SU Voice Alumni Blog

Search for Meaning Book Festival

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 11:02 PM PST

You are invited to the seventh annual Search for Meaning Book Festival.

Launched in 2009, the festival has evolved into a signature SU event. Featuring a veritable who’s who of the literary and scholarly worlds, this year’s festival includes more than 55 best-selling authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more. The annual one-day festival offers general sessions, keynote presentations, book signings and interactive experiences. Individuals from all walks of life spend a day with some of the world’s most influential authors and scholars while reflecting on their own ability to contribute to a more just and humane world.

Since it began six years ago, the Search for Meaning Book Festival has been a great success thanks to the support of our neighbors, community members and generous donors and volunteers who have given their time and financial resources to make this a one-of-a-kind event. Yet with increasing costs associated with the festival, a $10 fee must be charged for entrance this year for each attendee ($5 for students). Visit Search for Meaning to purchase your tickets and learn more.

A special thanks to this year’s title sponsors, Robert and Laura Ellen Muglia, whose tremendous generosity allows the university to continue offering the event with only a modest admittance fee. The university also continues to devote significant financial and personnel resources to the festival to further minimize the cost for attendees.

Volunteer for the Search for Meaning Book Festival! This is a great opportunity to engage with students, alumni, community partners and distinguished authors from the surrounding areas. By volunteering, you will receive a voucher for lunch and fun swag and you will also be able to attend one of the keynote speakers for free! 


2015 Alumni Award Winners

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. and the Seattle University Alumni Association are pleased to announce the university’s 2015 Alumni Awards recipients.  For 30 years, Seattle University has celebrated the Alumni Awards which honor those alumni who exemplify our Jesuit values and excel in the areas of leadership, professional achievement and community service. We had an excellent slate of nominees in all categories and the outstanding winners introduced below rose to the top.  


We will celebrate the achievements of these outstanding Seattle University alumni and faculty at the 30th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.  We hope you will join us.   To register or to host a table, please visit


Doreen Marchione, ‘62

Alumna of the Year

A graduate of Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Doreen Marchione, ’62, is dedicated to improving the lives of people in her community. In 1984, she began the first of her two terms as mayor of Redmond. Currently, she is in her second term on the Kirkland City Council after serving as deputy mayor. During her 15 years as CEO of HopeLink—the largest provider of social services in north and east King County—she oversaw a 150% increase in the number of residents HopeLink assisted. In addition to being a Legacy Society member, she served on Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council for 15 years, the visiting committee for the Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and mentored students.

Read Doreen's complete story here.


Clayton Pitre, ‘68

Community Service

Clayton Pitre, a Montford Point Marine and longtime community activist, graduated from Seattle University in 1968 with a degree in accounting.  A fixture in the central Seattle community, Clayton organized and chaired the African American Dollars for Scholars program for 17 years, coordinated efforts to fund and build three low income housing projects and was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic church for 52 years, serving three terms as president of the parish board and leading the development of its child care center. Clayton has served 60 years as a member of the Knights of Columbus and Knights of Peter Claver (the African American arm of the Knights of Columbus) and has actively mentored and participated in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. For his service as a Montford Point Marine, the first African American Marine troop in World War II, Clayton was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Read Clayton's complete story here.


Joe Zavaglia, ‘71

University Service

Joe Zavaglia dreams of what could be and makes it happen. Joe wanted to play college soccer, but Seattle University didn’t have a team. Drafting a petition, he not only got 90 percent student approval but also recruited 100 potential players. When told the school didn’t have the $500 needed, he appealed to then President Fr. Lemieux. In a matter of hours, he received the call from Athletic Director, Eddie O’Brien that the funds had been appropriated. As an alumnus, Joe co-chaired the Championship Field redevelopment project with Vince Volpe. For several years Joe served on the Athletics Hall of Fame committee and in 2007, was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. A tireless fundraiser, he helped launch the annual Red Tie event and chaired the Men’s Soccer Alumni Committee. He has also served on the Board of Regents for seven years.

Read Joe's complete story here.


Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, ’73 

Professional Development

Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, a 1973 graduate of the College of Nursing, demonstrates exceptional leadership. An innovator integrating basic scientific research into the practice of nursing, she inspires colleagues with her cutting edge approach to health care. Nationally and internationally recognized, Dr. Heitkemper was recently elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of medicine’s highest honors. Dr. Heitkemper had the courage to introduce a clinical research program identifying possible symptoms related to IBS at a time little notice was being paid to GI distress. Because of her work, IBS patients have adopted ways of living quality lives. In a career full of successes, Dr. Heitkemper is most proud of her work highlighting the importance of women’s health and the role gender plays in health and treatment. 

Read Margaret's complete story here.

Phillip Thompson, Ph.D., P.E. 

Distinguished Faculty 

Dr. Phillip Thompson, a member of Seattle University’s faculty since 1997, is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability. He earned the 2009-11 Thomas J. Bannan Endowed Chair of Engineering. A consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates and Bullitt Foundations, Dr. Thompson is a recipient of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, and his research on water treatment and pollution control has been published widely. Each year, he takes students to work on water projects in countries such as Thailand, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Zambia, giving him rich experience to draw upon. His engineering consulting work has kept his teaching fresh and relevant.  Dr. Jean Jacoby, Associate Dean declared, “Phil exemplifies SU’s care for students and commitment to environmental justice and sustainability.”  

Read Phillip's complete story here.

Derek Rogalsky, ‘10

Outstanding Recent Alumnus

Derek Rogalsky is a shining example of a Seattle University graduate who embodies the Jesuit values of service and social justice. As a student, Derek was inducted into Seattle U’s Ignatian Leadership Honor Society, served as president of the Bannan Scholars, volunteered in Haiti and played on the men’s soccer team –all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. After graduation, he deferred medical school for a year to volunteer with his wife, Rebekah, also an SU alum, for a year of service in Haiti, teaching, mentoring and coaching at Louverture Cleary School. While there, Derek helped coordinate The Haitian Project’s institutional response to the cholera epidemic, keeping the campus free of infection.  Currently in his fourth year at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Derek was one of 21 fourth year medical students nationwide to receive the American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Award. His research on health care inequality has been published in a number of scientific journals. Derek decided to become a surgeon, “…to help people in their most desperate hour of need.”

Read Derek's complete story here.



African American Alumni Chapter Spotlight: Andre´ Taybron

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

Andre´ Taybron is a 2000 MPA graduate and a member of Seattle University African American Alumni Chapter’s (AAAC) leadership team.

From seventh grade through high school, Andre’ lived with his single mother and three of his siblings in public housing in Wilson, North Carolina. Growing up in the “projects,” Andre´ constantly questioned why it was that his family and neighbors who worked so hard to provide for their families were not able to purchase a home in a middle-class neighborhood. 

Andre’s background living in public housing helped to shape his values and ideals around the need for better housing policy. “Today I’m a published author, scholar and entrepreneur. My firm, Broneist Consulting, provides urban design, planning, needs assessment, public policy development and administration implementation services,” Andre´ said.  

Andre´ has a B.S. in Communications, an MPA from Seattle University and a Masters in Architecture and Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington. 

“Academically, my knowledge and understanding of social justice and public policy flourished while completing my Master’s degree at Seattle University. I applied that knowledge to both my roles at the Seattle and Renton Housing authorities and as a Housing Planner at AIDS Housing of Washington.” Andre´ studied at Seattle University from 1998-2000. “While at Seattle University I learned to ask the tough questions. I knew when choosing Seattle University that I would establish a foundation for social justice ideals and philosophies to incorporate into my work. Understanding the Jesuit tradition taught me to think for myself and to test commonly accepted knowledge,” Andre´ shared. 

In 2014, Andre´ became a member of the Seattle University African American Alumni Chapter’s leadership team.  “After embarking on my professional journey and the real-world rat race, I noticed that something was missing – the SU culture and environment that I loved.” 

Andre´ began meeting quarterly with MPA alumni which helped keep him connected to Seattle University. Over the years he saw a lack of opportunities to engage and connect with African American professionals and community members and began to attend events hosted by the African American Alumni Chapter (AAAC).

 “I saw something in the participants of the AAAC that I wanted around me and more importantly, I wanted to be a part of the leadership to help influence the welcoming, professional and fun atmosphere.”

As a member of the AAAC leadership team, Andre´ hopes the group becomes a catalyst to bring people back to campus and to get alumni and students more engaged. 

“It is my passion and vision for the chapter to be a resource to uplift individuals who may have questions or struggles, for those who want fellowship and those who need more guidance, advice and mentorship. I want people to come out, bring their spouses, partners, children, family and friends to have fun and let the Seattle University community know that we are here as a chapter and part of what makes our Jesuit institution great!” Andre´ said. 

You can join the African American Alumni chapter this month for their Black History Month Celebration.

Seattle University Black History Month Celebration
February 20, 2015
6:30 p.m.
Seattle University | Casey Commons

RSVP now.


Black History Month Feature - Clayton Pitre, ‘68

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

In honor of Black History Month we’re spotlighting   Clayton Pitre, ‘68, a member of the African American Alumni community and our 2015 Community Service Alumni Award winner.

Clayton was born in 1924 in Opelousas Louisiana, one of seven children .He attended Catholic school until the 9th grade, when he had to put his education on hold to work on his father’s farm. At the age of nineteen Clayton was drafted into the military, becoming one of the first African Americans to join the Marines. Clayton was trained at Montford Point, a segregated base in North Carolina. 

In 1945 Clayton’s unit was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, where Clayton, an infantryman in the 1st Marine Ammunition Company, was responsible for sending ammunition to the front lines. In January 1946 Clayton was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal. 

In 2012 Clayton and 400 fellow black marines from Montford Point were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama at a White House ceremony.

After his service in World War II, Clayton joined his brother in Seattle where he met his wife, Gloria Tony. While in Seattle he completed his education, first achieving his GED at Broadway Edison, a high school for veterans without a high school diploma, then, with support from the G.I. Bill, he worked his way through college as a postal clerk, husband and father of three. In 1968 Clayton graduated from Seattle University with an accounting degree. 

Clayton would go on to work in real estate for fourteen years, eventually becoming Chief Housing Developer for the Central Area Motivation Project (CAMP), where he helped to fund and build low-income housing across the city.

When CAMP lost its funding in 1973, Clayton joined the Veteran Administration office, where he worked for eleven years until his retirement in 1984. Though retired, Clayton remained committed to serving his community. He formed the African American Dollars for Scholars program and chaired the program for 17 years. 

"I've been at Garfield and Roosevelt and seen kids with 3.8 grade-point averages walk away with all the scholarships and the ones with 3.0 feel no need to try. Our mission is to encourage them to go beyond high school and come back to the community as productive citizens.” Clayton said in a Seattle Times article about the program.

Clayton’s community outreach doesn’t end there. He  served as the Vice President of the Central Area Senior Center, has been a member of the  Knights of Columbus for over 60 years and continues to act as a mentor for the fraternity,  Kappa Alpha Psi . 

Clayton’s Catholic faith is an important part of his life. He’s been a member of St. Mary’s parish for 52 years, where he created a child care center and was the President of its board. He considers the creation of their child care center one of his proudest achievements.

In paying tribute to Clayton, Susan Clifford Jamroski , Major Gift Officer for the Virginia Mason Foundation, said, “He has mentored hundreds of people as a true servant does.  Clayton rarely looks back.  He is always future forward; the next person who needs help, the next opportunity, the next friend.  As a Catholic born in the south and of very humble origins and now in his ninth decade, he continues to press full steam ahead.”    

The Seattle University community is honored to be able to call him one of our own. 

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Clayton and our other Alumni Award winners on April 18. 

30th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration
Saturday, April 18
Fairmont Olympic Hotel 


School of New and Continuing Studies

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 2, 2015 at 10:02 PM PST

Seattle University is adding something new to the mix for adult learners. Those who want the benefit of an outstanding Seattle University education, but are not looking for the traditional college experience can now turn to the School of New and Continuing Studies.

The new school caters to the traditionally underrepresented demographic of adult learners. The school accepts those who have completed at least 60 hours of college credits and want to complete their degree or those who are looking to add to their skills set.  The hybrid nature of the school (all classes consist of online and in-person course work) makes education accessible to even the busiest schedules. 

The school plans to launch BA programs in spring of 2016, but has already hit the ground running with their one-year Web Development Certificate, which launched its first cohort in January 2015. The Web Development Certificate consists of eight courses designed to transition students from a typical web user to an entry-level front end web developer. 

Seattle’s reputation as a high tech hub makes this certificate especially relevant. 52,000 web and software technology jobs were posted in Puget Sound in 2013 alone and the median income for web developers in the United States is $62,000. 

"We believe the program has a responsibility to serve everyone in the Puget Sound Region. The web industry is desperate for an infusion of diverse perspectives and fresh talent. Our students reflect this goal: The first cohort is made up of 60% women and represents a range of life experience and backgrounds." Shawn Rider, the Director of Web, Application and Technology Studies for the School of New and Continuing Studies, said.

Not only are the courses led by knowledgeable instructors with real-world industry experience, but the entire Web Development Certificate is designed to build compelling professional portfolios that will impress employers, recruiters and help students land a job upon completion.  The school is enrolling new cohorts quarterly and are now accepting applications  for  the certificate program beginning in April 2015. Those interested in learning more about the program can visit their website.  

The addition of the School of New and Continuing Studies is an exciting opportunity for Seattle University and life-long learners alike. Make sure to stay tuned as more news and information are announced. 


Employer Information Sessions

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 8, 2015 at 2:01 PM PST

Alumni, did you know that Employer Information Sessions are a valuable tool to help you on your job hunt? Join recruiters from companies such as Amazon, Puget Sound Energy, The Peace Corps and more each week on campus during the lunch hour.

This is your opportunity to learn what it’s like to work at some of the top companies in the Puget Sound area and about their values and mission. You’ll gain insights directly from recruiters as to what they look for in candidates and position yourself for interview success. 

Learn about all upcoming information sessions on the Career Services homepage

New Brand, New Look

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

Last summer, Seattle University began work on the first of several updates to our website. The refresh of the site is based on best practices and aligns with the Seattle U brand initiative  to tell our story with greater clarity and impact.

Visitors will experience a fresh and inviting homepage and landing pages for Admissions, Alumni, Academics, Student Life and a new Graduate Studies page.  

The new look uses crisp photography and updated brand colors and fonts. The landing pages are also designed to be scrollable and clearer, which will help the increasing number of visitors using smartphones, with well-designed link placement and less text. We're excited to feature our SU community with the embedded Instagram feed, more prominent news placement and continued upcoming events.

We wanted the new to reflect the transformative, rigorous and well-rounded experience Seattle University offers. The redesigned site strives to: 

Convey Seattle University's commitment to academic excellence, social justice and Jesuit education;

Authentically and boldly communicate the unique student experience at Seattle U;

Improve functionality and navigability and drive interest in the university; and

Align the website with the Seattle U brand refresh.

The update was made possible with the help of a large number of university constituents, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, divisional leaders and SU's Brand Leadership Group, a representative body of key university stakeholders. Each of these constituents offered constructive feedback and edits to enhance the look, navigability and authenticity of the new site.  

We are excited about the new look for and look forward to bringing you continued improvements and additions as we work to strengthen Seattle University's web presence.

Visit our homepage and let us know what you think. 


Seattle U License Plates: Available Now

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

They’re here! We are excited to announce that Seattle University license plates are now available. Proceeds from each Seattle U license plate go to support Seattle University student scholarships. Now you can drive with pride while supporting our students!

The launch of SU plates has gotten off to a strong start thanks to the generosity of those who participated in our online auction for the first 25 SU plates. With your help we’ve raised over $21,000 for Seattle University students. 

To show your SU pride and purchase your own Seattle U plate visit your local Department of Licensing office and apply in person or visit our website and apply online. 

Have you already ordered your Seattle U plate? Show us how you drive with pride. Snap a picture of your vehicle with its sporty new SU plate, share it with us on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SUPlates and we’ll send you an alumni license plate frame. 

We can’t wait to see the roads of Washington state filled with Seattle U pride. 



Dance Marathon Alumni - Help Us Reach Our Goal

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

You know Seattle University’s reputation for social justice, but did you know the students of Seattle University are receiving national attention for the difference they are making in the lives of Seattle’s children?

In 2007, Seattle University began the Dance Marathon. A 16-hour event, Dance Marathon raises money Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH). The money raised benefits the hospital’s Uncompensated Care Fund which provides medical care for kids whose families could not otherwise afford it. In just seven years, Seattle University’s Dance Marathon has raised over $190,000, becoming the largest dance marathon on the West Coast.

In 2013, Seattle University’s Dance Marathon won the Chairman’s Award for Guild Excellence presented by the SCH Guild Association Board of Trustees. 

In July 2014, Seattle University’s Dance Marathon was recognized for their accomplishments at the National Dance Marathon Conference where they were nominated for an award in innovation and took home the award for Best Website. 

 “For me there is no other more vibrant embodiment of the SU mission on our campus than Dance Marathon. It was a signature part of my Seattle University student experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world,” Seattle U alumna and former Dance Marathon participant, Katy Granath,’14, said.

This year the Seattle University Dance Marathon takes place on Saturday, February 21, with the goal of raising $73,000. That’s just $1.00 for every Seattle University alum with 100% of the proceeds going to support Seattle Children’s Hospital. You can help Seattle U Dance Marathon reach its goal by making a donation to Seattle Children’s Hospital on their website

Dance Marathon would like to engage alumni, especially those who danced while they were students, in the event this year.  In addition to donating, you can participate by coming to the event during the alumni time or you can donate to or bid on the silent auction.

Attend the Event

Saturday, February 21
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Campion Ballroom 

Join other SU alumni and student dancers to play games, hang out with the Miracle Kids, dance and show your support for the cause. 

Participate in the Silent Auction 

Make a donation or bid in the online silent auction that takes place during the 16-hours of the Seattle Dance Marathon. 

Make a donation to the Dance Marathon Alumni Fundraising page.

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).