SU Voice Alumni Blog

An Easter Message from Fr. Steve

Posted by Amanda Kelly on April 5, 2012 at 7:04 AM PDT

Dear Alumni-

As a Jesuit, Catholic university Easter is a time for us to rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus. The season also invites us to contemplate new possibilities for living out our shared mission of building a more just and humane world.

These days a heightened energy and a renewed sense of purpose is animating our campus. The Seattle University Youth Initiative, which we launched in 2011, received a tremendous vote of confidence last month when the federal government recognized us with its highest honor for community service, the 2012 Presidential Award.

Through the Youth Initiative, we are collaborating with partners in the community to ensure that the children of our neighborhood succeed in school and in life. Our vision is that every child in this community graduates from high school and has a real opportunity to attend college.

As the Youth Initiative continues to grow and flourish, my hope is that our alumni and friends will find ways to join the effort. The first such opportunity comes this month with our inaugural Alumni Day of Service on April 21. I do hope you can participate. I also invite you to learn more about the exciting work we are doing with our neighbors and community partners by visiting the Seattle University Youth Initiative's web site.

I am grateful for the many ways our alumni model and participate in the mission of our university, and I pray that you are blessed in this glorious Easter season and always.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.

Sustainability Initiatives Make Progress

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM PDT

As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day this month, it is a good time for us to reflect on Seattle University’s already strong commitment to sustainability while setting our sights on what we can do to tread even more lightly on the planet.

We have accomplished a great deal in the past few years. Seattle University’s buildings are now carbon neutral. We did it by improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, switching to a lower carbon fuel source and purchasing carbon offsets for our remaining emissions.

A year and a half ago, Seattle University became one of the first campuses in the nation to stop selling bottled water campus-wide. We also used the occasion to begin selling SU-branded stainless steel water bottles in our bookstore, with proceeds from the sales going to a clean water project in Haiti. The bottles have been incredibly popular, and so far, nearly $5,000 has been raised, providing 80,000 Haitians with safe water for a year. You can buy this water bottle from the SU Bookstore.

Our new William F. Eisiminger Fitness Center opened last fall as SU’s fourth LEED Gold-certified building, joining the Admissions & Alumni Building, Law School Annex and McGoldrick Learning Commons in earning this prestigious green building rating.

Nearly 60 percent of our waste is reused, recycled or composted—that’s a nine percent increase since 2009. We’ve added compostable to-go ware at our cafés and catered events, and we now have more than 200 compost bins on campus.

We subsidize our students’ transit passes, and we’ve recently added seven electric vehicles to our campus operations, making one-third of our fleet electric. This year we installed a fruit orchard on the east edge of our campus to grow blueberries as well as apple, pear and hazelnut trees. The plan is to engage our neighbors in the harvest and distribute much of what is picked to those in need.

Sustainability is increasingly being incorporated into Seattle University’s curriculum. Our Albers School of Business offers an MBA Specialization in Sustainability. With a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Environmental Studies program has created an off-campus urban farm to supply a local food bank and provide children with information about nutrition and healthy living.

We certainly have much to be proud of—and much that is yet to be done. In 2009, Seattle University deepened and formalized its commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability by implementing a Climate Action Plan. We have pledged to make sustainability and climate change a more visible, dynamic component of our curricular and co-curricular programs. We have also set a goal of reducing our total greenhouse gas emissions 12 percent by 2020 and 51 percent by 2035, as well as share our knowledge and expertise on sustainability more widely. These goals are very bold, and yet given our track record on sustainability, they are also very achievable.

To learn more about Seattle University’s sustainability initiatives:

Be a fan on Facebook
Visit our web site

Karen Price, Campus Sustainability Manager

Spirituality on Tap: Ignited in Our Calling

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 21, 2012 at 8:03 AM PDT

The Ignatian Spirituality Center and Magis: Alumni Committed for Mission presents Spirituality on Tap: "Ignited in Our Calling"

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive."  -Howard Thurman

 Often times, when we think of what kind of "work" or "career" we want in life, we automatically think of how much money we want to make, what kind of prestige or honor that comes with it, and it usually revolves around the idea of "me" and what do I want to do with my life. Within the Ignatian Spirituality lens, the idea of vocation, or calling, is something deeper and more intentional. We invite and bring God into the process of discerning what our gifts and passions are, and how does that relate to the bigger picture, to bettering the world, or how Thurman puts it "what makes you come alive."

As the Spiritual Enrichment for Young Adults Coordinator at the Ignatian Spirituality Center and an SU alumna, I am thrilled to co-sponsor our fifth annual Spirituality on Tap with Magis and to welcome a panel of Jesuit-educated young adults on the topic of vocation. Come and join us for an evening conversation with other young adults on what makes you come alive and finding God in our own vocation journey. It will be on Wednesday, March 28 from 7-9pm at Casey Commons. Spirituality on Tap is a way for young adults, aged 21-35, to come together and discuss, pray and reflect on a spiritual topic that is relevant to today's time and culture. So if you are a young adult pondering about your life vocation, come and join us!

Hilda Guiao, '09

Landmarking: City, Church and Jesuit Urban Strategy

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM PDT

Please join us on April 16, 2012, for an exciting evening with Father Tom Lucas, S.J., as we explore the role of the Jesuit University in the life of the City.

Highlights of the evening include a guided tour of the Chapel of St. Ignatius (optional). The tour will depart from 1313 E. Columbia at 3:30 PM. After the tour, enjoy social Time with wine, hors d'oeuvres, and non-alcoholic beverages provided, followed by a welcome and introduction by Father Steve Sundborg, S.J., President of Seattle University. Father Lucas will present followed by a book signing.

This is an open invitation, however, space is limited so please RSVP by Wednesday, April 4 to Denise Burns indicating the names of who will be attending from your firm. Please contact Denise with any questions. We look forward to seeing you on April 16th!

English Department Welcomes Susan Meyers

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM PDT

Alumnus Susan Meyers, '99, joins the English Department faculty on July 1. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota.

Meyers, a writer and poet, was in the Honors Program and majored in English and minored in sociology. She currently teaches at Oregon State University.

Meyers has published in Calyx, Dogwood, Oregon Humanities Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review, Rosebud Literary Magazine, The Minnesota Review, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Gender and Education, and Community Literacy Journal. She is currently working on a historical novel about her family's circus, which operated during the early part of the twentieth century, as well as an ethnographic monograph about literacy and migration in the U.S./Mexico context. At SU, She looks forward to applying her interests in global and historical studies to courses in creative writing, literature, and composition.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees. The English Department offers degrees in English literature, film studies, and creative writing.

2012 Tribute Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM PDT

Join Seattle University Athletics for a very special night as we honor two of our greatest student-athletes, two-time  college tennis All-American, Tom Gorman, and our number one golfer during his collegiate career, Orrin Vincent.

Friday, March 30th, 2012 

Located at 914 E. Jefferson Street on the Seattle University Campus
Parking available in the SU Murphy Garage at 1001 E. James Way

5:00pm - No-Host Reception

6:30pm - Dinner and Program

$100 per person for dinner and complimentary drink

RSVP by Friday, March 23rd, 2012. Please return the enclosed card

Email Greg Sempadian  or call 206-398-4420.

You can also register online at

Thank you for your support of Seattle University Athletics

Dr. Rick Hodes: One Physician’s Journey in Ethiopia

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 15, 2012 at 11:03 AM PDT

Monday, April 2, 2012, 5:30 pm
Pigott Auditorium, William A. Pigott Building, SU Campus

When Dr. Rick Hodes  went to Ethiopia in 1985 to assist with famine relief efforts he never expected to stay. Join Dr. Hodes to hear about his life’s work with the people of Ethiopia.   

 “Dr. Rick Hodes’ life story is a reminder that giving is a privilege in which we may take pleasure, not some saintly endeavor. His approach toward medicine should be a model for our current Western system in showing that tending to the soul is at the center of healing.” (Natalie Portman, Oscar winning actress)

Rick Hodes is the Medical Director of Ethiopia for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a 97-year old NGO. Over the years, his work has focused on the health of Ethiopians immigrating to Israel. Currently, he is the senior medical consultant at a Catholic mission in Ethiopia. He has also worked with refugees in Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania,
Somalia, and Albania.

This event is hosted by the College of Nursing and  the College of Science and Engineering Pre-Health Club  in collaboration with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

Please email Katie Bowler or call 206-296-6100 with questions. Click here for more information.

Finding Balance

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM PDT


As we graduate and transition into new jobs and new careers, it’s always important to remember why we're doing what we're doing. Sure, you want to work hard and develop your career, but at the end of the day you need to strike a good balance to maintain your personal health and sanity. A coworker recently asked me if I was living to work or working to live…I instinctively responded with the latter, but had to really reflect on this later to realize that this wasn't necessarily accurate although I'm making a conscience effort to move more that way. Of course as adults, we all have our obligations, whether financial, familial, etc, but what we need to remember is our obligation to ourselves as well. Your other obligations can easily be affected negatively if you always ignore your obligation to yourself. Whether this means your happiness flourishes through exploring a new hobby/activity, spending more time with family, reconnecting with old friends or meeting new ones, it's important to find your reasons for working so hard everyday.

Understandably, not everyone will come out of school with their dream jobs in hand. The key to your destiny is in your own attitude. It's ok to keep your eyes on the prize, but make the most out of what you have and take the time to enjoy yourself while you're on your journey towards that dream job. I noticed that in my own life, my priorities have changed significantly since graduating from school. I used to be one of the ones "living to work" and striving for that elusive "success", but am happy to report that I am now much closer to the "working to live" state. Am I perfect? Absolutely not, but I've learned that when you become so focused on one specific goal, you miss out on all the opportunities along the way. Ease your foot off the gas pedal and give yourself some time to absorb your surroundings-- you'll never know what you'll find!

Joe Leigh, '09
Alumni Board of Governors

Ethics in the Business World- Join Us at Albers

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM PDT

Albers School of Business and Economics
presents  “Ethics in the Business World”
April 17, 2012 7:00-9:00 a.m.

We invite you to join Albers as we celebrate Ethics Day amid day long programming titled "Ethics in the Business World". Focusing on the best side of business, activities will demonstrate that professional ethics and ethical organizational cultures are vital to advancing the role of business as a force for building the common good.

Albers alumni are invited to begin the day with our Albers Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series for the spring quarter featuring Stan McNaughton, ’74, President and CEO of PEMCO and Dr. Marc Cohen, Assistant Professor of Business Ethics. Dr. Cohen’s research is in business ethics, moral psychology and philosophy, and management theory. His Ph.D. is from the University of Pennsylvania.

The presentation will be held on April 17, 2012 from 7:30-9:00 a.m. in the Casey Building,  5th floor, Casey Commons at Seattle University. Follow this link for a map of the campus and parking locations.  Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:00 a.m. A full breakfast awaits you with hot coffee to get you started. Speakers will begin a bit before 8:00 a.m. and we will have plenty of time for your questions.  Registration is required; the cost is $10. To register, click here. For additional information, please contact Gail Yates at 206-296-6115 or Rob Bourke at 206-296-2277. 

As part of "Ethics in the Business World", most Albers students will be visited by thoughtful, ethical business leaders throughout the day who will participate in over 50 classes to share how they have addressed ethical dilemmas in their own career. The day will conclude with a panel from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. when we kick off the founding of the student chapter of Net Impact. This new student group will host a panel of invited guests including the founder of Newground Social Investment.

We hope you will join us for the Alumni Breakfast!

Magis: Alumni Living the Mission

Posted by Amanda Kelly on March 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM PST

A Jesuit education can shape a person's life in more ways than one.
For Jesuit-educated alumnus Greg Forkins (Boston College 2010, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest 2010-11), a commitment to finding God in all things is what has formed him, particularly in his work life as a personal banker. As he puts it "the Magis program has been a true blessing which keeps me connected not only with the mission of Jesuit education, but with other Jesuit-educated alumni who are also seeking the same thing." Visit Living the Mission to read Greg's reflection about the impact of Jesuit education on his everyday life.

Also, Magis brings you two great opportunities to pause and reflect this month: Alumni Day of Prayer on March 24  with retreat directors Carla Erickson Orlando and Fr. Pat Twohy, S.J., will feature the theme of compassion through Carla and Fr. Pat's lively storytelling approach; and Spirituality on Tap on March 28  will feature a young adult panel about what makes each of them come alive as they find God in the midst of life's opportunities. For more information and to RSVP, email Magis

Lastly, as always, be sure to visit the Magis e-newsletter for information on other upcoming programs and events this spring. From retreats to education forums, Magis has you covered for faith, justice, and leadership opportunities!