Pacific Lutheran University

Patrick Rodriguez via Wikimedia Commons

Tacoma voters have less than a month to decide whether to raise the city’s minimum wage, and if so, how much. Thursday evening, debaters at Pacific Lutheran University will give their best arguments in favor and against a $15 minimum wage.

John Froschauer / PLU

The Pacific Northwest has deep Norwegian roots and nowhere was that more evident than at Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday.

His Majesty King Harald V of Norway came for a visit to the school that was founded 125 years ago by Norwegian immigrants. The King was in the Northwest to speak at PLU's Commencement ceremony in the Tacoma Dome, but made a quick trip to the university first, where he was welcomed by hundreds of students and and  other well wishers from around the region.

LISTEN: A sound portrait of HM King Harald V's visit:

Courtesy of Zach Powers / Pacific Lutheran University

Lt. Col. Celia FlorCruz, 55, has done a lot in her life. She graduated from West Point at a time when women were just being allowed in. She flew a Medevac helicopter in a war zone. She’s now a top officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and is married to JBLM I Corps Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl.

What she’s never done, until now, is speak about her personal experience as a victim of sexual assault, both in college and in the U.S. Army. 

George Wesley & Bonita Dannells / Flickr

A federal ruling has paved the way for adjunct and part-time faculty at Pacific Lutheran University to unionize. The decision also sets a new precedent that could affect religiously-affiliated colleges and universities across the nation, including Seattle University.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

AP Photo

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU.

Pacific Lutheran University will soon become the first Northwest college to offer a course of study in the Holocaust and other genocides.

The school will allow students to begin pursuing a minor in Holocaust and genocide studies starting next fall, says PLU professor and historian Bob Ericksen.

John Froschauer

There comes a time in people’s lives when an event changes everything in their world.

For Jerry White, that moment came when he was 20, while studying abroad in Israel. That’s when he lost his leg.

White was hiking with friends when he stepped on a landmine.

“Suddenly, I was hiking, and boom! I have no foot,” he said.

Curtis Cronn / Flickr

The local chapter of the Service Employees International Union has filed a petition on behalf of adjunct faculty members at Seattle University.

The adjunct faculty members, which include part-time, temporary and other contingent instructors, want better teaching conditions, including higher pay.

It’s taking longer for Pierce County to bounce back from the recession than counties to the north, such as King and Snohomish. But economists at Pacific Lutheran University expect the economy in Tacoma and the region to show some improvement this year. 

PLU economists Martin Wurm and Neal Johnson have been crunching the numbers on everything from Pierce County’s housing market to retail sales to come up with an economic forecast. 

The 17th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features jazz vocalist Cheryl Jewell and her trio--Thursday, December 5, 2013 from noon to 1 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus.  Cheryl will perform Christmas selections with the University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner.  The event will be hosted by KPLU’s Nick Morrison and broadcast live on KPLU.  A live video stream will also be available at

Pacific Lutheran University

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU, where on-air staff are affiliated with SAG-AFTRA.

Faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University begin voting Thursday on whether to unionize. It’s the result of a monthslong fight that has pitted PLU’s lecturers, adjunct professors and other non-tenure track instructors against the administration.

Gexydaf / Flickr

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU. The station’s on-air staffers form the university’s only unionized unit.

In a decision with national implications, labor relations officials have ruled that certain faculty at Pacific Lutheran University should be allowed to form a union. This case is a test of some new provisions in labor law, and is being followed by other universities around the country.

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU. KPLU’s programming staffers are the university’s only unionized employees.

Pacific Lutheran University is trying to fend off attempts by members of its faculty to unionize, and the outcome could have national implications.

The push is coming from “contingent faculty,” the non-tenure track professors, lecturers and instructors who teach about a third of PLU’s course credits. Those people get paid significantly less than regular faculty, and their employment status is much shakier.

Keith Lucas

Smiles flashed and tears flowed when the mod of yellow jerseys swarmed the pitcher’s circle after the Lutes won it all at the 2012 NCAA Division III Softball Championships.

(Video of incoming PLU president Thomas Krise by journalists at PLU's The Mooring Mast student newspaper.)

Pacific Lutheran University has a new president. Thomas W. Krise takes the helm at the private university this June.  He replaces Loren Anderson, who’s retiring.  

Krise comes to PLU from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he’s been the dean of the school of arts and sciences. Krise, an Episcopalian, is the first non-Lutheran to head PLU since it was founded in 1890.

PARKLAND, Wash. — The weight of Wednesday's snow on the roof apparently caused cracks to appear in the ceiling of the building that houses the swimming pool at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland.

Charla Bear / KPLU

“There was such a shift from what I thought life was going to be, to what it turned out to be. That’s where things really started for me.  It’s where I started growing up, I would say.”

In early September of 2001, Kevin Finch moved from his childhood home in Puyallup, Wash., to the dorms at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) to start his freshman year in college. His plan was to finish in 4 years with a degree in something related to health care, an idea that began to unravel on just his second day of class.

Courtesy of PLU

One of the longest serving college presidents in western Washington is stepping down.  The President of Pacific Lutheran University plans to retire effective a year from now, June 1, 2012.

Loren Anderson made the announcement Tuesday afternoon  to faculty and staff at the south Tacoma campus.  Anderson has led Pacific Lutheran University for the past 20 years.  (The university holds the broadcast license for KPLU-FM.)

Loren and MaryAnn Anderson have announced their intent to leave Pacific Lutheran University in the spring of 2012, at the end of the academic year.

“The time is right for the university,” Loren Anderson, 65, said. “It’s a perfect time for new leadership as another era of progress and development is about to open for PLU.”

Gail Pettis and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner perform at the KPLU Christmas Jam
Justin Steyer / KPLU

The 14th-Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, our much-anticipated annual free holiday concert and live broadcast, was held on the Pacific Lutheran University campus on December 9, 2010.

This year we featured acclaimed jazz vocalist Gail Pettis, as well as the PLU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Robert Miller. They performed classic holiday favorites from "This Christmas" to "Baby It's Cold Outside," and closed the program with an audience sing-along of "White Christmas."

PLU Communications

Update - Thursday, Nov. 18th,  4:30 pm

This update from PLU Communications:

The Pierce County Fire Marshal has ruled that yesterday's small fire in the Morken Center was accidental. It was caused by a faultycontroller in a heating and air conditioning unit.