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People of SU
May 2, 2019
Congratulations to the following individuals who were honored at this year's Alumni Awards celebration on April 26.
ALUMNA OF THE YEARBrenda Christensen, ’81 MBAFrom a childhood in rural Minnesota, Brenda Christensen, ’81, rose to become a technology pioneer in an era when that was scarcely possible for women. Recognized in the Storage Networking Industry Association Hall of Fame, her more than 30-year career includes success at Xerox, Houghton Mifflin and Digital Equipment. Now a Seattle University Trustee, Christensen and her husband Tom support numerous SU programs including the Nicaragua Initiative, global scholarships for Albers students and the Center for Science and Innovation. “Brenda has built a life of caring for other people,” says Albers Dean Joseph Phillips. “She is a voracious learner with the capacity to see the value of an idea before others do, as well as the steps necessary to bring it to fruition.”UNIVERSITY SERVICE AWARDKathleen Schafer, ’81When people think of Kathleen Schafer, words like “service,” “dedication,” “selfless” and “philanthropy” come to mind. If someone needs something, Schafer is often the first to step up. Her connection to Seattle University—with nine years on the Board of Regents and as founder and organizer of the popular State of the University event—reflects Schafer’s commitment to giving back to her alma mater. “I cannot think of another person who deserves this [University Service] recognition more,” says Janet Mullen Dwyer, ’70, who served with Schafer on the Board of Regents. “She is the epitome of the university’s values and commitment to justice, excellence and volunteerism.”COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDChach Duarte White, ’00 JDChach Duarte White is, unapologetically, a fierce advocate for the underdog. But her passion for justice goes even deeper: she is a champion of diversity, a crusader for equity and inclusion in the legal profession, a conduit for providing access to the justice system for the underrepresented. Her unwavering passion for, and commitment to, systems reform and championing diversity has led Duarte White to take on numerous leadership roles in the community and at Seattle University. She is driven by the principle that “all people deserve to be treated with respect and humanity.”PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTDan Wall, ’04, ’08 LEMBADan Wall, ’04, ’08 LEMBA, career took flight when he began to understand the difference between being a manager and a leader. The son of a truck driver and a waitress, he worked his way up from messenger to district manager at Expeditors, a Fortune 500 company. It was at this point in his career that the company “took a chance on me and encouraged me to go to school,” Wall recalls. At Albers, Wall learned the difference between managing and leading, propelling him to become Expeditors president of global products in 2015. For his Albers capstone project, Wall created Opportunity Knocks, a professional training program for disadvantaged youth that he started at Expeditors. In 10 years, Expeditors has hosted 447 student interns and runs Opportunity Knocks programs at 31 branches in six countries.OUTSTANDING RECENT ALUMNAGretchenrae Campera, ’08Gretchenrae Campera, ’08, is Filipina and first-generation. She could have fallen through the cracks at Seattle University if not for her resiliency and the guidance of professors and staff. Today, Campera is the one guiding students as the assistant director of Student Success and Outreach at Seattle University. She helped envision and created The Outreach Center, which provides resources and programming for first-generation students and student veterans. Leslie Ikeda, ’18, aspires to be like Gretchenrae, “to be brave in challenging the status quo, to speak up for the voiceless … to believe in something bigger than yourself.”
You can learn more about each recipient at Alumni Awards.
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