SU Voice Alumni Blog

Fr. Dave Anderson: The Seahawk’s New Priest

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2015 at 2:01 PM PST

You’ll likely find Fr. Dave Anderson doing one of two things: praying or helping the Redhawks –– and now the Seahawks –– catch their prey.  Recently, Fr. Dave, the longtime chaplain to the Seattle U men’s basketball team and chaplain for Seattle U alumni, was hired to be the priest for the Seattle Seahawks.

Fr. Dave’s duties with the Seahawks involve celebrating Mass for Catholic players, staff and coaches before their home games at the Bellevue Hyatt. While he is excited to work with his favorite football team, Fr. Dave’s service to the Seahawks stems from his striving to serve God. “Part of Jesuit spirituality is encouraging us to go to the frontiers.” Fr. Dave said, “Where are those places that people cannot access the Eucharist? This is one of them.”

With a grueling schedule and Sunday games, worship isn’t readily accessible to many of the Seahawk’s devout. Dedication on the field can lead to a spiritual desert in the lives of professional athletes. That’s less likely to happen with Fr. Dave serving the 12th man and his five Catholic friends. 

While he gathers with the whole team during team meetings, Fr. Dave presides a Catholic Mass for five team members –– four coaches and one player –– before each home game. “Here we have five men who are devout Catholics,” Fr. Dave said, “They want to celebrate Mass every week and during the season –– when they have Sunday games –– they will not be able to go to Mass because of their commitment to the team.” 

Fr. Dave, who admires the commitment these men make to the body and the faith, carries Mass to them. Together, these five men and Fr. Dave pray and experience faith, connection and solidarity with one another before each home game. Together, God is felt. 

God is felt at Seattle U, too. But Fr. Dave’s new position is a different job from being Chaplain to the men’s basketball team. “I have daily contact with the men’s basketball team,” says Fr. Dave. “I have direct contact with the Seahawks five times a year. My expectations with the Seahawks are that I have Mass with them five days a season.” Humility, like his clerical collar, is part of Fr. Dave. 

Fr. Dave sees potential growth for his role, both at CenturyLink Field and Seattle University. “I would like to connect the Seahawks and the Redhawks,” he shared. “In the future, I want to be able to have Pete Carroll or a player come and speak on campus. What would they want to tell our students? What would they have to say to us? Pete Carroll has something to tell us of great value. He is a man of faith, living in a world often void of it.”

Fr. Dave furthered, “I want to bridge the Seahawks and the Redhawks. Part of this [new position] is discovering how I can act as a bridge.” 

Building bridges isn’t new to Fr. Dave. He does it for a spiritual living. “Faith is all about relationships,” says Fr. Dave. After a short pause he adds, “Faith is communal.” Faith, like a sports team, like being an alumnus and alumna, is centered upon community. 

Perhaps that’s why this position is a natural fit for Fr. Dave; his roles with Seattle University and his role with the Seahawks are centered upon being an incubator for faith and community. Working with the Seahawks is just an extension to what he’s already doing: stretching the reach of the Eucharist as he aids alumni, the Redhawks –– and now the Seahawks –– to reach their spiritual and physical feats. Together, with the help of Fr. Dave, let us pray (and prey). 

4th Annual National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2015 at 2:01 PM PST

This spring, Magis and the Seattle University Alumni Association are joining Jesuit universities and colleges across the U.S. to engage graduates in shared service for the 4th annual National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service on April 25th. Along with other Jesuit-educated alumni, this is a fantastic opportunity to engage your friends and family in supporting the community, as well as demonstrating the life-changing and enduring power of a Jesuit education. Be sure to save the date!

As you may already know from your time as a student, being out in our neighborhoods with fellow community members puts us in touch with the complex realities of families living in the Seattle area. The partner organizations we work with not only provide much needed charitable resources, but many work for long term systemic change with some of our society’s most pressing issues. Within this kind of direct service partnership, we seek to grow more self-aware, deepen our compassion, engage our critical thinking, and hopefully be called into action. Here is what one alum who served at the FoodBank at St. Mary’s last year had to say: 

“It was really touching to see the amount of people in the community that St. Mary's serves. It is sad that there is so much need, but the dignity with which these people were received as customers to the food bank and the emphasis on food quality provided to them was very moving.”

As Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) once said: “When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.”

Currently, we are seeking volunteers to locate and lead National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service services sites in the Seattle area and around the country. If you or your alumni chapter are interested in leading a service opportunity in your area, please visit the Day of Service web page for guidelines and a link to a brief survey to complete regarding your service site. You may also contact Maria Ochoa at Magis for more information. Registration for participants at service sites will be in March.

We hope you’ll join us!

Recent Alumni Spotlight: Arsalan Bukhari, '04

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2015 at 2:01 PM PST

We sat down with Arsalan Bukhari, a 2004 Seattle University finance graduate and current Executive Director for the Washington branch of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Originally from Pakistan, Arsalan came to the United States with his mother and sister in 1990 as a ten-year old. They moved to Seattle to be closer to his uncles who relocated to Seattle after retiring from the United States military.

Arsalan smiled as he recalled being a child in Karachi, Pakistan preparing to move to the U.S. “Seattle had a reputation for being rainy, but in Karachi the rain was warm and tropical so that was what I thought Seattle would be like.” He was in for a shock his first Pacific Northwest winter. 

Attracted by its small class sizes, good reputation and scholarships, Arsalan found his way to Seattle University after completing his associates degree at a local community college.  

As a transfer student, Arsalan became actively involved in Seattle U’s campus life. He served as an officer in the Toastmasters Club, organized student activities, wrote an occasional editorial for the Spectator and even performed on the Quadstock main stage after his band, Irtiash, won Battle of the Bands.

“Seattle University helped prepare me for my career, especially the Albers Career Services Center. They encouraged a lot of internships, reviewed my resume and helped prepare me for job interviews,” Arsalan said. 

The skills he learned as an intern and an Albers student remain relevant in his career at CAIR.

CAIR is a national Muslim civil rights organization. They defend Muslims in civil rights cases, for example, if someone is denied the opportunity to practice their religion or experiences discrimination.

In his role, Arsalan engages in proactive media work, organizes major events such as a state-level Muslim Lobby Day and works to build coalitions made up of civil rights groups, religious institutions and those in academia. 

CAIR works to provide the Muslim community with political empowerment, educate the public and to teach the media how to responsibly report on the Muslim community. 

The lack of representation of mainstream Muslims’ lives in the media is a national issue. According to the Gallop Poll 60-75% of national media coverage of Muslims is negative. Arsalan and his team have been working with the Seattle Times for a more fact-based realistic representation of the American Muslim community. CAIR does this through ongoing analysis of the Seattle Times articles that feature Islam, Muslims and relevant topics to see how the articles are framed, if they contain problematic words and to see if the coverage is a factual representation of the Muslim community. They then share their findings with the Seattle Times. 

CAIR shared with the Seattle Times that the word “Islamist,” considered an offensive anti-Muslim slur, was used over 388 by the Seattle Times in 2012. Since they began working with Seattle Times to educate its journalists, there has been more accurate coverage of Muslims in the Seattle media.

“There’s still of lot of work needed to educate the public, especially with groups actively promoting fear,” Arsalan said. “In 2001, 40% of the American public had a positive view of Islam. In 2005 it was 41% but in December 2010 in dropped to 30%. That’s a 10% increase in negativity toward Islam attributed to the national controversy over Park 51, “the Ground Zero Mosque,” perpetuated by groups with extreme anti-Islamic agendas. 

Arsalan went on to explain that the American public has a lot of misconceptions about the Muslim community. There are facts that would actually challenge those misconceptions. For example, according to a Gallup Poll, Muslim women are the second most educated religious group in the United States and Muslim men and women have the smallest pay gap of any group. Islam is also the most racially diverse religious group in the U.S.

Despite how far there is still to go in the fight for understanding and acceptance of Muslims, Arsalan is not discouraged. He finds meaning in the work they do and the difference they make. “What is most meaningful about the work we do is when we fully resolve someone’s case after they’ve been fired for religious reasons. Many people suffer because they feel they need to hide their faith,” Arsalan said. 

Arsalan said that the Seattle U community can make a difference by being allies with the Muslim community. “You can affirm your values by standing up to bigotry when you see it. Hold media editors accountable for factual reporting and don’t let others divide us along ethnic or religious lines.” Arsalan conclude by saying, “The United States has so much opportunity and is the best place to raise a family, get educated and be a Muslim.” 

You can learn more about CAIR and their work by visiting their website.


Help Students - Provide an Internship

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 5:12 PM PST

Does your employer have an internship program or want to start one? Whether you need to hire just one or 25 interns, Seattle U is a great place to start your search. Now you can register to participate at our 2015 Internship Fair on Thursday, February 21 from 11:30-2:30.

Seattle University is committed to connecting our students to the region’s highest quality internship programs. Employers tell us that they appreciate our students because of their critical thinking skills, leadership and commitment to social change. This event is expected to draw at least 350 talented undergraduate and graduate students from across a variety of majors in business, science and engineering, and arts and sciences, seeking both summer and academic-year internships.  

Register in the Redhawk Network today or call Career Services at 206-296-6080 to register your organization or with questions. If you would like to know more about developing an internship program at your place of employment, contact Sarah Thomson, Associate Director of External Relations, Career Services at 


Seattle U License Plates are here

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 4:12 PM PST

Seattle U alumni can now drive pride while supporting student scholarships with the new Seattle University license plates.

To launch the Seattle U plate, we are celebrating with an auction just in time for the holiday season. From December 2-12, Seattle U supporters will have the opportunity to bid on license plate numbers 3 through 25  and own a piece of Seattle U history. 

“This auction gives alumni the chance to show their pride in Seattle U while also giving back to the students since all proceeds  go directly to student scholarships. We’ve already seen a lot of activity in our auction and are hoping more of our alumni and supporters will participate in this unique opportunity to claim one of the very first SU license plates” Corinne Pann, Seattle U associate director of Alumni Marketing  said.

With proceeds from each plate going to support the Seattle University general scholarship fund, the purchase of an SU plate for you or a Seattle U family member is really two gifts in one-the gift of student education and an awesome SU plate for your car. 

On January 2, Seattle U license plates will be available to the public through the Washington Department of Licensing. As soon as the DOL makes the registration page available, you will be able to pre-order online. Or you can go directly to a DOL office on January 2.

A Seattle U license plate will initially cost $72.75 and you  don’t need to wait for your current tabs to expire to purchase SU plates. .

This year, give yourself the gift that gives back to Seattle University students-bid now in the auction or  buy your SU license plate in January.

For more information and to participate in the auction , visit



Alumni Spotlight: Mark & Maria Vega

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 4:12 PM PST

When you think of the holidays often you think of sweet treats, family traditions and, of course, Christmas carols. For the alumni couple in this month’s spotlight, music is more than just a way to celebrate the season; it’s what brought them together.

Mark Vega, ‘07, and Maria (Dougherty) Vega, ‘08, met during a rehearsal of the St. Ignatius Choir in 2005. It was when Mark heard Maria sing that their love story began. In 2010 the couple got married in the chapel where they met and the two even performed at their own wedding. 

They now work together at CBRE where they work on the Microsoft account. Maria is a project manager and Mark works as an IT manager. 

But their true passion is music. They have stayed involved with and connected to the university by sharing their gifts for song. The couple can be found singing Sunday mornings during mass in the chapel, at alumni weddings and in the choir during the annual Advent Mass.

Their favorite thing about performing at Advent Mass is how it brings together the diverse alumni community. “It's great seeing everyone at different points in their life journey.  There are recent graduates coming back for their first Advent Mass, others returning with young families and others returning many years after their graduation, all coming together during this time of waiting before Christmas,” they shared.

Advent Mass differs from others because of that sense of community, hope and joy that is palpable during the holidays. ”It is great to see the joy on people's faces when a popular carol is one of the songs.  People at St. Ignatius usually tend to sing along with the music anyway, which is wonderful, but when it is something like "Joy to the World!" or "Angels we Have Heard on High" you can tell nearly everyone in the church is singing.” 

During this season of gratitude, Mark and Maria have their own message of thanks to share. “Seattle University is where our relationship began and is still a large part of our relationship today.  Both Campus ministry and Seattle U's music program brought us together and we greatly appreciate those who have supported the university and those programs.  Both of us were able to attend Seattle University due to scholarships and we are grateful not only for the education we received academically, but also personally and spiritually.”

You can learn more about Mark and Maria and hear them perform in the video by Mark George from Rocket to Antares LLC, “The Wedding Singers.” 

Please join us for Advent Mass this Saturday, December 6 at 4:00 in the Chapel of St. Ignatius. It is followed by a reception in the Pigott Atrium.


Staying More Peaceful and Less Frazzled During the Holiday Season

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM PST

The season of Advent is here! Christmas is approaching, and now is the time for joyful preparation in the midst of what is often a busier than normal time of year: making your to-do list, acquiring or making gifts for loved ones, or simply getting your home decorated takes a lot of effort.

Just reading that list,  have you already started to feel a little overwhelmed by a case of the “shoulds” this holiday season?

Edward Hayes, a Catholic priest and author on contemporary spirituality, shares with us a beautiful prayer titled St. Nicholas Blessing Prayer from his book Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home. The prayer invokes St. Nicholas, an iconic saint known for his generosity and whose feast day is celebrated December 6th, to bless and inspire us in being grounded in the true meaning of the season. The intentionality of this prayer helps us to refocus and slow down. Whenever you start to feel a case of the “shoulds” coming on during the next weeks, we invite you to reflect on this gentle prayer: 


St. Nicholas, holy patron of children,

Bishop of the East,

we invite you to come among us

and to grant us your holy blessing.

Help us in this busy, busy season

not to miss the miracle of the coming of Emmanuel

in the days of preparation

as well as on the feast itself.

Help us not to be blind

to the gifts of getting ready. 

Protect us from insincerity.

May every greeting we send

be signed with love, friendship and prayer.

May our greetings, so written,

be fun to open and treasures to keep. 

Kind St. Nicholas,

protect us from shopper’s fatigue

Show us how to take delight in the marketplace,

now transformed in beauty, lights, and music.

Save us all from anxiety over what to give

so that we may concentrate on how to give. 

Stand by the stepladder

as we decorate our homes and trees and lives.

May our decorations not be mute

but rather singing symbols,

sacred signs of the evergreen coming of the Lord of Life. 

Help us to remember that mistletoe, holly

and all other ornaments of the season,

were sacred signs to ancient believers. 

But, most of all, jolly saint of toys and sweets,

help us stay youthful, humorous, playful and dream-filled

as we prepare together for the coming of Christ

with Advent longing.

St. Nicholas, pray for us. 


As you read this, what word or phrase stands out? 

What message do you take from this prayer?

What do you need in order to remain peaceful and present? 

No matter how much there is to get done, now is the time to slow down and savor the real reason for the season. 

Photo credit: Christmas Cliché by Bart Cayusa, Creative Commons License


A Christmas Message from the President

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on December 3, 2014 at 10:12 AM PST

 As November turns to December, the weather grows colder and the night longer, it is undeniable that winter is here and holidays are fast approaching, making it the perfect time to wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas season.

I hope you have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, celebrate your favorite traditions and enjoy some delicious food. But I also hope you find time for some peace, quiet and reflection.

I often find the Christmas season to be the perfect time for reflection on the blessings of the previous year. I am filled with a sense of gratitude and as President of Seattle University, I have so many things to be thankful for.

I am grateful for the Seattle University community. For our students who are always striving for a just and humane world. For you, our alumni, who are leaders in the community throughout Seattle, across the country and in 62 countries. And for our great faculty and staff who guide and prepare our students for life outside these walls.

I was especially blessed this year to have the opportunity to accompany a small group of friends of Seattle University to meet Pope Francis in November.

A visit that was expected to be 15 minutes lasted 45. The Pope gave us his full attention. We found it hard to believe there was nowhere else the leader of the Catholic Church would rather be. For me, this was the experience of a lifetime.

When asked what message he would like us to bring back to Seattle University, the Holy Father shared a thought that is particularly relevant to the holiday season.

It was, “witness.” He said words don’t count. Words only touch a person’s mind. The only thing that counts for those at your university is your witness. The witness of your life, the witness of your faith, the witness of your commitment and the witness of who you are. Witness is what counts.

I’d like to ask you to reflect on the Pope’s message as Jesuit-educated alumni. What does it mean to you to witness during this holiday season? Does it call you to bear witness to those less fortunate than you?  How are you a witness to your family and friends in order to connect more authentically? How do your actions reflect your faith and commitment?

I hope you will take some time this Christmas season to reflect on all that you are grateful for and how you serve as a witness in this world. Just as we are thankful for you, we hope that when you think of Seattle U, you are filled with a sense of pride and gratitude. Never forget that even after graduation, we remain your university.

I look forward with anticipation to the year ahead and wish you all many blessings in this Christmas season and the new year.   

With gratitude,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.


Scott Kaiser Directs Shakespeare-Inspired Love’s Labor’s Won

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM PST


Scott Kaiser, longtime artistic staff member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is now making his mark at Seattle University, with his new play, Love's Labor's Won.

Kaiser has joined the faculty as a guest instructor in the Theatre Department for the fall quarter and oversees production of the play as the Artist-In-Residence for the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts. 

Love's Labor's Won begins where Shakespeare's comedy Love's Labor's Lost ends. Kaiser’s thoughtful and funny play imagines the reunion of the parted lovers against the opulent backdrop of 1918 Versailles. Even if Shakespeare's Love’s Labor’s Lost is unfamiliar, Kaiser’s play captivates the audience through its intriguing story and thematic exploration of loss and love.

“It was unusual for Shakespeare to write a comedy that ended without a tidy resolution,” Kaiser said, so I believe that Love’s Labor’s Lost was a cliffhanger to get you back into the theater to watch part two.” 

Although there is scant evidence that such a play existed, some scholars strongly believe, as Kaiser does, that Shakespeare may have created a second part to his original piece. 

While Shakespeare’s second part may be forever lost – or entirely nonexistent – Kaiser writes Love’s Labor’s Won in a way that pays homage to Shakespeare. “I’ve tried to honor Shakespeare’s artistry rather than satirize it,” Kaiser shares. While indeed honoring Shakespeare’s work, Kaiser strongly believes that his play stands alone. “You don’t need to know Love’s Labor’s Lost to enjoy Love’s Labor’s Won,” he said.

Kaiser is the Director of Company Development at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Participating in 24 seasons at OSF, Kaiser has contributed to almost 100 productions, including all 38 Shakespeare plays. 

Love's Labor's Won opens on November 13 and runs through November 23. Alumni of Seattle University are invited to watch the production. Tickets may be purchased in-person at the Lee Center Box Office or at for $10. 

Kaiser’s theatre production at Seattle University is made possible by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts.

Love's Labor Won
Lee Center for the Arts 
Showing from November 12-23,2014

Wed-Sat: 7:30 p.m.
Sun: 2:00 p.m.


Alumni Survey Results

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on November 5, 2014 at 9:11 PM PST

We asked and you answered. In June an electronic survey was sent to all alumni asking for input on how to improve your university and alumni experience. Thank you to all who took the survey! We are giving you a sneak peak into the key findings from the survey.  Look for more details about the results and how we are taking action in the winter edition of the Seattle University Magazine.

Key Findings

Alumni are highly satisfied with their educational experience. 

Alumni value their relationship with Seattle U, but don’t feel strongly connected. 

Recent alumni strongly value their relationship with Seattle U and see opportunities for improvement in career services and professional development programs.

Graduate alumni are more loyal to and involved with the university than their undergraduate counterparts.

Alumni most value career and professional development programs and services.

Alumni engage most often by reading the Seattle University Magazine and alumni emails and want more invitations to events.

Survey Raffle Winners

All respondents who entered, had the chance to win one of five $100 gift certificates to the Seattle U Bookstore.  Congratulations to our lucky winners, Laura Hurst, Carol Everson, Nellie Calacat, Mark Kitna and Adam Neal!  

In addition, everyone who entered will receive two free tickets to the Homecoming men’s basketball game on Saturday, February 7, 2015.  We’ll be sending more information about how to get your tickets soon.  Mark your calendars now for a fun weekend!