Nine professors retire in 2022
The ranks of SPU emeriti professors grew this year when nine professors retired in June. Added together, these professors taught at the University for more than 275 years, impacting the lives of thousands of SPU students across the decades.
“We are grateful to our retiring colleagues for their many years of dedicated service to our students and the mission of SPU,” said Provost Laura Hartley. “Their commitment to excellence in the classroom and the care they showed to students are what make SPU such a wonderful place to thrive and learn. We wish them every blessing as they enter retirement.”
Read about the professors who stepped away from the classroom at the close of this academic year:
Miriam Adeney, PhD
Associate Professor of World Christian Studies | 46 Years
During Miriam Adeney’s 46 years as a professor of world Christian studies, she introduced generations of students to the richness of the global Christian faith.
She has been and continues to be a global Christian leader who advocates for global equality for women of all faiths, earning her many accolades, including
the Lifetime Achievement Award from Christians for Biblical Equity. Her prolific publications (nine books and over 150 articles) and global leadership, including
serving as president of the American Society of Missiology, are evidence of her profound influence.
After retirement, she will continue to travel the globe and be a tireless interpreter of global Christianity. She will also continue to spend time with her three sons and their families, including nine grandchildren. We have been honored and are deeply grateful to have been led by such a generous scribe of the kingdom, who has passionately and faithfully held out for us the treasures of the Christian faith.
Tom Amorose, PhD
Professor of English | 26 Years
Tom Amorose came to SPU in 1996 to serve as the first director of Campus Writing, a role he kept for 16 years. His publications in the areas of writing-program
administration at small colleges and universities have been anthologized and used as the basis for at least one national conference. But Amorose’s first love, early English literature, has been the steady rhythm in his teaching throughout his career. His senior-level course on Shakespeare has helped many graduating English majors use the Bard of Avon’s plays as a lens to look back on their college experiences and forward into their post-graduate lives. Tom also took part in
several iterations of SPU’s general-education program design and served on many faculty task forces and committees.
Amorose’s next phase involves spending more time on his current research area, the rhetoric of public lands in the American West, and possibly starting a nonprofit consultancy to help private forest landowners institute best practices for their forest holdings.
Bruce Baker, PhD
Associate Professor of Business | 13 Years
Having had careers as a tech entrepreneur, corporate executive, ordained minister, and scholar, Baker is that rare “quadruple-threat” professor. His teaching and writing explore the intersection of technology, culture, business, and ethics — all through a theological lens.
Baker served two “tours of duty” in the School of Business, Government, and Economics — before and after earning his PhD in Theology at University of St.
Andrews in Scotland. He taught a range of management, ethics, spirituality, and theology courses, and is a frequent contributor to the ongoing theological conversation around faith and entrepreneurship. He has been active in organizing and catalyzing conversations among practitioners and theologians on
cutting-edge issues in finance and technology. Much of Bruce’s scholarship translates biblical concepts — such as gleaning and spiritual disciplines — into modern business practices. His current research focuses on ethical and spiritual issues related to artificial intelligence. He serves on the boards of AI and Faith, Scholar-Leaders International, and Reconciliation Ministries, which supports Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking efforts.
Besides spending time with family and writing, Baker will spend much of his retirement hiking and biking around the Pacific Northwest.
John Bond, EdD
Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision | 14 Years
Bond joined the School of Education faculty in 2008 as a professor in the Educational Leadership Department. His primary role has been teaching principal and superintendent certification courses, supervising interns, and engaging with public school leaders throughout the state. His scholarship includes
20 authored or coauthored articles and book chapters, along with many presentations at professional conferences. In recent years he has served as the
department chair and as a doctoral faculty member.
Prior to coming to SPU, Bond worked in the Northshore School District for 36 years, beginning as a fifth grade teacher and ending with eight years as assistant superintendent. In between, he served as an assistant principal for four years and a principal for 16. This spring marks Bond’s 50th year as an educator. As he transitions into retirement, he is looking forward to devoting more time to family and hobbies, including carpentry, auto mechanics, and fixing up an old house with his wife.
Robert Drovdahl, PhD
Professor of Educational Ministry | 40 Years
In his decades at Seattle Pacific, Drovdahl has been a 4.0 undergraduate student, a member of the wrestling team, the director of Camp Casey, a professor, a member and a chair of numerous faculty committees, an acting dean, and an associate dean. He received the President’s Award for Excellence and Faculty Service Award, and was named Top Prof by Ivy Honorary and Advisor of the Year. His service as a longstanding member and past president of the National Association of Professors of Christian Education testifies to his leadership in the discipline.
Recently Drovdahl could be found on the pickleball courts with faculty and staff he recruited, or leading a weekly student Bible study on the Psalms. His School of Theology colleagues will miss his kindness, wisdom, humor, and perspective, and have threatened to drag him back to be with them.
Drovdahl will be spending his retirement traveling with his wife, and enjoying time with his two grown children and five grandchildren.
Alberto Ferreiro, PhD
Professor of History | 36 Years
Since Alberto Ferreiro joined the History Department 36 years ago, he has authored over 200 academic publications on European medieval history, including 12 books. Notably, his Ancient Christian Commentary (Vol. 14: The Twelve Prophets) has been published in a half-dozen languages.
Over the years, Ferreiro has taught at least 230 classes. Between 1989 and 2019, he took over 900 students from SPU and other universities to study at the
University of Salamanca, Spain. In 1991, he delivered the lively Weter Lecture, “Sexual Depravity, Doctrinal Error and Character Assassination in
the Fourth Century: Jerome against the Priscillianists.” In March, the Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, dedicated a section of the library in honor of Ferreiro for donating his prized book collection. He will give an inaugural lecture there in May.
After retirement, Ferreiro will continue leading Carmelite pilgrimages in Spain and contributing at conferences in Europe, and even return to SPU to teach the History capstone.
Sharleen Kato, EdD
Professor of Human Development and Family Studies | 36 Years
Since 1986, Sharleen Kato has been an exemplary and grace-filled member of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences — as faculty member, program
chair for Human Development and Family Studies, and FCS director. Highlights include program development, focus on global studies, scholarly writing and
publications, and significant service to the department, University, professional associations, and community. She created a new major, Human Development and Family Studies, and oversaw the FCS Secondary Education program. Her interest in global studies led her to develop the Philippines study abroad program, spearhead the minor in Global Development, serve as senior international officer in the Office of Global Engagement, and represent international interests for the Washington Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (WAFCS) in the International Federation of Home Economics. Since 2013, she has authored 10 textbooks.
Kato received the 2021 WA State Leader Award from WAFCS and the SPU Senior Faculty Servant Award in 2020, and was the 2015 FCS Alumna of the Year.
Robbin O’Leary, PhD
Professor of Mathematics | 32 Years of Service
Since her arrival at Seattle Pacific in 1990, O’Leary has faithfully served the SPU community and Mathematics Department. A three-time department chair, she
also served on the Faculty Status Committee, Faculty Budget and Stewardship Committee, and Faculty Affairs Committee. She has blessed the community time and again with her musical talents, playing cello and singing for multiple community events throughout her years at SPU. Her students will tell you that she is both demanding and fair, demonstrating genuine care for them not only as learners but also as people. Many will never forget how she used Jell-O to teach calculus!
After teaching more than 20 different courses — many of which she developed — O’Leary is looking forward to enjoying her retirement with her husband, and visiting their sons and their families. She plans to stay involved at Seattle Mennonite Church, where she has attended since arriving in Seattle. She is also looking forward to reading some non-math books, working on needlepoint projects, and having more time to play cello.
Mark Walhout, PhD
Professor of English | 35 Years
In 1987, after a Midwestern education (a BA from Wheaton College and an MA and PhD from Northwestern University), Mark Walhout brought his expertise
in American literature and literary criticism to Seattle Pacific’s English and Cultural Studies Department. An avid reader, Walhout has frequently published reviews in Books and Culture, and has accrued ever-broadening academic and cultural interests, including post-9/11 fiction, fictionalized biographies of Jesus, literary hoaxes and plagiarism, Christian academic freedom, and the work of postcolonial critic Edward Said. Walhout’s latest work is a dual biography of Said
and Charles Malik, titled Arab Intellectuals and American Power (2020).
Walhout served as the chair of the English Department for over 20 years. His colleagues deeply appreciate his ethic of faithful and selfless service, to which he would prefer you not draw attention. While Walhout’s plans for life after retirement remain somewhat undefined, for such a thoroughly inquisitive cultural critic they are certain to include more research and writing.