SU Voice Alumni Blog

Four SU Jesuits Celebrate Jubilee Anniversaries

Posted by Amanda Kelly on September 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM PDT

   Four Seattle University Jesuits are celebrating very significant milestones this year. Pat O’Leary, S.J., chaplain for faculty and staff, is marking the 50th anniversary of his ordination; Steve Sundborg, S.J., president, and Pat Howell, S.J., rector, are both celebrating 50 years as Jesuits; and Dave Anderson, S.J.,  chaplain for alumni, is marking his 25th anniversary of entering the Jesuit Order. Collectively, the four have served nearly 200 years as Jesuits. It’s a staggering statistic, especially when you stop and think about all the lives they have touched through the years in their various ministries.   

One recent afternoon, the four jubilarians, as they are known, sat down for a conversation about why they decided to become priests, what they remember about the day they entered the Jesuits—or in Father O’Leary’s case, his ordination—and what they treasure most about the lives they’ve chosen.   Read more. 

SU Earns High Ranks for Public Contributions

Posted by Amanda Kelly on September 2, 2011 at 10:09 AM PDT

 Seattle University is ranked ninth in the nation for its contributions to the public good on Washington Monthly’s 2011 list of master’s universities. The publication evaluated more than 550 institutions in three categories: recruiting and graduating low-income students; producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs; and encouraging students to give something back to their country.  

“This recognition is particularly meaningful to us as Washington Monthly’s criteria for evaluating institutions are very much in congruence with the values of our university,” said Provost Isiaah Crawford. “The three categories upon which our ranking is based—social mobility, research and service—go to the heart of who we are as a university. To be included among the top 10 institutions nationally is a wonderful affirmation that we are living up to our mission of forming leaders for a more just and humane world.”   

Learn more. 

Against All Odds

Posted by Amanda Kelly on September 2, 2011 at 10:09 AM PDT

 Hajer Al-Faham, ’11, is making a difference while fighting cultural stereotypes.

For Hajer Al-Faham, her life changed dramatically on Sept. 11, 2001.
Al-Faham is a first generation Iraqi who experienced firsthand heightened fears and stereotyping of Muslims that followed in the hours and days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a matter of hours Al-Faham went from a popular 8th grader to invisible.
“Every friend I had stopped talking to me, teachers too.

One teacher asked if I’d like to apologize to the class for what happened that morning,” she recalls. 
Al-Faham could have retreated but instead chose to face the hatred that she was subjected to head on. She began volunteering and enrolled in Running Start, a program that gives high school students the opportunity to take college courses prior to graduation

Read more of Hajer’s story. 

Stacy Howard, Seattle U News.

SU Athletics First Weekend of September!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on September 1, 2011 at 9:09 AM PDT

  The Seattle University athletics fall season kicks into full gear this weekend, with chances to see the women’s soccer and cross country teams compete close to home. Tonight, the volleyball team begins a week-long road trip through the state of Oregon with a match at Portland State beginning at 7 p.m. Links to live stats and live video of the match are available by going to the volleyball schedule page on The volleyball team will also be in action Friday (7 p.m.), Sunday (10 a.m. and 5 p.m.), Monday (12:30 p.m.), and Tuesday (7 p.m.), with links to selected online resources available on the same schedule page.

Friday, the cross country team begins the 2011 season with the Seattle U/UW Open at Magnuson Park. The women’s race will take place at 4 p.m., followed by the men’s race at 4:30 p.m. With a mix of experience and youth, the Redhawks are working towards another solid performance in the season-ending Great West Conference Championships. This will be the first of three events for the cross country team in the Seattle area, and everyone is welcome to go to Magnuson Park and cheer on the Redhawks!

Also Friday, the women’s soccer team faces its toughest opponent of the 2011 season to date when it goes against Portland at Husky Soccer Stadium beginning at 4:30 p.m. Portland is ranked #8 nationally, but the Redhawks will be prepared to give the Pilots a battle at the University of Washington. For those who cannot make the game, live stats and a live blog will be available through The same features will also be available for Sunday’s women’s soccer match between Seattle U and Washington at Husky Soccer Stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The men’s soccer team hits the road for its second straight trip to California, facing UC Davis Friday evening at 5 p.m. and Cal Poly Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. For up-to-date information on everything going on in Seattle University athletics, visit


President Sundborg charts the course for SU

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM PDT

  President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., laid out his vision for Seattle University in an address to key stakeholders on Tuesday, August 23. Approximately 250 trustees, regents, advisory board members, alumni and other university supporters gathered in Pigott Auditorium for Father Sundborg’s State of the University address, in which he outlined seven goals for the next seven years: 

 Strengthening academics so that SU is the first choice for more and more prospective students;  

 Investing in undergraduate science learning and research, and building a new science facility; 

 Capitalizing on the global emphasis of a Jesuit education; 

 Moving forward with the Seattle University Youth Initiative; 

 Deepening our identity as a Catholic and Jesuit university; 

 Forming every student as a leader; and 

 Achieving championship athletics at the highest level. 

The president also identified four elements that are critical to realizing the seven goals: strengthening the university’s finances through budget efficiencies, philanthropy and new sources of revenue; conducting a successful capital campaign; expanding or developing new partnerships with organizations and companies in the fields of technology, biomedicine, sustainability and global health; and telling the SU story widely, consistently and positively. 

Read more.

Casey Corr & Mike Thee
Seattle University Marketing.


Be Free Business Expo Discount for SU Alum!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM PDT

 SU students, alumni, faculty and staff can receive 75% OFF the event ticket price by using code 'SU' on The cost will be $20 at the door, so please order now.   

Kim Gonzalez, Seattle University assistant softball coach, is organizing a business expo at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Center August 20-21. The BE FREE Business Expo will give the information, resources, and networking opportunities necessary to create and run a home-based business. Over 50 exhibitors will be in attendance to provide networking and resourcing opportunities, while several keynote speakers are scheduled to discuss topics such as networking, maximizing social media, licensing, and tax advantages.  

Gonzalez is entering her ninth season as a college softball coach, including her sixth at Seattle U, her alma mater. She also trained and played softball competitively until becoming a mother. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, Gonzalez works as an independent executive to a network marketing business she launched in 2008.  

"In network marketing, we grow people. Not only does the industry encourage its business owners to dream and expand their vision of what's possible, it actually provides them with a vehicle to realize those dreams," Gonzalez said. "I created this expo to show the public that they can achieve anything they put their mind to, no matter the chosen vehicle to success." 

20 percent of the proceeds of the event will be donated to the Seattle University Entrepreneurship Center. The expo will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21.  All ages are welcome to attend.  

To learn more about the expo or to purchase tickets, visit


Former Seattle U Softball Standout Jane Purdy Receives Prestigious Air Force Scholarship

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 9, 2011 at 2:08 PM PDT

 Former Seattle University softball player Jane Purdy ‘08 has been awarded the prestigious Air Force Health Professions Scholarship. The two-year scholarship will cover tuition, books, equipment, fees and provide a monthly stipend for Purdy as she studies to become an optometrist. Purdy played at SU from 2005-08.

“I am really proud of Jane and very excited about her future endeavors,” said head softball coach Dan Powers.  “She left her mark on SU softball and I have no doubt she will continue to do great things for our country through her opportunity with the Air Force.” 

“She worked to earn this scholarship and it speaks volumes of her integrity, determination and hard work to be selected after a two year selection process.  I know Jane will look great in her officer uniform just like she did in her Redhawk jersey!” concluded Powers.

Each recipient of the scholarship is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps, where they are placed on inactive obligated reserve status during their final two years of optometry school. After graduating, Purdy will attend Commissioned Officer’s Training as a captain and then be on active duty as an optometrist in the Air Force.

While at Seattle U, Purdy was a four-year starter guiding the Redhawks to great success as members of the NCAA Division II GNAC. She was a four-time All-GNAC and a three-time All-West Region selection, among receiving additional regional and tournament team honors. Purdy, who majored in biology at SU, was also a three-time Academic All-GNAC recipient.

Diana A. Chamorro Assistant Director of Athletics Communications, Seattle University


9th Annual O’Brien Open

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 8, 2011 at 3:08 PM PDT

 Monday, September 12, 2011

11:30 a.m. Registration
1:00 p.m. Shotgun start

Please consider joining campus leadership and fellow alumni for the 9th Annual O’Brien Open at the Golf Course at Redmond Ridge. We’ll be celebrating Seattle University’s men’s basketball program.  This tournament is the longest running consecutive event for SU athletics, and is guaranteed to be a great time for all.

Named for Eddie and Johnny O’Brien, basketball players who propelled the SU Chieftains into the national spotlight in the 1950s. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and all funds raised will go to support Redhawks men’s basketball at SU.

Register today.

For more information, contact Greg Sempadian. 


Girly Girl Wines: A ‘Big’ Idea on a Bottle

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 8, 2011 at 10:08 AM PDT

 When Karen Ward—a graduate of Seattle University Albers School of Business—entered the 2008 Business Plan Competition, she had no clue that her "big" idea would later become Girly Girl Wines.

“I sat down one night and wrote the business plan. I had an idea and just put it all on paper,” said Ward. "And, much to my surprise, I later won.”  Ward said studies find that there are three things consumers look for when buying wine; quality, philosophy, and the appearance of the label. With that in mind, she first focused on the label and description of each wine. “With Girly Girl I wanted something that was classy-looking” said Ward. “And unique too, so one night I sat down with colleagues and friends and together we created the personalities for each of our wine names and that’s what Girly Girl wine is all about.” Each bottle of wine has its own unique character: “Chloe” likes to shop and dine out; “Kayla” is the jet-setting traveler; “Farrah” is into sports; and “Mia” enjoys time at the spa.

Ward is the director of sales and marketing at Washington Wine & Beverage Company, where she has worked for the past 11 years. After winning the 2008 Seattle University Albers School of Business Plan Competition prize of $10,000, she presented her plan to senior management. Soon after Girly Girl Wines was born, and it is now owned and produced by Washington Wine & Beverage Company in Woodinville.

Read the full article from the Woodinville Patch.


SU Welcomes WAC Commissioner

Posted by Amanda Kelly on August 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM PDT


Karl Benson, commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, was interviewed by Jen Mueller of ROOT Sports in SU’s O’Brien Center on Thursday. Benson was visiting SU, which will join the WAC next year. In a live chat on the  Seattle Times, the commissioner praised SU for its history and tradition, and said, “We expect Seattle U to have immediate success in the WAC.” Click here for sights and sounds from the June 14 press conference at which SU announced its decision to join the WAC.  

Mike Thee, SU Marketing