SU Voice Alumni Blog

African American Alumni Chapter Relaunched

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on January 31, 2018 at 2:01 PM PST


This Black History Month, we are excited to announce the relaunch of Seattle University’s African American Alumni Chapter (AAAC).

The newly reinvigorated chapter is hosting its first event, “The Black and Brown Panel: What It Means to Be a Person of Color in the Workplace,” on Tuesday, February 20. The panel will address issues important to Seattle U’s black and brown alumni and students and invites all who identify as black or brown to participate. You can learn more about the panel here.

Duron Jones, ’14, is the chapter’s new president and a graduate of the business administration program. He is the owner of the Innovation Tribe of America. Since his graduation in 2014, Duron has stayed active in the SU community as the director of the Summer Business Institute at Albers School of Business & Economics.

Duron Jones Headshot

Of the African American Alumni Chapter, Duron said, “The AAAC is a community of Seattle University alumni who identify as African American and are passionate about engaging with their alma matter no matter where they live or their interests. We function under three guiding principles and goals, which are to foster and strengthen the community of Seattle University black/African American alumni across the world, engage and support the black/African American student population, faculty, and staff of Seattle University and to be of true service in the community surrounding our alma mater, Seattle University.”

When asked what hopes the chapter had for its continued growth and future, Duron responded that they are most excited for the chance to not only build a stronger community among  alumni, but to also build stronger connections with the Black Student Union and black/African American students on campus. It’s important to the chapter that they be able to support student success through mentorship, internships, scholarships and more. Duron went on to add, “We want the alumni community to know that we have an open door policy. We encourage alumni to reach out to us and share their thoughts because we truly want our African American alumni to feel like they've had the opportunity to help shape the chapter and gain the alumni experience they envision for themselves.”

The chapter invites those alumni who don’t identify as black or African American to reach out for partnership opportunities so that all alumni can work towards supporting the Seattle U community.  

If you are interested in getting involved with the AAAC, Duron invites you to engage with the chapter on SU Alumni Connect. “Reach out to us and let us know you want to get involved and we will help you find your fit,” Duron said.  You can also find the chapter on Facebook. The chapter is still looking to fill a few board positions.

Join the African American Alumni Chapter at their first event on February 20.

Black & Brown Panel: What It Means to Be a Person of Color in the Workplace
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
5:30–7:15 PM
Seattle University Student Center 160, LeRoux Room
Learn more and register.

SU Voice Article: STEM: What Sets Seattle U Apart

Posted by Seattle University on January 11, 2018 at 12:01 PM PST

The College of Science and Engineering is the most rapidly growing college or school at Seattle University, no doubt a reflection of Seattle’s booming science and technology sector. More than 100 full-time and part-time faculty members offer a relevant, hands-on approach to STEM education to more than 1,100 undergraduate majors and graduate students. Seattle University scientists, engineers and computer scientists are game changers, but what sets them apart?


Seattle University College of Science and Engineering graduates enter the workforce prepared to lead interdisciplinary teams and manage complex projects, and thanks to their holistic liberal arts education, they are equally skilled communicators. While they focus on the technical aspects of a problem, they never lose sight of the broader implications of the solutions. They know how to approach tough problems and collaborate to get the best results.

It is what they study here—and how they study it—that makes our students and alumni stand out. A Seattle University education broadens our students’ horizons while encouraging deep dives into new knowledge and discovery. Here, they develop a sense of passion and purpose, and they emerge ready to impact the world for the greatest good.


Seattle U is leading the way and increasing the number of innovative, tech-literate women who are prepared to make a difference in today’s competitive workforce. At Seattle U, women majoring in the STEM disciplines thrive in a demanding environment. Seattle University is the only university in the country with women chairing all of the engineering and computer science departments. As female students interact with strong, successful women on the faculty, they get the clear message, “You have an equal place at Seattle U—and in the world of tech!” They leave SU prepared to take their place in the industry.


Seattle University undergraduates have research opportunities their peers at larger universities only dream of. Working side-by-side with professors, these student researchers expand their knowledge while working to solve problems in science, engineering and computer science. All of them develop important transferable skills, confidence in their abilities and a passion for discovery that will serve them well in any career.


College of Science and Engineering (CSE) alumni have a 93% placement rate within 6 months of graduating. (U.S. Department of Education)

Top 15%
US News and World Report ranks Seattle U in the top 15% among all engineering programs offering Bachelor's or Master's degrees.

CSE has received 25% of all awards ever given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

Of CSE students are women

Of CSE students are under-represented minorities

Full-time faculty in CSE are women

Projected increase in total CSE enrollment by 2022

Enrollment increase in Computer Science & Software Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering


Record numbers of Seattle U students are enrolling in computer science courses, making the Department of Computer Science the fastest growing at the university. Because our students understand that every company is a tech company, many of them are double-majoring across disciplines. When the new Center for Science and Innovation (CSI) is complete, it will create new opportunities for every Seattle U student to take courses in programming, machine learning, analytics and design, making each student more marketable and prepared to tackle the challenges of the future.

Want to learn more about how Seattle University students and alumni are becoming leaders in STEM? Check out the College of Science and Engineering page and stay tuned for more information on the Center for Science and Innovation.

Zoë Quinn – At the Center of Gamergate

Posted by Caroline Gerdes on January 11, 2018 at 11:01 AM PST

Seattle University will host the inaugural Crosscut Festival February 2-3 as part of Seattle U Homecoming 2018. As alumni of Seattle University, you enjoy discounted tickets to the Crosscut Festival.

Zoe Quinn will be one of 70 speakers at the Crosscut Festival.

Zoë Quinn – At the Center of Gamergate

Zoe Quinn

We’ve all read horror stories about dangers lurking online, yet we still call for rides, meet dates and leave passwords or other intimate details in plain sight with the help, or hindrance, of our digital devices. But what if the machines that connect us with the world turned against us? Even worse, what if the threats leapt off the screen and terrorized us in real life? In 2014, this worst-case scenario played out for video game developer Zoë Quinn — and then some — when she found herself at the center of Gamergate.

Gamergate is the dangerous chaos that unfolded after Quinn’s ex-boyfriend launched an online siege against her. In what Quinn’s website calls a blog post “cobbled together from private information, half-truths and outright fictions,” he set in motion a movement with a “rallying cry” for hordes to go after her. Her accounts were attacked, she was doxed (her personal information was released online), her private photos were stolen, and she received death and rape threats.

Instead of fleeing the male-dominated gaming world, Quinn has used her experience as a platform to speak about sexual harassment, hate speech and technology. Since Gamergate, she has testified about online abuse at the United Nations. She recently published a memoir about her experience, “Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate.” And Quinn's most famous online game, Depression Quest, has been played by more than 2 million people.

On February 3, Zoë Quinn will come to Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival, a two-day event that will put elected officials, business leaders and cultural luminaries onstage with the region’s top journalists. Rising political star Julián Castro will headline the festival. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum will also be among the more-than 70 speakers and panelists. Quinn will be part of a panel that discusses the tech industry’s struggle to attract a more diverse workforce.

The event is a partnership between Seattle University and Crosscut, a nonprofit news website dedicated to spurring smart, civil dialog about the Northwest’s most pressing issues. Get your discounted alumni tickets here.

- Caroline Gerdes

Homecoming Day of Service 2018

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on January 11, 2018 at 11:01 AM PST

Seattle University's Homecoming Day of Service brings together SU alumni, students and friends to participate in service projects over Homecoming Weekend. From beautification projects to creating Valentine’s cards with Relay for Life, we have projects for the whole family. Registration is now open.

This year we are excited to offer service projects on both Friday, February 2, and Saturday, February 3. Visit the Homecoming Day of Service website for more details on each service opportunity.

Projects include:

February 2, 2018

Community Lunch on Capitol Hill
9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Jubilee Women’s Center
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

February 3, 2018

AlleyCat Acres
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Full Life
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity
10:15 a.m.-3 p.m.

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Pioneer Human Services
10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Relay for Life: Seattle University Chapter
9-11 a.m.

Seattle Tilth
10 a.m.-2 p.m

St. Francis House
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Alumni chapters across the country will be participating in Homecoming Day of Service, including Hawaii, the Bay Area and Portland.

Participants are invited to join us on Saturday morning for the Kickoff Breakfast before service projects begin. A light continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. in the Rolfe Community Room located in the Admissions and Alumni Building on Seattle U’s campus. This will be a great opportunity for service groups to connect with each other, as most projects are within walking distance of Seattle University.

Sign up for your service project today and join us to live the mission of Seattle University!


Introducing the New Face of the Seattle University Alumni Association

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association is excited to welcome Jonathan Brown, on January 11, 2018 at 10:01 AM PST

Jonathan Brown in his new officeThe Seattle University Alumni Association is excited to welcome Jonathan Brown, EdD, ‘92, ’94, as our new Assistant Vice President. Jonathan comes to Seattle University from Highline College where he was the Associate Dean for the Center for Service & Leadership, Engagement and Assessment. Jonathan served at Highline from 2001 and was named 2017 Employee of the Year among 1,000 eligible employees.

Jonathan is a double Seattle U alumnus, earning a Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and English (Honors Program) in 1992 and Master of Arts, Student Development Administration in 1994. He completed his Doctorate of Education at the University of Washington in 2015.

Jonathan has been an active Seattle U alumnus since graduation. He founded and led an SU alumni chapter for Student Development alumni until stepping down to pursue doctoral studies and has taught graduate courses in the College of Education.

We sat down with Jonathan to ask him about his new role at Seattle University and his hopes for the alumni community.
When asked what called him to return to Seattle University, he replied, “I'm not sure I ever wanted to leave in the first place! Seattle U has always been a home space for me. The opportunity to return to a campus I adore, work with people I admire, and connect with fellow alumni to build meaningful communities attracted me to apply. I have remained elated since I got the call offering me the job.”

In his role as AVP, Jonathan is most excited about engaging the Seattle U alumni community, or as he refers to them, the world’s finest alumni, which is currently 78,000 strong. He is also looking forward to rejoining a campus that influenced so many aspects of his core identity. “Perhaps most exciting is the opportunity to contribute to a community where we all share the common bond of receiving an education from an excellent institution that inspires students to lead, serve and grow. Now, that feels worthy of being my life's work!”

In regards to his new position, Jonathan says that he is here to be of service to the Seattle U alumni community. “I am returning at a time when the university wants to hear the voice of alumni. We want to feel the strengthened presence of our graduates, new and old, engaged and active, with meaningful connections back to the school, and as agents for positive change in their communities. I want alumni to know there is still space at the Seattle U table and our alumni team will help you find it.”
In his first year, Jonathan plans to listen and learn from the alumni community and volunteers and to focus on strengthening systems of alumni engagement through building and supporting meaningful alumni communities and connections. Jonathan concluded with an invitation for alumni. “If this sounds exciting to you, please reach out to our SU Alumni Association team—we would love to hear from you!”

You can contact the SUAA office at

Julián Castro

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on December 7, 2017 at 9:12 AM PST

Julian Castro


In the fall of 2012, Julián Castro, the young mayor of San Antonio, Texas, stood in front of a packed stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and gave a rousing speech before the Democratic National Convention. He told the story of his grandmother, who came to the United States from Mexico and likely could not have imagined that her grandsons, Juli án and his twin brother Joaquin, would graduate from Stanford Law School and go on to lead successful political careers.

“The American dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay,” Castro said, touting his efforts to boost access to pre-kindergarten for San Antonio kids, and President Barack Obama’s work creates opportunities for underserved communities. He rallied the crowd to re-elect Obama, and in the process drew many comparisons to the president, who had given the convention speech eight years before.

Castro would go on to serve as Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, where he worked to bring homeownership within reach of more Americans and launched an initiative that brought internet access to public and low-income housing. (His brother won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.) Castro is now widely viewed as a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination for President.

On February 3, Juli án  Castro will come to Seattle University to Headline the Crosscut Festival, a two-day event that will put elected officials, business leaders, and cultural luminaries onstage with the region’s top journalists. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum will also be among the more than 70 speakers and panelists.

The event is a partnership between Seattle University and Crosscut, a nonprofit news website dedicated to spurring smart, civil dialog about the Northwest’s most pressing issues. For more information, or to buy tickets, go to

A Christmas Message from Fr. Steve

Posted by Stephen Sundborg, S.J. on December 6, 2017 at 1:12 PM PST

Fr. Steve at Advent Mass

The Advent season is one of joy and celebration. This year, it is especially true for me. You may have heard that Seattle University is celebrating my 20th anniversary as president. Twenty years offers much to reflect on. So many deep experiences of joy stand out.

Most importantly, I am grateful for all of you, our alumni. Do you know that in my tenure as president I’ve overseen the graduation of 44,000 students? I try to get to know as many students as I can. Each Seattle U class that I have had the honor to serve as president has taught me valuable lessons that have made me a better president.

I take great joy in students being able to attend Seattle University—to belong, to succeed, and to thrive—because of the Costco Scholarship Fund, the Sullivan and Bannan Scholarships, the almost miraculous Fostering and Alfie Scholarships, and dozens more scholarships. Our university leaps up in joy to be able to have these kinds of students among us, a diversity of deserving, needy, and dedicated students. They have transformed our university and made it so much better and more truly Jesuit because of who they have allowed us to serve.

I find joy in the development of several programs. Our Youth Initiative was truly blessed by God as it grew out of our being the first university in America to host a homeless encampment on campus. The School of Theology and Ministry continually surprises me in its ever-evolving and widening embracing of persons of all faiths, religions, commitments, and its remarkable bookfest, Search for Meaning. No college at Seattle University has more clearly claimed its place in these years in carrying out our mission than has the College of Science and Engineering, demonstrating how much science and engineering can do for the good of people.

Witnessing the intellectual passion of faculty and also of students—across all of our colleges and schools—in their scholarship and research brings me joy. A university is, after all, a matrix of intellectually passionate professors inviting and showing the way for students to find their own intellectual passions.

I have so much to be grateful and joyful for in this holy season. My prayer for all of you is that this Advent season brings you time to reflect with gratitude on what brings you joy and deserves celebrating.  Though you may have left campus, you are still a member of our Seattle University family and I wish our extended family everywhere a very merry Christmas. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this holiday season and always.

Merry Christmas,

Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

Alumni Seminar Series 2018

Posted by College of Arts and Sciences on December 6, 2017 at 1:12 PM PST

Christian Unity and World Peace: Ecumenism and Dialogue Among World Religions after 500 Years

After 500 years of separation among Christians, 2017-18 marks the anniversary of the Reformation that began with the posting of theses at Wittenberg by Martin Luther.  This year also has highlighted several events of dialogues within Christianity between Protestants and Catholics, as well as dialogues between followers of world religions.  This seminar will feature presentations by several faculty  members at Seattle University who have participated in these events: Michael Trice, a Lutheran pastor  and teacher in the School of Theology and Ministry; Peter Ely, S. J., professor of theology and Seattle  University coordinator of inter-religious dialogue; Jeanette Rodriguez, professor of theology and  writer on the Jewish Holocaust; Marc Cohen, professor of philosophy; Ali Mian, professor of theology  and expert in The Qur’an; Russ Powell, professor of law and author of articles on Islam and the  Middle East; and Manuel Mejido, member of the School of Theology and Ministry where he directs the  Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs.    These faculty members will lead Alumni Seminars on Christian Unity, interreligious dialogue among Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other religious traditions, and the relationship of these movements to world peace in the twenty-first century.

The seminars will take place on the following Tuesdays in Winter Quarter, 2018: January 16, January 30,  February 13, February 27, and March 13.  The seminars are open to Seattle University alums and other college graduates in the Seattle area.  The will run from 6:00 to 8:00pm on the Seattle University campus.  The cost of attending the five-session seminar is $150, which includes parking, refreshments and reading materials.   Those interested in participating may register by email at

The Alumni Seminars are organized by the College of Arts and Sciences of Seattle University under the guidance of Professor David Leigh, SJ.

Alumni Spotlight: Rickey Leachman

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on December 6, 2017 at 12:12 PM PST

Rickey Leachman
When Rickey Leachman, ’16, transferred to Seattle U at age 24, his life felt worlds apart from that of his undergraduate peers. He had served five years in the U.S. Navy and had attended a St. Louis public high school with mostly African-American students. And was a recent transfer from a community college.

Rickey chose Seattle U in part because he “didn’t want to be another number.” He found a sense of community on campus when he discovered a collegium for transfer students. “Feeling I had a place on campus to go where I would see other students in the same predicament as I was made me feel like I was not the only one on campus.” Soon he became a Transfer Success Leader, reaching out to other transfer students to “build community throughout the year.”

Seeing Rickey’s diligence, a fellow veteran asked him to take over as VetCorps Navigator. Rickey’s own experience had taught him that other veterans were probably struggling just as he once had. “Most vets are not going to ask for help and then they have problems like I did. It’s not big stuff but if it starts to add up, you’re going to withdraw.”

Building community became a theme for Rickey, a psychology major who strongly believes in “perceived social support.” It’s one reason he was vice president of the Black Student Union. “… It’s a way of feeling connected to other African Americans on campus.”

A sense of community also drove the aspiring psychologist when he counseled homeless youth whose hardscrabble lives resembled his own. “I try to show those kids that if I can go to college, anybody can go to college.”

Rickey credits his Seattle U education with expanding his knowledge, which shapes the way he approaches situations with clients and furthers his career goals.

Since graduation, Rickey has gone on to become a medical case manager at Lifelong Aids Alliance. In his role, Rickey helps clients navigate barriers to receiving healthcare.

Rickey hopes to return to Seattle University to pursue a Masters in Psychology, so he can continue to make a difference and serve the needs of at-risk communities.


Exciting Season Ahead for Redhawk Basketball

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on November 2, 2017 at 10:11 AM PDT

Calling all Redhawks! The 2017-18 men’s basketball season is shaping up to be one to watch. It all starts Friday, November 10 at Saint Louis. This game will be the first with new Head Coach Jim Hayford at the helm. During WAC Media Day, Hayford said the Redhawks would be focusing on shooting a lot of threes, attacking the basket and dominant post play. This season will have fans on the edge of their seats. Don’t take our word for it, in a recent article, Hero Sports said, “The Seattle University Redhawks have become the most interesting basketball team in the Emerald City.”

It’s not just the action on the court you have to look forward to, but a season of alumni rallies and a chance to enjoy the newly renovated Connolly Center Complex, as the Redhawks prepare to host home games on campus and in KeyArena.

When asked, Coach Hayford said, “My desire is to build a basketball program that all of Seattle U's alumni will take great pride in. I want our games to be a meeting place for current students and alumni, something that draws people together.”

Get ready to show your Redhawk pride at this season’s alumni pre-game rallies and mark your calendars so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

Alumni Rallies
Saturday, December 16 v. Portland

Saturday, January 6 v. Grand Canyon

Saturday, February 3 v. Utah Valley
Homecoming Weekend

Jump-shot during Basketball Game