Alumni Blog

National Poetry Month

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on April 5, 2018 at 2:04 PM PDT

Fr. Steve Hands Crossed


Each summer we showcase Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.’ s reading list and it’s always a big hit. As a university president, it should come as no surprise that Fr. Steve is an avid reader, but did you know he is also a poetry aficionado? In honor of National Poetry Month, we spoke to Fr. Steve about his passion for poetry and got the inside scoop on his favorite poems and those poets he thinks you should discover.


Q: Fr. Steve, what are your five favorite books of poetry?

A: Collected Poems by Philip Larkin

  • The Stream and the Sapphire by Denise Levertov
  • Still Life in Milford by Thomas Lynch
  • Collected Poems 1945 – 1990 by R. S. Thomas
  • The Grace of Necessity by Samuel Green

Q: What is your favorite poem?

A: “A Night in Ireland” by Anne Porter in Living Things

Q: What makes that your favorite poem?

A: It is a condensed story of great depth, beautifully expressing experience, dream, youth, and faith.  It has a wonder quatrain:

“He said You’ve come too soon

Go back into the towns

Live there as love’s apprentice

And God will give you his kingdom”

I can’t beat that for expressing the very purpose of my life in a simple, profound way!

Q: What is it that you enjoy about reading poetry?

A: Reading poetry for fifteen minutes each day is for me like prayer.  Poetry takes me below the surface, quotidian, experience of life into its more interior, intimate, holy depths.  I think of poetry as going beneath the soil of life to the tender roots of what is emerging in my life, the more nuanced, personal sources of life.  This is a holy place in which to dwell.  In my experience, there is nothing like poetry, when consistently read, for allowing access to this sacred depth.  Reading poetry every day teaches a person how to read poetry; it explains itself when faithfully practiced.

Q: Who is a poet you think is under the radar that you’d like other people to know about?

A: Mary Stewart Hammond, especially her Entering History.  I discovered her poetry from a display of multiple copies of this book in a New York City bookstore, bought it out of curiosity, and found a treasure.  I would read anything she wrote.

Exploring Seattle University’s Global Reach: Alumni Around the World

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on April 5, 2018 at 12:04 PM PDT

Equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to thrive as global citizens in an interconnected world is both our passion and a strategic priority. Students are challenged to push beyond their habitual boundaries by taking part in experiential learning across geographical and cultural frontiers. Drawing inspiration from our Jesuit Catholic heritage, we aim to educate reflective global citizens who respond with intelligence and heart to the pervasive global issues of our time.

Seattle is an international city, capturing the world’s attention with global companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks headquartered here in the Emerald City.  It should come as no surprise that Seattle U attracts a number of international students looking to take advantage of our world class education and desirable location. This year, we have 767 international students from 61 countries on campus.

As those students graduate, our global alumni network grows and now includes nearly 6,000 international alumni in 92 countries. Accomplished professionals who are passionate about Seattle U, they remain important members of the SU community. As Seattle U continues to come of age as a global university in a dynamic city, our international alumni provide valuable feedback, insights and experiences that help Seattle U understand how we can more effectively engage with the world.

With their generosity of time and resources, our international alumni help to prepare our students to be global professionals and excel in an international marketplace. One of those alumni is this year’s University Service Alumni Award winner, Dr. Peter Lee, ’64, from Hong Kong. Dr. Lee was one of Seattle U’s earliest international students and for more than two decades remains one of our most actively engaged international alumni. Passionate about building bridges between China and the United States and helping our students increase their understanding of the impact of East Asian thought and tradition on contemporary global issues, Peter helped fund the Asian Studies Program and established the Peter L. Lee Endowed Lectureship in East Asian Culture and Civilization to advance student understanding of Asian culture and influence in a global economy.

SU remains focused on keeping our international alumni connected and engaged with their alma mater. Over the years, representatives from Seattle University have visited those areas of the world with high concentrations of Seattle U alumni, including Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand, with more recent trips to China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. During these visits, we provide opportunities for alumni to network and share their memories about Seattle U with each other. You can see pictures from some of our most recent trips in our International Alumni Facebook album.

Digital networks provide a great opportunity for international alumni to connect and we are pleased that our alumni have created Seattle U groups on WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook

For international alumni staying in the Seattle area, we have the International Alumni Chapter which hosts professional development and social events that meet the unique needs of our international alumni.

So to our international alumni, know that no matter how far from Seattle life has taken you, you remain an important part of the Seattle University community. And if you come back to visit Seattle U, please come see us in the Alumni Building so we can welcome you back to your alma mater.