illustration of people moving a larger quarter by tommy parker

Page 2 of the Fall/Winter 2020 Response states that “Seattle Pacific College was renamed Seattle Pacific University on June 5, 1977.”

I graduated from SPU in 1976. The name was changed from SPC to SPU just before we walked across the stage to graduate. Was it not official until 1977?

Donald Mills ’76
Eastsound, Washington

Editor’s note: We checked with our university archivist and historian, Adrienne Thun Meier, who shared this about the change from Seattle Pacific College to Seattle Pacific University:

The 1976 commencement program makes no mention of a name change occurring during that ceremony, and publications put out after the 1976 commencement (such as the June ’76 and August ’76 Response magazines) refer to the school as Seattle Pacific College.

The 1977 Commencement program (dated June 5, 1977) has both the College and University seals and titles on the cover and has a section entitled “University Ceremonies” which included singing the old College alma mater and the new University alma mater plus “changing of seals” and “changing of colors.”

The June 1977 Response described it this way:

“In a ceremony paralleling the flipping of the tassle [sic] … Seattle Pacific College officially became Seattle Pacific University through the formal changing of the institution’s seal and colors and the singing of the new alma mater. About 50 percent of the senior class, however, reluctant to switch their allegiance from the tried and true, chose to have their diplomas show that they are SPC graduates.”

The seniors that year had the choice of a diploma that read “Seattle Pacific College” or “Seattle Pacific University.”

The article, “Tuition reimagined” in the Fall/Winter issue of Response contains an erroneous boast: “SPU is the first private university in the Pacific Northwest to [lower tuition], in an effort to make college more accessible to students and to make the financial aid and college payment process easier for families to predict.”

This tuition change was made by Warner Pacific three years ago. A nod to a sister Christian university would seem to be in order.

Al Zimmerman ’69
Coos Bay, Oregon

Editor’s note: Thank you for writing. You are correct that Warner Pacific lowered their tuition in the fall of 2018, ahead of Seattle Pacific University. We regret the error in stating we were the first in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for the soul-enriching experience that was the Fall/Winter issue. From the story on Dr. Steve Mitchell to the piece on Megan Warth, to the entire “Hindsight is 2020” collective, the perspectives, insight, and knowledge from those interviewed was enlightening and uplifting.

Do continue to dig for these precious nuggets of wisdom, as that is what makes the world go around.

Keep up the good work.

Sue Favor ’03
Los Angeles, California

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