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Seattle Pacific University
Motto Engaging the Culture, Changing the World
Established 1891
Type Private
Endowment $37.8 million[1]
President Philip W. Eaton
Undergraduates 3,038 (2007)
Postgraduates 756 (2007)
Location Seattle, Washington, USA
47°39′01″N 122°21′42″W / 47.65019°N 122.361667°W / 47.65019; -122.361667Coordinates: 47°39′01″N 122°21′42″W / 47.65019°N 122.361667°W / 47.65019; -122.361667
Campus Urban, 43 acres (170,000 m2)
Colors Maroon and White         
Mascot Falcon
Affiliations Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions, located on the north slope of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, Washington, USA. It was founded in 1891 by the Oregon and Washington Conference of the Free Methodist Church as the Seattle Seminary. It became the Seattle Seminary and College in 1913, changed names again to Seattle Pacific College in 1915, and took its present name in 1977. Seattle Pacific University is a member of the Christian College Consortium.



SPU enjoys a 43-acre (17 ha) campus on the northern slope of the residential neighborhood of Queen Anne Hill, close to the artsy Fremont neighborhood. Some of the massive trees in the campus' Tiffany Loop are the oldest remaining original trees in Seattle. One of these trees collapsed in Winter 2006, which lead to the inspection and removal of 3 other trees in the vicinity. SPU also owns and operates two satellite campuses: a wilderness field station specializing in biology on Blakely Island in the San Juan Islands and former military fort turned retreat facility at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island.


Alexander Hall

Named after the first president of Seattle Pacific University, Alexander Beers, this four-story brick building is home to the School of Theology and Social/Behavioral Sciences department. Alexander Hall is the oldest building on campus, and at the time of the University's founding it was also the only building on campus.

Demaray Hall/Clocktower

Demaray Hall is the main academic building at Seattle Pacific University. It houses many classrooms as well as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Student Academic Services and Student Financial Services. Upper Administrative offices are located in Demaray as well. Demaray Hall is named for Calvin Demaray.

The Clocktower in front of Demaray Hall was given to Seattle Pacific University by the class of 1966 (then Seattle Pacific College). It has many symbols on the front which students speculate as to what they mean.

Gwinn Commons

Gwinn Commons

Gwinn Commons is home to three different areas of interest. The most-used portion of Gwinn Commons is the Crossroads, which is on the second floor. The Crossroads at Gwinn Commons is the dining hall on campus, which is managed by Sodexo. Long lines can form around Gwinn Commons during the lunch and dinner meal times as students are all trying to enter. Upstairs in Gwinn Commons is the University's most prized multi-use location. A pair of large rooms, the Queen Anne Room (named after the neighborhood that SPU is in) and the Cascade Room (named after the mountain range that can be seen from Upper Gwinn Commons) can hold up to 500 people. Many different functions are held in Upper Gwinn, ranging from group, a Wednesday night worship service, admissions events, lectures, board meetings and more. There is also a smaller dining room called the Presidents Dining room, which is used only at the President's discretion. The final location in Gwinn Commons is the Corner Place Market, or C-Store, which is not connected to any of the other parts of Gwinn. The C-Store holds a full Subway and also a convenience-style store.


Seattle Pacific University Library

The four-floor Seattle Pacific Library was completed in 1994. It houses over 200,000 volumes and 1,300 print periodicals, and grows by 6,000 new titles a year. Students and faculty have access to the collections of the Orbis Cascade Alliance and Summit, comprising over 30 million items held in Washington and Oregon academic libraries, including the University of Washington. In addition to printed reference materials, the library also hosts many electronic sources, including abstracts and indexes from ProQuest Direct, EBSCOHost, First Search, and other online services, and is available at all computers in library and on campus, including several computer labs in library.

In Summer 2007, the library began a series called "Thursday Food for Thought." At the weekly lunchtime readings, campus authors (faculty and staff) read from their published works.

Science Building

As the newest building on campus, the Science Building houses biology, chemistry and some psychology labs for the University. Built in 2003, it is the most advanced building on campus, complete with an electron microscope, cold room, fully contained greenhouse and LEED Certification. This building has provided many learning opportunities for students, especially ones involved in the Pre-Professional Health Sciences programs. SPU's Pre-Med track has become widely known for its 90-100% acceptance into medical schools right out of SPU.


Seattle Pacific University has four residence halls. The university offers other on-campus residence options, such as the Robbins and Wesley apartments, and other small suite- or apartment-style living facilities for continuing students. All residence halls feature single-gender floors. The four residence halls are Ashton Hall, Hill Hall, Moyer Hall, and Emerson Hall.

Freshmen are required to live on campus in the residence halls unless they are living with family. Meal plans are required for all students living in the dorms. Students may leave campus housing when they are 20 years old, have junior class status, have petitioned and been approved to live off campus by Campus Housing, or are graduate students.

Ashton Hall, opened in 1965, is SPU’s largest residence hall with more than 400 students on 12 floors. Three of the floors are male only. It was named in honor of Philip F. Ashton, Ph.D., a psychology professor (1929–1971). The hall is located on the highest point of SPU's campus. Many rooms have views of the campus and the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Annual Ashton events include the Ashton Cup lip-sync contest, the Ashton Art Show, and a formal ball. In previous years the ball has been held at the Space Needle, on an Argosy Cruise, and at Seattle's W Hotel. Ashton Hall is also home to the Orangemen of 6th West, the floor with the most visible school spirit on campus. The orange, jumpsuit-clad men cheer at SPU Men's Basketball games and have many long-standing traditions.

Emerson Hall

Emerson Hall, opened in 2001, is the campus's newest residence hall, featuring suites, card-access security, a main lounge with gas fireplace and Northwest wood beams, and an exercise center. Emerson also has a "Bridges Program", which lets students participate in intentional programs and conversations related to global issues and cross-cultural relationships. Emerson events include a quarterly Coffee House, the Emerson Film Festival, and the Spring Banquet. The hall is named for the street on which it resides.

Hill Hall, which opened in 1962, located in the upper middle of the campus just steps from Gwinn Commons and the SPU Library, is known as the "family" hall for its comfortable atmosphere. It features a newly updated main lounge, the REX athletic center, and the Hill Hall “beach”, a grassy area behind the hall popular for outdoor recreation and sunbathing. Hill Hall events include the "Decades" Skate, a retreat to Camp Casey, and an annual ball. It is named for the Reuben Hill family who donated property to the school for its expansion.

Robbins Apartments

Moyer Hall, opened in 1953 and remodeled in 1983, is located in the center of the campus on the edge of Tiffany Loop. The smallest of the traditional residence hall, Moyer was named in honor of Jacob Moyer, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and dean (1925–46). The hall's annual events include a fall retreat, an ice-broomball game, a citywide scavenger hunt, and an all-hall banquet.The 05–06 school year also included a new event called The Experience Moyer Project (EMP), which featured musical talent from the hall as well as a variety of other activities.

Robbins Apartments, opened in 1966 as on-campus, furnished one- and two-bedroom units with a kitchen and bathroom. The apartments are more independent from the school than traditional residence halls, both in attitude and its somewhat removed location from the rest of the campus. Annual events include the Robbins Thanksgiving Dinner, a winter retreat, the Queen Anne Collect-a-Can food drive, and an annual broom-ball game. The hall is named for Board of Trustees member and chair, Marion B. Robbins, who served 1946–1960.

Other apartment complexes, including Bailey, Cremona, 37/49 W Dravus, Falcon, and other buildings known by address rather than name are owned and maintained by SPU. These complexes differ from Robbins mainly in social structure due to the lack of internal hallways in most complexes. These apartments are closer to campus but provide a more independent-living situation. These apartments provide a great aggregate living environment among students. The exceptions are the 35 and 34 West Cremona apartments, which were remodelled in 2008–09 and 2009–10, respectively, and the Wesley Apartments at Cremona and Dravus, which are not owned or maintained by SPU but have been staffed by residence life since 2007. The Wesleys still have many features in common with SPU-owned apartments including peer advisors, SPU security response, and campus communication (campus extensions and internet).


As a university deeply committed to the Christian faith, Seattle Pacific University has recently updated its ministry program, developing the Office of University Ministries and Center for Worship. These programs focus on being involved in the Christian story and history, bringing people together in community, and investing in God’s work. The programs’ 37-Five project enables students engaged in the ministries to give through the University to nonprofit organizations they are passionate about by donating money to organizations that are nominated by students.


  • New Student Convocation: has its roots in a 1932 convocation where new students and faculty gathered to celebrate the opportunities and challenges of the new academic year that lies ahead.
  • 37-Five Project: Starting in the 2007–08 school year, the CFE program has been replaced in favor of a new project called 37-five. This project is a completely voluntary program where students who participate in on-campus worship events can apply to direct funds to non-profit organizations through the Office of University Ministries and Center for worship.
  • Homecoming: First instituted in 1935 at the school’s 42nd Commencement, Homecoming is now celebrated in early Winter Quarter and hosts class reunions, athletic events, drama and music performances, a student talent show, and other gatherings of alumni, students, and faculty.
  • Tradition: Tradition represents the SPU community's Christmas celebration. Begun in the late 1980s, Tradition takes place in the Tiffany Loop during the first week of December and focuses on the birth of Christ through hosting a Christmas tree-lighting, carol singing, sleigh or horse rides, readings of the Christmas story, and live nativities.
  • Ivy Cutting: A part of SPU graduation since 1922, graduates receive a cutting from a long ring of ivy, symbolizing the graduate's ties to the university and new life found afterward.
  • Baccalaureate: Occurring the night before Graduation, this service of worship and reflection is planned by the senior graduating class and featuring student speakers.
  • Commencement: Commencement celebrates the scholarship, service, and Christian growth of graduating seniors, and degrees are awarded for both undergraduate and graduate level students.
  • Social Venture Plan Competition: Beginning in 2007, SPU annually sponsors a voluntary Social Venture Plan Competition in which students develop projects that can make a difference in the world. By requiring students to develop business proposals that are later judged by Seattle-area small business owners, the Social Venture Competition develops participants' entrepreneurial skills.


Student enrollment

(Statistics are based on Autumn Quarter 2008)

  • Total enrollment: 3,891
    • Undergraduate students: 3,007
    • Post-baccalaureate students: 35
    • Graduate Students: 884
    • Continuing Education: 4,266 (Summer 2008)

Class size

  • 79.9 percent of the Autumn Quarter 2008 undergraduate classes had enrollments of 30 or less.
  • Institutional Student-Faculty Ratio 14:1 (Based on Common Data Set definition)

Recent history

1915: Alexander Hall - first building of Seattle Pacific College
  • Autumn Quarter 2008 — Seattle Pacific University welcomed the largest number of students to campus in its history.
  • September 22, 2005 — Seattle Pacific University announces higher selectivity in the admission process. A record number of applications and a capacity enrollment at Seattle Pacific University means increased competition for admission.
  • August 29, 2005 — Seattle Pacific University earned high rankings in several college guides released this month. U.S. News & World Report's 2006 “America's Best Colleges” ranked SPU #4 in the category “Best Values” of colleges and universities in the West. The formula used to determine the best value compares a school's academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid.
    • In another U.S. News category, Seattle Pacific ranked in the top 15 colleges and universities in the magazine's Western region, which includes institutions from Texas to Hawaii. SPU ranked #12 in the category "Master's Universities," institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master's programs and limited doctoral programs.
    • In addition, The Princeton Review named SPU a “Best Western College”. The Review's Western region includes 122 colleges and universities from Texas to Hawaii. The ranking lists are based on surveys of more than 110,000 students, and feedback from counselors, students, parents, educators, and Princeton Review staff across the country.
  • September 20, 2001 — a press release by the university states that they have once again hit record enrollment.
  • September 21, 2000 — a press release by the university states that they have hit record enrollment.
  • In Autumn Quarter 2003, a 64,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) Science Building opened, and the Otto Miller Hall (formerly the Miller Science Learning Center) underwent a major renovation. Both now enable undergraduate students to conduct research with faculty members in state-of-the-art facilities.
  • In 1998, a unique “Common Curriculum,” an innovative approach to general education, was launched during the Autumn Quarter.
  • In 1994, as part of its successful $25 million capital campaign, SPU opened a $10 million Library that now serves as the heart of the academic program.
  • In 2000, Seattle Pacific University began hosting the quarterly IMAGE: A Journal of Arts and Religion, which features artists, writers, and musicians that approach their work from a religious standpoint.

Academic profile

The SPU Clock Tower

Academic program statistics

  • Undergraduate Majors - 60
  • Undergraduate Minors - 42
  • Master’s and Post-Master's Degrees - 12
  • Doctoral Programs - 3

Academic structure

  • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Fine Arts
    • Humanities
    • Science and Engineering
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Schools
    • Business and Economics
    • Education
    • Health Sciences
    • Psychology, Family and Community
    • Theology

Graduate studies

  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Ph.D.)

Athletic profile

Men's Varsity Athletics

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Track & Field

Women's Varsity Athletics

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Gymnastics
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

Famous alumni

  • Jake DeShazerDoolittle raider, missionary to Japan
  • Edward Dillery — U.S. ambassador, Consulate General to Fiji (retired)
  • Gordon Fee — Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Biblical scholar, textual critic
  • Bob Funk — Chairman of the board, CEO, and founder of Express Personnel
  • Ken Bone '82 — Head Basketball Coach at Washington State University
  • Eugene H. Peterson '54 — author of The Message
  • Marilyn (Ricker) Meberg ‘61 — one of the original core speakers for "Women of Faith" arena conferences. Ten years later, she is still speaking at the largest women's conference in America. Author of over ten books.
  • David Wong ’61 — neuroscientist instrumental in developing Prozac
  • Major General Gaylord T. Gunhus ‘62 — U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains (retired)
  • Doris Brown Heritage '64 — five-time world cross-country champion, coach, USA Track and Field Hall of Fame
  • Samuel Lin, M.D., ‘65 — Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, Retired
  • James Gordon Linde., '60. Teacher
  • Denny Rydberg ‘67 — president of Young Life
  • Larry Wall '76 — programmer, linguist, author, most widely known for his creation of the Perl programming language in 1987
  • Rick Delamarter, M.D., ’77 — orthopaedic surgeon, director of the Spine Institute, Santa Monica, California
  • Glen Lurie ‘87 — AT&T president of national distribution
  • Marcus Hahnemann '93 — Goalkeeper for Men's National Soccer Team, Goalkeeper for Reading Football Club
  • Dirk Been '98 — Survivor contestant, season one
  • Alex Thomason '00 — The Apprentice contestant, final four
  • Jeff Probst, attended Autumn Quarter 1987, host of Survivor
  • Jen Montzingo '05 — The Littlest Groom contestant; appears regularly on Little People Big World as a family friend
  • Kristen Eddings ’06 — 2006 Miss Washington (top 10 in Miss America)
  • Members of the band Acceptance
  • Members of the band Barcelona

Presidents of SPU

Alexander A. Beers, Ph.B., M.A. 1893–1916
Orrin E. Tiffany, Ph.D. 1916–1926
C. Hoyt Watson, Litt.D. 1926–1959
C. Dorr Demaray, Litt.D 1959–1968
David L. McKenna, Ph.D. 1968–1982
David C. Le Shana, Ph.D. 1982–1991
Curtis A. Martin, Ph.D 1991–1995
E. Arthur Self, Ph.D. 1995–1996
Phillip W. Eaton, Ph.D. 1996—


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 

External links


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