The Watercooler

Irish Ambassador visits SU

Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010


His Excellency Michael Collins, Irish ambassador to the United States, speaks during a visit to campus this week as Associate Professor of English Sean McDowell looks on. It was the first visit to Seattle by an Irish ambassador since 1987. In light of this momentous occasion, why don’t we dust off a Vox Populi question from St. Patrick’s Day:

What is Ireland's greatest gift to civilization? Send your response to



Sue Hogan, director of marketing and communications in the School of Theology and Ministry, writes:

"The gift of the arts."

Bookmark and Share

Ms. Beary Andersen goes to Washington

Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010

White House Seal SmallerErin Beary Andersen, ecumenical and multifaith campus minister, was invited to the White House on Monday, June 7, for an event to advance interfaith and community cooperation on college and university campuses across the United States. The gathering was hosted by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the White House Office for Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Erin has promised The Commons a full report on the experience when she returns. Congratulations!

Bookmark and Share

Tell us how you're using your service leave and get a free tote

Posted on Friday, June 04, 2010

NaomiHave you been using your Community Service Leave? If so, let us know what you've been doing and what you've been getting out of it by e-mailing: The first 10 people to respond receive a free Commons tote bag.

Jessica O’Connor, administrative assistant in the Office of the Registrar, writes:

“I have been volunteering in a kindergarten classroom in Rainier Beach with a literacy organization called Page Ahead. I read books and do art activities. I have been doing this for the 2009-2010 school year, but as a new employee at SU, my first official community service leave will be next week.”

Laura Hauck, graduate programs coordinator in the Albers School of Business and Economics, writes:

“I volunteered as a tutor at Washington Middle School through the SU College of Education Children’s Literacy Project.  For an hour a week during spring quarter, I worked with students in a reading class. It was a great fit with my schedule and I’m so glad to have had the support to do this.”

Bookmark and Share

Remembering our fallen heroes

Posted on Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial DayCadets in Seattle University's R.O.T.C. program pay their respects to alumni who lost their lives in service to their country at a ceremony on the Friday before Memorial Day. You can share your words of gratitude with our veterans by e-mailing

Casey Corr of Marketing Communications shared these words that he wrote for the editorial page of The Seattle Times in 1999 to pay tribute to his parents, both veterans of WWII, by focusing on a garment  issued to a young Navy pilot, his dad:

Wearing the past. It's now 56 years old, issued to my father when he won his wings as a Navy aviator. It spent years in a closet till I started wearing it at age 14. Though the leather has been scuffed and the collar, lining, fringe and zipper have been replaced, I feel a little thrill every time I wear the jacket.

To me, it represents the courage of the men who went off to war, the battles they won, and later, the enormous transformations in their lives and in society. Like thousands of other service men and women, the war brought my father to Seattle, where he decided to stay after meeting a Navy nurse at the Sand Point Officers Club.

Theirs was a generation that spent childhood in the Depression and young adulthood in combat. As they settled, they sought to prove themselves as citizens of a great democracy, transforming cities and suburbs with homes, malls and freeways. They expanded our schools and universities. They built the world's strongest economy. They busted through antique attitudes about race and gender, art and literature, and injected new ideas into government and culture.

They put clothes on our back, food in our guts, honor and values in our lives. We owe them big time. 

Bookmark and Share