SU Voice Alumni Blog

SU Voice Alumni Blog

  • Seattle University: An Institution of Distinction

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/27/2011 11:36:28 AM


    I wanted to let you, our alumni partners, know about our continuing efforts to achieve new levels of institutional excellence.  Please allow me to brief you on some of our recent achievements. 

    The total student headcount for fall 2010 was just shy of 8,000- an all-time high for Seattle University. All eight of our colleges and schools are doing well and I am very happy to share with you that the Albers School of Business & Economics, the undergraduate program in the College of Science & Engineering and the School of Law have all attained national distinction and are ranked among the best in their respective disciplines. Seattle University students were honored last year with the university’s 22nd Fulbright Scholar, 14th Truman Scholar and 14th Rotary Scholar—accomplishments that rival Ivy League institutions.   The faculty, students and staff of the university secured $3.1M in ongoing externally funded research at the university.  Not only are we the most accomplished independent university in the Pacific Northwest, we are also its largest and most diverse. We have made solid progress in advancing our Academic Strategic Action Plan.  We completed a revision of the undergraduate learning objectives and launched a faculty-driven process to revise the undergraduate core-curriculum.

    Each college/school with graduate programs began a dialogue to determine in what ways the learning objectives of their program were consistent with the broad educational goals outlined by the Board of Trustees. We successfully engaged in a  university- and city-wide collaborative process to inform and help guide the next stage of the Seattle University Youth Initiative through which we are strengthening our commitment to the youth of our immediate neighborhood.

    We opened the new Law School Annex, and planning is underway for the development of a new science education/research facility. We appointed Victoria Jones, Ph.D. as our first Associate Provost for Global Engagement. To better support our faculty in their research and scholarship, we established the Office of Research Services & Sponsored Projects and staffed it with a director and several key full-time staff as well as increased faculty development and recruiting funding.

    In partnership with Mission & Ministry, the Division of Academic Affairs is taking a lead role in developing the Catholic Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture, which will encourage and support the study, discussion and research on topics connected to our Catholic intellectual heritage. 

    We are clearly and strongly focused on achieving new levels of academic, artistic and scholarly distinction, and, to me, nothing symbolizes that commitment more than our renovated Lemieux Library and new McGoldrick Learning Commons. Opened in September, the library and learning commons are a shining example of our primary reason for being—to educate our students and prepare them to become engaged and active participants and leaders in our world while supporting our faculty and staff in their search for truth and further mastery of their fields of study.

    I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of this most worthwhile educational enterprise.

    Best regards,

    Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D.


    Sister Helen Bendik, O.P., Memorial

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/27/2011 10:44:00 AM

     Sr. Helen Bendik 

    Our university has lost a dear friend who through the '80s and into the '90s performed a vital role on this campus.  From her office desk in the old campus ministry McGoldrick Center, Sister Helen Bendik, O.P. kept a watchful eye on students, faculty and staff alike.   Looking out onto the main entrance to campus, Helen’s smiling face was one of the first things people noticed when entering the campus and her ministry of hospitality would envelop both friends and strangers.    

    Campus Ministry was only a part of Helen’s work and those who were lucky enough to know her remember her dream interpretation workshops, Myers Briggs and Enneagram sessions as well as her longstanding work as moderator of the 4th floor of Bellermine.  A little know fact about her was the pivotal role she played in getting a wrongly convicted inmate in the state penitentiary in Monroe released.  This story became a feature article in the Alaska Airlines magazine.    

    Helen was famous for working back channels in order to retain students who were struggling with the many facets of university life.  A call from Helen could secure additional financial aid, find much needed counseling or work out issues in the residence halls.   

    Helen’s greatest gift was her ability to help anyone and everyone understand how much they were loved by God.  Through her patience and understanding she could sense what people needed and help them remove the obstacles which get in the way of a true relationship with God.  Her mantra was “All Is Gift” and her life reflected that.   Her legacy at SU lives on in the lives of the many students and university members whom she touched.  She will be missed. 

    Mike "The Mayor" Mullen
    Seattle University '89
    Facilities Operations


    SU ROTC in Taiwan

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/12/2011 01:54:07 PM

    Waking up at 0600 in order to get in a good run and enjoy the Hawaiian sunrise hardly sounds like “pre-deployment training”. But I was fortunate enough to spend 8 days in Hawaii and 20 days in Taiwan with 21 other cadets from around the country, learning about Taiwanese culture. In Hawaii I received a crash course in Mandarin and had thorough presentations from my peers on Taiwanese culture and governmental experts.

    The first ten days were spent at the Republic of China Military Academy. We were assigned a Taiwanese cadet and stayed in the barracks with him or her. We joined them in their field training. We also attended a lecture on U.S. and Taiwanese relations that explained, in great detail, the complexity of relations between the two countries.  We explored the countryside, visited night markets, visited Buddhist temples, and even started “the wave” at a baseball game. The main purpose for this cultural trip was to get to know Taiwanese cadets and the Taiwanese culture so that in the future, the US has military leaders with expertise and cultural understanding when dealing in foreign relations. I now have lifelong friends that are future military leaders from the US and Taiwan. I also have a greater respect and understanding for Taiwanese culture.

    Jennifer Davidson, ‘11


    Race to Nowhere Comes to SU!

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/12/2011 10:21:06 AM


    When I attended a screening of the film Race to Nowhere, I had just taken a job as the Director of Marketing for the College of Education. A mother of two academically over-achieving boys, I will admit that I didn’t think this was a movie that would have much impact on me personally. I was very wrong. This is was one of the most compelling movies I have ever seen, and every parent should see it. Whether you have children who are sailing through school or who have challenges, you will be moved by what is really going on in our schools and by the pressures all children and teens are facing today. There’s not a parent out there who doesn’t want the best education for their children. But at what price? My favorite quote from the movie was, “I’m afraid my children are going to sue me someday for stealing their childhood.” Kids don’t play anymore. Learning is competitive from the first day of kindergarten. Sports are no longer fun, they are competitive starting at pee-wee, and the perception is that the longer your child’s resume, the better chance they have to get into selective colleges. If your children are in high school, and you can tear them away from their homework in three AP class or their second sporting practice of the evening, bring them along – and then have a great conversation in the car on the ride home!  Learn more at

    Paula Hermann
    Director of Marketing, College of Education
    Seattle University

    Complimentary tickets available for January 25 screening at SU.


    SU Gets Physical: Fitness Center Underway

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/7/2011 10:20:33 AM

     Fitness Center 
     Happy 2011! Update on one the great changes here on campus. In mid-October, groundbreaking began on a $10 million student Fitness Center, another milestone in the transformation of the university campus. The 21,000-square-foot Fitness Center will adjoin the Connolly Center, with completion by September 2011. 

    The center is one result of the university's highly successful capital campaign that raised more than $164 million. "The Fitness Center is not only is a significant investment in student life but also is designed to achieve LEED Gold status, reflecting the university's widely recognized commitment to sustainable practices and green building design," said Executive Vice President Timothy Leary.

    The Fitness Center will include cardio training, weight training, group exercise studios, fitness assessment, staff offices, lockers and shower facilities, and outdoor recreation equipment. The building will enhance the immediate streetscape with a rain garden and windows that will provide an attractive perspective from the street, especially at night.


    On a Mission!

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/6/2011 02:21:37 PM
    Now's your chance to come out and support the Redhawks while receiving your alumni discount on SU gear! With only five games left in the season, grab your Seattle University t-shirts, gather your family and friends and join fellow SU community members as the men's basketball team face off against Portland, Utah Valley, UC Davis, University of Washington, and Portland State  from February 5 to March 10.

    All Pre-Game Rallies begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Seattle Center Pavilion followed by the games at 7:10 p.m. in the KeyArena. Admission is free, and complimentary refreshments provided with beer and wine available for purchase at the rallies. Alumni and friends may also grab a 15% discount coupon for purchases made at the SU Bookstore on campus and inside the KeyArena.

    We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming game!

    Pre-Game Rallies
    5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
    Seattle Center Pavilion

    Home Games
    All Tip-Offs are @ 7:10 p.m. in the KeyArena
    Sat, February 5 vs. Portland
    Wed, February 9 vs. Utah Valley
    Tues, February 15 vs. UC Davis
    Tues, February 22 vs. University of Washington
    Thurs, March 10 vs. Portland State

    Additional information.

    Ed and John O’Brien Center for Athletic Administration Announced

    Posted by Amanda Kelly on 1/5/2011 10:52:41 AM

     O'Brien Brothers 

    Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., has announced that SU’s building at 1218 E. Cherry St. will now be known as the Ed and John O’Brien Center for Athletic Administration, honoring the great Seattle University basketball and baseball players for their years of supporting the athletics program. The O’Brien Center received a $2.3 Million renovation recently and is strategic for Seattle U’s continued progress towards NCAA Division I excellence.

    The O’Brien twins were further acknowledged during a halftime presentation at Saturday’s men’s basketball game between Seattle University and Idaho at KeyArena  in December. Led by Seattle U Director of Athletics Bill Hogan and John Dougherty, athletics development officer, the O’Briens, who turned 80 years young Saturday, were treated to the crowd’s rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” during the ceremony.

    “The O’Briens are a treasure to Seattle University, and it is fitting that we honor them in this way so that they will always be a part of the athletics program,” Hogan said after the presentation. “Eddie and Johnny played a major role in our return to Division I with their personal involvement in several projects and we wanted to make sure we thanked them for their inspiration over the past 60 years.” 

    Ed and John O’Brien came to Seattle University from South Amboy, N.J., in 1949. After joining the varsity basketball team in 1950, the brothers helped Seattle U post a 90-17 record (.841) in three seasons, reaching the 1951 National Catholic Tournament, the 1952 National Invitational Tournament, and the 1953 NCAA Tournament. The O’Briens were also part of the 84-81 victory over the Harlem Globetrotters on Jan. 21, 1952, in front of a sellout crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. 

    The brothers made as much of an impact on the baseball diamond as they had on the basketball court, leading the Seattle U baseball team to a 62-14 record (.816) from 1950 through 1952, including the 1952 NCAA Tournament. Images of the O’Brien brothers will greet visitors as they enter the O’Brien Center. The athletic administration will move into its new offices over the next few weeks, with the entire move expected to be completed by mid-January.