Justin Santiago, ’17: Creating Community for our Veterans
Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, MBA '18 on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 1:16 PM PDT
Justin Santiago, ’17, was a Master at Arms (military police officer) Petty Officer 3rd class (MA3) in the U.S. Navy before finding his way to Seattle University. “I was transitioning to life outside of the military and working as a driving school instructor. When I came across a student who was attending Seattle University, it all fell into place.” Justin shared, “The student said it was by far one of the best programs and schools he had enrolled in, so I decided to check it out.”
Justin considered the University of Washington, but it wasn’t the right fit. After Justin toured campus and spoke to professors and students, something clicked and he knew this was where he wanted to be. “I really liked the values of the university and how they focused on developing the whole person,” Justin shared, adding that he really identified with the school’s slogan at the time, “Inspired from above, ignited from within.”
During his time at Seattle University, Justin was a member of the Association of Latino Professionals For America and became involved in Seattle University’s Veterans Group. SU’s Veterans Group is based out of Seattle University’s Outreach Center, which serves as a resource and space on campus for members of the veteran community.
“I assisted with the first wreath dedication ceremony. This was incredible,” Justin said, explaining that the Outreach Center was looking for ways to commemorate Memorial Day. “I was inspired by wreath dedication ceremonies I’d seen in the Navy and I thought it would be something meaningful the university could do to honor the fallen.”
Today, Justin works at DocuSign as a member of the Financial Services team and is the president of the newly developed Veterans Alumni Group.
According to Justin, the main objective of the Veterans Alumni Group is to provide outreach and resources to alumni and students who are veterans, active duty and their dependents. Justin said, “We want to reach out to members of the SU veterans community and provide a professional network as well as support for those looking to transition to civilian life.”
The Veterans Alumni Group is looking to grow its base and engage more community members. As president, Justin encourages those interested in helping to solidify the mission of the group and learning more to reach out to PJ Graziani, Assistant Director in the Seattle U Alumni Association, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrate Our Veterans During Homecoming
Seattle University is honoring our veterans during Homecoming November 8-11. From fundraising opportunities and service projects to cheering on the Redhawks, there are lots of ways to celebrate our veterans during Homecoming. Check out just a few highlights below.
Saturday, November 10
Homecoming Day of Service
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Seattle U/International District
One way that you can join our veteran community is to participate in Homecoming Day of Service with the Mission Continues. The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Participants will conduct a neighborhood litter pickup and planting operation in support of the Danny Woo Garden. Register here.
Robert Bennedsen Veteran's Day 5K
The run is free with a suggested donation of $15. Attendees who donate $15 or more will receive a limited edition SU challenge coin, while supplies last. Proceeds benefit the Veterans Emergency Fund. Bring your kids and dogs and run or walk the course. Register here.
Sunday, November 11
Men's Basketball Mega Rally and Game
6-7 p.m. Rally | 7 p.m. Game
We are showing our gratitude to ALL military & veterans by giving them 4 FREE tickets to our men's basketball game and rally. Sign up for your complimentary tickets and make sure to bring your Military ID in order to retrieve your tickets.
A complete list of Homecoming activities is available here.