John Burbank
John Burbank
Photo courtesy of SPU Photo Archives

For JOHN BURBANK ’53, the decision to attend Seattle Pacific College was easy. Like Tom Cooper, he served in the Seabees — the Navy Construction Battalion — on the Japanese island of Okinawa during the war.

Back in Seattle, however, Burbank lived just down the street from SPC and the First Free Methodist Church. His father, Charles W. Burbank, served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1942 to 1948, and again from 1954 to 1963.

“Where else could I go to school?” Burbank thought at the time. “It was a good place to be. I felt right at home.”

Joining the influx of World War II veterans in the late 1940s, Burbank majored in education at SPC and even brought his experience as a Navy photographer with him to Seattle. On many days, he would attend class in the morning and then help teach photography skills in the afternoon.

After graduation in 1953, he taught in the Edmonds School District for a few years before becoming a principal — a position he served in for the remainder of his career.

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