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Search for Meaning

Five things you need to know about this year's festival

Written by Mike Thee
February 22, 2017

Seattle University’s Search for Meaning Festival takes place Saturday, Feb. 25. Now in its ninth year, the gathering has drawn more than 425 distinguished authors to campus, including 24 award winners, four New York Times best-sellers, three Pulitzer Prize winners and (this year) the author of a book on which a major motion picture has been based. Past guests include Mary Oliver, James Martin, S.J., Michael Chabon, Sherman Alexie and Anne Lamott. 

Here are five things to know about this signature university event. 

1. Authors, authors and more authors

Nearly 50 authors, in fact, including 24 award winners, two New York Times bestsellers and one Pulitzer Prize winner will be on campus for the festival. Be sure to pop on by the pop-up book shop where authors will be signing their books following each session.

2. Lots of great art, too

Think Search for Meaning is just about books? Think again. This year’s festival includes a special art exhibition in the Vachon Gallery with more than 30 artists featured. Their works explore what it means to be human and how to make meaning and purpose out of life. Also part of the festival is the gripping documentary theater performance of Re-Entry by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez. Search for Meaning guests can purchase discounted tickets to the performance here using code SMF2017.

3. The SU connection

Search for Meaning authors include two current SU faculty members, Pat Kelly, S.J. (Theology and Religious Studies), and Michael Trice (School of Theology and Ministry), as well as Rev. Donald Mayer who helped found the School of Theology and Ministry and Rev. Herbert Anderson, who taught in the school. Featured artists include SU graduates Arturo Arujo, S.J., Trevor Brown and Hanako O’Leary.

4. Hungry?

The Search for Meaning Festival need not be undertaken on an empty stomach. With Mobile Mavens food trucks and Bon Appétit cafés open for business on campus, you won’t have to venture far for nourishment and rejuvenation.

5. Hot ticket

Tickets for the festival are going fast and all the keynote presentations are sold out but there’s a limited number of general admissions tickets available here. There will also be some tickets available on the day of the festival (but again, all tickets to the keynote speakers are spoken for).

For more information on Search for Meaning, including a promotional video, click here.