Mike Mullen, ’89, is the definition of a dedicated alumnus. Not only has he worked on campus for the last 20 years, but he is a frequent attendee to events, including cheering on our student athletes at their home games, and he recently joined his classmates Tina O’Brien and David Read to plan a 30th reunion celebration taking place next weekend on and around campus.
Mike is a member of a legacy family, his two older brothers attended Seattle University before him. Friends enrolled in Seattle University’s Honors Program encouraged him to apply, he did and spent the next two years in the Honors Program under the leadership of Fr. Dave Leigh. Mike went on to get degrees in literature and history.
As soon as he joined the Seattle U community, Mike was an active member. He was an OA advisor, participated in the first dance marathon on campus, was a work study student in facilities and nearly became class president, losing out by a few votes.
Mike attributes Seattle University with shaping him and teaching compassion for himself and others. “Seattle University taught me about all things Jesuit and what that meant when applied to my thinking and spirituality. I was profoundly influenced by Sister Helen Bendik O.P. from campus ministry. She became a dear friend, like a second mother. She and others helped soften my world view. I went from a world that seemed black and white and harsh and learned it was differing shades of gray and benevolent”.
Ten years after graduating from undergrad, Mike returned to attend grad school and work at Seattle University. Mike got a job in the facilities department reporting to his same boss from his undergraduate work study job. He now runs the Mechanical/Plumbing shop on campus. The opportunity to work on campus was a dream come true for Mike. It allowed him the opportunity to see old professors and build camaraderie with people who love the university as much as he does and who have dedicated their life to it.
When asked why he has chosen to stay so involved, Mike said it was his passion around the Mission of the university. He and Cal Ihler, from the facilities department, started Professionals without Borders to provide opportunities for staff to better live the Seattle University mission through international service trips to Zambia, Nicaragua and Belize. Mike has travelled with PWOB at least 15 times, traveling across South America and Africa to help with mechanical projects for orphanages and hospitals.
It’s Mike’s passion for Seattle University and the great relationships he built here that inspired him to join classmates Tina O’Brien and David Read to plan a 30th Reunion for the classes of 1988 and 1989 this Friday, September 14th through Sunday, September 16th. Reunion attendees will have a full weekend to reconnect with friends and rediscover Seattle University. Jesuits and professors the class will recognize have also been invited.
On why his classmates should attend their reunion, Mike smiled and said, “People should come because they will be so surprised and happy to see the real formative changes here at SU and I (and Dave and Tina) will be so happy to show them. It’s the same campus – just better. I miss these folks. I would love to introduce them to our alumni bar, the Chieftain, which we never had while we were students and show them how vibrant the campus (and community) is. It’s exciting to see SU assume its role asSeattle’s University.”
To learn more about the 30th reunion celebration and secure tickets visit the alumni website.