SU Voice Alumni Blog

Leading from the Heart: Pope Francis and Ignatian Leadership

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 3, 2014 at 12:04 AM PDT

Never before have we seen the kind of world-wide attention and popularity that Pope Francis has drawn in his first year of the papacy. In fact, he ranked #1 on Facebook as most talked about in 2013. From washing the feet of youth in detention during Holy Thursday mass (including two Muslims and two women), to his famous “Who am I to judge?” statement on the inclusion of homosexuals in the Church, Pope Francis is showing the world the values of being a true Ignatian Leader.

As graduates of Jesuit education, we look to Ignatian Leaders such as Pope Francis to set the example for being men and women for others as we lead and live in contemporary life. Simply put, what makes his example of leadership so special is that he leads from the heart. 

So, what exactly do we mean by "Ignatian Leader"?

The Jesuits offer an approach to leadership, often called Ignatian or Ignatian-Inspired Leadership, which flows against the tide of most contemporary and dominant leadership models. Some might say that it is quite counter-cultural here in the United States. This approach to leadership is grounded in what author Christopher Lowney calls the four pillars of self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism, and lifts up leadership in a very different light. It proposes that:

  • •“We’re all leaders and we’re leading all the time, well or poorly.”
  • •“Leadership springs from within. It’s about who [we are] as much as what [we] do.”
  • •“Leadership is not an act. It is [our] life, a way of living.” 
  • •“[We] never complete the task of becoming a leader. It is an on-going process.”

Therefore, an Ignatian-Inspired Leader (regardless of religious affiliation) understands and appreciates the rich gifts of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises, and strives to grow in self-knowledge, cultivate a healthy indifference that allows him/her to adapt confidently, honestly loves those he/she serves and leads, and humbly strives and works with others to shape an inspiring future. 

We are excited to see how Pope Francis will lead in the years to come!

Magis, in partnership with Seattle University Alumni Relations, encourages you to learn more about Ignatian Leadership on May 8th as part of the SU Advantage Networking series. Seattle University President Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J. will be joined by a diverse panel of alumni from varying professions to share insights about their lived experience of leadership, including an opportunity for structured networking.

Also, if you happen to be a young alum in your twenties or thirties, consider applying for Magis'; Contemplative Leaders in Action, a two year alumni leadership development program which blends spiritual formation and secular leadership training. Applications will be available starting April 15th, so be sure to mark your calendar!

Battle of the Bands - Celebrating 25 Years

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 6, 2014 at 2:02 PM PST

 This February 28th - March 2nd Seattle U is reigniting the tradition of Homecoming. When you think of Homecoming, you might think of a dance and the music that goes with it. While we don't suggest getting dressed up in your formal best, we can assure you that we've got your musical needs covered this Homecoming with Battle of the Bands: Game of Tones on Friday, February 28th.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Battle of the Bands, when up to a dozen student bands will battle it out in a showcase of amazing Seattle U talent competing for various prizes and bragging rights. Professional musicians will evaluate the performers and attendees will vote for their favorite. We want alumni there singing, cheering and dancing along. You could almost think of it as your Homecoming dance. Tickets are limited - get yours today.

In Honor of Veterans' Day

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 6, 2013 at 11:11 PM PST

Seattle University has produced many graduates who’ve gone on to serve our country and make us proud. Thank you to all of you for serving your country.

In honor of this Veterans’ Day, we are  featuring one alumnus and veteran who has dedicated his time to helping other veterans navigate the benefits process.

Don D. Whedon, Sr., ’73, is a retired member of the United States military. He has served across different branches including the Navy, Army and Air Force in both Vietnam and Grenada.

After Vietnam, Whedon returned home to attend college and play football. Whedon took classes at different colleges and universities until finally coming to Seattle University where he studied psychology.

“The Jesuits who taught at Seattle University really cared about the students as individuals and cared that they learned the material. At other schools it seemed like the professors didn’t care about the students, but not at Seattle University. Fr. Goldberg, Professor George and Dr. Strickland knew so much.”

In 2005, Whedon retired from the military and completed veterans’ service training. He now works as a veterans’ service officer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Whedon acknowledges that his education at Seattle University helped direct his career goals. “The Jesuit values are to give and to serve and that’s what I do. It keeps me alive and it keeps me healthy. I’ve always been one to help someone get the help that they need. I’ve worked a lot with homeless veterans identifying those most in need of help and raising money for Catholic Community Services to find homes for veterans.”

Though not a lawyer, Whedon is well versed in the veterans’ claims process. If there are any alumni who are looking for help navigating litigation or claims with the Veteran’s Administration, Don  Whedon would like to help.

Danicole Ramos, '16: Alumni Call to Action

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on October 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM PDT

If there is anything that Seattle University has shown me in my first year it is that it values the spirit of community. My roommate defined it best when he told me, “Danicole all people want in college is to feel important and make others feel important too.”

I remember rehearsing our Men’s Kahiko for Hui 'O Nani Hawaii’s luau. Our instructor, Erin and Taryn made the boys run through the dance. During one of the run throughs, Erin yelled, “Stop! Someone is off and doing the moves all wrong but I don’t want to say who it is. I don’t want to hurt their feelings.” Being that this was the first lu’au I’d ever be part of, I was so excited and enthusiastic. I told Erin, “It’s okay. We’re family. Just say who it is. It’s not a big deal.” Then she looked at me and said, “Okay, Danicole it’s you.”

But that’s why having a community is so important, especially in college, when you’re by yourself and away from home. A community watches out for you, they ground you, and pick you up when you fall.  And that is why you are all here leading successful careers and lives. It’s because during your time at Seattle University, whether it was a club, a professor, or Jesuit, someone saw something special about you before you even realized it.

Take McDonald’s for example. It’s a restaurant that is all over the world. Of course, there is your usual menu of French fries and a big Mac, but each McDonald’s across the world has a unique menu. Where Hawaii has Portuguese sausage, spam, eggs, and rice, a place like Italy serves their sandwiches on cibatta bread, In The Philippines, they serve longanesa for breakfast and in Canada, you can get a McLobster roll. McDonald’s does this in hopes that they can attract consumers to their restaurant by appealing to their culture and the background of their consumers. It is that idea where Seattle U develops their community. At the core, Seattle U wants to develop students who become leaders. But to do that, they make sure that whether the student is interested in sports, social activism, cultural clubs, or student government, that there is a place for them to channel their passions to better the school and later on the world.

During your years at Seattle University, you have been asked to fulfill Seattle University's mission to be "…leaders for a just and humane world." Tonight, you can continue to fulfill that mission by helping 7,000 students like me do the same in their education. Because somewhere back in Seattle, there is a student majoring in SPEX who fins great joy in teaching PE and healthy lifestyles to second graders at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. In the library there is a student who designs a blueprints for her engineering class, dreaming one day that they will be the one to build a strong bridge through the I5. In a crammed studio in the Murphy Apartments, a senior nursing student studies all night for their medical ethics course because they wish to one day become a nurse practitioner and provide quality healthcare for their impoverished hometown. A Humanities for Teaching major sets up a table by C-Street during lunch to encourage students to sign a petition to demand racial and economic equality to public school students.  And in the Pigott Auditorium, there are a small group of economic students selling baked goods to fund a trip to Panama to teach economic sustainability in rural communities.

These stories are the stories of future leaders in the making. We are the future leaders who take our education beyond the textbook and into society. Because like you, SU has emphasized to us that education is not how much you know, but what you do with how much you know. The new generation of SU students (us) understand that it is our kuleana in making this world more effective, ethical, and efficient. However, we cannot continue this endeavor without your mentorship, your guidance, your support, and most importantly, your story of how Seattle University has changed your life.  

And as your support us, guide us, mentor us, and share your story, we will do as Saint Ignatius called us to do which is "Go forth and set the world on fire." Aloha and thank you for your time.


Alumni Events: February 2013

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM PST

 

Basketball Games and Rallies
 

Thursday February 14th, 2013 | 7:00 PM | Men vs.  Louisiana Tech 
KeyArena

Saturday February 16th, 2013 | 7:00 PM | Men vs. Texas at Arlington
KeyArena
Join us for the last pregame rally of the season!
5:30 PM|Club Live 

Alumni Board of Governor’s Men’s Basketball Viewing Party
Chieftain Irish Pub & Restaurant |908 12th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122

Saturday February 7th, 2013 | 5:00 PM | vs. U of Denver

Meet the Alumni Board of Governors at the Chieftain for door prizes, $5 appetizers, and Happy Hour specials while you watch the Redhawks take on the University of Denver.

Buried Child
By Sam Shepard | Directed By Professor Rosa Joshi

Lee Center for the Arts

$6 Students | $8 Faculty & Staff | $10 General Admission

Preview February 20th, 2013| 7:30 PM
February 21-23, 2013 | 7:30

February 24 & March 3, 2013 | 2:00 PM

Winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize, Buried Child sealed Sam Shepard’s reputation as an iconic post-modern playwright. A sinister secret buried deep in the recesses of the past threatens to resurface and destroy an already deeply damaged family. When Vince brings home his girlfriend to meet his family, things don’t go quite as he envisioned. Why doesn’t anyone know him? This darkly comic masterpiece reminds us that there really is no place like home.

 

Instrumental Concerto Competition
Pigott Auditorium
Friday February 22nd, 2013 | 7:00 PM

$5 Students | $8 Faculty & Staff | $12 General Admission

Watch music students compete for the opportunity to win in a music scholarship and serve as a guest soloist with Orchestra Seattle for the 2013-2014 concert season.  

Save the Date for these Upcoming Events:
 

11th Annual Alumni Crab Feed
Hosted by the Albers School of Business
Campion Residence Hall |Saturday March 2nd, 2013 | 5:30-11:00 PM

Enjoy a fun evening organized by the Albers Alumni Board in order to bring members of the community together and support student scholarships at Albers. There will be a lively silent auction and reception before dinner, and after our feast of crab and chicken, jazz and cocktails will follow in the jazz lounge. Table sponsorships are available for groups of all sizes. Contact Rob Bourke at bourker@seattleu.edu to register or call (206) 296-2277 for more information
 

SEARCH for Meaning Bookfest
March 9th, 2013| Seattle University Campus
Annual festival and nationwide network surrounding the human search for meaning.
Tickets, Purchase tickets through Brown Paper Tickets. The School of Theology and Ministry presents a day of over 300+ authors,
including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Azlan and Sherman Alexie.

 

Western Athletic Conference Tournament & Alumni Happy Hour
Tournament |Tuesday March 12- Saturday March 16, 2013

Alumni Happy Hour |Tuesday March 12, 2013 | 4:00-6:00 PM

Come and cheer on Seattle University in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena! Tickets for the entire conference can be bought online.

 

Meet your Alumni Relations staff  in Las Vegas for an Alumni Happy Hour event on March 12th from 4-6pm. We hope to see all Seattle U Alumni there. Stay tuned for more details.

 
  
28th Anniversary Alumni Awards Celebration
Seattle University Campion Ballroom | Tuesday April 16th, 2013 

Join us as President Sundborg, the Seattle University Alumni Board of Governors and the Office of Alumni Relations announce the Alumni Award winners for 2013. More information, including registration details to come.

 

SU Athletics Red Tie Celebration
Saturday, May 18, 2013| Grand Hyatt Downtown Seattle| 5:00 pm

We are excited to announce Jim Whittaker as our honoree for this year’s event. Jim was the first American to summit Mt. Everest in the spring of 1963 and we are honored to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his accomplishment. The evening will feature an exciting auction, elegant dining and fabulous program highlighting the achievements of both Jim Whittaker and the highlights from the 2012-2013 SU athletic season. Contact redtie@seattleu.edu for more details.

 

 

 

A New Year’s Welcome from your Alumni Office

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM PST

Dear Alums -

In 2012 I had the opportunity to meet with so many of our alums face to face and I want to once more express my gratitude to you for your dedication to Seattle University and our community.  

In December we had our annual Advent Mass, Christmas Reception (December 9) and the 2nd annual Downtown Breakfast (December 13), with the biggest turnout at both events since I've began my role as Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations.  We've had alums reach out to us from across the country to form chapters (as well as in Thailand and China), and take a more active role in their alumni experience.  I've seen alumni renew their relationship with their alma mater and invest their time, energy and resources in assisting our office with our goal of being a world class alumni relations office. You are also helping us to build a stronger cadre of volunteer leadership.   I wanted to let you know how much that means to me and your University.  Your efforts are being noticed!

As we kick off 2013 I am so excited to share my enthusiasm for the great offerings we will roll out this year! There are traditions like the 28th Annual Alumni Awards in April and some new traditions we are bringing back, like Homecoming on February 2nd!

In an effort to keep our alumni body growing and engaged we want to ensure that we help keep you connected to Seattle University.  Please keep checking our events page for opportunities to join us as well as join ourFacebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to keep current all our offerings at Seattle U! 

We'd love to see you at these upcoming events:

Homecoming - February 2nd, 2013 
Pre-Game Rally
Club Live At KeyArena at Seattle Center 5:30 p.m.
Click for Homecoming Day schedule of events.

Washington, D.C. Alumni Reception - February 1st, 2013 5:30-8:30pm
At Front Page
1333 NEW HAMPSHIRE
Washington, DC

The Search for Meaning Book Festival - March 9th, 2013
Tickets go on sale January 14th
On Campus with Alumni Open House in the Admissions & Alumni Building

28th Annual Alumni Awards  - April 16th, 2013
Campion Ballroom 5:30 p.m.

2nd Annual Jesuit Alumni Day of Service - April 27th, 2013

Campus and Seattle University Youth Initiative

Please send us an email with your suggestions or if you'd like to get more involved to alumni@seattleu.edu . We always welcome your feedback. We want to make sure our alums are engaged no matter where you live, and would love your participation in achieving that goal.

We look forward to hearing from you and wish you a wonderful 2013!

Sincerely,

Susan R. Vosper

Join the Search for Meaning! March 9th, 2013

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 2, 2013 at 4:01 PM PST

 

 The fifth annual Search For Meaning Book Festival, hosted by Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry is coming in just a few months: March 9th, 2013, all day on the Seattle University Campus.

Mark your calendars! Tickets go on sale on January 14th, through Brown Paper Tickets, and are expected to go fast.
 
The Festival hosts over 40 authors in session, featuring keynote speakers Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, as interviewed live by National Book Award winner, Sherman Alexie, as well as internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Azlan.

For information on the Festival, please visit www.searchformeaning.us. You can also check out the Search For Meaning Facebook page to stay up to date with all things related to the festival.

We hope you'll join us at this incredible  Festival, which is also free and open to the public, thanks to our generous title sponsors Laura Ellen and Robert Muglia and partners Elliott Bay Book Company and the Seattle University Book Store.

Alumni

Calling all Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry Alumni! You are warmly invited to the annual Alumni Breakfast, just before the Festival begins.  Enjoy great food, a special speaker, and quality time with fellow alums on the morning of the Festival, Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 7:30am. 

Visit other Seattle University alums throughout the day!  The Admissions and Alumni building will be open to alums for socializing during the festival.

Playful and Profound SU’s newest sculpture Justice (Just Ice) is a delight to behold

Posted by Amanda Kelly on April 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM PDT

A dramatic new work of art appeared on Seattle University’s campus during spring break. Situated in the garden between the second floors of the Student Center and the Library and Learning Commons, the sculpture appears to consist of large ice cubes or blocks of glass.

Upon closer inspection, the cubes are made of a durable, specially cast resin. The sculpture is the work of Seattle-area artist Joe McDonnell and it is a commissioned gift from longtime friend of the university Ann Pigott Wyckoff.  The sculpture consists of sixty translucent blocks, each approximately two feet on each side and weighing about five pounds. McDonnell and his assistant painstakingly assembled the sculpture on campus throughout most of a week, carefully positioning the blocks so that they appear to be tumbling over and down a concrete wall.   It was not their first run-through—they had previously put the sculpture together in McDonnell’s studio.

The cubes at their highest point are more than twelve feet off the ground. When one look at the blocks nearest to the top, they seem precariously perched, as if they are about to roll off the pile and onto the ground, but this is just an illusion. The blocks are fastened to the wall in the background and to a special anchoring frame beneath them. As striking as the installation is in the day time, the sculpture elicits perhaps even more delight in the evening when illuminated by a series of LED light bars that can change colors.

“The sculpture is simultaneously playful and profound, and I hope it will positively engage and visually refresh people when they walk between the Student Center and the Lemieux Library/McGoldrick Learning Commons,” said Jerry Cobb, S.J., who coordinated the art collection for the library and learning commons. 

Jim Hembree, Senior Director of Development in University Advancement, was instrumental in bringing McDonnell’s sculpture to SU.  The sculpture, as Hembree sees it, is part of a growing trend at SU. For some time, he points out, most of the university’s artistic treasures have graced the interior spaces of our buildings, but in recent years, “Outdoor sculpture is gaining a more prominent presence on our campus. This is a big growth area for SU’s art collection.”

McDonnell graciously allowed the SU community to have a contest to name the sculpture, and more than 160 entries were submitted.  The winning entry was submitted by Lauren Maza, who recounted how as she looked at the sculpture she thought of some of the core SU mission values, and the word “Justice” came to her and she realized it contained the words “Just Ice.”  Joe McDonnell selected this name so the sculpture’s formal title is “Justice (Just Ice).” 

McDonnell’s work joins a three other recent sculptures added to the campus collection:  Joel Shapiro’s untitled abstract bronze figure of a running person on the library’s lawn, which was made possible by Dick and Betty Hedreen in 2010; Preston Singletary’s Northwest Native-inspired “Transformations” metal sculpture, which was installed on the north side of the Admissions & Alumni Building last summer; and Robert Pospisil’s haunting metal sculpture “The Prisoner” which will be installed soon in the Law Annex. 

While SU’s latest sculpture may be outdoors, it can just as easily be enjoyed by those having a bite to eat in the Student Center or studying in the Library and Learning Commons. McDonnell worked for more than a year conceiving and constructing the sculpture. Students and other campus community members provided feedback and responses to the work as it evolved. 

McDonnell has produced more than 150 major commissions for institutions, corporations and individuals including CBS, IBM, General Electric, Readers Digest, Dulles Airport, the Milwaukee Public Museum and the New Jersey state government. Known primarily for his distinguished work in sculpting metal and bronze, McDonnell in recent years has turned to glass and cast resins as part of what he calls the “ice age” phase of his career.

Jerry Cobb, S.J.

You can learn more about the artist and his works at www.joemcdonnell.com.

New Alumni Benefits Launched- Strategic Plan on Course!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on April 12, 2012 at 8:04 AM PDT

Dear Alumni-

April is a wonderful time of year at Seattle U.  We are fortunate to watch our beautiful campus come to life as spring unfolds while enjoying the heightened energy from the celebration of Easter.  It is also the beginning of the recognition and celebration of all our graduating seniors who are formally moving from life as a student to life as an alumni.  These are reminders for me of how incredibly blessed I am to work at a place that has meant so much to me in my life, and to have met so many of you over the past ten months in my role as SU's Assistant VP of Alumni Relations.  When I started in my role last June I told you that I envisioned my role to be one of a connector, helping to bring a series of benefits and resources to our alumni that help you better connect to Seattle U and to your fellow alumni. I am so pleased to announce that we have made great strides in making the first of these benefits a reality to help you get and stay connected to your alma mater!

To that end, I am happy to announce the launch of three core resources to help you get connected, stay involved and be a part of the Seattle U Alumni Association:

  • An updated alumni web site has been updated with a consistent look, feel and brand for better usability and design to help you more easily find information, benefits and services. 
  • A new Alumni Online Directory is now available to allow you to easily keep your personal and professional information current as well as allow you to search for classmates and fellow alum by name, industry, location and more.
  • SU's first ever Alumni Gear Online Store where you can purchase SU alumni gear online to show your SU pride! 

Please look for an email from the Office of Alumni Relations in the next few weeks that contains your login and password info for the online directory along with more information on website updates and deals on alumni gear.   This is the first launch of a comprehensive (and still growing) list of benefits and resources for our alumni and we will continue to work across the university to be a resource to you that will help you get involved, stay connected and build a lifetime relationship with your alma mater.

Take a look and let us know what you think.  We want to hear from you and you can send your comments to us at Alumni Feedback.  Again, it is my pleasure and privilege to continue to work towards our vision of "building a world class alumni relations office and presence" for you and the university.   

Susan R. Vosper, '90, '10
Assistant Vice President , Alumni Relations

Reflections from Beth Kreitl, Executive Director, SU Career Services

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM PST

Purpose. What does it mean to live a life of purpose? Inspired by the gifted presenters at today's TEDx event, hosted by Seattle University, I have been contemplating my current answer to this question. The question itself invites us to go deeper. What gives us a sense of purpose? Which then leads us to go even deeper. What is purpose? I learned today that the Latin derivative "pur" means fire. Powerful. What lights your fire? What makes you burn with passion? I didn't have an immediate response to the question. But then we were invited to go a little further. If you can't identify your fire, then can you identify your sparks? Could we notice and be attentive to those? Could we search for the places in our lives at work, home, outdoors, and in community where we feel energized? What are the activities in which we lose all sense of time? Reflection is a core value of the Ignation educational tradition, and as members of Seattle U's alumni association, we invite you to continue that reflective process. Reflection must be balanced by action, so if you have read this blog, and want to dive more deeply into both reflection and action in seeking to answer this powerful question about what gives your life a sense of purpose, you may want to consider participating in the upcoming 4-week workshop series entitled: "Jumpstart Your Career."

Participants in the winter workshop series found the program to offer a space to reflect, connect and gain valuable tools for every individual's unique place along their career path. When asked to comment on the most recent series, Career Coach Elizabeth Atcheson, who is also scheduled to lead the upcoming series, stated the following:  "In my work as a career coach, I give dozens of workshops every year - to all ages and all stages. My winter series with Seattle University alumni was one of the best group experiences in my memory.  Why?

    • Sharing:  The participants engaged fully, knowing that all exchanges would be held in confidence, and offered lots of ideas and connections to each other.
    • Work:  The participants (all SU alumni) buckled down and did the work they were asked to do.
    • Humor:  We were able to laugh at ourselves and each other.  Looking for a job can be daunting and depressing, so a little bit of humor goes a long way.
    • Learning:  During the course of the 4 evenings, a tremendous amount of material was presented and digested.  Participants grew accordingly so that by the last session, their knowledge of "how to look for a job" was much more nuanced and realistic.
    • Community:   We developed a sense of connection to the greater Seattle University community and established some respectful and substantive ways to build on that deep connection."

 

 

Beth Kreitl, EdS, LMHC, NCC 
Executive Director, Career Services