A Legacy of Service and Leadership

For those of you who do not know, I attended Seattle Pacific University for four truly wonderful, amazing and life-changing years. This post, however, is not in regards to my time at SPU. Rather, it is about a true icon and leader of the University: President Phil Eaton. It was announced, at the start of the school year, that President Eaton (loving called Phil-Dawg by the students) would be stepping down shortly after the end of the school year. Dr. Eaton has lead SPU for the past 17 years as our President and has done more for the University, its students/faculty and the surrounding community than a blog post could ever fully convey.

As we welcome in the new president-to-be (only the 10th since SPU was founded), we remember all our beloved Phil-Dawg did and how much he means to everyone who has been associated with SPU in the last 17 years. I have fond memories for Dr. Eaton attending various student functions, speaking at the Centurions brunch, sending out encouraging emails as well  as the opportunities I had to talk to him in person.

About a month ago, he sent out a video to all the students, and it is one of my favorites. It truly shows how much he cares about all students…past, present and future.

He has definitely been a tremendous leader, powerful mentor and admirable roll-model. SPU is extremely privaledged to have had a president as loyal, hard working and amazing as Dr. Eaton. The effect of his vision and leadership can be felt in every aspect of the University.

All that being said, it is with eagerness and anticipation that the SPU community prepares for its new president…Dr. Daniel Martin. Here is the email that was sent out today regarding the new president. I remain hopeful for the University and the changes that are to come.

April 10, 2012

I am thrilled to announce to you that just moments ago the Board of Trustees formally elected the 10th president of Seattle Pacific: Dr. Daniel J. Martin. I wanted you, as a member of the extended SPU community, to be among the first to hear this news.

You will find more details about Dr. Martin, who is currently president of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on our website and in the press release. But I want to convey to you my tremendous personal excitement about this appointment.

The search committee and the Board of Trustees came to the unanimous conclusion that Dr. Martin was exactly the right person to lead Seattle Pacific as we continue to live out the vision for engaging the culture and changing the world articulated so effectively by retiring President Philip W. Eaton for 17 years.

Dr. Martin’s academic credentials are impressive; he has a proven track record of excellence in higher education administration; he is well liked and respected by those who work with him; and he has a strong affinity with Seattle Pacific’s mission, history, and unique character. I am very eager for you to meet and get to know the new SPU president after he takes office July 1, 2012.

President Eaton has told me that he is delighted with the selection and will assist in every way to make this a seamless transition.

Dr. Martin says that he was drawn to SPU “because of its ability to actually pursue and fulfill its mission in ways not present at other institutions. What is more inspiring and attractive perhaps,” he continues, “is the belief that SPU’s mission can truly change our world.”

I believe we are about to embark on a wonderful new chapter in the history of SPU.

To Dr. Martin: Welcome to SPU, we are excited to have you! I look forward to seeing the fresh light and perspective you will bring to our beloved University. May you continue to guide and shape the future to SPU for many years to come.

To Dr. Eaton: What words can be used to truly express my gratitude for everything you have done? As I think about it, there is not much else I can say…other than a very genuine, thank you. May God continue to bless you in your future endevours. You will never be forgotten.


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