) are from ethnically diverse backgrounds (an increase of 10 percentage points over the previous year).

Thomas Kroon '72 and his wife. Gwenann, were named the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Washington Chapter, 2009 MS Hope Award recipients. The philanthropists were honored for exhibiting community leadership and support for improving the quality of life for Washington residents. Capt. Thomas Kroon recently retired from 32 years in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Homecoming Beckons You Back!

Before you hunker down in your favorite armchair for the quadrennial Winter Olympics TV binge in February, make your plans to attend SPU Homecoming and Family Weekend, January 28-30, 2010.

Just like the Winter Games, Homecoming and Family Weekend features a whole host of exciting events spread over several venues, but without the traffic jams and steep prices.

Now's the time to return to the place where you discovered your special gifts and talents. You know you've been wanting to come for a long time and there's no better year than 2010.

There'll be class reunions, a parent and family reception, classic Falcon basketball competition, a Thalia Symphony Concert, "The Women of Lockerbie" on stage, a Student Talent Show filled with memorable performances, a luncheon with President Philip Eaton that captures the theme of "The Place Where World Change Begins," and much more.

See the complete schedule and registration information.

Young Alumni Invited to Homecoming Dance

Saturday, January 30, 9-11 p.m., Brougham Pavilion. Admission for alumni and guests: $2 per person at the door. Come celebrate SPU's first annual Homecoming Dance for students and young alumni. Semi-formal attire.

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

If you know an SPU alum who would enjoy receiving Alumni Connections, forward this email newsletter copy or urge the alum to contact . Thanks for getting the word out!


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Stay Engaged

Homecoming and Family Weekend 2010 is January 28-30. The Weter Lecture with Associate Professor of Biochemistry Benjamin McFarland is February 2. For these and all the latest in guest speakers, concerts, theatre productions, and other coming SPU events, see the Engage Event Series.

President's Blog Urges You to Consider Big Ideas

Leadership. Joy. Imagination. Writing well. Many rich topics such as these and others on SPU President Philip W. Eaton's mind can be found on his blog, "Saturday Morning From My Study."

Through the blog, he shares his thoughts about big ideas, current events, and cultural trends and concerns. His aim? To let blog visitors consider how the Christian gospel speaks into today's culture in order to make the world a better place.

You're invited to read the posts and book reviews, watch exclusive videos, and hear about special offers relating to the subject matter. Most importantly, you can say what you think about these ideas, and read what others are posting, as well, about "things that matter." Together we can envision a world, the president says, "where hope abounds, where all God's children might flourish."

With Your Help, SPU Application Fee Waived

Know any high school seniors or college transfer students who you would like to recruit for SPU? With your recommendation as an alum, we'll waive their $45 application fee! 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 Admissions or include with the student's admission application.

Ask for the "Alumni Rate" at Fort Casey Inn

Fort Casey Inn offers a special "alumni rate" of $105 a night to all SPU alumni, with a two-night minimum, October 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010. The two-bedroom water view units include a living area with a gas fireplace and a full kitchen. Contact us at 866-661-6604 or and enjoy a beautiful Whidbey Island getaway!

The Envelope, Please

You are an important part of the process to nominate outstanding SPU alumni for Alumni of the Year, the Medallion Award, and the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Criteria for nomination and a nomination form for submitting names are available online.

Please help give wider attention to deserving individuals and to honor those who fulfill the mission and goals of Seattle Pacific. Together, we can bring more names to the table and better pay honor where honor is due. Questions? Call 206-281-ALUM.

Featured Podcast

Listen to the Dean's Speaker Series, School of Business: Dan Brettler, CEO of Car Toys.

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

Tell Us a Story

Know a good story about SPU faculty, staff, students, or alumni? Submit story ideas about academic research, global engagement, interesting careers, and your personal alumni connections to Stories may be used in a variety of ways, from print pieces, to web communication, to media releases, and more.

Campus Jobs

• Administrative Assistant, Athletics. Full-time administrative support to the athletic director.

Loan and Collections Coordinator, Student Financial Services. Full-time support, coordination, and administration of processes and procedures for tuition and student loan past due accounts.

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

Alumni Bookshelf

Going Back to Africa
(Tate Publishing)
by John Nelson '79
(place order at

SPU thanks donors for their contributionsA preacher's kid with a police record, John Nelson has seen some exotic sights. The Rift Valley. The summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. An exorcism on the Arusha plains of Tanzania. A graduate of Rift Valley Academy, this son of parents in full-time Christian ministry has adventures to tell, a wild beauty to describe, and a spiritual awakening to share. Today, Nelson is a photographer and credit union mortgage consultant.

A Logger's Daughter (RainSong Press)
by Joan Rawlins Husby '58
$18 (place order by PayPal at, click "How to Order")

SPU thanks donors for their contributionsRaised a logger's daughter, Joan Husby grew up in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. She lived in a logging community, with all the struggles and pleasures of other rural communities of the time. Then, with a teaching degree from Seattle Pacific College, she married a construction engineer from Fairbanks, Alaska, and joined him for life in the "last frontier." Some years later after the death of her first husband, she and her second husband helped start a small church in rural Washington. This is her memoir. Husby is also the author of eight books for young adults.

Published by: Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119-1950, U.S.A.
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