SU Voice Alumni Blog

A Christmas Message from President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on December 4, 2019 at 10:12 AM PST

Fr. Steve Hands Crossed

As 2019 draws to a close and the holiday season upon us, I am reminded to reflect on how grateful and blessed I am to serve the Seattle University community.

It has been an extraordinary year at Seattle U with the public launch of The Campaign for the Uncommon Good. This is the largest and most comprehensive campaign we have ever done supporting the construction of the new Center for Science and Innovation, scholarships to ensure access to education and mission-driven programs.

We  take great joy in students being able to attend Seattle University—to belong, to feel included and to thrive in an environment with world-class faculty. Students and alumni have transformed our university and continue to enrich our connections to the world through our Jesuit mission and care for the whole person.

We are grateful to see alumni using the critical lens gained from an SU education to direct and shape their careers, engaging in community and serving as leaders. We are thankful for staff and faculty members who support our student experience and stay connected to alumni long after they have left campus. You all have demonstrated unparalleled commitment, passion, and caring to Seattle University and to those that we serve.

On behalf of Seattle University, it is my pleasure to wish you and your family a joyous Christmas season filled with a peace and comfort.

From our community to yours, Merry Christmas.

Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
President, Seattle University

Homecoming Weekend is in Full Swing

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 7, 2019 at 10:11 AM PST

Homecoming Weekend is here and we are excited for one of our favorite campus traditions. This year’s Homecoming festivities are extra special as we celebrate the public launch of The Campaign for the Uncommon Good. Throughout the weekend, we will introduce our community to the campaign and the impact it will have on our university.

This year, alumni will return to campus for their Class of 1969, Sullivan Scholars, Search Retreat and Hiyu Coulee reunions and anniversary celebrations. Throughout the weekend, we will also be honoring our veterans and active military community.

Alumni Group Photos with Red Umbrellas

We kicked off Homecoming weekend with the Veterans cake cutting, the SU Advantage Lecture on the impacts of Artificial Intelligence on social problems and marching in the Red Umbrella parade around campus. Students got in the spirit by participating in S’morecoming, a late night campfire in the quad, rode the Class Cab and gave thanks to donors during the Spirit of Giving.

Students in a photo booth


The fun-filled weekend is just getting started as we have a ton of activities to for you and your family. Can’t come but want to follow along? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to see updates and photos from the entire weekend.

People sitting in a golf cart

There is still time to participate in Homecoming! We have highlighted some events that we think you might be interested in:

Campus Tour

Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Seattle University Seal

Homecoming Day of Service

Breakfast: 7:30-9 a.m. | LeRoux Room
Service: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Time and location vary by site

There are still opportunities to serve! Bring your family and friends. Register now.

Redhawk Redfest Rally and Men’s Basketball Homecoming Game

Rally: 5-7 p.m. | Eisiminger Center Parking Lot, 14th Ave. and Jefferson
Game: 7 p.m. | Redhawk Center

Bring your friends and family to the Redhawk Redfest Rally before the Basketball game to get into the SU spirit with food trucks and a beer garden, face painting, glow sticks, lawn games and more! Students get into the game free with their SU student ID.

Don't have tickets yet? Alumni tickets are going fast! Stick around for the onsite game watch if you don't get a ticket. Or consider a flexible 6 game ticket package to guarantee your seat.

LinkUp Provides Alumni Mentor Opportunity

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM PST

People talking around a tableLinkUp is the signature mentoring and networking event for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Designed to be casual, informal and approachable, this annual event encourages students majoring in social sciences and humanities to explore career pathways and learn from alumni and friends. We are actively seeking alumni volunteers for this powerful event.

Alumni and friend mentors find meaning in participating from the ability to help shape emerging professionals, provide life perspective and inspire possible career choices. Should mentors make a connection with students, we encourage future conversations, though a long-term mentoring relationship is not expected.

Students appreciate the comfortable structured networking environment where they pair with three or four professionals working in their areas of interest for 15-minute conversations.

Prior to the networking rounds, students participate in a short workshop where they learn the basics of networking, practice introducing themselves and how to request future informational conversations from professional mentors. 

We invite your participation! Two simultaneous LinkUp events occur, one for our undergraduate students and another for graduate students. We could use your help mentoring either population, depending on your own background and professional interests. You don’t have to be a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences – all alumni are welcome!

Register as an Undergraduate Mentor

Register as a Graduate Mentor

January 28th, 2020
Student Center 130

They Call Me the Shark Lady

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM PST

Women Dressed up in Shark Outfit Giving a TalkIn 2015, Andrea Richey, ’90, had been living in Hong Kong for over 25 years and had experienced working in corporate communications and human resources for a Wall Street law firm. She was working as a legal recruiter when she was suddenly faced with the personal tragedy of the passing of her father and her mother suffering a heart attack three months later. “After my father passed away, I started pondering the meaning of life,” said Richey. 

“After some reflection, I decided that changing jobs and making money wasn’t going to change my state of mind,” said Richey. So, Richey decided that she would start giving back to her community. “I looked into a lot of different organizations and volunteered at several of them. But, the Hong Kong Shark Foundation (HKSF) was the one that stuck with me. I realized that while living in Hong Kong I had been actively contributing to the problem that this foundation was fighting,” said Richey. 

There are a 100 million sharks killed annually and the shark population has dropped by over 90% in the last 30 years. While this is a global problem, the reality is that after HKSF did a survey in 2016, we found that 98% of Chinese seafood restaurants in Hong Kong served shark fin soup. In Asian culture, shark fin soup is seen as a status symbol. Andrea was at geographic epicenter of the problem and felt that she could, through education, help to be the change for a more just and humane world. As the Executive Director of the HK Shark Foundation, Andrea has presented to over 10,000 students in both local and international in schools across Hong Kong to raise awareness about shark conservation. “I think of myself as a farmer. I know that if I plant the idea of sharks as an important resource to the future of our ecosystem and world, these students will grow up knowing more than their parents did and make better decisions. Our results are slow, but definitive. HKSF is making progress and educating people to say NO to shark fin soup,” said Richey.  

Through this work “I realized that I could be a big part of the solution by stopping the exploitation and unsustainable practice of killing sharks for profit. Being mindful and practicing mindfulness has been one of my keys to happiness,” says Richey. While she has focused her efforts on elementary students thus far, Andrea has set her sights on educating corporations on the benefits of shark conservation in 2020 and expanding the reach of Hong Kong Shark Foundation beyond Hong Kong.  

Watch her TEDxCUHK video.  

Uncommon Impact - Recap

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM PST

Group Photo of Portland Chapter LeadershipThe Uncommon Impact: Portland reception welcomed 50 alumni, parents and friends for an evening of celebrating Seattle University’s uncommon impact. Attendees were able to meet with President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Powers as well as other university leaders and were introduced to the Portland Chapter leadership team. Watch the program by checking out the recording of the live stream or flipping through the Uncommon Impact: Portland photo album.

Attendees were impacted by the event, with one saying, “The presentation reminded me of the value of being educated in an institution that is based on Jesuit values. I had carried some mixed feelings about my education at SU. (I was a first generation college student and I think that because I was a strong student, it was assumed that I was knowledgeable about post-graduate opportunities. I needed much more guidance than I received.) This presentation helped me realize that what I did receive from SU was far more important than what I did not receive.”

The Portland Chapter leadership team is actively planning future events for the SU community in the greater Portland area, including a regional Day of Service project. Follow the Portland Chapter Facebook page for the latest updates. 

Celebrate the Holidays

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 6, 2019 at 10:11 AM PST

Lit CandlesIt’s time to officially start getting ready for the holidays! Celebrate the season with your fellow Seattle University alumni by participating in the following family friendly events:

  • December 5 Tree Lighting

    Gather with us at Seattle U's Annual Tree Lighting from 6-8 p.m. Cookies and hot cocoa will be served in the Student Center Hearth, followed by a short program, caroling and, of course, the lighting of the tree in the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Plaza.
  • December 6 & 7 Peace on Earth Seattle University Choir

    Get in the holiday spirit at the historic St. Joseph Church on Capitol Hill for the Seattle University Choirs’ annual Christmas concert. Be immersed in a spirit of celebration, reflection and joy through readings, carols old and new and an audience singalong.  



  • December 7 Alumni Advent Mass and Reception


    Join us in spiritual preparation and celebration for Christmas in the Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University’s Advent Mass. Advent Mass will take place at 4:00 p.m. with the reception featuring food, beer and wine, children’s activities and photo opportunities immediately following in the Student Center. There will be a candle-lit procession from the chapel to the Student Center with festive holiday carols.




Basketball is Back - Kick off the men's and women's Basketball Season

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on November 6, 2019 at 10:11 AM PST

Seattle University basktball player dunking

This year the men’s team has something it hasn’t had for the last two years that give the Redhawk team an edge to push the Seattle U basketball program forward – seniors. The Redhawk men return 12 letterwinners, including five seniors and one graduate transfer"With our age and our experience, we have a chance to be a really, really good team in March," says Head Coach Jim Hayford as he begins his third year at the head of the Redhawks program. The veteran group includes Preseason All-WAC selections Terrell Brown and Myles Carter. The Redhawks are also the preseason No. 3 pick in the WAC. This is the second consecutive year that the Redhawks have earned a third-place selection, the highest preseason rank since the 2014-15 season. 

The Redhawk women's hope to return to the top of the WAC in the 2019-20 season, as a mix of returning veterans and new talent should work well to help the Redhawks contend in the WAC. Coach Suzy Barcomb begins her fourth season at SU and will lean on a strong five-player senior class this year. Joana Alves earned All-WAC Second Team honors, while Kamira Sanders looks to cap her standout career that has included 2018 WAC Tournament MVP honors and 2017 WAC Freshman of the Year recognition. 

Upcoming Seattle U Men's Basketball Games:

  • Washington State University | Nov. 7 | 6:00 p.m. | WSU - In the Pullman area? Join the pre-game rally at Paradise Creek Brewery (245 SE Paradise St, Pullman, WA at 4:00 pm. Game tickets can be purchased online.  Use promo code "redhawks" to access our seating section and special ticket pricing. 
  • Homecoming Game v. Eastern Washington University | Nov. 9 | 7:00 p.m. | Redhawk Center - Celebrate your Seattle U pride during Homecoming! Start at the Redhawk Redfest Rally under the tents at the Eiseminger Fitness Center parking lot for games, entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and more. Get your game tickets now to guarantee a seat! 
  • Women's Redhawks v. Idaho | Nov. 20 | Redhawk Center - The women return after three road games. Come cheer them on!

Relive your glory days and make new memories with old friends! Seattle U Basketball tickets on sale now – connect with old friends at a Redhawks Basketball game.

Buy Tickets and View Schedule

Honoring Veteran and Military Service

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on October 3, 2019 at 3:10 PM PDT

Veterans Cake Cutting Ceremony Group Picture

As we approach Veteran’s Day, we would like to highlight some of the contributions that Veterans provide to our communities. Check out the following opportunities to listen to stories, get involved in veteran groups or attend events that support or highlight the contributions that veterans have made to our communities.

Join the Veteran’s and Military Alumni Group for an intimate conversation with Elis Salamone, on Thursday, October 17 as she tells her personal story of failure and how a change in perspective continues to help her reach her goals. Elis Salamone is an award-winning, board-certified woman’s health nurse practitioner and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Elis has completed two deployments. During her first tour, she was the officer in charge of a team of 25 medics/nurses. She served with Army Special Forces in her second tour in Afghanistan. Since retiring from the military, Elis continues to work as a nurse practitioner at the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority and is a speaker, educator, mentor and advocate across Washington State.

Interested in making a connection with the Seattle U military and veteran community? The Veteran and Military Alumni group is dedicated to strengthening a diverse, inclusive, and belonging group for [PC1] veterans, military and dependent alumni. Get connected with other military and veteran SU alumni through educational events, socials and service-oriented activities. Reach out to Bianca Galam at for more information.

Finally, Homecoming festivities are taking place over Veteran’s Day weekend where we will be honoring our veterans and expressing our gratitude for their service at the following events.

  • Homecoming Day of Service Breakfast
  • Robert Bennedsen Veterans Day 5K
  • Homecoming Rally and Redfest
  • Homecoming Basketball Game

The Power of the Liberal Arts Experience

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on October 3, 2019 at 3:10 PM PDT

Profile Picture of Brian Gonzales

As Brian Gonzales, '00, owner of PAIRODIME, a technology, marketing and design company, reflects on his experience at Seattle University you get the sense that all the big and small opportunities he gained while at SU have contributed to his personal and professional journey.

“One of the things that got me excited about the campus was the culture. Getting to attend a school that is grounded in a Catholic background and located in the Pacific Northwest was a great choice for my family,” said Gonzales. As a student on campus Brian was involved in student council, worked at the radio station, drew political cartoons for the Spectator and was involved in several student organizations. The liberal arts education he received while at SU allowed him to explore different academic subjects all through the ethical lens of the human experience. “The most rewarding part of my education were all the different opportunities that SU had to offer,” said Gonzales.

Brian’s outgoing nature combined with his diverse educational background laid the groundwork for him to own his own digital consulting company. “It’s so important to develop the total human. Because of my education at Seattle U, I can chameleon myself into anything my clients need,” said Gonzales.

Brian’s passion for networking, growing community and helping to build the Portland Chapter led to his involvement in the Uncommon Impact: Portland reception. He will be creating a unique and inclusive experience for those who are unable to attend the reception by livestreaming the event. Check out the livestream on our Seattle U Alumni Association Facebook page on Thursday, October 10 at 6 p.m. “I am excited about the livestream event for Portland! It’s a great way to engage with people utilizing popular social media platforms,” says Gonzales. Register here to meet other Seattle University Portland Chapter community members at the Uncommon Impact: Portland reception. 

Other Uncommon Impact Reception Sites:

Living a Legacy - From Father to Daughter

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on October 3, 2019 at 3:10 PM PDT

Profile pictures of BJ and Cymran Giri

Originally from Nepal, BJ Giri, ‘86, came to Seattle University on a scholarship to pursue a degree in engineering. “My father had previously worked in the Northwest and really wanted me to go to school here,” said Giri. While attending Seattle U he connected with his professors and was involved in several intramural sports. “SU is great! I loved living and working as an RA in the dorms because it allowed me to meet lots of different people from all over the world,” said Giri.

When it was time for his daughter, Cymran, to explore colleges, he suggested that she look at Seattle University. “It’s always great to have your kids follow in your footsteps. I told her it was a great school and I really enjoyed being there, and now, I think she does too,” said Giri.

“My dad encouraged me to look into Seattle University. He told me he got really close to his professors and was able to talk to them about more than education. I thought that was awesome! I knew that I wanted that experience, too,” said Cymran, ‘22. Throughout her first year at SU, she enjoyed participating in thought-provoking discussions in theology class and connecting with faculty members providing her the same Seattle U experience she had always heard from her father.

Last year, their family attended the Legacy Family Celebration where Cymran, as a freshman, was pinned as a legacy student. “It was really cool to see a diverse group of families and all the different generations,” said Cymran. This year, she will have the opportunity to tell her story and what it means to be a part of a legacy family.

Are you a member of multigenerational Seattle U family? Celebrate your family’s SU tradition with us by attending the Legacy Family Celebration.

Friday, October 25
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Campion Ballroom