SU Voice Alumni Blog

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.

Homecoming 2014 Recap

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM PST


 If you were at KeyArena this past weekend, then you know that Seattle University successfully celebrated its 2nd Annual Homecoming with a major win on the court. But our defeat of Idaho wasn’t the only win of the weekend; we are counting the return of Homecoming itself. 

From the 1940s up to the late 1970s, Homecoming held great significance for Seattle University. It was a time when students and alumni celebrated their pride in our great university, and the city celebrated with us. The spark of Homecoming was rekindled last year with an alumni rally and the first Homecoming court in almost 30 years, but that spark burst into a flame this year with a full weekend of Homecoming activities and a tremendous show of Seattle U pride.

On Friday, Fr. Steve and the students led a parade through campus ending with the announcement of the 2014 Homecoming Court in the packed Student Center.

On Saturday, alumni and students filled KeyArena in droves of red. Alumni started at the Homecoming pre-game rally and then marched into the arena with the students for the game. All those present could feel the excitement and the sense of a community coming together with a shared goal of cheering their team on to victory. At halftime, the Homecoming Court was honored and the Royals crowned following the introduction of the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees.

Following the game, alumni flocked to T.S. McHughs for an after-party celebrating the outstanding victory on the court and the sense of camaraderie that comes with watching your alma mater triumph.

For a weekend all about tradition, Homecoming came to a close rather fittingly with an alumni mass on Sunday morning and the Hall of Fame Luncheon in the afternoon, paying tribute to some of the best athletes Seattle U has seen over the years.

If the growth of Homecoming over the last year is an indication of anything, it’s that you won’t want to miss next year, when the flame of Homecoming tradition will be burning brighter than ever.

Did you make it out to Homecoming? What was your favorite part? If you missed it, you can check out some of our favorite shots from Homecoming in our Homecoming Alumni Album.   


National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service 2014

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on March 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM PST

On April 26th, the Seattle University Alumni Association and Magis: Alumni Living the Mission are hosting alumni for  the National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service for the third year in a row.

What is National Jesuit Alumni Day of Service?

Alumni Day of Service provides Jesuit-educated alumni the opportunity to come together to fulfill our shared Jesuit mission, rooted in service, by participating in a variety of volunteer projects throughout the Seattle community.

Alumni from all Jesuit universities are invited to participate. We are expecting alumni from Gonzaga, Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, Marquette and others so please invite any Jesuit educated alumni you know.  “I enjoyed being able to give back to the local community around Seattle University and getting to meet like-minded individuals who value their Jesuit education as much as I did,” said one 2013 participant.

In addition, many of our service sites welcome children, making Alumni Day of Service a great family activity that begins to teach the value of serving others.

There are a variety of service opportunities ranging from gardening and beautification projects, to assisting elderly community members with household chores. A full list of service opportunities is available online.

What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot at a service site today!

Battle of the Bands - Celebrating 25 Years

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 6, 2014 at 2:02 PM PST

 This February 28th - March 2nd Seattle U is reigniting the tradition of Homecoming. When you think of Homecoming, you might think of a dance and the music that goes with it. While we don't suggest getting dressed up in your formal best, we can assure you that we've got your musical needs covered this Homecoming with Battle of the Bands: Game of Tones on Friday, February 28th.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Battle of the Bands, when up to a dozen student bands will battle it out in a showcase of amazing Seattle U talent competing for various prizes and bragging rights. Professional musicians will evaluate the performers and attendees will vote for their favorite. We want alumni there singing, cheering and dancing along. You could almost think of it as your Homecoming dance. Tickets are limited - get yours today.

My Seattle U Love Story

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 5, 2014 at 11:02 PM PST

Judy and Bill Doyle - Married in 1957

Even now, some 55 years after graduating from Seattle University, Bill and Judy Doyle have indelibly fond memories and much gratitude for their Jesuit education. In addition to intellectual stimulation and the challenge of college life, Judy reminisces that “Of course, the best thing that ever happened to me is that I met Bill. He’s my best friend to this day.”

 Adds Bill, “Yes, falling in love with Judy was the best part of the whole experience.”

The two met while involved with “Mu Sigma,” an SU music honorary. “We both sang in the SU Double Quartet and traveled to many places together,” Judy recalls. “On top of these musical engagements we had final exams as well. I remember wondering whether I would survive. It also helped me to stand up in front of people with confidence. That was an unexpected benefit from Seattle University.” The two married in 1957. - Taken from the SU Spring 2011 Legacy Publication


Curly and Judy McNamee - Married 1971

"I first saw Judy in a theology class we were both taking in the Pigott Building in spring quarter of 1964.  The first time I saw Judy I thought she was something special.  I had a friend, Jim Purcell (class of 1967), introduce me to Judy and I eventually asked her to a sock hop (April 3, 1964) and the ROTC Military Ball (April 10, 1964).  We dated frequently through college and we got engaged on her birthday in September of 1968 – about two weeks before I went to Vietnam (I was an ROTC graduate).  Judy and I were married on September 18, 1971 at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle." 


Matt and Patti Boyle - Married 1972

"Matt and I got married on July 29, 1972, just a month after graduation. We met our freshman year at frosh orientation, and had some freshman classes together. We really didn't start dating until after our freshman year. Some of our first dates were the Seattle Totems hockey games and the Seattle Pilots baseball games. I should have know what I was getting myself into. I took up skiing so that I could spend more time with the guy who was President of the Ski Club. And here we are 42 years later."


Maureen and Tom Blum - Married 1980

"Maureen Haggerty, 1978, 1985 , wanted to stay close to home and opted for Seattle University.  Maureen’s mother and two sisters drove her to Seattle University to move into Bellarmine Hall September 27, 1974.  No sooner had they pulled into the designated parking lot by Bellarmine Hall when two TALL guys wearing white t-shirts with “ASK ME” swooped in.  They emptied the car of Maureen’s college bound necessities while Maureen, her mom, and two sisters followed the “ASK ME” guys to her first dorm room.  All her possessions were deposited with care.   

Who were these handsome men?  Maureen was too shy to find out who they were, though she saw these guys from afar at various new student events.  One of the “ASK ME” guys, Tom Blum, stopped by her dorm room to visit with her roommate, Carol.  Carol was not there and Tom was too polite to leave.  So he stayed to visit.  Friendship began to grow.  

Maureen and Tom’s friends seemed to see something before they did.  At meals in the cafeteria the new acquaintances always found a way for Maureen to sit by Tom.  Sometimes a seat was saved, other times a friend would get up and move so Maureen could sit next to Tom.  A visit to the Santa at Bellarmine Hall in December, 1974 had Maureen wishing for Tom.  

It seems fate was cast at the annual Seattle University  “Vegas Night”.  Friends set  up Tom and Maureen.  They we were married  in a “thirty second” wedding with Rick Bressler, ’77 and Patty Eaton, ’77 as the “Best Man” and “Maid of Honor”.   Six years later Tom “asked” Maureen and they were married at St. Louise, Bellevue, WA.  Tom works for Snohomish County Assessor’s office and Maureen is in her 34th  year working for the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Seattle.  They have a daughter, Katie, son-in-law, Zach and granddaughter, Lily May!  They celebrated their 33rd  wedding anniversary on August, 9, 2013.  The friendship formed at Seattle University along with love and patience and taking intentional time to be together are part of the recipe for their long marriage.  The Seattle University New Student Orientation “Ask Me”  t-shirts mean a lot to the Blum’s."


Esther and Tom Drouin - Married 1982


"Tom Drouin was an incoming junior transfer student from Olympic College (Bremerton).  Esther Volpe was a freshman at Seattle University.  They met at an orientation dance in September of 1977 at Bellarmine Hall.  We married on May 1, 1982 at Rosary Heights in Woodway Washington (Dominican Sisters residence).  Reverend Engelbert Axer, S.J. (Seattle University Jesuit-- philosophy professor) performed the wedding ceremony.

Tom and Esther have three children and reside in Edmonds, Washington."   


Katie and Jeff Favilla - Married 2012

"My husband, Jeff Favilla, and I first met in the halls of Campion floor 4, where we bonded over our love of Starbucks, late night Sports Center watching, and Mariners baseball. He was living in a dorm room surrounded by my fellow SU softball teammates, so we had mutual friends and quickly realized how much we liked spending time together.

We became inseparable and dated throughout our years at SU, sharing the memories of Quadstock, late night Bistro date nights, and Seattle U sporting events as the school took its journey to Division I. Jeff became my biggest fan, coming to all my SU softball games, no matter rain or shine, cheering me on in the sport that truly defined my time and passion at Seattle U. I was there to celebrate his academic achievements, watching him earn accounting internships and become part of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting fraternity at Seattle U, as well as both of us there at each others graduations, getting to watch each other walk across that stage.

When it came time to get married, 5 years after we had met in the lime green colored hall of Campion dorm, we both knew there would be no other place besides the Chapel of St. Ignatius where we wanted to exchange our vows. Seattle U was a place where our lives as a couple began and we were ready to share our beautiful campus and SU experience with our family and friends. So on August 25th, 2012, a glorious sunny, Seattle day, we said "I do" in front of a full St. Ignatius Chapel, and it could not have been more perfect.

Seattle U gave us amazing college memories, and it also gave us each other, and for that, we are forever grateful for SU's part in our amazing love story."


DJ and Lauren Weidner - Married 2012

"How we met: That's complicated because it's different based on who you talk with. Lauren would say that she first saw me onstage at Freshman orientation. I was an Orientation Adviser and she was in the audience. She says she immediately had an odd feeling that she would date me - she thought she was crazy so she ignored it. We didn't meet each other for another two years.  Technically, I met Lauren at a party I was having at my Murphy Apartment. She came over with some mutual friends. To be honest, I thought she was interested in one of my friends but by the end of the evening, we had hit it off. We really got to know each other as Orientation Advisers. I was actually an O.C. and she was was an O.A. We weren't supposed to be dating so we kept it a secret for 3-4 months before we told anyone. Anyone who knows me understands how difficult it is for me to be subtle. We started dating at the end of her sophomore year (my junior) and dated until 2012. We got married at Crystal Mountain on August 25, 2012 on a sunny day with Mt. Rainier shining the background. We're together because Seattle U brought us together."

Kristine and Peter Daugherty - Married 2013

"Peter and I met my junior year his senior year (2010). He graduated through ROTC, went through training in Georgia and then got stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. I finished school at SU and then moved to Texas during that summer. We got married this past December 21, 2013 in Lafayette, California, about 40 mins from San Francisco."


Amanda Gilbert and Zach Gerdes - To Be Married 2014


"We met our freshmen year at Seattle University. We were both in the Faith and the Great Ideas Living Learning Community on the 5th floor of Bellarmine Residence Hall. In our F&GI English 120 course together fall quarter, Professor Charles Tung advised the group: “You should try sitting next to someone new. Who knows? You might end up marrying them.” Little did Dr. Tung know how true his statement would be. We began dating in the spring of freshmen year (2008) and were engaged five years later. The wedding is scheduled for summer 2014 in Amanda’s home state of California at a winery in the Napa Valley."



Alumni Spotlight: Nick McCarvel '08

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on February 5, 2014 at 5:02 PM PST

Nick McCarvel '08, found his way to Seattle University from Helena Montana while searching for a personalized education in a big city. He saw Seattle U’s urban campus as an educational playground that he could utilize to get the best education.  It didn’t hurt that he grew up in a household that stressed moral values, similar to those of the Jesuits. 


Since the age of fourteen Nick knew he wanted to be a journalist. Two years into his Seattle University education he was confident that media was still the full-time job he wanted to pursue. The professors at Seattle U, especially Dr. Sonora Jha and Gary Atkins, played an integral role in making sure that Nick and his classmates were prepared for a career in media, demanding quality work and ethical journalism. His education emphasized a global world which would help shape how he viewed the subjects of his articles.


This February, Nick has the chance to see one of his dreams come true, when he’ll act as the rink-side web producer for NBC, covering figure skating at the winter Olympics. Attending the Olympics in Russia brings with it its own host of challenges, but he looks at it as an adventure that he is all too excited to begin. 


In the past Nick has written for a Tennis publication, giving him the opportunity to go abroad and cover the international sports scene. It was that opportunity that he feels helped prepare him for the challenges and adventures waiting for him in Sochi Russia


“I’ve had pinch me moments, I think the one that stands out the most is being center court and Wimbledon. It’s a world stage that I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.” 


Nick’s favorite part of covering international sporting events is sharing the venue with athletes who are also living out their dreams. 
“It’s about connecting with them on a human level, of witnessing someone making their dreams come true.” 
Nick moved to New York five years ago; where he began working at a non-profit supporting the homeless with AIDS, and went on to land jobs in his career field, including his current contract with NBC. Nick is someone who is out there really chasing his dreams. “It’s easy to get a 9-5 but I’m really putting myself out there and I’m proud of where I’ve gotten on my own.” 


Nick’s experience has taught him that to be successful, the best you can do is be a human. Make yourself personable, send “thank you” notes and be someone others want to work with. Being able to produce good work and build strong relationship well help people go the extra step for you and help you develop your career and follow your dreams. 

Homecoming: Then and Now

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 8, 2014 at 8:01 PM PST


Returning for homecoming is a great opportunity to keep up with college friends and engage with your university. Despite its long absence, Homecoming has played an important role in Seattle University’s history and in the student experience of many of our alumni. We sat down with alums Carmen Cueto ’13 and Maureen Blum ’78, '85 to learn what homecoming meant to them then and now.

Then: Maureen Blum, ’78, ’85

When Maureen was a student, the highlight of homecoming was a winter formal off campus. “Homecoming at Seattle U had a different feel than that of my high school homecoming. Seattle U is not a football school so it had a feeling all its own. Homecoming was a real group affair.”

Maureen’s favorite Homecoming memory is from 1975 when her (now) husband asked her to the Homecoming dance which they attended with a group of good friends.

 “I think it’s wonderful that the university is bringing homecoming back, especially if you look at the past and the role it played at Seattle University.  The return of homecoming is a great opportunity for alumni to return and interact with the students, serving as a networking opportunity for them to make invaluable contacts.”

Maureen hopes that in the future Seattle University’s Homecoming will grow, maybe adding a dance that students are excited to attend the way she was excited for homecoming as a student. She also hopes alumni will have a larger role in homecoming, where they can interact with the students and come together as one community. “After all”, Maureen said, “That’s what homecoming is about, alumni returning to their school.”

And Now: Carmen Cueto, ’13

Carmen Cueto was part of the first Seattle University class to enjoy the return of homecoming last year and was the first Homecoming Royal to be crowned in nearly 40 years. “It was very surreal to be crowned during the half-time of the homecoming game. It’s not every day you get crowned homecoming royalty,” Carmen said.

Carmen’s favorite memory of her own homecoming experience was the way in which the university came together to share in their pride of being Seattle U. There was a strong show of student and faculty support leading up to the event and in the stands during the basketball game.

“I’m excited to see how Seattle University is growing the tradition of homecoming and knowing that I was there at the beginning as it began to grow in momentum.

I’m an advocate for the students really developing the homecoming experience. If the students get excited about homecoming, then it will transfer over to their alumni experience. They’ll remember it as a  high point from their time at Seattle University and they’ll have that sense of pride and want to come back to celebrate it.”

Show your Seattle U pride and come back for homecoming February 28-March 2nd.

An Invitation from Fr. Steve

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 8, 2014 at 8:01 PM PST

It is always wonderful to welcome you to campus, but there is one upcoming event, in particular, that I wanted you to know about, even before we start promoting it more widely. Our Search for Meaning Book Festival will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, and features more than 40 prominent authors. Both keynote speakers are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and accomplished authors—Katherine Boo wrote the highly acclaimed 2013 book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity and Isabel Wilkerson, authored the award-winning The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.

Originally launched by our School of Theology and Ministry in 2009, Search for Meaning has quickly become one of the most highly regarded events of its kind with the festival attracting an ever-growing and enthusiastic following. In addition to the general sessions and keynote presentations, the festival offers book signings, interactive experiences and more. Attendees regularly express how much they appreciate the opportunity to hear from some of the leading writers and scholars of our day and to contemplate with others their place and purpose in the world. 


We are pleased that the festival has struck a chord with so many in our region.
Because of its increasing stature as a signature event for SU, the festival is now being presented on a university-wide basis.
I encourage you to read more about the festival and the authors we will be welcoming at Search for Meaning.  Registration will open on January 15th.  If you are interested in playing a volunteer role, we would welcome your service.  Sign up today at
Thank you for your continued dedication to and support of Seattle University.

Go Redhawks,

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
P.S.-Get the latest information about Seattle U’s SFM Festival

Magis: Thoughts on the New Year

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

It’s a New Year and obviously, resolutions abound. Whether it is exercising more and eating better, or making a habit of calling your friends or family each week, this yearly transition ushers newness and with it, an opportunity to embrace life more abundantly, healthily, and creatively.

However, have you ever thought to invite God in your exploration of New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps finding a new practice to be still and reflect, journal, or meditate. Or, perhaps it is choosing to carve out space for a retreat where you can ponder prayerfully the ways your life is calling you to new endeavors, habits, or attitudes. As we begin to have longer days with more light and draw more energy from the greening of our environment, take notice of how God might be yearning for you to also be light-filled and changed.

Magis and the Ignatian Spirituality Center invite young alumni (20’s and 30’s) on Saturday, January 11th for Everyday Ignatian. The retreat will be focused on engaging spiritual practices, and will be hosted at the lovely Peace & Spirituality Center in Bellevue. Check out our online flyer for details and consider it an opportunity to kick off your New Year with God in mind. The Magis staff wishes you the best this New Year and hopes you will consider Magis programs in your resolutions for personal, faith, and leadership development.


Job Search Strategies—Ads, Agencies, Recruiters, Networking

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 7, 2014 at 10:01 PM PST

Headhunter, recruiter, talent scout, executive recruiter, temporary agency,  placement firm, executive search firm, employment agency, body shop—what is the difference between these titles and why does it matter?  Should I use one?  If so, how do I find them?

In the business of changing jobs there are 3 primary strategies used to identify and pursue opportunities including 

1.Networking (depending on the survey this comprises 60-80% of how people get jobs)

2.Agencies & Search Firms (this is often the next highest percentage in surveys since the folks in these companies are professional networkers)

3.Ads and Applications (even with all the new places we can go to find Job Postings—Indeed, SimplyHired, Idealist, Craigslist, Company Websites, and too many others to name—this is usually 8-15% of how people find jobs)

Another catch-all bucket that includes techniques specific to certain populations of workers exists for those other circumstances like internships, union hiring, and civil service.  This is the lowest percentage bucket of how people find new roles.

Strategy number 2 often creates some confusion and misunderstanding.  There are a lot of different forms of external recruiting and the different names effectively have similar meanings.  Agencies and Search Firms perform the recruiting function externally for companies.  Working with an external recruiter can also be a powerful addition to your search plan.  

You’ll learn about different job search strategies, different agencies and recruiters available to you and how to make the most of these resources by attending the next installment of the SU Advantage Networking Series.

Job Search Strategies—Ads, Agencies, Recruiters, Networking

Webinar | Friday, January 10th | 12:00 p.m.

Bellevue | Wednesday, January 22nd | 5:30-7:00 p.m.