Autumn 2019 class notes

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News and updates from alumni


BOB FOWLER ’61 is living at the Dallas Retirement Village in Dallas, Oregon, where he moved to be near his brother. Bob taught the third and fourth grades for 27 years. He has been married for 25 years and has three sons and 16 grandchildren.

THE REV. RICHARD and LELIA GARRETT COGHILL ’68 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last December at their Walla Walla, Washington, home. The inseparable pair met in the Seattle Pacific College dining hall and wed in 1968 in Sultan, Washington. Until his retirement in 2015, Richard served 45 years as a pastor. Lelia, who retired in 2012, worked 37 years in public education as a teacher and principal. Their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons also live in Walla Walla.


WALLACE CLAUSEN ’71 penned his first book, Last Words of Christ — A Call to Understanding, published by Deep River Books. Written from a narrative, “final form” lens in which the Bible’s broad, contextualizing nuances surface, the book points to the commencement of the kingdom of God on earth. Wallace retired in 2010 after working 39 years in education, serving 18 of his last 26 years as a principal in Kent, Washington.

SUSAN ANDERSON DOW, MA ’76 retired in June after four decades teaching special education at three schools in the Monroe School District. She was the longest-serving special ed teacher at Monroe High School, her final role. Her husband, Bill, is also a retired teacher. They have two children and five grandchildren.


STEVE “TWIGGS” REED ’80 is the athletic director for Corban University in Salem, Oregon. Prior to spending the last three years as athletic director at Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas, Steve had been a director for Young Life on the West Coast and in Singapore for 30 years. While with Young Life, he coached cross country and track and field athletes, with three of his runners competing in the U.S. Olympic Trials. He and his wife, Michelle, live in Salem.

RITCHIE MCKAY ’87, head coach of Liberty University’s men’s basketball team in Lynchburg, Virginia, received the 2019 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the top coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. He helped the Flames shatter many records last season, winning 29 games, a school record. The Flames also celebrated their first NCAA Tournament win and first trip to the tournament’s Round of 32. Ritchie played basketball for the Falcons as an undergraduate.


MARTHA KALNIN DIEDE ’92 directs Syracuse University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. Martha previously ran the Coulter Faculty Commons for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Western Carolina University. Prior to that, she taught for 13 years and chaired the English department at Northwest University. She has published two books and a third is under contract. After graduating from SPU, Martha earned her master’s and doctorate degrees at Baylor University. She resides in Fayetteville, New York.

KYLA MEREDITH-BOUCHER ’95, serves on the board of directors for 2Live2Cure, a nonprofit supporting young adults living with cancer. Kyla and her extended family founded the organization after Kyla’s sister was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at age 38. They have partnered with Thrive Cosmetics and other businesses to provide cancer-patient kits. Kyla has worked in the nonprofit and public service sectors for most of her career, including Spokane Parks and Recreation Department, Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inland Northwest Women’s Business Center, and the Washington State Employment Security Department. She lives in Spokane, Washington, with her husband and two daughters. Learn more at


DEVIN LONG ’01 is the managing director of strategy, planning, and client relationship management for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s corporate real estate group in San Diego, California. He earned an international MBA from the University of South Carolina. During his prior tenure at Bank of America, he held executive leadership roles and helped integrate the real estate portfolio when Countrywide Financial and Bank of America merged.

KELLY SHAW ASH ’05 is the vice president of government relations for the California Grocers Association, serving as the trade association’s chief lobbyist and managing its advocacy efforts. Prior to joining CGA, Kelly worked for three years as the capitol director in the California State Assembly and spent two years as deputy political director for the Personal Insurance Federation of California.

COLBY WILSON, MA ’05 is the president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico. During his 18-year career with the organization, Colby has held senior-level positions throughout the United States. In his last post in Lawrence, Kansas, Colby led a $5 million capital campaign for the Don & Beverly Gardner Center for Great Futures for middle school and high school youth. He and his wife, Mandy, a special-education teacher, have two children.

STEVE SAKANASHI ’08 is the founder of Sekai Creator, a Tokyo-based entrepreneurship bootcamp for Japanese high school and college students. He and his team offer workshops in global leadership and entrepreneurship. Steve is also co-founder of Zubits Japan and a partner at Labs8, a Seattle-based firm that helps new ventures rapidly build and scale. Steve lives in Tokyo with his wife, Joy, and their two sons.

MEGAN SWANSON CHAO ’09 is the U.S. executive director and co-founder of Hope for Life Ministry. As the nonprofit celebrates its first decade, a second rehabilitative home is under construction to house 32 Rwandan boys from the streets. Hope for Life is also launching a new community outreach program.


THOMAS BOBSON ’11 is the marketing director for Ackley Beverage Group, a family investment company based in Seattle that provides financial and professional resources to the Northwest wine industry. Thomas supports a portfolio of brands with a focus on digital marketing, e-commerce, and distributor efforts. He has extensive marketing experience in the beverage industry.

AMANDA BUDKE ’13 is the development director for the Kirkland Arts Center. She coordinated the center’s gala, which raised $185,000 for education programs last year. Amanda has worked with nonprofits for nearly a decade. She recently married BRICE BUDKE ’10.

JULIE VIESELMEYER, PHD ’18 is a clinical sport and health psychologist in Seattle. She currently works at Swedish Medical Center’s Bariatric, Metabolic, and Endocrine Clinic, where she helps patients make health-related behavior changes and achieve weight-loss goals. Julie has served on the Executive Committee for the American Psychological Association (Division 47) ­— Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology for the past five years, including as president of the Running Psychologists and secretary-treasurer. She also serves as chairman of the board of directors for ZGiRLS, a nonprofit organization and sport-based development program for 11- to 14-year-olds, headquartered in the Seattle area.

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