To the graduating class of 2018,
As president of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Alumni Council, let me be the first to congratulate you. You are nearly there! In just a little over a week, you’ll have had your last coffee in Pigott, sauntered across the Quad and stepped into a much bigger world. However, as you may have already noticed, this is just the beginning. You will have new opportunities, failures, shifting opinions about the world around you, and relationships that will shape who you are and what you are to become. I remember graduating as a young, ambitious theater major thinking, “Well, I guess I just do this now? But what is this?” It is both a daunting and thrilling feeling, and I can’t help but be excited for you all. It is up to you to divine the journey. If there is one thing that eight years of Jesuit education has imprinted in me, it’s that the best tools that we have are the community we create and the discernment we practice.
A friend once told me, “We have choices to make and that will be the greatest challenge and most significant gift set before us.” What choices will you make? How will you make a difference? I graduated less than 10 years ago and still, I can’t imagine what it is like to be thrust into such a competitive, and culturally divisive environment for the first time, or for some, again. At SU, we are prepared to receive this as a call to action, to live our best life and make the change we seek in the world. But for now, let’s forget about the metaphors, the sage advice, the open questions. You’ve heard this all before. It is going to be a fun run—that I can promise you. And you won’t be running alone. Your fellow graduates and alumni share this common thread, and are here to help you along the way.
Volunteering with the Seattle U Alumni Association and serving as president of the young alumni community, I have had the pleasure to work with a range of diverse and compelling people. Most of these alumni I never knew during my time at SU. Yet, I have gained peers, friends and even a job because of this network. I have come to see that we are all cut from the same cloth, sharing a willingness to empathize, to learn, to question, and to grow. That age old Jesuit phrase of cultivating the “whole person” truly is the greatest gift we receive with this education. I invite you to build upon the community you’ve created here at Seattle U by joining the young alumni community, also known as Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD), at social events, career programming and service and other opportunities. You will meet new people, learn and broaden your perspectives. From there, trust your instincts and the choices you make. That will take you where you didn’t know you needed to be.
The best of luck, class of 2018, and welcome to the Seattle University Alumni Association!
Damian Peterson ‘09
President, GOLD Alumni Council
While the young alumni community is a fun and active group, it’s not the only alumni community you can join. We have a vibrant chapter and affinity group program that connects alumni regionally, and through shared interests, experiences and identities. African American Alumni, Women of SU, International Alumni, Bay Area Alumni Chapter and the Hawaii Alumni Chapter are just a few of the groups you can connect with. Activate your account on SU Alumni Connect to learn more.