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Top 5 SU Moments of 2013

Written by Mike Thee

December 10, 2013

main auditorium of the Pigott building

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The year included planning and building for the future while marking milestones.

Much of the activity at SU this past calendar year had to do with planning and building for the future. The strategic planning process moved into the implementation stage, the groundwork for the capital campaign was put into place, a new branding initiative was developed, efforts were ramped up in the areas of online and hybrid learning, and the Graduate Strategic Enrollment Plan was completed. The impact of these and other forward-looking activities will be seen and felt in the years ahead, and yet plenty of milestones were marked and memories made in 2013. Here's a few… 

1.  Let's Get Right to the Core.  No list of SU's 2013 highlights would be complete without the new Core curriculum. And given the monumentality of this feat, we have put it right at the top. More than 200 professors worked diligently and creatively to design or significantly re-imagine 356 Core courses. And the implementation was as smooth as one could expect when you're talking about so many moving parts, intricacies and implications. A big congratulations to all who were involved! 

2.  Acronymic excellence:  In a year that saw SU climb four places to #6 among master's universities in the West in U.S. News & World Report's latest rankings, two new intellectual hubs came onto the SU scene. The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) and the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC) both got right to work. Located in the world's greenest commercial building, the Bullitt Center, the CEJS is infusing our academic programs with the same sustainability ethic for which our operations have long been known. Seattle Business magazine took note, naming SU the greenest in the state among higher education and governmental entities. The ICTC, which moved into a beautiful new space in the library, is leading the university's study and conversation on the Catholic intellectual tradition at a particularly dynamic time in the life of the Church. Which brings us to… 

3.  " Wha?...The new pope is a Jesuit?" SU's identity as a Jesuit Catholic university has only taken on more relevance since Jorge Bergoglio became the first member of the Society of Jesus to be elected pope on March 13. According to the "Kevin Bacon Doctrine" this means that all of us at Seattle University are separated by a few degrees at most from Time magazine's newly named Person of the Year. 

4.  We are the champions…and so are we…and us, too!  Our women's basketball team became the first SU team to win a conference championship since the university returned to Division I by taking the WAC title last March and securing a berth in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. The women's soccer team followed suit in November when they won the WAC and became SU's first-ever women's team to qualify for an NCAA D-I tournament. As if enough history hadn't been made, the men's soccer team took the WAC title, became the first men's team to reach an NCAA Division I tournament since 1969 AND the first team in any sport to win a Division I tournament game since 1964. Way to go, Redhawks! 

5.  Mission in action:  It was an incredible moment of pride for Seattle University when 2001 graduate William Swenson became the second SU alumnus to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during a 2009 firefight in Afghanistan. And then there's Megan McIsaac, a 2010 alumna, who represented the very best of our university when she donated bone marrow for young boy. These and other similarly selfless graduates remind us what an SU education is all about. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What else from calendar year 2013 stood out for you? Send you response to

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