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Seattle University


Setting a Precedent

Written by Stacy Howard
March 11, 2013

Seattle University has set a precedent by earning national recognition for the second consecutive year, making the President's Higher Education Honor Roll with Distinction for community service. The accolade acknowledges the university's overall commitment to service as well as its significant work to implement the Seattle University Youth Initiative.

"We are pleased to once again be recognized by the White House for our deep commitment to community service," says President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. "Our students, faculty and staff continue to make a lasting difference right here in Seattle. The Youth Initiative is a national model for helping disadvantaged children realize a brighter future."

SU received the Honor Roll's "With Distinction" recognition for its strong levels of institutional commitment, partnerships that produce measurable impact in the community and a federal work-study community service percentage of 15 percent or more.

Last year SU received the 2012 Presidential Award for community service. The honor is the highest recognition by the federal government to a college or university for civic engagement, service-learning and volunteerism. For that award, SU was selected from 800 colleges and universities nationwide. The school was the only winner chosen as the top institution in the Promise Neighborhoods category, an acknowledgement of the work being accomplished with neighbors and community partners through the Youth Initiative.

Seattle Public Schools recognizes SU-Gatzert partnership

Seattle University's partnership with Bailey Gatzert Elementary School was recognized at the Seattle School Board's March 6 meeting for having the school district's highest growth rate in student proficiency (MSP scores) during the 2011-12 academic year.

Bailey Gatzert Principal Greg Imel said the school's partnership with the Seattle University Youth Initiative is "tremendously helping" the students. The school now provides two hours of after‐school academic lessons and enrichment classes for nearly half the students, essentially extending the school day. It's one of the many ways SU students, faculty and staff are highly engaged with the elementary school.

"Community involvement in our schools is so important, and we know that much of the success at Bailey Gatzert has to do with Seattle University's involvement and commitment to our students. We cannot thank them enough for this important partnership," said José Banda, Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. "We have seen tremendous improvement at Gatzert and I am grateful for Principal Greg Imel's leadership and I am proud of school staff, families and students."  

"We are so much stronger working in collaboration than we are working in isolation. Nowhere is that more clear than in the collective impact we, following the lead of Gatzert school administrators, teachers and committed parents, are having on neighborhood students," said SU President Sundborg.