SU Voice Alumni Blog

Seattle University's Professionals Without Borders

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 1:09 PM PDT

“For me, it was great to see how 13 people, few of (whom) had known each other before, came together to give ourselves to another community and, ultimately, form our own. This group is truly a gift.” - Nick Elam, ’14, Seattle University Strategic Communications Student on his experience with Professionals Without Borders’ service trip to Nicaragua.

Founded in 2007 when a group of Seattle U employees re-graded a Nicaraguan elementary school courtyard damaged by flooding, Professionals Without Borders (PWOB) has taken dozens of students and staff members on service projects all over the globe, from Belize to Zambia, with the mission of empowering students to serve and lead sustainable service projects that help people in need.

The concept born from this experience was simple: connect students with skilled trades’ people to complete small, but substantial, projects for people in need. 

For the first time, alumni now have the exciting opportunity to join PWOB, faculty, staff and students when they return to Nicaragua December 12-23.   You will be helping with infrastructure projects at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage

Here’s what past participants have had to say about their experience serving the orphanage in Nicaragua.

 “For me (the service trip) was seeing a totally different way of life - how people with little but each other can be so happy. They helped remind me of all the things I take for granted. I am so grateful for the time I spent there and am glad I am going back. I think they enjoyed having us there as much as I enjoyed being there.

We built a cement sidewalk and…painted school buildings. (The pequenos) worked side by side with us. We played soccer, volleyball, enjoyed dinners and played games. I knew very little Spanish but, with the help of our group, we communicated and laughed.” 

- Wayne Holscher, SU Facilities Services

This morning I woke up with such comfort; I felt as if I was home, that I belonged here.  The long days of hard work and intense heat has broken down any barriers that keep me from feeling like an outsider. Every meal we share is the most delicious food we’ve ever tasted on a simple plastic orange plate. This trip has been so much more than a service trip. It feels like global engagement has taken such a powerful role in the education of our students and it has been meaningful to contribute while also gaining a better perspective of what is going on in the lives of current Seattle University students. Today at lunch we sat with the littlest penqueñas.  Before every meal the little girls take turns leading us in prayer. You can imagine what it would be like to hear a 7 year old decide what she’d like to pray for.…”

If you’re interested in learning more about PWOB’s Nicaragua trip, please attend the information session on Thursday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolfe Community Room in the Admissions and Alumni Building on 12th and Marion.  You can also visit their website for more information. 

- From the PWOB journal of Brianne Vanderlinden, ‘07, University Advancement


Magis: A Summer Reflection

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT

What is it about summer that feels so spacious? Is it the longer days? The vacations? Barbeques? Some might say the break from school. Or do you scoff at the suggestion of summer as downtime? For us, it feels more often than not as if we are trying to pack 20 lbs. of flour in a 10 lb. sack when it comes to our time. And more free time means often means more commitments added to our calendars.  How do we make sure what we are adding is bringing us closer to fullness?  As Jesuit alumni, we take pride in what we have come to value – our faith, families, friends, freedoms – however integrating these values amidst the scurry of career and community building is a different story. The pace which has become the status quo challenges intentionality, throwing us off balance and into a diluted version of our best selves.

Pope Francis said, "We will never be disillusioned or lose our way if we are guided by God." If you want to explore intentionality and its connection to authenticity, Magis invites you to Jesuit Alumni Day of Reflection: Living an Integrated and Authentic Life on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be guided talks, prayer and reflection, lunch, and community building among Jesuit alumni of all ages. A few partial scholarships are available. Email Magis for more information or to register! 

New Seattle U Look. Same Seattle U Values.

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT

You may have noticed that the look of Seattle U materials and advertising is changing.  A new Seattle University Alumni Association logo.  Billboards going up around Seattle. Event invitations. School and college newsletters. New signage around campus. For the last year, Seattle University has been undergoing a brand redesign and it is finally launching in earnest this fall.  Be on the lookout for a new look and feel to all university materials.

Your Seattle University Alumni Association is updating our marketing as well.  We are excited to roll out  our alumni pocket guide, website, event invitations, newsletters and more. Make sure to check out the difference in the October SU Voice. 

Why a new brand? Scott McClellan, vice president for university communications, explains, “We are in a very competitive higher education market and higher education is going through a period of disruptive change. It's important to make sure we're telling our unique story with greater clarity and impact. We have a great story to tell and I want more people to hear our story. The message needs to authentic to who we are, but to stand out and break through all the clutter, it also needs to be clear and distinctive.,”

Seattle University is working with the design team of 160over90 to help implement this brand change and better tell the Seattle University story. After months of research with students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and prospective students, 160over90 developed a brand strategy that is bold and daring while also being authentic to Seattle U’s history, mission and values.   

“The foundation, or bottom, of the pyramid includes the forward-looking, innovative ecosystem of Seattle where we are centrally located and our Jesuit educational experience, which is grounded in 450 years of excellence and transformation. The top of the pyramid is the impact we have. When you talk about our impact, it is about the impact our students, alumni and faculty have locally and globally. There is a certain expectation attached to a Seattle University education. It is an expectation that you are committing yourself to something more, to something greater than yourself-to serving others. We expect you to lead and serve, to be engaged. We expect you to be an agent for change in your careers and in your communities. The impact we have is sustainable; it's not short term. Our impact makes a lasting difference in communities, locally and globally,” explains McClellan.

In addition to the new brand identity, you will also see some changes in how we identify ourselves as an Alumni Association and as your staff.  We are now proactively and intentionally using Seattle University Alumni Association as the name that represents our 73,000 alumni worldwide.  As alumni of Seattle U, you are automatically a member of this association. Our goal is to help you feel like a lifelong member of the Seattle U community.

In addition, our office will be renamed the Office of Alumni Engagement to better reflect the role we play in helping you engage in meaningful ways with your alma mater.   

This is an exciting time for the Seattle U community as we increase our presence in the city and better tell the story of our university through our new brand.   Keep your eyes open for the changes and let us know what you think. 

Bay Area Alumni Chapter

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT

It’s been an exciting year for the Seattle University Alumni Association’s Chapters program. Locally we’ve seen huge growth with both our corporate and affinity chapters. Our regional chapters are growing, too. This month, we are highlighting our dedicated and highly engaged Bay Area Alumni Chapter. For alumni in the Bay Area, your Chapter leadership has been hard at work planning ways for you to get involved, from pre-game rallies to a new alumni mentoring program and a chapter reunion--this year is going to be busy. 

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming Bay Area Chapter events. 

SU Women's Soccer Match and Pre-Game Rally at Saint Mary's College
Sunday, September 14, 2014
$5 gets you a ticket to the game and entrance to the pre-game rally where you’ll enjoy lunch, drinks and Redhawk pride.
RSVP now.


Alumni to Alumni Mentoring Program
Applications due October 1st
Seattle U Alumni know the importance of giving back and of ongoing professional mentoring for new and experienced professionals alike. So here's the opportunity for you to do both with alumni in your own backyard.

It is a light commitment. We ask that mentors and mentees meet or talk on the phone just once a month for one year. We will provide you with guidance and activities for your conversations.

Mentor Application (Red Form)

Mentee Application (Blue Form)

Too much of a time commitment, but still want to be involved? There’s a short term option.

Short-Term Application

The first mentor program event will be either Friday, October 17th or Saturday, October 18th. 

Save the Date:

Watch your email for more information on these events.

Seattle U Men's Basketball Game and Pre-Game Rally at San Jose State
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Annual Bay Area Alumni Chapter Reunion
March, 2015

Questions? Contact Harmony Frederick.

Young Alumni Spotlight: Maria Walsh, '05

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM PDT

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we are featuring Maria Walsh, ‘05, a Latina alumna and part of the planning committee for the Seattle University Latina/o Alumni Chapter. Maria works at Boeing where she has helped to establish and lead the Seattle U Boeing Alumni Chapter.

Maria transferred to Seattle University from Bellevue College. While looking at schools, Seattle U was at the top of Maria’s list due to its small class sizes, location and strong reputation for educating the whole person and empowering leaders for a just and humane world. 

Maria is someone who likes to get involved, as evidenced by her activities as a student. As soon as she started at Seattle University, Maria ran for student government. In her time at Seattle U, she was president of the Risk Management Club, a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Albers Investment Club, and worked for the student-run newspaper, The Spectator, as the Business and Marketing Manager. 

“I have many great memories from my time at Seattle U. I got really sick one day and I had to miss class two or three days straight.  I remember getting a call on my cell phone from one of my teachers.  He was wondering how I was doing because he had not seen me in class or around the school.  I was touched that he noticed I was missing and that he cared about his students.  Seattle University really provides a family atmosphere where you get to know your professors and your classmates.  You feel like you are part of something and not just a number,” Maria shared. 

The individualized attention and extracurricular activities made her student experience a meaningful one, but Seattle U’s impact didn’t end there. Seattle U helped to prepare Maria for her career. 

“Seattle University provided me with the skills and concepts needed to succeed in business and the foundation to think critically, to be curious, to question and think independently.    It also taught me the importance of ethics and to be a responsible citizen of the community, the country and the world.  I remember questioning the need for some of the classes required at Seattle U, but after taking them I realized the purpose.  It is not only about developing your brain, but also your spirit.”

From serving on the Career Center’s Mentorship Advisory Board and the Alumni Board of Governors to leading the Boeing Alumni Chapter and helping to develop the Latina/o Alumni Chapter, Maria has stayed involved with her alma mater. 

“My experience at Seattle U has made a big impact in my personal and professional development and it is important for me to stay connected and give back.  I see my diploma as a share of stock.  The better the university does, the more my degree is worth.  Giving back doesn’t necessarily mean only financial contributions.  There are so many other ways, such as planning and/or attending alumni networking events and volunteering for board positions.  You could also be a mentor or create an alumni group within your company.  Giving back and being involved with your alma mater helps make the students and alumni more successful in their careers.”

As the Latina/ Alumni Chapter comes together, Maria has a vision for what she hopes to see the group accomplish. 

“My hopes for the Seattle U Latina/o Alumni Chapter is to get our Latina/o alumni more engaged in campus and to serve as mentors and help guide our current Latina/o students, but also to help recruit new students.  I believe Seattle U is a good fit for Latina/o students, as it provides small classes and has more of a family feel.  Students get to work directly with the professors and not the TAs. “ 

Maria also sees opportunities for the chapter to work with current students to help them find internships and full time jobs after graduation.

If you are interested in helping Maria and other alumni organize Seattle University’s Latino/a Alumni Chapter, please contact Harmony Frederick, Assistant Director of Regional and Chapter Development, to learn more. 


Alumni Spotlight: Keenan Kurihara, ‘14

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM PDT

On July 24th, the Seattle U Alumni Association hosted alumni, current students and their families at the Waialae Country Club for the annual Hawaii Reception. We were excited to have the help of recent graduate and event emcee, Keenan Kurihara, ‘14. 

Having graduated in June, Keenan has already taken an active role in the Alumni Association from his home in Hawaii. 



“I feel it’s important to stay connected to the Seattle U community because SU has given me so many experiences, memories and, most importantly, individuals who I can call life-long friends. Without my Seattle University experience, I really don’t think I would be the person I am today,” Keenan said. 

Keenan was drawn to Seattle U first and foremost for its location on the mainland. He wanted to see what life off the island was like and Seattle offered a vibrant city to explore.. While its location drew him in, it was the small class sizes, personalized attention and caring atmosphere that made him call Seattle U home for four years.

As a student, Keenan was actively involved in Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i, the United Filipino Club, Student Government, Housing and Residence Life and the Admissions Office, serving as a Redhawk Ambassador. It was in this role that he first began collaborating with the SU Alumni Association. 

As an alumnus of Seattle U, Keenan plans to stay involved with the Alumni Association by visiting the university as frequently as possible and helping to build a strong sense of community between the SUAA Hawaii chapter and current SU students. Keenan has hopes for a Hawaii alumni-student mentoring program, where current Seattle U students from Hawaii can look to alumni for guidance, both personally and professionally.

Currently, Keenan serve as a Resolution Coordinator with Hawaiian Airlines in the Consumer Affairs Department. When not working, Keenan volunteers his time to work on the gubernatorial campaign in Hawaii. 
“Politics is something that has always interested me and is an area that I may be exploring within the next few years,” Keenan shared enthusiastically. 

Keenan is an example of a graduate who is staying involved in the Alumni Association, even though he’s not in the Seattle area. We are in the process of building our regional alumni chapters program. If you are interested in getting more involved in your area, contact Harmony Frederick at

Breathing in Summer: An Ignatian Reflection

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2014 at 3:08 PM PDT

Summer is a time for kicking back, taking in the natural beauty around you, and getting in all the fun outdoor adventures that fall and winter seem to make difficult.

Perhaps some of you reading this live in the Seattle area… if so, what a summer we have had so far! Whether near or far, if you are trekking in the woods, walking around a park, or biking around town this season, we at Magis invite you to slow down, pause, and breathe in summer.

Ignatian Spirituality is known for helping busy people to slow down. It is also known for using the imagination as a way to experience God or the Divine in the midst of our everyday lives. Two particular imaginative forms of reflection that are fun to try out are Lectio Divina and Ignatian Contemplation. So many of us spend time in fast paced, media overloaded productivity mode, so taking even five or ten minutes to engage a process which invites you to pivot from that pace can be helpful to your emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Each of these methods is also intended to help you get out of your head space and into that deeper heart place, where you can encounter the stirring of your soul.

All you need to start is a scripture passage from your religious or spiritual tradition which sparks your interest, such as from the Christian Scriptures, Qur’an, or Jewish Bible. Or, if you prefer, try looking for a poem or selection of prose that speaks to you. The key is to enter into the narrative as if it were a movie: picture the place, experience it with your senses, notice where you are being led, consider a character or inanimate object you might be, and reflect upon the experience. You may even want to journal from an insight you receive.

Let’s give it a try! Here, we will take a twist on Ignatian Contemplation and invite you to read a poem called "This Summer Day by poet Mary Oliver.

Ready? Here we go…

Find a space to quiet yourself… maybe this is in your living room, at a park or other space where you feel relaxed.

Notice how your body feels… be gentle with yourself and release any tension you may feel by breathing in deeply a few times.

Read the poem once. Allow yourself to read it slowly and savor the narrative. Sit with what you read for a few moments.

Read the poem again. This time, pay attention to your feelings and senses: What did you see? Smell? Hear? Feel? Is there a character or object in the scene you identify with? If so, why do you relate to him/her/it? Jot down your thoughts, if you like.

Are there any memories that come to mind? What is the connection?

As you draw a close to your reflection, give thanks for the gift of this time.

This reflection exercise takes practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work the first time! The important thing is to keep trying and showing up to the practice.

Have a question or suggestion for Magis to cover on Ignatian spirituality and leadership? If so, email us at and let us know! We want to hear from you.

P.S. – Be sure to mark your calendar now for a Jesuit Alumni Day of Reflection, being held Saturday, October 11, 2014 at Seattle U!



Athletics: 2013-14 A Year in Review

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2014 at 3:08 PM PDT

With the new academic year approaching, the Seattle University athletics department put together a review of the 2013-14 campaign. 

The year featured NCAA Tournament appearances by the women's soccer and men's soccer team, as well as a second consecutive berth in the NCAA Division I Track and Field West Preliminary Championships for javelin thrower Dylan Burnett. The women’s basketball team reached the finals of the WAC Tournament for the second consecutive year, while both the cross country and softball teams successfully hosted WAC championship events. The men’s golf team started a new tradition by hosting the inaugural Redhawk Invitational at Chambers Bay, while the men’s basketball squad maintained its recent tradition of welcoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time back to KeyArena for the Elgin Baylor Classic. 

It was also a successful year in terms of academic performance by Redhawk student-athletes, featuring three Academic All-Americans and several team awards based on classroom proficiency. In addition, Seattle U athletic squads once again reached out to the community in many ways. 

To relive the 2013-14 academic year, visit this website:

The 2014-15 season began for Seattle University Athletics when the women's soccer team reported to campus Tuesday, Aug. 5. 


2014-2015 Career Fairs

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM PDT

Registration is open for Seattle U’s 2014-2015 career fairs. 

Alumni employers, are you searching for the right candidate for your position? Seattle U career fairs are an excellent way to recruit top talent, whether you are looking for an intern, part-time or full-time employees, you’ll find a student or alum who is the perfect fit. 
Are you a job seeker? Alumni on the hunt for their next opportunity are welcome to attend any of our fairs to network with recruiters and connect with hiring managers. 

Please contact Sarah Thomson,, Associate Director of External Relations, with questions. 
Part Time Job and Post Grad Service Fair: September 25, 2014
Business and Engineering Fair: October 11, 2014
Internship Fair: February 5, 2015
Spring Job and Internship Fair: April 21, 2015

Fall Reunions: HiYu Coulee, Costco Scholars & URec

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on August 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM PDT

The Seattle University Alumni Association has been working hard to build a reunions program that brings you back to your alma mater and reconnects you with friends and classmates in fun and meaningful ways.
We took huge strides with the launch of our Reunion Weekend 2014 this past May. As you can see from our reunion photo albums, the classes of 2004, 1964 and our Sullivan Scholars had a grand time at their reunions.

This fall we are celebrating our alumni with affinity reunions, including the Costco Scholars 15th Anniversary Reunion, the HiYu Coulees 75th Anniversary Reunion  and the URec Alumni Reunion. If you were a member of any of these groups, you will not want to miss your reunion this fall! 

Costco Scholars – September 18-19, 2014.
HiYu Coulees and URec – October 25, 2014.

We will be sending invitations with event details and registration information so make sure your contact info is up to date by filling out our online form. Also make sure to check your reunions webpage for event updates.
Classes of 2005 and 1965, we haven’t forgotten about you. Mark your calendars for May 1-3, 2015 for Reunion Weekend 2015.  

We’ll see you at your reunion.