The Good Word

Grads Make World Better Through Service

by Dave Anderson, S.J.

Good Word Fall 2010

Recent graduate Tess Abrahamson-Richards, seen here at commencement with President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., will spend the next two years working with Teach for America.

Chris Joseph Taylor


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Each spring, Seattle University's Jesuit community has the opportunity to host a breakfast for graduating seniors who will be working with volunteer service organizations such as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Peace Corps. This fall, recent graduates will be serving one or two years in locations such as Port au Prince, Haiti, Boston, El Salvador, Washington, D.C., and Nicaragua. They will volunteer in orphanages, homeless shelters and L'Arche communities.

"I feel very fortunate to have come to know many students … who arrive at SU open and eager to the many experiences they will have both in and out of the classroom."
- Dave Anderson, S.J.

One recent graduate who will do service is Tess Abrahamson-Richards, who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Tess, a Costco Scholar and recipient of the President's Award for the highest GPA in her class, will spend the next two years with Teach for America on the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico.

When I look back over this past year, I feel very fortunate to have come to know many students such as Tess who arrive at SU open and eager to the many experiences they will have both in and out of the classroom. They attend their classes, listen to their professors, read their textbooks, prepare for exams, write papers and form lifelong friendships. There is an understanding that their education is not just about them as individuals and what they can gain. They are aware of the gifts and talents God has given them, appreciate how valuable their education is and want to do their best in making a difference in our world. As Jesus responded to the needs of the people who asked for his healing, he knew he needed the support and help from his family, friends and community. He invited co-workers or disciples to help him in healing, teaching and reconciling.

As followers of Jesus, we, too, are his disciples and co-worker's. And we are fortunate to be able to join Tess and other members of our Seattle University family—alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends—who, in service to others, are building a just and humane world.

—Dave Anderson

Father Anderson is university chaplain for alumni.



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