By Gideon Strauss

No move is an island.

Bad analogy, bad literary reference, but true.



Friday was Move Day for the De Pree Center. Months of preparation were involved, started by a conversation we had with our hosts, The Fuller Foundation, who had decided to move a few blocks over to new offices. We soon discovered that moving is all about relationships.

Have wheels; will travel.

Have wheels; will travel (1): Leaving Plaza Las Fuentes.

Have wheels; will travel. (2)

Have wheels; will travel (2): Arriving at 493 Walnut Street.

One of the surprising results of the set of relationships that constitutes the De Pree Center’s move ecology was a very generous gift of Herman Miller furniture from The Fuller Foundation to the De Pree Center and Fuller Seminary. This gift will enable us to furnish our new basecamp on Walnut Street in Pasadena, which otherwise would have been very difficult: and to furnish in a way that is coherent with the fact that we are the Max De Pree Center for Leadership, Max having been the CEO of Herman Miller.

Just the beautiful bones left

What my former office would have looked like if I never did any work in it

Another surprising result of our relationships is the availability of our new space itself, Fuller Theological Seminary (of which the De Pree Center is a part) having found us a new location. We hope this space will allow us to shape a workplace in which the very furnishings communicate a welcome.

Coffee By The Books

Coffee by The Books

Move Day = Coffee Day. Our new home is next door to coffee. Phew. A once and future part of the De Pree Center ecosystem …


Surveying the emptying rooms

The brunt of this move so far been born by my colleagues, Cathy Beaton and Stephanie Struck, by our liaison with The Fuller Foundation, Emily Sexton, and by the movers carrying our furniture today, M3 Office, and our liaison with them, Cynthia Garcia. Without the communication between these four people, this move would have been a disaster. Instead, Phase One (moving around the corner from our Plaza Las Fuentes offices to an interim upstairs space at 493 Walnut Street, and storing most of our furniture in anticipation of the work to ready the downstairs space) went about as smoothly as could be imagined.



Last week’s move reminded me once again that “it takes a village.” While the buck usually stops with someone in particular, very nearly every human endeavor depends on a social ecology, a network of relationships, to get done. No less so the relatively ordinary project of moving an organization from one shop to another than the great and grand responsibility of raising a child.

Gideon Strauss is the executive director at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership and also editor of Fieldnotes Magazine.

Editor’s note:This article is part of an ongoing series related to the De Pree Center’s relocation. Read the rest of the related articles: Moving Out Loud 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. We would love to hear from you about people, businesses, or other organizations we can interview or feature. Please email The Editor at Fieldnotes Magazine.


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