Reflections of a Graduate: Izzy Gardon, '16 It’s More than Donating: Being SU Alumni Means Creating a More Just and Humane World

Posted by Izzy Gardon on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 4:21 PM PDT

Whether you’re ready or not, it’s happening. In a few short days we’ll make the jump from student to alumni. Don’t fret –– we’re not making this jump alone. We’re making it with the Seattle University Alumni Association –– a network of over 77,000 alumni across the globe.

Despite what you might think, the Alumni Association isn't focused on asking for donations. The office, in fact, never asks for donations. Those asks come from various departments and offices throughout the university. They do important work that funded our education, but that's not what the Alumni Association is about.

The Alumni Association is about fostering community, establishing a network of Seattle University graduates across the globe and creating conversation about topics ranging from how to get your dream job to discerning how our degrees can create a more just and humane world.

That's what the Seattle University Alumni Association does. I'm excited to join it not as employee –– which I’ve been for the last two years –– but as an alumnus. I hope you’re excited too.

With that said, I can understand if you’re feeling uncertain. Like many of my classmates, I struggle with discerning what my role as an alumnus will be. What does it mean to have a degree from an institution that doesn’t always reflect my values and my identities?

Whether you’ve advocated for fossil fuel divestment, heard the rally-cry of Reignite the Mission, or occupied Casey with the MRC Student Coalition, there are many of us who love Seattle University so much that we have constantly sought to push the university to do better. As students, I like to think we did our part in creating a more inclusive, sustainable and loving institution. Indeed, we fight because we love.

Please bring that love, those ideas and your passion to the Alumni Association. I guarantee that there is space for you in this community.

When Seattle University first admitted women in the 1930s –– one of the first Catholic universities in the country to do so –– alumni were there. When students demonstrated against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, they weren’t alone –– alumni were there. When students invited Seattle’s homeless community to make Tent City on our tennis courts in 2004, they didn’t send the invitation by themselves –– alumni were there.

Class of 2016, where will you be after commencement? I hope you’ll be joining me as an active member of the Seattle University Alumni Association.

Izzy Gardon, ’16, is a political science major born and raised in Sacramento, CA. He currently works as the Senior Marketing and Communications Assistant within the Office of Alumni Engagement. Upon graduating he plans on moving back to Sacramento to work as an Executive Fellow at the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.