Night Against Procrastination

SPU will be holding our first ever “Night Against Procrastination” (or NAP) event on Wednesday, 2/24 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. 

IMG_2018NAP events have been happening across Europe and the US. This year, SPU will join the ranks and take a stand against procrastination.  Our goal is to get as many students as possible in the Ames Library working on end of the quarter papers, projects, and exam prep–to avoid procrastination and have fun getting their work done!

If you are interested in getting involved–perhaps sitting at a study table for an hour, helping with advertising and promotions, or working at the check-in desk–please contact Peter Moe (

Fun will include hourly drawings for gift cards; pizza and snacks; and yoga and Zumba study breaks. In addition, Writing Center and Study Tables tutoring will be available, as well as faculty and reference librarians. Here’s the (tentative) schedule:

6-8:30 p.m.

–Writing Center tutors and Study Tables for UFDN, PSY/SOC, and MAT

8:30-11 p.m

–Writing Center tutors and Study Tables for A&P, BIO and CHM

Study Breaks: Yoga and Zumba breaks on the hour; raffle drawings for gift cards at local coffee shops; pizza break at 10; and a grand prize drawing for lunch with President Martin.

Film Friday: The Last Days of Disco

Disco music is such heavenlythe_last_days_of_disco ear candy. But it’s just not hip anymore—now only a parody genre, associated with ugly clothes, sleazy clubs, clear beer, and white powder. Its recent reputation is deserved but also undeserved, and The Last Days of Disco does what it can to reveal the strange silver lining behind all the nonsense. In this film, disco is important to trust-funders, book publishers, lawyers, ad-men, and everyone else who comes in contact with it, and seems to offer something like grace to all who can receive it.

A loose but clever story drifts behind the proceedings, following a yuppie group of friends, living in Manhattan after college. These characters bob in and out of frame, swaying to a sublime soundtrack of Carol Douglas, Blondie and Andrea True, each of them on screen only long enough to deliver their share of witty banter. They love the club: “It’s what I always dreamed of…cocktails, dancing, conversation, exchange of ideas and points of view…everyone’s here—everyone you know, and everyone you don’t know,” gushes Josh, budding defense attorney, to a pal. A real contrast to the banal churn of the workweek, indeed.

Most of them want to fall in love with each other, and some get halfway there, via the sexually liberated dance floor, and other inhibition lowering substances. But they don’t arrive at love, or they realize they aren’t set to arrive any time soon. “I’m beginning to think that maybe that old system of people getting married based on mutual respect and shared aspirations, and then slowly over time earning each other’s love and admiration…worked the best,” muses one character, Alice. “Well, we’ll never know!”, shrugs her friend in reply. Their aims are, on the whole, poor. But they do see the target. They all still believe in love.

They’re all staying alive—is that all? No. The club changes them too, and not entirely for the worse. There they experience all the world has to offer, and then the need for grace, at the end of the party, and for every other burnout. And, importantly, they never stop talking their way through the excellent script in front of them. Through toils and tears, their prattle often turns to wisdom, and they start to live that wisdom, even if they don’t much understand it. One hardly ever sees a film that displays such charity, and good faith in the possibility of living a life touched by grace. At the end of The Last Days of Disco, I found myself grinning forbearingly at the mad, crazy, dance party going on all around me.

– Zachary McNay

Check out Last Days of Disco at the Library – Call Number: PN1997.L378 1999 DVD

Creative Conversations – Spring 2015

Join us this Spring for Creative Conversations. Bring your curiosity and join in conversations about the discovery, creation, and sharing of knowledge.

CC Spring 2015

Where: Library Reading Room, Main Floor (Wheelchair Accessible)
Cost: Free

Christa Pierce, BA ’13
Thursday, April 30th
3–3:50 p.m.

Did You Know How Much I Love You? Children’s Book Publishing with Christa Pierce

SPU Alumna Christa Pierce will be telling the story of how she signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins during her senior finals at SPU, and sharing what industry knowledge she has learned since. Come join the conversation if you love art, writing, or kid’s books, and are interested in learning more about publishing, agents, and editors.

Doug Strong, Theology
Thursday, May 7th
3–3:50 p.m.

Rediscovering our Evangelical Hertiage: A Tradition and Trajectory of Integrating Piety and Justice

In the book by this name published forty years ago, Donald Dayton “showed that many evangelical Christians in the 19th century didn’t distinguish between a private faith focused exclusively on personal salvation and radical concern for the poor and oppressed…It wasn’t an evangelical faith concerned only about heaven and the life hereafter but also about bringing the kingdom of God into this world.” [Quoted from the “Foreword” by Jim Wallis.] Doug Strong, who had the honor of writing a new introduction and conclusion for the republication of this classic text, will be presenting second edition of this book.

Chris Hoke, MFA ’13
Thursday, May 14th
12–12:50 p.m.

Monasticism in Lockdown America: Re-Purposing Prison Cells for Monastic Renewal

As a chaplain in a Washington State county jail for the past ten years, much of Chris’s time is spent with men whose lives are spent in an environment with many of the major ingredients for a monastery: all men, wearing the same clothes, set apart from temptations and their daily hustle of addictions and distractions, deeply examining their lives, while spending most of their days in small bare rooms called cells. At the same time, Chris has been exploring monastic spiritual formation in his own life: community, humility, repentance, quiet, prayer, study and deeper transformation by mercy. He has explored both in practice with inmates, and in writing (in Image Journal’s “Good Letters” blog), how we can appropriate monastic practices inside the hard shell of the America’s dismal penal system. He is considering developing this into my second book.

Dyana Herron, Image Milton Fellow
Thursday, May 21th
12–12:50 p.m.

Laughing in the Dark: Using Humor to Write About (Seriously) Tough Topics

Each year SPU and Image Journal award a one-year writing and teaching fellowship to a postgraduate writer working to complete his or her first full-length fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry manuscript. During this Creative Conversations talk, current Milton Fellow Dyana Herron will discuss her project—which explores the experience of having a family member sentenced to federal prison—while focusing on both the advantages and potential pitfalls of using humor to approach painful or delicate material.

Annual Friends of the Library Lecture

Re-Designing the Bible for Reading, and How Kickstarter Made It Possible

– From the Friends of the Library Newsletter, Spring 2015

In mid-2014, book designer Adam Lewis Greene launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first independent book publishing endeavor, Bibliotheca. According to Adam,Bibliotheca aims to free biblical literature — a cornerstone of Western culture and storytelling — from the dense, encyclopedic typographic conventions to which it has been almost exclusively relegated for centuries, and to give it fresh expression as a multivolume set of elegant, traditionally designed books conducive to enjoyable reading. The fundraising goal was quickly surpassed 40 times over, totaling over $1.4 million and making Bibliotheca one of the top 50 Kickstarter campaigns to date out of over 197,000.

[vimeo 99418117 w=377 h=211]

Being more or less a student of the age-old disciplines of type design, typography, book design, book illustration, calligraphy, and print, Adam is fascinated with the dissemination of ideas via the book and the letter, as well as the history and future of writingand print. Confronted with an increasing tendency in design culture toward the superficial away from the substantive, he is interested in finding and creating artifacts that possess intrinsic beauty and goodness, and he thinks a well-made book is just about the best example of this. In this lecture — which is free and open to the public — Adam will talk about his vision for Bibliotheca and how he is implementing it. More information about the project is available from Bibliotheca.

Who: Adam Lewis Greene
What: “Re-Designing the Bible for Reading, and How Kickstarter Made It Possible”
When: Thursday, April 23, 7:30–9 p.m.
Where: Upper Gwinn Commons

100 Year Anniversary of SPU’s Name Change

This year, in 2015, SPU celebrates one hundred years since changing its name from “Seattle Seminary” to “Seattle Pacific College” – later to become “Seattle Pacific University”.

The Board of Trustees of Seattle Seminary met on March 10, 1915. The minutes of that meeting record that they discussed the hiring and retaining of faculty; voted to retain Alexander Beers as president of the school and his wife Adelaide as preceptress (head teacher); heard a report on the finances of the school; and discussed the continuation of the College Course.

College level classes had been offered at Seattle Seminary beginning in 1910. In that year, a few freshman classes were added to the catalog, with a tentative goal of establishing a junior college program. Enrollment in the new program was strong enough for the Board to consider a full four-year program instead of a junior program, and they began to move in that direction. New classes were added each year to keep up with the original freshman class. The Free Methodist denomination, however, opposed the move toward a college program, and delayed the curriculum for a year. Despite this initial opposition from the denomination, the Board persisted and the first college class graduated in 1915.

On March 10, 1915, the Board of Trustees decided that the college program should be continued, and that a name change was needed to reflect the new reality of the institution. According to the minutes from that meeting, the new name decided on was “Seattle Pacific College.” The text of the minutes along with a transcription follows:


After much discussion with reference to the nature of the college course so presented in the school it was moved and carried that the College Course of 4 years be continued in the school. The change of the name of the institution being ordered on account of the college work being done, after much discussion and on motion the Secretary was instructed to cast a ballot bearing the ^new name of the institution. The name of on the ballot read – “Seattle Pacific College”.

The “Seattle” and “College” portions of the name are self-explanatory. However, the minutes are silent on the origin of “Pacific,” and the archival record gives no indication of where the full name came from. Tradition had it that C.S. McKinley, president of the Board of Trustees in 1915, came up with the name, but no written record has been found to substantiate the claim.

Despite its uncertain origin, the name “Seattle Pacific” has now remained with the institution for 100 years.

– Adrienne Meier, University Archivist