SU Voice Alumni Blog

A Lasting Legacy: Remembering the Man Who Saved Seattle U

Posted by Isaac Gardon on August 3, 2015 at 12:08 PM PDT

 


When William J. Sullivan, S.J., became president of Seattle University in 1976, the school was in debt and half a million dollars short of the money it needed to operate as fall quarter classes started. Fr. Sullivan’s leadership would rescue the university and bring it into the 21st century.

Fr. Sullivan died on June 16, 2015, at a Jesuit care center in Milwaukee, WI. The Seattle University community continues to mourn his passing.

Fr. Sullivan led Seattle University for over three decades –– 20 years as president and 12 years as chancellor. He purchased the law school from the University of Puget Sound. He built the Chapel of St. Ignatius, the Casey Building and Bannon. He secured Seattle University’s strong financial position.

While his accomplishments are grand, Fr. Sullivan leaves a legacy that goes beyond buildings and dollar figures.

“Father Sullivan made an unparalleled impact on Seattle University,” says Seattle University President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. “He transformed our physical campus, strengthened our Jesuit Catholic character and ecumenical commitment and brought unprecedented recognition to our academic programs. I consider him ‘The Maker of the Modern Seattle University.’”

In 1996, Fr. Sullivan told a Seattle Times reporter, "People sometimes say about me that I'm only interested in money and buildings. I'm not interested in either one, but you can't run a university if you can't balance your budget."

Fr. Sullivan built the Seattle University we recognize today –– from its buildings, faculty and strong financial position –– but his impact stretches far outside the 50 acres between Jefferson and Madison avenues.

During his time in Seattle, Fr. Sullivan became embedded into the fabric of the city. He was named First Citizen in 1990. He was the chairman of the Seattle Organizing Committee for the Goodwill Gamesand served as a board member for United Way, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Foundation. He didn’t just serve Seattle U –– he served the entire region.

It didn’t end there. He climbed to Mt. Everest’s base camp with alumnus Jim Whittaker, ‘52. He received a blessed scarf from the Dalai Lama (which he then personally delivered to Pope John Paul II). He presided over the wedding of Bill and Melinda Gates and  sailed with Ted Turner on the billionaire’s yacht. He became close with religious, business, civic and political leaders. Yet, despite countless handshakes and meetings with society’s elite, he never lost sight of who he was –– a humble servant to God.

Memories left on Fr. Sullivan’s memorial page demonstrate a man of tremendous faith, humility and love. “He was a deeply faith-filled man of God who modeled the joy and abundance of the divine,” writes one commenter, Pat Whitney. Countless others use the words “humble servant,” “loving,” and “a man of warmth” to describe him.

Fr. Sullivan’s faith, humility and warmth led him on a mission with an unwavering commitment, bringing God’s love into the lives of Seattle University and the Pacific Northwest. You are missed, Fr. Sullivan, but you are never forgotten. 
 

Alumni Bucket List

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 2:06 PM PDT

Your Seattle University Alumni Association has dozens of opportunities for you to engage with the university and your fellow alumni.  How many of these bucket list items can you complete in the next year?

SOCIAL

  • Attend an alumni happy hour 
  • Meet a group of college friends for dinner and post a picture with #SeattleUAlumni 
  • Like “Seattle U Alumni” on Facebook and share your alumni pictures 
  • Follow @SeattleU_Alumni on Twitter 
  • Attend a pre-game alumni rally before a men’s basketball game 
  • Attend your class reunion 
  • Join a regional or interest-based alumni chapter 
  • Attend a gallery opening or theater or musical performance at SU 
  • Attend the annual Seattle U Christmas tree lighting 
  • Attend the Young Alumni Summer Party on August 20th 
  • Check out the Kinsey Art Gallery in the Admissions and Alumni Building 
  • Use your alumni access to the Eisiminger Fitness Center  
  • Read the SU Voice alumni enewsletter 
  • Check out upcoming Seattle area and regional events on the alumni website  

SPIRITUAL 

  • Meet with the Alumni Chaplain, Fr. Dave Anderson 
  • Attend mass at the Chapel of St. Ignatius  
  • Attend the Ignatian Leadership Conference  
  • Attend the alumni Advent Mass and Reception  
  • Get connected to Magis: Alumni Living the Mission 
  • Attend a “Spirituality on Tap”  
  • Attend an Institute of Catholic Thought lecture 
  • Go on a Magis retreat 

PROFESSIONAL

  • Attend an SU Advantage Networking Night 
  • Register for the Redhawk Network as a mentor or employer 
  • Post a professional article on LinkedIn 
  • Watch a career development webinar, available for free on the alumni website 
  • Attend an Albers Speakers Series event 
  • Join the Seattle U Alumni LinkedIn group 
  • Use your free Career Services advising session 
  • Attend a Career Fair at Seattle University 
  • Get your Behavior Pattern Toolkit 
  • Join your organization’s Seattle University Alumni Chapter (Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon) 
  • Participate in the Contemplative Leaders in Action program 

CONTINUING EDUCATION

  • Audit a class 
  • Participate in the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Seminar Series 
  • Use your Alumni library access privileges 
  • Submit a piece of creative writing to Fragments 

SERVICE

  • Attend Alumni Day of Service 
  • Mentor a student 
  • Speak to a class 
  • Volunteer to work at an alumni event 
  • Serve as an Alumni Ambassador at Commencement Brunch 
  • Volunteer for the Alumni Board of Governors or other volunteer board

PRIDE

  • Get a Seattle U license plate 
  • Take a selfie with Fr. Steve 
  • Use your 15% alumni discount at the campus store 
  • Don’t miss Homecoming 
  • Participate with your legacy family in the Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony 
  • Participate in Red Fridays – wear red every Friday 
Click the image below to download the Alumni Bucket List! 

 

 

Young, In Love and Working For The Senate: Eric Chalmers, ’14, Shares What It’s Like To Be A Recent Alumnus

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 2:06 PM PDT

The United States federal budget is approximately $3.1 trillion. As a staff assistant to the Senate Budget Committee, Seattle University alumnus Eric Chalmers, ’14, helps make that budget a reality. As if that weren’t enough, Eric also helps create a stronger Seattle U community in the nation’s capitol.

Eric, a political science and history graduate, applies his degree and expertise to the interworking of the Senate. Eric helps run the committee’s day-to-day operations, setting up hearings and executing the logistics of the committee, working with Republican and Democratic staff to make sure every Senator has the tools and resources to do their job effectively. The job –– which he secured shortly after graduation –– quite literally helps to keep our country running. 

If you turn on C-SPAN on a given day, you might see Eric sitting directly behind committee members during hearings. He sits right behind well-known figures like Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, Rob Portman, Patty Murray, among others. Eric has an impressive job and deals with impressive people. 

Eric is impressive himself, though. The Sullivan Scholar from Tempe, Arizona was the former president of the Student Government at SU (SGSU) where he improved student government’s image. His accomplishments include launching the #FixItSGSU campaign, helping to secure an extra staff person in the Office of Disability Services, and receiving widespread media attention for a letter to Pope Francis asking for greater “inclusion and affirmation” for the LGBT community in the Catholic Church. 

He shares, “I miss SGSU. I use skills from that role every single day.” But Eric’s skills aren’t the only ones having an impact on the Capitol. “It is amazing to see the generations of alumni we have in D.C. –– we have a good presence here,” Eric says. Always thinking forward and always thinking about potential, Eric asks, “ . . . so how do we harness that for Seattle U?” 

Eric and his fellow D.C. based alumni frequently talk with Beth Kreitl, the Executive Director of Career Services at Seattle U, to establish “a pipeline for Seattle U students and graduates.” “We want to be the boots on the ground here,” Eric says. He furthers, “Getting a job in D.C. requires recommendations and people putting in a good word for you.” Eric and others who are part of the Washington D.C. Seattle U Alumni Chapter are putting in hard work to make life easier for future Seattle U alumni who want to work in D.C. 

With the Class of 2015 being just a little over a week away from commencement, Eric hopes to see a greater Seattle U presence at the Capitol, but he hopes graduates realize how difficult getting there –– or anywhere –– can be. Eric shares, “I wish I would have known how difficult this transition can be,” referring to the journey from student to alumnus. He shares with upcoming graduates, “When we all head toward graduation we have our plans, we have our ideas. But, at the same time, when we walk across the stage, reality hits quickly.” Eric is well grounded and doesn’t shy away from giving realistic advice. 

Eric is still a dreamer though. Eric recently proposed to alumnae Rylee Noble, ’13, during on Christmas Eve in  Seattle. She said yes. He proposed at a bench at Cal Anderson Park  –– the same bench they’d met at three summers prior as Orientation Advisors. Her family was there to surprise her, along with a pop up tent decorated with fabric, lace, lights and rose petals. It turns out that Eric is quite the romantic Redhawk. 

Many good things are on the horizon for the Class of 2015. That horizon might not include moving to D.C., a job with the Senate or an engagement, but Eric’s experiences give a glimpse into what’s next for the 1,800 newest members of the Seattle University Alumni Association. What an exciting journey it will be! 

(Image by of J. Scott Applewhite - The Associated Press / Eric Chalmers delivers President Barack Obama's $4 trillion budget to the Senate Budget Committee)


Ignatian Leadership Conference is coming this July

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 1:06 PM PDT

St. Ignatius of Loyola was a highly effective and inspiring leader. His methods and practices allowed him to establish and lead one of the world's most impactful organizations, the Society of Jesus, and his leadership approach has been used in many different contexts over the past 500+ years.

This July, Magis will host the first ever Ignatian Leadership Conference at Seattle University. Explore the concept of Ignatian Leadership and how to apply and integrate Jesuit values and Ignatian practices into your personal and professional life. Perhaps as an alumnus/na of Jesuit education, you have wondered or struggled with making this a reality. If so, we encourage you to attend!

At this one-day conference, you will join other leaders from various professional walks of life to dialogue and learn tools to become a more effective, authentic Ignatian leader. There will be opportunities to learn about the role of self-awareness and personal discernment in leadership, healthy group decision-making and communal discernment, how to work for social justice and the Common Good as leaders, as well as a chance to discuss the role of love in leading. Click here to read more about the various workshops and presenters.

We are excited to welcome Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., Provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, as our keynote speaker. There will also be an optional Mass to celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius co-presided by Fr. Tom Lucas, S.J. (Rector of Seattle University Jesuit Community) and Fr. Santarosa. 

Click here to learn more about the conference, or visit this page to register. We hope you will join us!

Seattle U is for a Lifetime

Posted by Isaac Gardon on June 3, 2015 at 11:06 AM PDT

Congrats fellow 2015 grads and hello to the other 73,000 Seattle U alumni!  All of us soon-to-be alumni are getting ready to start the next chapters of our lives. Whether you are an alum in the Seattle area or are living far, far away like me, we’ve all got journeys ahead of us that’ll take us to new heights and opportunities.

For the class of 2015, this is such an exciting time and I hope you are embracing every minute, and taking time to slow down and appreciate the chapter that you just completed. I know from my own experience that Seattle U is where I began to truly understand and find myself, and because of that, I could never just forget about my time here.

Even as an alum, your relationship with SU can be lifelong, full of vast experiences and interactions. As a leader for Student Alumni Ambassadors, I was able to attend many of our alumni events and find inspiration on how to shape my own future as an SU graduate.

It’s in the alumni community where I’ve found both professional and personal mentors, work experience, scholarship opportunities, and advice on how to get the most out of my time as a student at SU. As an alum yourself now, wouldn’t you want to stay connected and give future Redhawks the same chances we received? 

I also learned how much the SU Alumni Association has to offer our alumni.  Professional development and networking opportunities, spiritual growth and service engagement, social connections with like-minded SU graduates, continuing education and a host of other benefits.  There are so many reasons to stay involved.

After experiencing several alumni programs as a student, my fellow SAA graduate, Rachael Hartzell ‘15, said, “It’s so inspiring to see generations of SU alumni together and being recognized for their hard work at events such as the Alumni Awards. It gives me hope for a future of remaining connected to other Redhawks and Seattle University.”

Nelly Villalpando ‘15, added, “It has been great getting to meet people who are also a part of the wonderful community that makes Seattle University. I am proud to be a Redhawk and hope that one day I too can share my experiences with future Redhawks.”

I hope all alumni - new and old - will join us in the efforts to keep the SU spirit alive in the future. Go forth and set the world on fire! I’m excited to see where your journeys take you.

Cheers,

Nina Cataldo ‘15

Facilitating Potential: Lessons Learned from Engaging Girls in STEM

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 6, 2015 at 8:05 PM PDT

Are you a mentor or manager? Do you help others reach their potential? Are you challenged to reach underserved audiences? Join us on May 14 when, the Seattle University Alumni Association hosts its last SU Advantage | Networking Night of the school year entitled “Facilitating Potential: Lessons Learned from Engaging Women in STEM” featuring Seattle University’s Director of General Sciences, Dr. Jennifer Sorensen

Dr. Sorensen’s presentation will share her learnings from engaging girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), an underrepresented populations in the arena of science. Her presentation will share four relevant strategies for any professional trying to engage a target audience that is notoriously difficult to reach or anyone interested in supporting the success of colleagues, clients and community members.

Dr. Sorensen discovered her love of science at an early age. “I have strong memories of sticking toothpicks in a potato and placing it in water to make it grow and building a crystal radio for the science fair. I’d conduct my own experiments in the backyard, like using water and flour to create clay and watching mold grow on it.”

It was a teacher who encouraged her to study chemistry in college. In graduate school she planned to enter the pharmaceutical industry, but during her time as a teacher’s assistant she discovered her passion for teaching.

As a woman in STEM, Dr. Sorensen is passionate about engaging the next generation of women scientists. When asked why it’s important to give girls the opportunity to explore the sciences, she replied, “It’s important to get the best minds involved, whoever they may be. You need diverse perspectives in the room. Science is a collaborative endeavor that benefits from those who approach problems in new and different ways.”

In her efforts to engage girls and women in STEM, Dr. Sorensen has worked with the community, forming partnerships with the Girl Scouts and helping to organize the annual event Seattle Expanding Your Horizons (SEYH), a hands-on conference that encourages girls to explore the worlds of math, science and engineering.

To Dr. Sorensen, the most meaningful part of her community outreach is seeing the empowerment of women and girls as they start understanding and enjoying science. “At the end of the Expanding Your Horizons day, after the girls have met with women biologists, botanists, engineers, veterinarians and others, they are buzzing with excitement and I feed off of their energy… they get involved and they start having fun and realize ‘I can do this!’”

Through these and other experiences, Dr. Sorensen has identified four key strategies for facilitating potential in those around her. You can learn more about these strategies and Dr. Sorensen’s work engaging women in science at the Sorrento Hotel on May 14th. Register now and join us for an evening of networking and thought-provoking conversations.

  

New Seattle U Alumni Benefit: Behavioral Pattern Toolkit

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on May 6, 2015 at 8:05 PM PDT

35 years ago, alumnus Tom Champoux,’68, and Dr. Bill Maynard, developed behavior assessment tools to help facilitate communication and collaboration that resulted in the founding of Effectiveness Institute.

“We were tired of good ideas not working because of people and their difficulties communicating,” Tom said. “This inspired us to discover different behavior patterns and how conflicting behaviors can work together.”

Developed over 30 years of working with Fortune 500 clients and universities, Tom’s understanding of behavior styles evolved into the “Behavior Pattern Toolkit.”

The Seattle University Alumni Association has partnered with the Effectiveness Institute to make the Behavior Pattern Toolkit available to alumni, friends and family at the discounted price of $29.95. 23% of each purchase will be donated to the Seattle University Scholarship Fund.

When asked how his Jesuit education impacted his product Tom said, “A Jesuit education teaches you how to think; the model that we use helps people to do exactly that. It gives users the tool to understand who they are communicating with and how to approach their interaction–very Jesuit."

The toolkit has three components: 

Behavior Pattern Assessment - an online tool that reveals your personal behavior pattern

Behavior Pattern video - introduces the behavior pattern model, 

My Plan Guide - identifies the behavior pattern of someone you know and the most effective way to interact with them.

The Behavior Pattern Toolkit examines the two dimensions of how people use energy when they interact with others, then demonstrates ways to apply this information for better communication at work, home and play.

After using these tools, individuals will know how to increase positive influence, quickly identify and meet the communications needs of others by adapting their behavior resulting in greater trust and respect and more fulfilling interpersonal relationships. “When people don’t know how to connect with others it’s difficult. People want to connect,” Tom said. “There’s a reason behind every behavior. Once you understand the reason behind it, there’s an “ah ha moment” and people start collaborating more effectively.”

To learn more and discover your own behavior patterns visit our website! Alumni and friends, take advantage of your Seattle U discount with coupon code: BPT-SU

 

Leading With Love: Contemplative Leaders in Action

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 4:04 PM PDT

Lead with Love. What does that mean? Well, for starters, that’s a fully loaded phrase!

Would leading with love mean that you would have to care about that annoying co-worker who doesn’t seem to ever reply to your emails? That you shouldn’t get annoyed by the gal who always speaks up at a staff meeting with yet another “great idea”? Or, that you would still have to like your supervisor even though he seems to micro-manage you more these days now that your organization is in midst of an overhaul?

Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World describes leading with love this way: 

“Long before love is a corporate virtue that improves team performance, it is a personal leadership stance. The love-driven leader possesses the vision to see and engage others as they are, not through the cultural filters, prejudices, or narrow-mindedness that diminishes them.” 

Love in the context of leadership in the workplace is less about expecting warm-fuzzy feelings towards your co-worker to emerge, but rather it is more about looking at your co-worker as a whole person – someone with hopes, aspirations, shortcomings and limitations, yet with unending potential. 

Perhaps leading with love is noticing that your too busy co-worker is trying to keep her head above water since she had to take time off to care for her ailing parent… or maybe it is becoming self-aware of your own prejudices towards your co-worker’s idea, and then boldly offering your own idea out loud to the group. It might even look like extending compassion to your supervisor by letting him know that you recognize that the transition is hard and that he can trust you will do your best to get your work done.

The Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) Ignatian Leadership program is a great example of a professional and spiritual development opportunity where alumni can learn and practice out the skills and qualities needed to become a loving leader. Through monthly gatherings, retreats, mentorship, and an engaging learning community of diverse emerging leaders, CLA participants create an environment where it is safe to explore and question the relevance of love in the context of professional life.

If you are an alum between the ages of 25-39 and live in the Puget Sound Region and you are looking to grow in your leadership, Magis at Seattle University invites you to apply for this dynamic program. Or, if you know a Jesuit alumnus/na that could benefit from a program like this, feel free to nominate him or her by emailing us. Applications are due May 29, 2015. To learn more about CLA, visit our page online.

Through practicing self-awareness, ingenuity, and bold humility, you may just be transformed into a leader who learns to lead with love.

 

Fr. Dave Anderson: An Easter Blessing

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 3:04 PM PDT

Dear friends in Christ, Happy Easter!

During the past 40 days of Lent (a word which means springtime), we have been on a spiritual journey or pilgrimage with our Christian family throughout our world engaged in three spiritual practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We are invited to remember that these experiences are what we are called to do all year, but especially during Lent so that we may grow closer to God. What have been the graces you've received? 

Jesus promised his disciples, "I will be with you always!” He gives them the gift of His Holy Spirit, the gift of peace, hope, love, and joy and asks them to love one another. God's Spirit is something the world cannot give. We are often overwhelmed by messages through our media that power, honor, glory, and riches will satisfy us, but they always fail to deliver what they promise. These messages are empty promises ... Our true satisfaction comes when we surrender our lives to God's will, and ask God to help us understand, see and hear God around us each day. To be open to God's voice so that we can choose the path God desires for us. Every moment we turn to God in prayer, God is present to us like a mother and father are present to their child. God never fails us.

A few days ago I was visiting a close friend who 6 months ago became a grandfather. His son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Heidi, were visiting from Denver and while we were having dinner, I was aware of the love that was present around the dinner table. Mom, dad and grandpa were filled with an indescribable joy because of the gift of Heidi. Every time she smiled or laughed, all of us laughed. We were mesmerized by her beauty, innocence and vulnerability.

I was reminded the next day of God's affection and love for us. God loves us like  parents and grandparents love their child. God is overwhelmed with joy when we turn and offer God our attention and ask for the help we need.

Along with our prayer, fasting helps us grow spiritually. We reflect on our personal lives and ask, "Is there something that is getting in the way of God's love in my life?" Maybe I gossip about others; or I'm attached to my cell phone rather than engaging in conversation with those around me; or I need more exercise and less TV. All of us have attachments or areas of growth ... God is inviting us to let go of them so that God can come close to us and love us. 

Fasting is not so much about what we are giving up as it is about what we are gaining: the peace and joy the Lord promises to those who make time for him.

Almsgiving and charity is another spiritual exercise we are called to do all year. We experience God most of the time in our relationships, especially with those close to us. Recall for a moment when you experienced God through your relationship with another person. You were able to see God in your friend or family member, you felt joy and peace for simply being in this person's company, and you gave God thanks for your relationship. Charity is doing something good for those we love. Simply being present to another person and listening to their story is one of the greatest gifts we can offer.  

Almsgiving is also about helping those less fortunate than our self. Who are the people God wants us to reach out to? Charity is about slowing down and seeing those around us who seem to be isolated or alone. Who is being left out, who is on the margins? We do not have to look very far to see the poor, the sick and wounded around us each day. 

Jesus' whole life was about serving the poor so that God's presence would be felt by everyone. As followers of Jesus, how is God inviting us to share love with those around us?

We are an Easter people! We are people of the resurrection! We are called to celebrate God's victory over sin and death. 

Let us continue to be open to the many graces God wants to give to us, especially God's love. And let us love one another as God loves us.

 

 

Live the Mission on April 25: National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 1, 2015 at 3:04 PM PDT

National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service brings together Jesuit-educated alumni from across the nation, along with their family and friends, to participate in volunteer service projects. This year marks Seattle University’s fourth year participating in Alumni Day of Service and it is the biggest yet with alumni participating in four states and more service sites than ever before. 

Alumni chapters from Seattle University and fellow Jesuit schools are taking an active role in this year’s Day of Service by selecting and hosting service sites in the greater Seattle area. 

This year’s opportunities include:  beautification projects at Washington Middle School, Immaculate Conception church and Recovery Café, supporting and empowering young girls through the Powerful Voices Girlvolution workshop, and assisting the elderly at Volunteer Chore Services.  No matter what your interests, there’s a service site that’s right for you. 

To learn more about the organizations and chapters participating in Day of Service visit the registration page

 See what past participants had to say about Day of Service: 

“I participated in day of service because serving in the community is important and I enjoyed meeting other Jesuit alums.” 

“I wanted to join fellow alumni and continue the Jesuit tradition of service to our community.”

“I really enjoyed meeting other caring people, especially recent graduates who don't have a lot of spare cash but who want to give to the less fortunate.”

“I chose to participate in Day of Service to stay connected with my university, to help my husband learn more about what SU has meant to me, to live out service, to do it with friends, and to introduce my goddaughter to the meaning and benefits of service!”

“I enjoyed being able to give back to the local community around Seattle University and getting to meet like-minded individuals who value their Jesuit education as much as I did.”

What are you reasons for serving? Tell us in the comments below and register to join us on April 25th!