SU Voice Alumni Blog

Celebrating 20 Years

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on October 5, 2017 at 3:10 PM PDT

On September 26th, 2017, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., celebrated 20 years leading Seattle University. More than 41,000 alumni have diplomas with his name on them. To say he has had quite the impact on the Seattle U community is an understatement. In speeches and the most recent Seattle University Magazine, Fr. Steve has taken a forward-looking approach as he reflects on his presidency, envisioning the university over the next five years. We are taking a look back at just a few of Fr. Steve’s many accomplishments and new additions that have influenced our alumni of the last 20 years during their time on campus and since.   

Chapel of St. Ignatius
In 1997, Fr. Steve inaugurated the award-winning Chapel of St. Ignatius, designed by architect Steven Holl to focus on the spiritual needs of students.

Seattle University Mission
Fr. Steve says that the writing and acceptance of the university mission statement in 2003 is the defining moment of his presidency. The Seattle University mission remains alive and well in the education and actions of students, alumni, staff and faculty.

McGoldrick Learning Commons
In 2010, the McGoldrick Learning Commons was opened, as a new addition to the historic Lemieux Library, providing enhanced learning opportunities for the Seattle U community.  

Seattle University Youth Initiative
Launched in February 2011, the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) has quickly become the largest community engagement project in the institution’s history and a signature element of the university. In 2012, the White House honored Seattle University with one of only five Presidential Awards for community service.

Return to Division I Athletics 
As of 2012, Seattle University completed the five-year process of returning to Division I athletics, creating more visibility for the university and more opportunities for our talented and committed student athletes to compete on the national level.

William F. Eisiminger Fitness Center
In order to educate the whole person, mind and body, Seattle University has invested in the Connolly Complex, first with the addition of the William F. Eisiminger Fitness Center in 2012, and again in 2015 with a complete renovation of the Connolly Complex to ensure gender equity and Title IX compliance.

Core Curriculum
Alumni tell Fr. Steve that the most important thing at Seattle U is the Core Curriculum which was completely revised in 2013 to make the curriculum more relevant for students as they engage in learning about themselves, their communities, and the world. 

A Visit with Pope Francis
Arguably the highlight of his career, Fr. Steve and a small group of Seattle U community members traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis for 45 minutes in 2014, an experience that has impacted his leadership ever since.

School of New and Continuing Studies
Established in 2015, The School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS) became Seattle University’s 9th distinct school or college.  NCS programs are specifically designed for adult students. 

Endowment for Jesuit Teaching and Ministry 

Throughout his tenure as president, Father Sundborg’s goal has been to push further Seattle U’s Jesuit mission and the unique set of values we hold as a university. The Endowment for Jesuit Teaching and Ministry, in his name, will secure Fr. Sundborg’s vision in perpetuity.

You can learn more about the Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., Endowment for Jesuit Teaching & Ministry by contacting Saoirse Jones.


For a more in-depth look at Fr. Steve’s tenure at Seattle University, don’t miss the story in the most recent issue of the Seattle University Magazine.

Eula Biss Literary Event

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on October 5, 2017 at 10:10 AM PDT

As many alumni may recall, each summer incoming undergraduates are assigned a book known as the Common Text. The selected book is read by students, faculty and staff and provides an opportunity for dialogue and reflection. This year, the Common Text was Notes from No Man’s Land by Eula Biss.  On October 10th, Seattle University students and alumni have the exciting opportunity to hear from Eula Biss as she visits Seattle University for a literary reading and Q & A session about her book.

Notes from No Man’s Land is a collection of essays that highlights many important and challenging conversations about race in the U.S., including issues of “passing,” eugenics, segregation, public education, state violence, fear, neocolonialism, intersectionality, class, media representation and more.  A sample essay from the book is available on reserve through SU’s library so that all members of the SU community may access it. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting opportunity.

Eula Biss Literary Event
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Pigott Auditorium 
Free alumni tickets available here.

 

Our Seattle U Legacy Family: Jill and Robin Lustig

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on October 4, 2017 at 9:10 AM PDT

Mother and Daughter in SU gear

It’s no secret that Seattle University has a long tradition of academic excellence and a community of students and alumni passionate about Jesuit values. A key element of that vibrant community are those legacy families that have had more than one family member attend Seattle U.  One such family is the Lustigs. Jill Lustig, ’06 and her daughter Robin, a current senior and Student Alumni Ambassador, are both passionate about Seattle University and the individualized approach to education it offers. Unlike most mother-daughter legacies, Jill and Robin attended Seattle University less than 10-years apart.

Jill’s relationship with Seattle University began as a graduate student studying for her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. From the moment she began the application process, Jill was pleasantly surprised by the personal attention she received, which lasted until she completed her program. “I felt like someone was there to hold my hand the whole way.” Jill’s professor, Dr. Jian Yang encouraged her to intern throughout the program – an experience she says really prepared her for her new role teaching in the immigrant and refugee program at Bellevue College.

For Robin, who was in elementary school when Jill attended SU, she knew of Seattle University only as the place her mom went on evenings and that she and her siblings stayed up late and played video games with their dad. “I remember when my mom would come home from class and instead of being tired, she was filled with life. It was an education that put life into her.”

Robin’s relationship with the university changed when she was began looking at colleges and a family friend suggested that the Humanities for Leadership program at Seattle University would be the perfect fit for her. Jill gave Robin a tour of campus and Seattle U quickly became her first choice.

“Right when I stepped foot on campus, it was clear that learning doesn’t stop when you leave the classroom. I soon learned how you could take those lessons and apply them to the other aspects of your life. I’ve come to see that you can learn something from everyone and from every situation,” Robin said of her education at Seattle University.

“Seattle University is the place that taught her how to learn and there is no better place for her,” Jill added.

As someone who has been active in the alumni community for the last three years as a Student Alumni Ambassador, Seattle University’s Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony is something Robin has always wanted to participate in, but has never been able to, until now.  Not only will Robin be attending the pinning ceremony for the first time, but she will have the opportunity to speak about what her family legacy means to her. “Having a special connection of a Seattle University legacy is grounding and it makes you feel more connected to Seattle U. It’s a part of your family history and I am so proud to have this opportunity,” Robin said.

If you are a part of a legacy family, we invite you to join us during Family Weekend to celebrate the ties that bind your family to ours.

Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony
Saturday, October 21, 2017
1–3 p.m.
Campion Ballroom, Seattle University

Students – Free
Alumni & guests - $15
Reserve your spot today.

A Recap of the Eclipse on Campus

Posted by Chris Varney on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

On August 21st, people all across the country stood outside with pinhole projectors and the coveted eclipse glasses to catch a glimpse of the historic solar eclipse. Seattle University’s campus drew quite a crowd, but while faculty, staff and students gathered on the green, members of Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering packed the roof of the engineering building for their own event to celebrate the momentous occasion. We asked Chris Varney, lab manager for the physics department and event co-host, to share his experience of the eclipse.

People wearing eclipse glasses and looking at the sky.
Dr. Joanne Hughes, a professor of physics, and I hosted an event for all Science and Engineering faculty, staff and students to watch the eclipse on the roof of the engineering building. The event was born out of a learning opportunity for Joanne's summer session astronomy class, which meets on mornings and happened to coincide with the eclipse. At least 50 people spent their morning with us, bringing their significant others and children to make a family event out of it.

People brought their own viewing devices, such as pinhole cameras and eclipse glasses.

For our part, we put an appropriate filter on the end of the telescope, aimed it at the sun and projected the image out of the eyepiece onto a screen. Projecting the image was necessary due to the intensity of the light. Even with the filter in place, it was much too bright to look through the telescope with your own eye. We demonstrated this by placing one lens of a pair of eclipse glasses at the eyepiece of the viewfinder and the light instantly melted through. It was akin to burning ants with a magnifying glass only faster. Hence, the projection. The projected image was a couple feet across so that everyone could see it clearly from anywhere in the observatory dome. We even got to see a few sunspots (before the moon covered them).

A projection of the eclipse on a screen.

It was great having such an educated and inquisitive crowd to spend the event with. Joanne and I fielded questions that ranged from the optimistic, “Will we be able to see the corona?” to the inquisitive, “What exactly are sunspots?” to the we-can-make-up-numbers-right-here-on-the-spot-and-you-would-probably-never-know, “How fast is the moon moving?” The real answer, provided by Dr. Hughes, was over 2000 mph in orbit around the earth, and what was causing the moon's shadow to move quickly across the earth was our rotation on our axis of 1000 mph. There was a lot of passion for science on that rooftop, which made it all that much more enjoyable.

Child looking up at the sky with eclipse glasses

It was an exciting experience watching the sun slowly turn into a crescent and back again. Usually that's something only the moon gets to do. It seems appropriate, then, that the moon was there to help the sun achieve these goals. The temperature dipped slightly and the area dimmed to a weird not-quite-dusk sort of light that I'm not sure my brain ever fully figured out how to process. I am pleased to have experienced this very rare occurrence in this way.

 

Nathan Watkins, ’17: Painting the Town, Literally

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

Most recent graduates’ portfolios contain samples of class projects and freelance work. For Nathan Watkins, a 2017 Digital Design grad, the pillars of the I-5 James street corridor stand as an example of his creativity and skill.

 

 

Nathan has had a passion for art and design for as long as he can remember. “When teachers would ask me, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ I would answer with, ‘be an artist!’” Nathan chose Digital Design as his major because it took art and applied a clear goal and logical process to achieve an outcome.


But how did Nathan go from a student studying design to the creative lead on a high profile project like the I-5 pillars? Nathan worked with the First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA) to redesign First Hill’s signal boxes. It was important to Nathan that those designs depicted life on First Hill today, incorporating the community’s history and landmarks. The organization loved his work and how it communicated the essence of the neighborhood, so the director made sure to let him know they were holding an open call for artists to design the I-5 pillars. After submitting his design, Nathan was selected as a finalist along with a few other local artists. Nathan soon found himself with just under two weeks to complete a final concept and submit it to FHIA and the organization that would actually execute the design.


“I was working day and night sketching out concepts.” Nathan finalized his concept with only six days to go. “I was in overdrive trying to get everything together and still meet the impending deadline. I got very little sleep that week, but thankfully it was 100% worth it.”

 

 

Painted Pillars on I5If you’ve driven on James Street recently, you’ve seen Nathan’s art slowly come to life on the pillars under I-5. While not officially completed, the response to his work has already been positive.


“People are absolutely glowing about them,” Nathan said. “It's so gratifying to see. One building on First Hill even wants to put the design on one of their support columns and is asking for licensing to use the design on donor gifts. Every time I drive under the I-5, I see people staring at the pillars from inside their cars, craning their necks to get a better view, sometimes even pointing and talking to other passengers about them. I'm so happy my work has been received so well and it's such an honor to be the mind behind it all.”


As for how this project has impacted Nathan’s career path, he says, “I never really expected to be doing public art, but having had the opportunity to do so really opened my eyes to new directions and possibilities for my career. With the way things are going, continuing to grow Nathan Watkins Design doesn't seem like such a bad idea, and with the influx of attention I may even need to start expanding, which is an exciting prospect. The work I've done around the city has been extremely rewarding, and I'm hopeful that these projects will lead to even more of that kind of work.”


Nathan’s designs are colorful and eye catching, making morning commutes that much more interesting. Don’t just take our word for it—the next time you find yourself stopped at a light under I-5, take a look out your window and experience Nathan’s work for yourself.

Special thanks to Gabby Lopez and Afina Walton for their help with this article. 

Redhawk Trivia Facts

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on September 7, 2017 at 12:09 PM PDT

As we kick off the school year we can’t help but be excited about what Seattle U Athletics has in store for us. With new leadership and new coaches at the helm, we know you won’t want to miss a minute of the heart-pounding action from the soccer field to the basketball court. To help get you pumped up for the season ahead, we are providing you with the insider trivia all Redhawk fans need to know!

REDHAWK RUNDOWN

  • Women’s soccer has won four straight regular-season WAC title and three WAC Tournament titles since 2013.
  • Women’s swimmer Blaise Wittenauer-Lee won three WAC titles and became the first Redhawk swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships
  • Men’s soccer teams boasted the nation’s longest home winning streak (19) entering 2017
  • Men’s golf was the 2017 WAC champions and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, a first since 1965
  • Baseball had two players selected in the 2017 MLB draft – Jansen Junk to the New York Yankees and Tarik Skubal to the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Softball’s Alyssa Reuble threw the first perfect game in Division I in 2017
  • The Redhawks had four WAC Freshman of the Year in 2016-17 (Katarina Marinkovic, volleyball; Kamira Sanders, women’s basketball; Matej Kavas, men’s basketball; Zack Overstreet, men’s golf)

MODERN DIVISION I ERA
Since returning to Division 1 in 2008-09, Seattle University student-athletes and teams have experienced much success.

NCAA POSTSEASON

  • In 2015, Seattle U men’s soccer reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
  • Seattle U teams had six NCAA Tournament berths from 2013-17
  • The Redhawks had three NCAA Tournament wins from 2013-16

Western Athletic Conference (WAC)

  • Seattle U won 22 individual champions in the WAC from 2012-17
  • The Redhawks had 10 regular season WAC champions from 2013-17
  • Seattle U had five WAC Tournament champions from 2013-16

ADDITIONAL POSTSEASON SUCCESS

  • In addition to the six NCAA appearances from 2013-17, men’s basketball had two College Basketball Invitational appearances, collecting three wins, and women’s basketball has twice competed in the WNIT.

ACADEMICS BY THE NUMBERS

Not only do our student-athletes excel on the field, they excel in the classroom.

  • 32 cumulative GPA for all student-athletes 2016-17
  • 47% of students earned Deans List honors per quarter
  • Top 10% Four sports including men’s basketball earned a top 10% Academic Progress Rate (APR) national ranking
  • 95% student-athletes’ graduation rate.

Visit GoSeattleU for athletic information and schedules for the upcoming year. We hope to see you this season to cheer on our student-athletes.  Don’t forget to wear red and cheer on the Redhawks!

What Makes Summer in Seattle Great?

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, '11, '18 on August 3, 2017 at 3:08 PM PDT

Though Seattleites try to keep it quiet, it’s no secret that summer in Seattle is spectacular. The days are long, the rain takes a holiday, the air is cool and the sun is warm. Unlike other cities, Seattle tends to avoid humid overtly hot summers, making it the perfect time to get out and explore. While not all alumni stay in the Pacific Northwest after graduation, 61% of our alumni are in the Puget Sound area, so we put together the Redhawk Summer Fun List with recommendations from alumni and some of our own. We hope it will give you some new ideas for summer fun.

 

Mary Ann Dancing in the Street
Photo credit: Alabastro Photography

“July is my absolute favorite month in Seattle! There is nowhere else. I'd rather be.  Every July I look forward to the annual Bon Odori festivals. This is a Japanese Buddhist festival that honors loved ones who have passed on. This is done through dance, taiko drumming, and great food. Women and men are in colorful yukata (a summer kimono) and hapi coats. I do the whole obon circuit: Seattle, White River, Tacoma, Olympia! One summer I will try to work in Vancouver and Portland, and even maybe even San Jose!” – Mary Ann Goto, '79

 

 Arman and Wife

“My favorite thing about summer in Seattle is... spending more time outdoors!! I love to escape the city and get out in nature, for something like a "mental reset." I also like to come home from work and take a quick nap in my hammock in my backyard! It's a great way to relax before starting on dinner and evening chores!” – Arman Birang, ‘11

 

Dog at the beach 

 

 

“My favorite thing to do in the summer is going to the beach (preferably the Oregon Coast) with my family and what I really mean is with our dogs.” – Susan Vosper, AVP of the Seattle University Alumni Association.

 

Afina and Friend

 

 

“My favorite thing to do in the summer is being outside - whether I'm going to the beach or visiting small towns like Snohomish or Port Townsend. Ideally with friends!” Afina Walton, ‘17

 

John and family hiking

 

 

 

“City hikes at Discovery Park.” - John Boyle, ‘02

 

 Kaily Hiking with Dog

 

 

“Seattle has the best hiking trails! My favorite thing about summer is taking my dog on hikes and seeing the great outdoors.” – Kaily Serralta, ‘12

 Sunset over water

 

 

 

“I go to the Beach Drive in West Seattle to watch the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains.  It’s breathtaking.” – Peter Graziani, ‘12

 

 

 

 

"During the summer in Seattle, I enjoy walking around Seward Park, hitting the town with my DSLR camera while taking in the ever changing city, spending time with friends, and visiting the local Capitol Hill Farmers Market on Sundays." – Duron Jones, ’14, President of the African American Alumni Chapter

 

Redhawk Summer Fun List

August 3-6

Wooden O presents Shakespeare in the Park

Seafair Weekend

Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival

August 7-13

Out to Lunch concert series
Alumna Hollis Wong-Wear, ’08, and her band the Flavr Blue performed as part of this series.

Concerts at the Mural Amphitheatre

Nights at the Neptune

Outdoor Movie Nights with Peddler Brewing Company
The brewery is alumni owned and operated.  

A Taste of Edmonds

August 14-20

Sunset Supper at the Market

ZooTunes concert series

Tumwater Artesian Brewfest

August 21-27

Evergreen State Fair

Seattle U Day at the Sounders

Choochokam Makers + Music Festival

August 28-September 3
Bumbershoot
 

Benchmark Your Career with the help of PayScale!

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on August 2, 2017 at 5:08 PM PDT

By now you may have received an email from President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. telling you that Seattle U is partnering with PayScale and asking you to complete the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey.  Why should you participate? Great question!

In the 2016 Alumni Attitude Survey you told us that it was important that the national rankings of Seattle U accurately reflect the quality of the education you received. You also shared that access to professional development is very important to you.  The Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey is one source that will accomplish both of those things.

Upon completion, the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey generates a personalized salary report. This report can help you:

  • Evaluate your current and possibly future value as an employee.
  • Negotiate salary increases or build a case for additional skills training.
  • Understand what to ask for as you prep for career advancement.

The survey data also provides valuable career outcome information that is influential to evaluators when they develop national rankings—a powerful influence with employers.

Watch out for an email from SeattleUSurveys@seattleu.edu with a link to participate in the Seattle University PayScale Alumni Careers Survey.   

 

We Are

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on June 1, 2017 at 2:06 PM PDT

Carolyn Ronis, '00, '03 JD, was awarded the 2017 Seattle University Community Service Award at the Alumni Awards on May 5th. During her acceptance speech, she presented Fr. Steve and the Seattle University community with a piece of artwork entitled “We Are.” Read on to see what Carolyn had to say about the piece.

“WE ARE”

This piece of art titled “We Are” was created by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently residing at Sengere settlement in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Most of the IDPs escaped to Sangere after the deadly “Gwoza Massacre” of June 2, 2014 in Gwoza, Borno State. Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist organization, tortured, assassinated and burned residents of all ages. Children witnessed their parents being executed and many were left as orphans. Reliable sources estimate the death toll from that attack at between 400-500 civilians.

Most of these survivors escaped with only the clothes on their backs. After hiding in the bush for many weeks, these IDPs finally arrived at Sangere. Tattered, dirty, starving, and sick, they now face discrimination and starvation, but they are thankful to be alive.

 Children Tracing Hands

“We Are” is an original piece made up of the real handprints, dirt and all, of individuals who survived that deadly night and the many deadly nights after, in search of peace. Sharing their handprints, they send a message to the world that they exist, they do not want to be forgotten, and they are working to come to terms with what has happened so they can create their own peace. The leaf prints communicate their occupation as farmers in Gwoza and their quest to find their own land where they can safely resume their livelihood activities. Until then, they are starving.

Children from Yola

“We Are” was created during a Healing Through Art (HTA) program administered by ICEHA (International Coalition for the Eradication of Hunger and Abuse). ICEHA’s Executive Director, Carolyn Ronis, graduated from Seattle University in 2000 and SU Law in 2003. She developed Healing Through Art to help children heal the psycho-social wounds of war and stop the perpetuation of violence from one generation to the next. Boko Haram is officially designated as the world’s deadliest terrorist organization. In Nigeria alone, it is estimated that there are over 2 million people displaced by Boko Haram. Without psycho-social healing, many, especially children, remain vulnerable to recruitment into Boko Haram.

Welcome Class of 2017!

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on June 1, 2017 at 2:06 PM PDT

Did you know that you are already a member of the Seattle University Alumni Association? That’s right, no dues or fees required! All 78,000 alumni of Seattle University are automatically members of the Seattle University Alumni Association at graduation and being a member has its perks.

Alumni Events
Alumni events are a great way to have fun while building your network, making new friends and staying connected to Seattle U!

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming events:

SU International Alumni Chapter Spring Social and Networking Event
June 2 | 6:30 p.m.
Seattle U Stuart Rolfe Community Room, Admissions and Alumni Building

Young Alumni Happy Hour
June 15 | 6 p.m.
Optimism Brewing Company

Volunteer for the Walk for Rice with the Women of SU
June 24 |9:30 a.m.
Seward Park

Young Alumni Summer Party
August 16 | 5:30 p.m.
Flatstick Pub (Pioneer Square)

SU Night at the Seattle Sounders
August 27 |6:30 p.m.
Century Link Field

 

Professional Development Opportunities

From our alumni LinkedIn group with over 8,000 professionals looking to connect with you to networking nights, career workshops and job postings, we have the tools to help you develop your career. Learn more here.

Lifetime Email Address

Yes, you get to keep your Seattle U email for life!  No need to change your email address just because you graduated.

Fitness Center Membership 

Seattle University alumni enjoy membership to the Eisiminger Fitness Center for just $25 a month. Join now!

Seattle U License Plates

License Plate

Drive with pride and support student scholarships with the SU license plate. A portion of every sale supports scholarships. It’s a great way to show your pride and give back.

Learn more and apply!

Seattle University Credit Card

Credit Card

The Seattle U Visa® Rewards credit card -- the only credit card that helps support the Seattle University Alumni Association with every purchase! Learn more.

Insurance Discounts

The Seattle University Alumni Association is pleased to offer a complete suite of insurance products to meet all of your insurance needs. Whether you are a new graduate in need of your first auto insurance policy or you are looking for a life insurance policy – we have something for you.  Learn more.

Continuing Education

Seattle University fosters life-long learning through our continuing education program. Alumni can audit undergraduate classes for just $55, participate in the College of Arts and Sciences quarterly Alumni Seminar Series, and enjoy continued access to the Seattle University library. Continue your education.