SU Voice Alumni Blog

Seattle University’s Climate Action Plan

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM PDT


 From the moment that Seattle University’s Climate Action Plan was put into place in 2010, we knew that our goals were ambitious. We also knew that unlike many goals, sustainability would never have a final moment of victory – no single day when we could say, “We did it” and walk away.

We are pleased to present our first Sustainability Progress Report. The report highlights much of the good work that our staff, faculty and students have done over the past four years, and it gives us a strong direction for shaping our future sustainability efforts.

These efforts in sustainability are a foundation to build upon to achieve our ambitious goals. But our celebration is tempered by the urgency to do more, to do it faster and to inspire others to follow suit. Many milestones are yet to be reached in our quest to meet the goals of the Climate Action Plan.

Quadstock Turns 25

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM PDT

 If you’ve graduated from Seattle University in the past twenty-five years, chances are you’ve attended Quadstock. The iconic music festival turns 25 this spring and the founders, John Boyle and Chris Thomas, are coming back to celebrate. We talked to John and Chris to learn more about the start of this high profile event.  
An iconic part of the Seattle U student experience, Quadstock has played host to such musicians as The Posies, The Thermals, Dan Deacon, Macklemore, Del the Funky Homosapien, Talib Kweli, Ok GO, Blue Scholars and more. But how did the festival get its start?
The origins of Quadstock date back to the creation of the Quad itself. The very first stage was actually the stone steps surrounding the fountain. Quadstock founders, John Boyle and Chris Thomas, planned the first Quadstock in order to celebrate the unveiling of the Seattle U Quadrangle in 1989.
“We wanted a celebration geared toward the students that lasted all weekend long,” the founders shared. “We had student clubs provide activities from Friday night to Sunday Mass. Students could collect pledges for how many hours they thought they could keep going without sleep and at the end we would donate the money to St. Francis Soup Kitchen.”
The first bands to grace the Quadstock stage that year were The Britains, The Look, The Bitter End (the first student Battle of the Bands winner), Swampzombies and The Trenchcoats.
For its second year, Quadstock was condensed into one day of festivities and music. Keeping with the charitable aspect of the first event, attendees who brought canned food received a discount on their concert tickets.  Drawing larger headliners for the second year, the lineup included The Posies, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and The Dharma Bums.

(The Posies playing Quadstock. Photo provided by John Boyle.)
One campus rumor claims that Nirvana made a debut on SU’s stage, but John and Chris set the record straight, saying that they tried to book the band, but due to the band’s recording schedule, it didn’t work out. John did share the fun fact that Nirvana’s booking fee was only $1,000 at the time, compared to The Posies who ended up costing $2,000.
Quadstock became an instant success, evolving into the annual musical festival we know it as today and one of the most anticipated events on the spring season.

“It’s a testament to the student life at Seattle University that someone took this event and rolled with it,” co-founder John Boyle said.
This year Quadstock turns 25. The founders of Quadstock and SEAC invite alumni back on Saturday, May 17 to help celebrate. The Main stage line-up includes Best Coast, Sea Wolf, Shelton Harris & Tyler Dopps and COHO.  Not only are alumni invited back to attend the musical festival, but there will be a special alumni campus tour and get together at the Chieftain Irish Pub before the festivities begin.
If Quadstock was a memorable part of your student experience we hope you’ll join us on May 17th. Tickets are extremely limited – buy yours today.

Have some favorite Quadstock memories? Share them in the comments below or send your pictures to us!

Join Contemplative Leaders in Action

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 30, 2014 at 4:04 PM PDT

 Since September 2013, 32 young adult professionals between the ages of 25-39 have been meeting monthly to explore Ignatian leadership through Contemplative Leaders in Action - a two-year Magis program for emerging leaders. Representing diverse professions, faiths, and backgrounds, cohort members over the course of two years reflect on their strengths, weaknesses and role in the world as both professionals and people of faith.

Current CLA2 participants Kara Casey Adams and Angeline Thomas are SU alums and active leaders in higher education and legal justice respectively.  Kara, who is the Assistant Director of Community-Based Learning and Research at University of Washington Bothell said, “I am attracted to the Contemplative Leaders in Action program for a community of professionals who will reflect upon the nexus of Jesuit values and their professional roles.”

Participants share certain key characteristics: a capacity for self-reflection, several years of work experience, a personal commitment to serve the common good, demonstrated leadership potential, and the willingness to pursue spiritual and professional growth.  This combination excited Angeline, who is the Foreclosure Mediation and Outreach Project Staff Attorney at Seattle University’s School of Law.  “I am excited about the cohort model and CLA’s focus on both secular and religious leadership building” she shared.

Checking in with Angeline and Kara 8 months into the curriculum, they have noticed the impact already. “One of CLA’s main strengths seems to be its capacity to foster reflection, deep thinking, and personal development.” Session themes like Emotional Intelligence, Communal Discernment, and Leading in a Diverse, Multicultural World generate rich conversation but also questions, which Kara and Angeline, paired as Companions, meet outside the monthly gatherings to further dissect. In the second year of the program, sessions like The Intimate Connection between Faith & Justice and Group Dynamics & Team Building will help guide participants through the Social Justice Projects all while deepening relationships with one another.

To read Angeline and Kara’s reflections on how CLA has enriched their personal and professional lives, check the Magis eNewsletter or the Alumni Living the Mission page  next Wednesday! If you happen to be an alum between the ages 25-39, consider applying for Contemplative Leaders in Action, which begins in September.  Applications are due May 30!

Your Voice – Alumni Board of Governors’ Nominations

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 30, 2014 at 3:04 PM PDT

Wondering how your ideas and voice can be heard by SU?  Thinking about how to expand your network and connections to the mission of the University?  We’d love to have your voice heard through your participation and leadership.

Your Alumni Relations Office relies on the support and leadership of a Board to better understand and connect with our alumni community.   We have openings for the  Board starting in August 2014 and would love to hear from you.   This current Board and its President led the effort to gain the SU license plate to support scholarships.  With many milestones and plans upcoming for the University, we are seeking nominations and applications to add to the group.  As  a member, you attend five board meetings, support the University in ways that suit you, and participate in Alumni Relations Office initiatives to improve the alumni experience and connection.

In an effort to round out the board, we are particularly interested in recruiting alumni from Science and Engineering, SMT, Nursing and Education schools and/or classes from the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s. All are welcome to apply.  We will be giving preference to applicants that broaden the representation.  If you are interested in getting more involved or staying in touch with SU, you can nominate yourself or another interested candidate by sending an email to   If you have any questions, feel free to call Katy Greve, SU ABOG President-Elect at (425) 922-5462.

Applications should be submitted by email to Katy Greve by June 30th for consideration.  The membership committee will make the selections and notify new board members by August 1st.  

Spring Job and Internship Fair

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 3, 2014 at 1:04 AM PDT

On Tuesday, April 29th between 12-3:00 pm, Seattle U will welcome over 65 employers from corporate, government and nonprofit organizations to Campion Ballroom for the annual Spring Job and Internship Fair.

Employers are looking to hire outstanding alumni candidates. This is a great opportunity to network with recruiters from the organizations where you want to work. A number of our recruiters are Seattle U alumni who are excited to connect with alumni job seekers. 

Expeditors, C.H. Robinson, Peace Corps, Fred Hutchinson, Enterprise and more will have representatives present. 

A complete list of employers is available on the Redhawk Network.

Contact Career Services at (206) 296-6080 or if you have questions. We look forward to welcoming you to campus.

Leading from the Heart: Pope Francis and Ignatian Leadership

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 3, 2014 at 12:04 AM PDT

  Never before have we seen the kind of world-wide attention and popularity that Pope Francis has drawn in his first year of the papacy. In fact, he ranked #1 on Facebook as most talked about in 2013. From washing the feet of youth in detention during Holy Thursday mass (including two Muslims and two women), to his famous “Who am I to judge?” statement on the inclusion of homosexuals in the Church, Pope Francis is showing the world the values of being a true Ignatian Leader.

As graduates of Jesuit education, we look to Ignatian Leaders such as Pope Francis to set the example for being men and women for others as we lead and live in contemporary life. Simply put, what makes his example of leadership so special is that he leads from the heart. 

So, what exactly do we mean by “Ignatian Leader”?

The Jesuits offer an approach to leadership, often called Ignatian or Ignatian-InspiredLeadership, which flows against the tide of most contemporary and dominant leadership models. Some might say that it is quite counter-cultural here in the United States. This approach to leadership is grounded in what author Christopher Lowney calls the four pillars of self-awareness, ingenuity, love, and heroism, and lifts up leadership in a very different light. It proposes that:

“We’re all leaders and we’re leading all the time, well or poorly.”
“Leadership springs from within. It’s about who [we are] as much as what [we] do.”
“Leadership is not an act. It is [our] life, a way of living.” 
“[We] never complete the task of becoming a leader. It is an on-going process.”

Therefore, an Ignatian-Inspired Leader (regardless of religious affiliation) understands and appreciates the rich gifts of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius and the Spiritual Exercises,and strives to grow in self-knowledge, cultivate a healthy indifference that allows him/her to adapt confidently, honestly loves those he/she serves and leads, and humbly strives and works with others to shape an inspiring future. 

We are excited to see how Pope Francis will lead in the years to come!

Magis, in partnership with Seattle University Alumni Relations, encourages you to learn more about Ignatian Leadership on May 8th as part of the SU Advantage Networking series. Seattle University President Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J. will be joined by a diverse panel of alumni from varying professions to share insights about their lived experience of leadership, including an opportunity for structured networking. Click here to learn more and register. 

Also, if you happen to be a young alum in your twenties or thirties, consider applying for Magis’ Contemplative Leaders in Action, a two year alumni leadership development program which blends spiritual formation and secular leadership training. Applications will be available starting April 15th, so be sure to mark your calendar!

Why Serve?

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 2, 2014 at 11:04 PM PDT

 This April 26th marks the third annual National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service, during which alumni from both Seattle U and other Jesuit universities come together to serve our local community. Beyond the value of serving others, day of service participants build community. You will see that you are part of a large community of Jesuit-educated alumni, build community with those you serve and re-connect with your university. 
Past participant Erika Sanchez,’11, said, “My favorite thing about day of service is getting to give back to the community with my alma mater that gave so much to me. It was great to relive and reinforce the values that SU is all about, and to also network and learn from not only fellow SU alums, but those from other universities.” 
There are a variety of service projects to meet the interests of all alumni, including beautifying public spaces, helping the elderly with chores, serving food and more.
“In the project my team and I participated in, we provided a safer and cleaner environment for kids to enjoy their day,” Erika said. “In doing so, I felt more connected to the mission and values of Seattle U-to give back to the community, live your life beyond yourself and do what you can for the greater good of the community around you. I would definitely recommend this day of service to alumni to not only be immersed in your values, but also to step out of the ordinary and give back to others in a small yet extraordinary way."
Other participants have said that:
“It's a valuable and pleasurable service experience. It was an easy way to accomplish something I value, but have limited time to organize on my own, and it was a rare chance to garden. It was also a great way to maximize my time/weekend.”
“I chose to participate 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!”
“As a part of my Jesuit education, they branded us with 'be the difference' and I think that making a difference through community service helps fulfill that mission.” 
Did you serve? What was meaningful to you about the experience?
Join us on April 26 and “be the difference.” 

Leading with Humility

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on April 2, 2014 at 11:04 PM PDT

 Seattle University prides itself on educating leaders for a just and humane world. How does their Jesuit education impact their leadership style? 

Seattle University Alumni Association and Magis: Alumni Living the Mission invite you to take a deeper look at Ignatian leadership at our May 8th SU Advantage | Networking Night featuring an alumni panel led by Fr. Steven Sundborg, Seattle University president.  The panel will discuss Ignatian-inspired, those who serve and lead, and humbly strive to works with others to shape an inspiring future.

Panelist and Seattle U alumnus, Rob Nielsen,'06, started challenging the idea of authoritative leadership while still a student at Seattle University. During a class discussion on charismatic leaders with Albers School of Business and Economics professor, Jennifer Marrone, Nielsen pointed out that the great leaders they were studying were not only charismatic, but humble as well. 


Nielsen’s observation intrigued Professor Marrone, leading to the development of a joint research paper and eventually the book “ Leading with Humility,” co-written by Marrone, Nielsen and Albers professor, Holly Ferraro. 
“There are three key components to leading with humility” Nielsen explains, “Understanding of self, relating to others and perspective.”
According to their book, “Humble leaders consider their own strengths, weaknesses and motives in making decisions, demonstrating concern for the common good, and exercising their influence for the benefit of all.”
Nielsen cites Costco’s Jim Sinegal as an example of a Seattle U alumnus who exudes these leadership qualities. “I heard him speak at a Seattle University event and he talked about understanding his own strengths and weaknesses and he possessed a strong sense of self in relationship to how he worked with others around him.” 
Seattle University instills these leadership qualities in their graduates, as well as an awareness of the world around them and the impact that they can have has leaders. Nielsen says his biggest take away from Seattle U was the desire to be a quality leader in the community. Upon his graduation from Seattle University, Nielsen served the board of the University District Food Bank, before going on to serve as board president of the Crisis Clinic
As a graduate of Seattle University do you consider yourself as a humble leader? What do you think are the characteristics of an effective leader?
Join us on May 8th to discover more about what it means to lead with humility and how Ignatian values can inspire  great leadership. 
SU Advantage | Networking Event
Ignatian-Inspired Leadership
May 8, 2014

Magis: Alumni Day of Prayer

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM PST


The second half of life is a time of many transitions: children leave home and new children are welcomed into the family, careers change and retirement may be on the horizon, health and self care is addressed differently, and images of God shift and transform.  So much is happening, and this is why taking time to “check-in” with oneself is so necessary. It can be meaningful to create space to explore what is on the horizon of your life, and to invite God into that process. Magis each year offers Jesuit alumni who are 50+, or identify as in the second half of life, a special day for just that kind of prayerful space. The annual Alumni Day of Prayer is an Ignatian day of reflection, which provides retreat and renewal, and features opportunities for prayer experiences, quiet reflection, small group conversation, gentle music, and an optional closing liturgy. As one past retreatant put it “I would recommend this to everyone - particularly the way it brought meaning to the daily happenings of life, past and present.”

Magis looks forward to offering the annual Alumni Day of Prayer this year on Saturday, March 22nd at Seattle University’s Ecumenical Chapel in Campion Hall. We are excited for retreat leaders Jean Ederer and Fr. Paul Fitterer, S.J. to join us, as they will break open scripture and story around their experiences of the second half of life. They will also explore questions in relation to self, God and church. Jean and Paul guide from their years of wisdom and sage experience as a lay retreat leader/spiritual director and Jesuit, respectively. Lunch is included for the day, as well as parking. Consider bringing a friend or family member, too!

For more information, visit our online flyer. To register, please email Magis.

Alumni Awards 2014

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 5, 2014 at 5:03 PM PST


 President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. and the Seattle University Alumni Association are pleased to announce the university’s 2014 Alumni Awards recipients who will be honored at the 29th Annual Alumni Awards Celebration on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 5:30 in the Campion Ballroom. Please join us as we celebrate the achievements of these outstanding Seattle University alumni.  To register or to host a table, please visit

Alumnus of the Year –William Swenson, ’01
President Barack Obama awarded William Swenson, ’01, the Medal of Honor in October, 2013. He is the first Army officer to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. An embedded advisor to the Afghan National Border police, he was on patrol with American and Afghan troops when they were ambushed and pinned down for six hours by more than 60 well-armed Taliban forces.  Ganjgal was to be one of the bloodiest battles in the 12 year old war.  Putting himself at great risk, William rescued his sergeant and several Afghans and retrieved the bodies of four service members.  He is the most decorated Army officer since Vietnam.  Loyal not only to the men and women with whom he served, he has remained constant to their families as well.

Professional Achievement  - David M. Johnson, EdD, ’87
Dr. David M. Johnson, ’87 is among six winners of the 2013 “Visionary Service Award” by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and recipient of last year’s “Evergreen Award” from Washington Nonprofits for his outstanding innovation and agility in the service of his community. A respected leader in the mental health field, he is frequently invited to address national and local groups.  A CEO of mental health centers for 27 years, David has also been a clinician for 37 years.  He currently leads Navos, one the largest community health centers in the state, with a $54 million operating budget and a staff of 650.

Community Service – M. Lorena Gonzalez, Law, ’05

Nationally recognized civil rights attorney, Lorena Gonzalez, ’05, a child of Mexican farm workers and now a partner at the law firm of Schroeter, Goldmark and Bender, is a tireless advocate for social justice.  In 2007, Lorena co-founded and continues to co-administer the monthly Latina/o Bar Association of Washington and SGB free legal clinic at El Centro de la Raza.  In 2012, she successfully settled an excessive force and discrimination suit filed against the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department that resulted in a mandate that the use of racially charged language in the force was grounds for termination.  

University Service – Kip Toner, ’66

Kip Toner, ‘66, a generous contributor of both his time and talent, has long been a firm supporter of the University.  After 23 years of service that included two years as Board chair, he is now a Seattle University Regent Emeritus. He has generously shared his professional talents with the university and most recently was auctioneer for the inaugural Red Tie Celebration for Seattle University Athletics.  Kip’s commitment and enthusiasm has inspired other to follow his lead.

Distinguished Teaching – Greg Magnan
Albers School of Business and Economics Professor, Greg Magnan, is recognized for his excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.  An especially gifted teacher, Greg is extremely popular with students at the executive, graduate and undergraduate levels.  His innovative approach to combining online learning with traditional classroom methods has been a model for the university.  Greg’s research on supply chain business practices has been nationally recognized and published in a number of professional journals.  He has served on the Sullivan Leadership Award Committee and on several strategic planning committees for Albers.  A key member of the leadership executive MBA Program, he has co-chaired the President’s Task Force on sustainability and innovative program delivery.  

Young Alumnus of the Year – Khaled Jaraysa, ’08, ’09
Khaled Jaraysa, ’08, ’09, a Christian born just outside Bethlehem, lost his arm at 13 in a machinery accident.  Three years later, his father died.  Rather than become embittered, he is committed to rebuilding the lives of children shattered by war. While a student at Seattle U, Khaled, founded the Children of Peace Foundation in 2007 to support the Holy Family Care Center in Bethlehem where he received care.  Through his foundation, the traumatized children of Palestine not only receive specialized therapeutic care, but most importantly a reason to hope for a better tomorrow.