From athletics to advancement, Tom Box left a legacy
Longtime SPU employee Tom Box — whose career spanned Seattle Pacific University departments from advancement to athletics — died Oct. 10, 2018, at the age of 66.
Though he had long battled cancer, the cause of death was a stroke. “We knew his days on earth were numbered,” said Jannie Box, his wife of 44 years. “I would waken every day praising God for each one.”
“Tom’s deep faith, radiant smile, and thoughtful leadership made a lasting difference at SPU,” said Seattle Pacific President Dan Martin in an email to the campus community.
Box, a Biola University undergraduate and 1993 graduate of SPU’s MBA program, led fundraising for a new library when he was director of development in the 1990s. From 1998 to 2008, he served as director of athletics, returning in 2015 to serve as interim athletic director for one year. He was vice president for University Advancement from 2008 to 2013 and president of the Seattle Pacific Foundation from 2013 to 2015.
“The standard of excellence within Falcon athletics reached new heights under Tom’s professionalism, unconditional service, and grace,” current Athletic Director Jackson Stava said.
In 2001, Box helped start the women’s soccer program. During his tenure in athletics, Falcon squads regularly qualified for NCAA championship events in women’s and men’s soccer and basketball, gymnastics, cross country, track, and rowing.
Jannie, a 2009 graduate of Seattle Pacific Seminary and volunteer pastoral associate at First Free Methodist Church, said Box loved his family and was “an amazing handyman who could fix anything.”
“We knew we were loved and cherished,” she said. “His success in life was that his kids were strong believers in Jesus. And when our kids left home, he invested in encouraging other young people.”
Box, a 2004 recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence, is survived by his wife; two sons, including BRAD BOX ’02; a daughter, MANDY BOX SMITH ’99; his mother; a sister; eight grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.