SU Voice Alumni Blog

Seattle University: An Institution of Distinction

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 27, 2011 at 11:01 AM PST


I wanted to let you, our alumni partners, know about our continuing efforts to achieve new levels of institutional excellence.  Please allow me to brief you on some of our recent achievements. 

The total student headcount for fall 2010 was just shy of 8,000- an all-time high for Seattle University. All eight of our colleges and schools are doing well and I am very happy to share with you that the Albers School of Business & Economics, the undergraduate program in the College of Science & Engineering and the School of Law have all attained national distinction and are ranked among the best in their respective disciplines. Seattle University students were honored last year with the university’s 22nd Fulbright Scholar, 14th Truman Scholar and 14th Rotary Scholar—accomplishments that rival Ivy League institutions.   The faculty, students and staff of the university secured $3.1M in ongoing externally funded research at the university.  Not only are we the most accomplished independent university in the Pacific Northwest, we are also its largest and most diverse. We have made solid progress in advancing our Academic Strategic Action Plan.  We completed a revision of the undergraduate learning objectives and launched a faculty-driven process to revise the undergraduate core-curriculum.

Each college/school with graduate programs began a dialogue to determine in what ways the learning objectives of their program were consistent with the broad educational goals outlined by the Board of Trustees. We successfully engaged in a  university- and city-wide collaborative process to inform and help guide the next stage of the Seattle University Youth Initiative through which we are strengthening our commitment to the youth of our immediate neighborhood.

We opened the new Law School Annex, and planning is underway for the development of a new science education/research facility. We appointed Victoria Jones, Ph.D. as our first Associate Provost for Global Engagement. To better support our faculty in their research and scholarship, we established the Office of Research Services & Sponsored Projects and staffed it with a director and several key full-time staff as well as increased faculty development and recruiting funding.

In partnership with Mission & Ministry, the Division of Academic Affairs is taking a lead role in developing the Catholic Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture, which will encourage and support the study, discussion and research on topics connected to our Catholic intellectual heritage. 

We are clearly and strongly focused on achieving new levels of academic, artistic and scholarly distinction, and, to me, nothing symbolizes that commitment more than our renovated Lemieux Library and new McGoldrick Learning Commons. Opened in September, the library and learning commons are a shining example of our primary reason for being—to educate our students and prepare them to become engaged and active participants and leaders in our world while supporting our faculty and staff in their search for truth and further mastery of their fields of study.

I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of this most worthwhile educational enterprise.

Best regards,

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D.


Sister Helen Bendik, O.P., Memorial

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 27, 2011 at 10:01 AM PST


Our university has lost a dear friend who through the '80s and into the '90s performed a vital role on this campus.  From her office desk in the old campus ministry McGoldrick Center, Sister Helen Bendik, O.P. kept a watchful eye on students, faculty and staff alike.   Looking out onto the main entrance to campus, Helen’s smiling face was one of the first things people noticed when entering the campus and her ministry of hospitality would envelop both friends and strangers.    

Campus Ministry was only a part of Helen’s work and those who were lucky enough to know her remember her dream interpretation workshops, Myers Briggs and Enneagram sessions as well as her longstanding work as moderator of the 4th floor of Bellarmine.  A little know fact about her was the pivotal role she played in getting a wrongly convicted inmate in the state penitentiary in Monroe released.  This story became a feature article in the Alaska Airlines magazine.    

Helen was famous for working back channels in order to retain students who were struggling with the many facets of university life.  A call from Helen could secure additional financial aid, find much needed counseling or work out issues in the residence halls.   

Helen’s greatest gift was her ability to help anyone and everyone understand how much they were loved by God.  Through her patience and understanding she could sense what people needed and help them remove the obstacles which get in the way of a true relationship with God.  Her mantra was “All Is Gift” and her life reflected that.   Her legacy at SU lives on in the lives of the many students and university members whom she touched.  She will be missed. 

Mike "The Mayor" Mullen
Seattle University '89
Facilities Operations 


SU ROTC in Taiwan

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM PST

Waking up at 0600 in order to get in a good run and enjoy the Hawaiian sunrise hardly sounds like “pre-deployment training”. But I was fortunate enough to spend 8 days in Hawaii and 20 days in Taiwan with 21 other cadets from around the country, learning about Taiwanese culture. In Hawaii I received a crash course in Mandarin and had thorough presentations from my peers on Taiwanese culture and governmental experts.

The first ten days were spent at the Republic of China Military Academy. We were assigned a Taiwanese cadet and stayed in the barracks with him or her. We joined them in their field training. We also attended a lecture on U.S. and Taiwanese relations that explained, in great detail, the complexity of relations between the two countries.  We explored the countryside, visited night markets, visited Buddhist temples, and even started “the wave” at a baseball game. The main purpose for this cultural trip was to get to know Taiwanese cadets and the Taiwanese culture so that in the future, the US has military leaders with expertise and cultural understanding when dealing in foreign relations. I now have lifelong friends that are future military leaders from the US and Taiwan. I also have a greater respect and understanding for Taiwanese culture.

Jennifer Davidson, ‘11


Race to Nowhere Comes to SU!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM PST


When I attended a screening of the film Race to Nowhere, I had just taken a job as the Director of Marketing for the College of Education. A mother of two academically over-achieving boys, I will admit that I didn’t think this was a movie that would have much impact on me personally. I was very wrong. This is was one of the most compelling movies I have ever seen, and every parent should see it. Whether you have children who are sailing through school or who have challenges, you will be moved by what is really going on in our schools and by the pressures all children and teens are facing today. There’s not a parent out there who doesn’t want the best education for their children. But at what price? My favorite quote from the movie was, “I’m afraid my children are going to sue me someday for stealing their childhood.” Kids don’t play anymore. Learning is competitive from the first day of kindergarten. Sports are no longer fun, they are competitive starting at pee-wee, and the perception is that the longer your child’s resume, the better chance they have to get into selective colleges. If your children are in high school, and you can tear them away from their homework in three AP class or their second sporting practice of the evening, bring them along – and then have a great conversation in the car on the ride home!  Learn more at

Paula Hermann
Director of Marketing, College of Education
Seattle University

Complimentary tickets available for January 25 screening at SU.


SU Gets Physical: Fitness Center Underway

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM PST

 Happy 2011! Update on one the great changes here on campus. In mid-October, groundbreaking began on a $10 million student Fitness Center, another milestone in the transformation of the university campus. The 21,000-square-foot Fitness Center will adjoin the Connolly Center, with completion by September 2011. 

The center is one result of the university's highly successful capital campaign that raised more than $164 million. "The Fitness Center is not only is a significant investment in student life but also is designed to achieve LEED Gold status, reflecting the university's widely recognized commitment to sustainable practices and green building design," said Executive Vice President Timothy Leary.

The Fitness Center will include cardio training, weight training, group exercise studios, fitness assessment, staff offices, lockers and shower facilities, and outdoor recreation equipment. The building will enhance the immediate streetscape with a rain garden and windows that will provide an attractive perspective from the street, especially at night.


On a Mission!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM PST

Now's your chance to come out and support the Redhawks while receiving your alumni discount on SU gear! With only five games left in the season, grab your Seattle University t-shirts, gather your family and friends and join fellow SU community members as the men's basketball team face off against Portland, Utah Valley, UC Davis, University of Washington, and Portland State  from February 5 to March 10.

All Pre-Game Rallies begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Seattle Center Pavilion followed by the games at 7:10 p.m. in the KeyArena. Admission is free, and complimentary refreshments provided with beer and wine available for purchase at the rallies. Alumni and friends may also grab a 15% discount coupon for purchases made at the SU Bookstore on campus and inside the KeyArena.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming game!

Pre-Game Rallies
5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Seattle Center Pavilion

Home Games
All Tip-Offs are @ 7:10 p.m. in the KeyArena
Sat, February 5 vs. Portland
Wed, February 9 vs. Utah Valley
Tues, February 15 vs. UC Davis
Tues, February 22 vs. University of Washington
Thurs, March 10 vs. Portland State

Additional information.

Ed and John O’Brien Center for Athletic Administration Announced

Posted by Amanda Kelly on January 5, 2011 at 10:01 AM PST


Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., has announced that SU’s building at 1218 E. Cherry St. will now be known as the Ed and John O’Brien Center for Athletic Administration, honoring the great Seattle University basketball and baseball players for their years of supporting the athletics program. The O’Brien Center received a $2.3 Million renovation recently and is strategic for Seattle U’s continued progress towards NCAA Division I excellence.

The O’Brien twins were further acknowledged during a halftime presentation at Saturday’s men’s basketball game between Seattle University and Idaho at KeyArena  in December. Led by Seattle U Director of Athletics Bill Hogan and John Dougherty, athletics development officer, the O’Briens, who turned 80 years young Saturday, were treated to the crowd’s rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” during the ceremony.

“The O’Briens are a treasure to Seattle University, and it is fitting that we honor them in this way so that they will always be a part of the athletics program,” Hogan said after the presentation. “Eddie and Johnny played a major role in our return to Division I with their personal involvement in several projects and we wanted to make sure we thanked them for their inspiration over the past 60 years.” 

Ed and John O’Brien came to Seattle University from South Amboy, N.J., in 1949. After joining the varsity basketball team in 1950, the brothers helped Seattle U post a 90-17 record (.841) in three seasons, reaching the 1951 National Catholic Tournament, the 1952 National Invitational Tournament, and the 1953 NCAA Tournament. The O’Briens were also part of the 84-81 victory over the Harlem Globetrotters on Jan. 21, 1952, in front of a sellout crowd at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. 

The brothers made as much of an impact on the baseball diamond as they had on the basketball court, leading the Seattle U baseball team to a 62-14 record (.816) from 1950 through 1952, including the 1952 NCAA Tournament. Images of the O’Brien brothers will greet visitors as they enter the O’Brien Center. The athletic administration will move into its new offices over the next few weeks, with the entire move expected to be completed by mid-January.



Christmas Dinner at Bailey Boushay

Posted by Amanda Kelly on December 23, 2010 at 9:12 AM PST


Last Friday night I attended a dinner at Bailey-Boushay House. The following story was shared at the table I joined:

In 1993 Tim was a nurse bringing care to peoples homes in Louisville, Kentucky. One patient was a quadriplegic who was injured some years before Tim came on board to help the man's family with his care. Tim was at the home every other day helping with all the duties required for the patient and the family. Time passed and friendships grew. In 1998 Tim became dreadfully ill. The prognosis was not good though he fought a heck of a battle in the hospital critical care ward. Everything began to go wrong with the end in sight. After a bit of time Tim was diagnosed with AIDS. A slow recovery process finally allowed him to leave hospital. In 1998 there was not too much hope for one diagnosed with AIDS. The family that Tim was caring for began to care for him as soon as he left the hospital. Because of an upcoming family wedding in Seattle, and the desire to be near their family, Tim's Louisville friends decided to move lock stock and barrel to Seattle. They brought Tim with them moving him into their new house in Seattle to care for him. He was feed baby food until he became well enough to eat solid food. He was hovered over willing wellness into him until he finally became healthy enough to take a nursing job and find a place of his own.

Tim continued to take care of the gentleman visiting their home a number of times a week. AIDS never seems to take a rest finally demanding that Tim give up his apartment and move into Bailey-Boushay House to receive the kind of care he needs around the clock. The man he cared for died this year leaving a large hole in Tim's heart. He was survived by his wife who was introduced to all of us by Tim, "This is my mom, she gave me my life..." (Tim's birth mom died early in 2010)

M. Barrett Miller ‘68


Scheiderer Wins National Recognition for Work in Foster Care

Posted by Amanda Kelly on December 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM PST


SU is proud to announce that Cynthia Scheiderer, ’03 has been presented with the “Vision Award” for outstanding leadership by Foster Care Alumni of America. On any one day, there are approximately 425,000 children in foster care nationally. 115,000 children in foster care are available for adoption. Nearly 30,000 young people “age out” of foster care every year having never found an adoptive family.   

“Cynthia was named as Foster Care Alumni of America’s Vision Award recipient for her dedication to building a national consumer movement of adults who have experienced foster care,” said Nathan Monell, CEO of Foster Care Alumni of America.

“It has been a privilege and a joy to work with alumni of foster care to help make a difference in the lives of people in and from care,” said Ms. Scheiderer, a strong ally of foster care alumni. “Millions of alumni have powerful stories to tell. Their perspective and expertise can bring about better practice, public policy, and outcomes in foster care.”

The Vision Award was created by FCAA to highlight the exceptional contributions of an individual or organization in support of the growing consumer movement of adults who spent time in foster care. Scheiderer is the principal of Scheiderer Communications and a collaborator with The LightBox Collaborative, a versatile, dynamic group of talented consultants who work with nonprofits, philanthropies, and social entrepreneurs to jump start thinking, create strategic clarity in real time, and spark action in order to increase the impact of causes that matter.

More information on Foster Care Alumni of America.

SU alum visits Bhutan- incredible video!

Posted by Amanda Kelly on December 16, 2010 at 3:12 PM PST


From a young age I dreamt about challenging myself and learning through world travels and living abroad.  My first overseas exposure started when I was 10 years old.  Long before email, I connected with a pen pal in London and we have remained lifelong friends.  At 19 years old my dream about the challenge of living and learning abroad was fulfilled when when I studied in S.U.’s “French-in-France” program.  After graduation, I returned to France and lived at a L’Arche community, which serves disabled adults who live and work together.  During that year of service, I learned to experience the joy and beauty in every person – whether severely disabled or “successful” by society’s standards.  I have continued travelling every year on a continuous quest for learning and service to others.  In November 2010 I was fortunate to visit Bhutan, the Himalayan country well known for measuring “Gross National Happiness (GNH).  GNH is a measurement of seven key wellness indicators:  economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social and political wellness.  I was deeply moved by the people and the beauty of Bhutan.  This trip has reignited my quest to learn and challenge myself – stretching beyond our borders and notions of successful living.  Here is a link to a brief video with highlights of my experiences in Bhutan. 

Greg Scully, ’84 and ‘09