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It’s (Almost) A Wrap: The Year in Review

December 12, 2023

Gold and white graphic for year wrap

As 2023 draws to close, a look back at the top stories, newsmakers and social media posts. 

What a year it has been at Seattle University!

Acclaimed Seattle artists Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans are gifting Seattle University their considerable art collection along with financial support to create a new endowment to support the arts at SU. 

Men’s soccer continued its winning ways as WAC regular season champs and the university announced a new partnership with T-Mobile that will provide 5G across campus, a new innovation hub and more.

Seattle University hosted its first Ethics and Tech conference with a focus on AI, featuring industry leaders from the worlds of tech and academia. Faculty like Assistant Professor of Chemistry Christopher Whidbey, PhD, are conducting important research that is looking to test a more efficient method of identifying functions of genes, with implications for maternal-child health.

This year also marked SU’s recognition as the most economically diverse college/university in the state, according to the New York Times and a first-year class that is among our most diverse in history. This was also the year when the university opened the RoundGlass India Center to promote dialogue and scholarship with India. 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrated an anniversary milestone and presented the second Racial Equity Summit, which brought together hundreds of members of the campus community for important discussions around equity and inclusion.

These are just some of the stories that helped define the year at Seattle University. Here’s a rundown of the most viewed or talked about stories of 2023 from The Newsroom, in the media and on social media:

The Newsroom

The Gift of Art
Artists Nancy Mee and Dennis Evans bequeath art collection—and funding for an endowment—to Seattle University. 

Diversity in Numbers
Diverse and underrepresented minority student populations continue to grow as does the focus on computer science and engineering. 

SU Leverages T-Mobile’s 5G Network for the Future of Learning
Seattle University and T-Mobile partnership will help enhance student learning, collaboration and global technology innovation.

Most Diverse University in Washington
Seattle University ranks as the most economically diverse selective university (public or private) in the state, according to the New York Times publication of the College-Access Index.

Meet This Year’s Alumni Award Winners
Leaders in various industries, champions of change and superb former student athletes among the roster of Alumni Award and Athletics Hall of Fame recipients.

A Legacy for the Future
The D’Vonne Pickett Jr. Endowment will ensure that Black- and minority-owned businesses will be supported by SU’s Project Center while ensuring Pickett’s legacy lives on.

The Student Becomes the Teacher
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Christopher Whidbey started at Seattle University thinking he would go to medical school. Instead, his experience as an undergraduate led him in a new direction.

A Calling to Serve
Patrick Twohy, S.J., reflects on his five decades of working alongside and in support of Native and Indigenous populations.

Men’s Soccer Scores WAC Regular Season Championship
Men’s soccer captured its fourth WAC regular season championship going 7-0-1 in conference play—and earning a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Examining AI Through an Ethical Lens
University hosts first conference bringing together industry leaders in tech and education to look at artificial intelligence and ethics.

Expanding Financial Support for Students in Need
Latest step to improve access and ensure diversity follows in the wake of Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action.

Seattle First in the State to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Seattle University scrubbed its endowment portfolio of fossil fuel investments as of June 30, becoming the first university in the state and the first Jesuit Catholic university in the country to fulfill this commitment of divestment.

Response to SCOTUS Affirmative Action Rulings
The university officially responds to the rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding affirmative action.

Freedom to Dream—For Hope, Empowerment, Social Change
University hosts second Racial Equity Summit, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

SU in the News
A sampling of some of the top news-making moments with a Seattle University connection. 

Social Media
All-things commencement—from the speakers to Rudy standing with the graduating classes—scored well among social media users. From TikTok to Instagram, it was an active year for our social media channels. Here’s some of the most “liked” and viewed posts of 2023:

Rudy at Climate Pledge for Commencement
Bellarmine Hall Dorm Tour

Class of 2027 Interlock Photo
Redhawks in 1989

Law school Commencement
Undergraduate Commencement

Father Pat Twohy

X (Twitter)
Doug Baldwin Jr. Commencement Speech
Dr. Cynthia Dillard wins Presidential Citation Award