My Seattle U Family Legacy - Anita Crawford-Willis, '82,'86

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM PDT

Born at Swedish Hospital on Capitol Hill, Judge Anita Crawford-Willis, ’82, ’86, was no stranger to Seattle University. During her childhood she felt pulled toward the university every time she passed by. “I knew the Jesuits focused on academic excellence and service and that’s what really drew me in. I think it was God’s plan for me to be here. Seattle University is an excellent and loving environment and because of SU I was able to live out my dreams,” Anita shared. 

After completing her undergraduate and law degrees at Seattle University, Anita has gone on to have a successful career in law, currently serving as assistant chief judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings in Seattle. In 2011, she received the University Service Alumni Award and in 2014 was named Seattle University Law School’s Woman of the Year. Anita now celebrates the honor of daughter, Reitrea, ‘18, following in her footsteps and attending Seattle University as a freshman. 

Anita shared her excitement for the opportunity to celebrate her family legacy by bestowing a legacy pin on her daughter during the Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony that celebrates multi-generational Seattle University families.

Anita’s parents did not attend college themselves, but emphasized the importance of education. “I’m overjoyed to that my daughter is attending Seattle University, having the next generation get an education is what my parents worked for. My daughter will be getting a Jesuit education and I know that she’ll be ready. They’ll prepare her for academics and social justice and she’ll be ready.”

When asked what factor played the biggest role in her decision to attend Seattle University, Reitrea was quick to mention her mother.  

 “My mom played the biggest role at getting me to Seattle University. She kept me focused and let me know that I could succeed. When she tells me that Seattle University is a nurturing environment, it feels like she’s putting me in a good place.” 

As an active member in the university community, frequently attending events, volunteering her time, serving on boards, participating in chapters and mentoring students, Anita is excited to finally be able to share the Seattle University experience with her daughter.

“When I talk to the current students I mentor, they have that shared experience and now so will my daughter. When I talk about why I love Seattle University, she’ll get it. And I’ll be able to live vicariously through you,” she said, giving her daughter a playful smile. 

As for Reitrea, like most college freshman she’s excited for campus life. “I want to be an RA (Resident Advisor) next year. I’d like to be that sophomore that freshman come to and look to for directions or advice,” she shared. 

Currently a pre-major, Reitrea isn’t sure which career path she wants to pursue, but newscasting, communications and social work all hold some interest for her.

Anita shared her hopes for a continued Seattle University family legacy saying, “I am excited that we are starting this tradition of Seattle University being the school of choice for my family. Hopefully we are one of those families with many generations to come.”

If you’re a Seattle University legacy family with a current student enrolled at Seattle University, you’re invited to attend the Seattle University Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony on October 24th. Join us and celebrate your family legacy.

Legacy Family Pinning Ceremony
Friday, October 24, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Seattle University – Campion Ballroom
Register now.