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THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL TIME FOR SEATTLE UNIVERSITY. It was 125 years ago when Father Victor Garrand celebrated Mass in a makeshift chapel on the second floor of a Seattle downtown parish hall. The setting, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and the Mass would signal the official opening of what is today Seattle University. I have been humbled to learn more deeply about the beginning of this university—the sacrifices, the Jesuits, the great lay faculty, students and their supporting families, the near failures and the heroic advances. It is a precious heritage and I am honored to join with you in carrying it forward to the best of our abilities and with our best insights and inspirations today. Let’s together harvest that hope for the future from our history. What is the harvest from our history that gives us our hopes? What from our past must shape our future if we are to honor the lives of those who have gone before us? What would our ancestors want us to make of the opportunities we have in our day as they did of the opportunities during their days? My first hope for the future comes from our beginnings and why Seattle College was started at all. The important fact is that we were invited to bring Catholic education and, in particular Jesuit education, to Seattle.

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.

My hope for the next 25 years is that the people of the Catholic Church as well as the university itself may live out more fully and truly this relationship of wanting and being wanted, inviting and responding, called by the church and committed to it as a priority. My second harvesting of hope to shape our next quarter century comes from who has carried the charism and the character of the university. It is the community leaders who formed our boards and who took over responsibility, especially for the financial viability of the enterprise, while leaving the educational dimension to the Jesuits and their colleagues. Seattle University has a very bright and creative future because there are now many more people and more deeply informed and experienced people who are carrying our charism. I am thrilled as I imagine what this new way of being vibrant and impactful as a Jesuit university will be 25 years from now.

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The third hope for our future that comes from our history is that we developed as a university in tandem with the City of Seattle. Our future as a university depends upon matching the momentum of our city, being equal to its needs, serving it and being served by it. All of us recognize the amazing momentum of our city at the present time—almost unparalleled in the country—and its exceptional attractiveness for students and opportunities for careers and professional development. Perhaps the biggest and most promising hope for Seattle University of the next 25 years is to become ever more essential to and part of the fabric of this great city. My final hope for our future emerging at this 125th milestone concerns the human side of our mission and our community. Sacrifice, grit, prayer, pulling together, hope, good will, talent, belief and amazing perseverance have been the inner source and engine of our history. We do not inherit an institution—we inherit the legacy of the lives of generations of Jesuits, students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, donors and friends. They have made us a university community with a mission, a people with a passion they have instilled in us and our future.

Father Victor Garrand, S.J., (pictured) arrived in Seattle with Father Adrian Sweere to begin classes in St. Francis Hall (above) in September 1891. Mass was held in a makeshift chapel in the building’s upper story, marking the official commencement of the Jesuit educational mission that would lead to Seattle University.

History shows that Seattle University works when people share a common commitment focused on educating and developing students, when what they do together and how they do it together is more important than what they do individually and when there is a fundamental faith and kindness among them. This is a very special time for Seattle University. An anniversary, after all, is the bridge between heritage and hope. Join me in honoring that heritage as we head into our next 125 years.

Stephen Sundborg, S.J. President

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EDITOR Tina Potterf LEAD DESIGNER Anne Reinisch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Yosef Chaim Kalinko, Providence Archives, Seattle University Archives/Library Special Collections DESIGN TEAM Marissa Leitch, Terry Lundmark CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chelan David, Tracy DeCroce, Caitlin King DIRECTOR | ADVANCEMENT COMMUNICATIONS Kristen Kirst 125TH ANNIVERSARY MANAGER Kaily Serralta, ’12, ’17 PRESIDENT | SEATTLE UNIVERSITY Stephen Sundborg, S.J. VICE PRESIDENT | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS Scott McClellan ASST. VICE PRESIDENT | OFFICE OF ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT Susan Vosper, ’90, ’10 VICE PRESIDENT | UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT Michael Podlin SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR Mary Linden Sepulveda Coordinator, Collection Development, Lemieux Library Seattle University Magazine (ISSN: 1550-1523) is published in fall, winter and spring by Marketing Communications, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, PO Box 222000, Seattle, WA 98122-1090. Periodical postage paid at Seattle, Wash. Distributed without charge to alumni and friends of Seattle University. USPS 487-780. Comments and questions about Seattle University Magazine may be addressed to the editor at 206- 296-6111; the address below; fax: 206-296-6137; or e-mail: Postmaster: Send address changes to Seattle University Magazine, Marketing Communications, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, PO Box 222000, Seattle, WA 98122-1090. Check out the magazine online at Seattle University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran in the administration of any of its education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered policies and programs, or in its employment-related policies and practices. All university policies, practices and procedures are administered in a manner consistent with Seattle University’s Catholic and Jesuit identity and character. Inquiries relating to these policies may be referred to the University’s Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity, Andrea Herrera Katahira at 206-220-8515,

Broderick Fountain, 1960




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By Tina Potterf

Mary Linden Sepulveda has a unique perspective on Seattle University’s history—from its “lean” years through eventual stability and growth to the diversification of students, faculty and programs—as someone who has been a fiber in the fabric of this place for more than 40 years. Coordinator of Collection Development at the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, Sepulveda’s job merges the past with the present. Think of her as the de facto university visual archivist, overseeing the innumerable black and white photos, yearbooks, newspaper clippings and other ephemera that encapsulate moments in time reflecting the rich 125-year history of Seattle U. But this is more than just taking stock of boxes of photographs and old books—she experienced firsthand many of the events and happenings around campus when the photos were taken and the articles written. Take October 1970 when Sepulveda—as a staff member—experienced the economic fragility of the university up close when she and colleagues didn’t get a paycheck. “It was a frightening reality of the state of the university,” she recalls, and one that was fortunately remedied within weeks thanks to a generous donor who helped keep the lights on and the staff and faculty paid. Some of Sepulveda’s most cherished memories involve the Jesuits, who transformed her in ways she never imagined. “My faith life—in fact my whole life perspective—changed when I was introduced to the Jesuits. The Jesuit way in teaching and spirituality is an intentional path. It’s about making choices to become your best self—in thinking, feeling and praying. That self-discovery opened me up to opportunities to give back and live a life for others,” she says. “I am so fortunate to have Jesuit friends and mentors in my life.” When asked about some Jesuit leaders—including presidents past and present—who were instrumental in the development of Seattle University Sepulveda offered these observations:

“Father Lemieux: The charismatic founder of today’s modern university. He knew everybody and he greeted each of us by first name. He created for us a unique sense of family and a spirit of belonging to Seattle U.” “Father Gaffney: He was known for his contagious optimism in a challenging time for the university. At commencement, Father Gaffney would make it a point to personally thank the parents of the graduates.” “Father Sullivan: From the moment I met him and experienced his intelligence and warmth, I knew he would have answers for what Seattle U needed. His leadership came at the right time—building on the Lemieux legacy while taking Seattle U to new prominence and prosperity.” “Father Sundborg: During this anniversary year, Father Steve has animated our history with wonderful storytelling. At the same time his leadership keeps us looking forward to what we hope to accomplish in the next 25 years and to grow in new ways and extend our mission.” In a compendium of unforgettable SU memories, one that stands out for Sepulveda involved former president William Sullivan, S.J., and the bulldozing of Marion Hall to make room for what today is the Quad and the Tsutakawa fountain. What made it particularly noteworthy was what happened with Father Sullivan behind the wheel of a backhoe, as the building came down. “Hundreds and hundreds of rats fled from that building,” she says, with a laugh. “It was rats and rubble. Sometimes I remember that scene as I walk across campus and wonder where those inner city rats went to live.”

Just as the physical changes to the campus are dramatic so too is the increasing diversity of faculty and students through time, she says. “Way back we primarily drew faculty who were mostly Catholic and many of course were priests. That is not the case any longer. Many of our faculty today reflect a variety of nationalities and interests in international scholarship.” And the diversity of our students today, Sepulveda says, “mirrors the diversity of the city. Our student body reflects the global growth of Seattle.” “The Seattle U of old had students learning romance languages and studying abroad in France and Italy. Now with the growth and changes in curriculum we send them around the world to learn what it means to be global citizens. Service projects have always been part of student life here at SU but today it’s both local and global.” The university’s transformation is attributed to many factors, Sepulveda notes, especially the “vision of so many who are helping to move us in a good direction for the future.” As for this historian’s thoughts on what she’d like to see for the university in the next 25—or 125—years: “My greatest hope is that tuition stays affordable so more students from diverse backgrounds can continue to experience what it means to be Jesuit educated. And of course I don’t want us to lose our rich Catholic Jesuit heritage because it’s the Jesuit charisma that ignites our mission in service of others. We are truly a gem inside of the city of Seattle.”

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UNIVERSITY Academic excellence and a dedication to a mission that empowers leaders for a just and humane world underscore what Seattle University is today—driven by the colleges and schools that have propelled the “little school on Capitol Hill” to a nationally ranked higher education institution of distinction. COLLEGE OF NURSING

In 1935, Sister John Gabriel, SP, laid the groundwork for what would become Seattle University’s College of Nursing when she chose to affiliate Providence Hospital’s nursing school with then Seattle College. Providence Hospital had founded its own nursing school in 1907 and was affiliated with the University of Washington Sister John Gabriel, SP until 1923. At that time, Seattle College was located on north Capitol Hill and struggling to establish itself as an institute of higher education. Over the next decade, Seattle College returned to its original Broadway campus, opened enrollment to women and established a reputation for science and pre-medical courses. Sister Gabriel knew something about Seattle College. As one of its first eight women graduates, she received a Master of Arts degree in 1936. It officially became the School of Nursing in 1948.

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COLLEGE OF EDUCATION The College of Education traces its roots to 1931, when James McGoldrick, S.J., established an evening extension school that admitted women. The radical move circumvented Catholic Church authority and effectively paved the way for a co-ed university and the founding of the college in 1935. The university’s first discrete academic unit awarded its first bachelor’s degree in 1937. One of the college’s most notable graduates is Emile Wilson, ’72, ’74, Seattle U’s first Rhodes Scholar.

Emile Wilson with James McGoldrick, S.J.

ALBERS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS Established in 1947, a decade after Seattle College conferred its first business degrees, the then School of Commerce & Finance has changed more than its name throughout its 70-year history. It became the School of Business in 1968, three years after its undergraduate program was accredited by AACSB—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Its MBA program, which began in 1967, was accredited in 1980.

Eva Albers

In 1976, the newly dubbed Albers School of Business memorialized Eva Albers, the former Seattle U Women’s Guild member who bequeathed $3 million to the university. The school is housed in the Pigott Building, which honors William Pigott. The school’s name changed for good in 1990 when “Economics” was added to the moniker.


The headwaters of the School of Theology and Ministry date back to 1969, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, when the university established a program to help Catholic clergy and religious leaders make deeper sense of the changes in the Catholic Church. In the next generation of the program, lay men and women preparing for professional ministry positions in the churches became the primary students and a decade later Protestant leaders in the region started becoming students. The formal school, founded in 1997, is inspired by a joint vision between Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen and the late former President William Sullivan, S.J., and emphasizes inclusive educational programming.


According to historical records, the College of Arts and Sciences began to really take shape during the 1944-45 academic year. Today, the college is the largest at Seattle University and emphasizes academic excellence, service to the community and global engagement. The college provides a liberal arts education in the humanities, the arts and social sciences. Grounded in the Jesuit Catholic intellectual tradition and respectful of its vision of the human person, faculty educate students for leadership, spiritual growth, responsible citizenship and service.


On September 5, 1972, 427 students and seven full-time faculty members came together to usher in a new era of legal education. What began as the University of Puget Sound School of Law has become Seattle University School of Law, the largest and most diverse law school in the Northwest.

Business students typing away during class.

Seattle University’s acquisition of the law school in 1994 strengthened its dual mission of academic excellence and education for justice. The law school’s first class was made up of 10 percent women and 3 percent minorities. Today, about half the students are women and 30 percent are people of color. The faculty has grown tenfold, from seven full-time professors to more than 70 nationally recognized legal scholars, practitioners and teachers.


The College of Science and Engineering was founded in 1971. This decade, CSE has been the most rapidly growing college or school at Seattle University. More than 100 full-time and part-time faculty members offer a relevant, hands-on approach to STEM education for undergraduate and graduate students. Through research and professional development, CSE professors keep abreast of the latest advances and continually improve degree programs that harmoniously blend theory and practice.


Matteo Ricci College formally began in 1975 as a cooperative venture between two Jesuit educational institutions: Seattle Preparatory School and Seattle University. The college founders desired to establish a program that would move more closely toward Jesuit ideals and to form an educational model that would meet the needs of its students from the end of the 20th century into the future. The first class to graduate on the six-year track was in 1981. In 1984, Dean Bernie Steckler sought closer links to Catholic high schools in the Seattle area by creating what would come to be known as the Consortium: a fourth-year curriculum of demanding, freshmen-level college work.

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Much like the Seattle University of today, the campus was a happening place (way) back in the day. Here’s proof. Above: Students—and some staff and faculty—protest the Vietnam War (1970). Left: Some good, clean fun with students from McHugh Hall Dormitory.

Students take a break from hitting the books at the soda fountain that was once a staple on this campus at Marycrest Hall.

Young Democrats (above) celebrate a campus visit by Robert F. Kennedy and Young Republicans (right) display party allegiance.

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Blazing a Trail “One of the great things about Seattle U was talking about our values … and ethics.” —Harriet Stephenson, PhD

By Tracy DeCroce Like the university where she worked for 47 years, Albers Professor Emerita Harriet Stephenson, PhD, is a trailblazer and a trendsetter. Her career at the Albers School of Business and Economics afforded her opportunities unique to women of her generation while giving her license to pursue ideas that were ahead of their time. Her reflections on Seattle U’s recent past offer insights into how and why our Jesuit education stands apart— and how it shapes the university of today.


In the mid-1960s, Stephenson was sitting across the table from a prospective employer. She came well-credentialed with a master’s degree in business—rare in those days. But that did little to impress the male interviewer who asked what a woman was doing in business. She was later passed over for another position because the company didn’t think its male employees, none of whom had master’s degrees, would respond well to a woman manager who did. In 1967, Seattle University’s business school was a different environment altogether. Just 20 years old and launching its MBA program, it welcomed

Stephenson, who by then was one of the first women on the West Coast with a doctorate in business. She was in good company at Seattle U. “In my first 20 to 25 years here, SU had the most female PhDs in business of any college or university in the United States except for Colorado Women’s College,” she recalls. She also broke through the glass ceiling on equal pay—after 17 years on the job. “The dean called me into his office to say, ‘Harriet, you’re finally making what a man would make in your same position.’”


Stephenson was part of the vanguard that ushered in an era of business ethics. When she started teaching, a “value-neutral” approach was the convention, something Stephenson said felt at odds with Seattle U’s mission. “One of the great things about Seattle U was talking about our values … and ethics,” she says. She touted the triple bottom line: People. Profit. Planet. “[W]e recognized that business has a responsibility to more than shareholders.” Today the Center for Business Ethics is a feature

of Albers; and the business community, too, has embraced social responsibility, Stephenson notes.


An entrepreneurial spirit was planted in Stephenson as a child cutting asparagus on her family farm in Walla Walla and dabbling in small-business ventures. Those early experiences carried over to Seattle U where she founded the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at a time when business schools were more geared toward technical and managerial training. “Small business was not viewed as something you did in educational institutions,” she says. She found a natural connection in partnering with local and global small businesses that could not afford private consultants and started a business plan competition that bears her name. Looking back over her career, Stephenson seems to have enjoyed the ride. “Seattle U let me do a lot of things that were meaningful to me and that I thought should be done. It was the kind of environment where I was able to be who I wanted to be and reinvent myself from time to time.”

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HISTORY LESSON By Tracy DeCroce Associate Professor Dave Madsen, ‘69, PhD, first set foot on Seattle University’s campus 51 years ago as a transfer student from St. Edward Seminary. With designs on the priesthood, he took a detour to “find out how the other half lives” and wound up abandoning his plans for a religious vocation in favor of an academic one. After 36 years of teaching, the history professor shares reflections about the university that greeted him half a century ago.


To begin with, the campus was much smaller then. The university, he says, was still acting in loco parentis—“in place of the parent.” Campion housed all the male students while the women lived in Bellarmine and the later closed Marian Hall and Marycrest. While female students had to account for their whereabouts in a dormitory ledger, male dorms were less regimented. Madsen laughs at the memory of living alongside the freshmen basketball players. “They used to practice dribbling up and down the corridor. It made for an interesting life,” he says. Students pulled together in ways unfamiliar to us today. When the Lemieux Library opened in 1966, students were recruited to move the books from their prior home in the Administration Building. They packed up the books in Rainier Brewery boxes and “did a bucket

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brigade to the library.” A can of pop was the reward. “You were expected to come,” he says. “It’s what you did.” It’s hard to imagine these were some of the same students who were also protesting the Vietnam War. “Although I was here when we were protesting the Vietnam War, most of us went off campus, up to Seattle Central,” says Madsen. “The student body was more conservative than the faculty.” As a student, Madsen immersed himself in his studies. At the time, the college’s Core curriculum was rife with philosophy and theology. He studied Latin and Greek, writing his papers in cursive or using a typewriter. “When I was a student you could major in classics. You can’t do that anymore.” Looking back, Madsen knows now what he didn’t know then—faculty shielded students from some of the harsher realities. The university had fallen on tough financial times that nearly closed its doors. “It got really bad here, but I never would’ve known it as an undergraduate. I came here and had a glorious three years.”


By the time Madsen graduated, his life path was clear. “I knew this was the kind of place where I wanted to teach and it was because the faculty I had cared deeply.

They weren’t just good academically, they were good people.” In 1981 he returned to take his place among the educators he admired. He has taught Humanities, Latin, History and Honors classes. Today, he serves as the University’s Grand Marshal and is moderator of the Naef Scholars program for undergraduates possessing intellectual skill and leadership potential. Having spent two-thirds of his life at Seattle U, Madsen has seen many changes. Today’s students are more visual, present-minded, regimented and literal, he observes. Many must also juggle greater financial pressures and more distractions. Madsen also sees a decline in student spiritual life. Yet, he notes that its counterpart—today’s social justice focus— can trace it origins to the 1989 murder of six Jesuits at what is now SU’s sister school in El Salvador, the Universidad Centroamericana. The tragic event marked a turning point at Seattle U that precipitated a change in both focus and mission. “Now what you have is a university that … prides itself on the fact it is engaging social justice issues not just in the immediate vicinity of campus, but also in Africa, South America and Central America,” Madsen says. “No one would have thought of that scope of activity when I started here as a student or even as a faculty member.”




CATHOLIC FAMILIES, COMMUNITY MEMBERS BUOYED UNIVERSITY’S EARLY YEARS By Tracy DeCroce Tasked with constructing a Jesuit university in Seattle with no budget, Seattle University’s first president Victor Garrand, S.J., turned to the school’s parish for help. The congregation of mostly poor Irish and German immigrants took up the cause in earnest, organizing two parish fairs that raised $2,646. The project moved forward with the help of a favorable $16,000 bank loan. Then, parishioners offered their free labor to construct the ornate Garrand Building with their own hands. So began an emblematic partnership between Seattle U and the community, including the local Catholic families who sent their children here. For 125 years, Jesuits, Catholic families, benefactors, civic leaders and people of diverse beliefs have entwined their intellectual faculties and financial resources to create the university we know today. President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., acknowledged this braided history in his 2016 State of the University address, saying: “I have been humbled to learn more deeply about the beginning (of Seattle University), the sacrifices … the near failures, the heroic advances and through it all the spirit of this great endeavor ... It is a precious heritage and I am humbled to join with you in carrying it forward.”

“The Jesuits would hop on the bus on their day off and come down (to our house) … . They’d tell us all kinds of stories. We’d dote on their every word. We grew up with them around us all the time.” —Mick McHugh, ’65

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Above: The former Adelphia College, known as Seattle U’s Interlaken Campus. Inset: Thomas C. McHugh.


Stories of great generosity, vision and determination are the stuff of rich university lore. One of these stories dates back to 1919 when T.C. McHugh, the ancestor of a longtime Seattle U family, offered to share his bounty with the Catholic Church after a successful Alaska fishing season, according to his grandson, Mick McHugh, ’65. The elder McHugh learned that thenSeattle College was to relocate to the former Aldephi College campus on north Capitol Hill. When no one offered to help him buy the site, he did it himself by liquidating war bonds and other assets (and taking out a life insurance policy to protect his family), according to Seattle University, A Century of Jesuit Education by Walt Crowley. Seattle U occupied the site until 1931 when it split from its preparatory high school and returned to the Broadway campus.

The 1950s marked the advent of nonJesuit lay leaders taking more active roles in the college’s governance and funding. President Albert Lemieux, S.J., appointed the first non-religious members to the Board of Regents. These visionary civic leaders oversaw robust growth for the institution. For example: Thomas J. Bannan, the Regents’ first non-Jesuit chairman, led private fundraising for the original Lemieux Library. The Science and Engineering building, constructed some 30 years later, is named in Bannan’s honor.

William Boeing, Jr.

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William Boeing, Jr., son of The Boeing Company’s founder, joined the Regents in 1956. He later became a Trustee and led a $3 million stabilization drive in the 1960s that helped to save the university.

Also in 1956, then-Regent Paul Pigott made a leadership gift to help realize the first new classroom building since 1941. Credited with turning Pacific Car and Foundry Co (PACCAR) into a top 300 industrial corporation, he named the building to honor of his father, William Pigott, founder of PACCAR and Seattle Steel Co., now Birmingham Steel. Robert O’Brien joined the Regents in 1963 and later became chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Kenworth Truck Company and PACCAR executive helped SU through the financial difficulties of the 1970s. An Albers School of Business and Economics chair is named in his honor. In the 1970s, Seattle University was stabilizing itself after a financial crisis nearly shuttered its doors. President Louis Gaffney, S.J., appointed the first non-Jesuit men and women to serve on the Board of Trustees. At the same time, women benefactors stepped forward with gifts that helped close the books on a dark chapter. They included:

Marguerite Casey, who, with her family, offered to donate $1 million if the university could raise $2 million. Casey’s brother, Jim, had started Marguerite Casey United Parcel Service (UPS) and was a longtime friend of Seattle U. The Casey building honors the family. Former Seattle U Women’s Guild Member Eva Albers surpassed Casey’s challenge with a $3 million bequest on behalf of herself and her husband George, founder of a successful milling company. The Albers School of Business and Economics bears the family name. Their daughter, Genevieve Albers, became a Seattle U trustee emerita and devoted supporter until her death in 2001.


Many alumni can recall a time when the university campus, comprised largely of temporary structures, was a far cry from today’s campus. None of that seemed to dampen the affection students and their families had for Seattle U. Since the time of his grandfather, Mick McHugh says Seattle U has always been a part of his family’s life. As a child, he attended dedications of the Bannan and Pigott buildings with his parents. The

oldest of six siblings, all SU alums, he says the Jesuits were like extended family. “The Jesuits would hop on the bus on their day off and come down (to our house) …” McHugh says. “They’d tell us all kinds of stories. We’d dote on their every word. We grew up with them around us all the time.” For Joe Gaffney, ‘67, the Jesuits really were part of the family. Three great uncles were Jesuits and his uncle Louis Gaffney, S.J., was an SU professor when Joe was a student; Louis Gaffney later became university president. Joe and Mick represent an era of Seattle U’s history when families sacrificed to ensure a Catholic education for their children. Both were students when the Society of Jesus nearly closed the university. At the time, neither of them knew anything about the school’s financial troubles. Instead, their memories are of a college that nurtured them body, mind and spirit. “The light went on for me in college,” says Mick, a successful Seattle restaurateur. “I came out of my shell.” Joe developed a lifelong appreciation for Jesuit education that inspires him today as a Trustee. “I have a deep affection for the Jesuits and their blend of values, activism and education in pursuit of truths.”

Students chat at a window table in the Chieftain, circa 1964.


Joe’s wife Terri Gaffney, ’67, ’89, has experienced Seattle U as both an alumna and a former faculty member in the School of Theology and Ministry. She met her husband there and continues to serve as a volunteer leader. Terri traces her SU experience from the “homogeneous” undergraduate years “when most people were Catholic” through a period of personal disillusionment with the Catholic Church when lay leaders like herself longed for more progressive reforms after the Second Vatican Council. Through it all, Seattle U has been a beacon, she says. By fostering dialogue among people of different beliefs, the university honors its roots in the Catholic intellectual tradition. “I am very proud of the ecumenical and interfaith leadership of Seattle University. The more we are able to talk to others about faith, the more we can claim our own,” she says. Seattle University stands on the shoulders of countless individuals and families—from the immigrant parishioners who built Garrand with their own hands to the many people who are committed its continued success. No one can be sure what the next 125 years will bring. But if history is any indication, Seattle University will be guided by a collective can-do spirit that finds opportunity in the face of adversity.

School spirit resonated throughout the city.

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The Clausen Market on Broadway, circa 1890, would become the future home of Seattle College.

Students stay focused in a science class in the Garrand Building, circa 1907.

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The Garrand Building


Seattle was still a young city—just 40 years old—in 1891 when the Society of Jesus brought its educational mission here. The only Catholic school was Holy Names Academy and the nearest Jesuit outpost was in Yakima. Gonzaga College was well established and growing in Eastern Washington. The Society of Jesus purchased nine lots bordered by Broadway, Knight (Marion), Madison and Williamson (10th) in Arthur Denny’s newly platted Broadway addition. That same year they opened Immaculate Conception Church parish school with 90 students in a rented hall near the newly purchased site. The school’s inaugural president, Victor Garrand, S.J., designed the first permanent building—Garrand—and modeled its ornate style on churches in his native France. German and Irish immigrant parishioners volunteered their labor to construct the multipurpose building that housed classrooms, the Immaculate Conception Church, a chapel and Jesuit living quarters. The parish school also purchased the Women’s Christian Temperance Union house and together the two buildings formed the forerunner to Seattle University’s campus.

The baseball team poses for a picture in 1911.

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In 1898, during the Gold Rush, Adrian Sweere, S.J., presided as Washington state approved a charter to establish Immaculate Conception School as Seattle College. Then a combined preparatory high school and college, its coursework, including philosophy, theology and humane letters, did not constitute a complete high school curriculum. When a fire in 1907 nearly destroyed the Garrand Building, President Francis C. Dillon, S.J., persuaded the Board of Trustees to rebuild it although not to its original grandeur. His successor, Hugh P. Gallagher, S.J., oversaw the college’s first commencement in 1909. Two years later, the college literally paved the way for the future as President Charles F. Carroll, S.J., ordered the regrading of the campus east of Broadway.


With the onset of World War I, Seattle College struggled to stay viable as its less than two dozen students dropped out to take high-paying jobs in the defense industry or to enlist. Entrepreneur and devout Catholic T.C. McHugh brought hope when he purchased the defunct Adelphia College on Interlaken Boulevard. Seeking to preserve the college, President Joseph Tomkin, S.J., authorized the relocation of Seattle College in 1919. In the 1920s, Seattle College severed ties with its prep high school to establish a distinctive college identity. Seeking

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Above: An earth mover outside the Garrand Building. The 1911 regrade of the campus transplanted the Women’s Christian Temperance Union house a block east and created a baseball field. Top left: In 1931 the college moved from the Interlaken campus back to the Garrand Building on Broadway. Left: The Interlaken campus, now Seattle Preparatory School, was home to the college from 1919 to 1931.

physically separate campuses, the college agreed to a land-swap deal with the Seattle Diocese. The deal hinged on a generous offer from business leader William Pigott to purchase a site for the preparatory school in exchange for Seattle College giving the diocese Immaculate Conception church on 18th and Marion. When Pigott died before the funds could transfer, Seattle College was beholden to the deal. It lost its church and had no way to pay for the new site for the high school. A rented duplex of President William M. Boland, S.J., on Roanoke East, served as a makeshift “campus” for 21 college students. The high school eventually became Seattle Preparatory School, which still occupies the Interlaken site. After

the stock market crash of 1929, President Walter J. Fitzgerald, S.J., provided steady leadership. While dreams of a permanent site waited, the college rode out the financial crisis in this makeshift space with a record 30 students. President John A. McHugh, S.J., returned Seattle College to its original Broadway home in 1931. The former school had suffered from years of neglect. Undeterred, the Jesuits joined with students and members of the community to restore the campus. The college reopened with five Jesuit educators and 46 students. Before long the campus had a bookstore, a debating society, a basketball team and a student newspaper, The Spectator.

Above left: James McGoldrick, S.J., teaching in 1948. Above: Students jam into “The Cave” on December 6, 1941, the eve of Pearl Harbor. Left: The “Fighting 50th” nursing cadets training in Colorado prior to deployment to England, 1941. Right: The Chapel of St. Ignatius.

the West. On his first day as president, Albert A. Lemieux, S.J., had the honor of overseeing the college as it officially became Seattle University.


Seattle College effectively became co-ed in 1931 when James B. McGoldrick, S.J., launched an evening extension school that admitted women, many of whom were nuns who taught at local Catholic schools. The university was one of the first Jesuit universities to admit women, even though provincial and diocesan authorities did not approve of co-education. But Presidents John A McHugh, S.J., and John J. Balfe, S.J., stood by the decision, making a case, in part, for the financial benefit. Father Balfe hired the first dean of women and awarded eight baccalaureate degrees to women. By 1935, women had bolstered the 500-strong student body and comprised a majority of students enrolled in the newly

established education and nursing schools. By 1936, Seattle College’s four-year collegelevel program had been accredited. It included pre-medical biology studies and departments of business, music and drama.


In 1941, Seattle College was the state’s third largest institution of higher education. It was rapidly purchasing or leasing buildings and property throughout Capitol Hill for housing, classrooms and a school of engineering. It completed a $200,000 fundraising drive for a new liberal arts building, which is today’s Administration Building. President Francis E. Corkery, S.J., led Seattle College in helping the World War II

effort. The “Fighting 50th” pre-med and nursing students staffed a medical center in Normandy. From 1945 to 1946, Seattle College’s enrollment doubled to more than 2,500 students—60 percent were veterans attending through the G.I. Bill. To accommodate the growth, the college added a temporary Veteran’s Hall, the first on-campus housing; purchased homes around Capitol Hill for students to reside; completed the liberal arts building; acquired surplus buildings to expand classrooms; and remodeled the campus cafeteria and coffee shop called “The Cave.” By 1948, 50 years after its founding, Seattle College had become the largest Catholic institution of higher education in

President Lemieux deepened ties to the city by establishing a Board of Regents comprised of lay people. With enrollment topping 3,000 in 1956 and projected to climb as high as 5,000 by 1965, community and civic allies united to build out the campus. Highlights include:

• Senator Warren G. Magnuson helped secure a $1.2 million federal loan to build Xavier and Loyola halls. • A $3.8 million federal loan funded Campion Hall. • Marycrest Hall opened as the first woman’s dormitory. • A $2.15 million fundraising drive made possible the construction of the Bannan Building. • Father Lemieux raised $2.5 million for a new library that would bear his name when it opened in 1966.

FINANCIAL WOES AND RECOVERY Post-war prosperity had reached its limits by the mid-1960s. The university had no endowment and was in debt. Tuition hikes hurt enrollment and before long the university was running an operating deficit. With the “Boeing Bust” and a citywide recession, the university’s financial situation got so bad the Jesuit province nearly closed the university. Under the leadership of President Louis B. Gaffney, S.J., the university sold property, consolidated debt, cut the budget by 10 percent, closed Campion and made Bellarmine co-ed. Faculty pitched in through voluntary pay cuts. Bill Boeing led a stabilization drive. Women benefactors, Marguerite Casey, Eva Albers and her daughter, Genevieve Albers, donated millions. By 1971 the university was back in the black.

MAKING A MODERN CAMPUS In his 20-year presidency, William J. Sullivan, S.J., brought the university into the modern age. He oversaw the

university’s two largest capital campaigns of the time, acquired the School of Law from the University of Puget Sound and oversaw the construction of the Chapel of St. Ignatius. When Father Sullivan took the helm, enrollment was declining, building loans totaled in the millions and the operating budget was $500,000 short. By his departure, enrollment had increased 70 percent and the university was on solid financial ground with a $90 million endowment. Today’s president, Stephen Sundborg, S.J., has built a nationally recognized university on the solid foundation of his 20 predecessors. Strong academics and a commitment to social justice attract a diverse student body of undergraduate and graduate students each year to nine schools and colleges. Capital improvements have flourished under Father Sundborg, who oversaw the modernization of the campus, including a renovation of the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons.

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SEATTLE U Compiled by Tracy DeCroce


Francis C. Dillon, S.J., expanded faculty to 12 Jesuits and introduced Father Victor Garrand, S.J., assisted by Adrian Sweere, S.J., served as the school’s first president.

Fathers Garrand and Sweere oversaw construction of a permanent school.

The first campus building—Garrand— opened.

the college’s first elective “commercial studies,” which included bookkeeping and typewriting.

Enrollment exceeded On May 1, fire destroyed Garrand’s altar and gutted the building’s top two stories and roof.

200 students. The first class—three students—graduated in June.

1891 1892 1894 1906 1907 1909 1958 1966 1967 1970 1972 1975 The first new classroom building since 1941— Pigott—opened.

Superior General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., visited campus.

Lemieux Library opened.

Elgin Baylor led the Chieftains basketball team to an NCAA national championship game.

The Liberal Arts Building, which is today’s Administration Building, was dedicated on June 22, 1941.

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Bill Boeing and Father Lemieux led a stabilization drive.

Campus protests reached a head when a bomb exploded beneath the steps of the ROTC building. No one was injured.

African-American Emile Wilson is named Seattle University’s first Rhodes Scholar.

Seattle College relocated to Interlaken site.

Seattle College returned to Broadway.

Student body swelled to 500 with full-time and extension school students.

The G.I. Bill brought an influx of students and led to permanent enrollment growth.

Women’s dormitory Marycrest Hall opened on the corner of James and Summit.

Men’s dormitory Xavier Hall and a new Jesuit residence, Loyola Hall, opened.

1919 1931 1935 1940 1954 1956 s

1976 1979 1987 1988 1989 1997 William Sullivan, S.J., became Seattle U’s 20th president. Dr. Virginia Parks was the first woman to hold a top administrative post as financial vice president.

The Dalai Lama visited campus to receive an honorary doctorate.

James Pigott and Ann Wyckoff completed a successful $26 million capital campaign, resulting in a science and engineering center named for Thomas Bannan and a liberal arts facility named for Marguerite Casey.

After standing for 90 years, Marian Hall is demolished to make space for the campus’ new quadrangle, today known simply as “the Quad.”

Artist George Tsutakawa’s “Centennial Fountain” was unveiled in the new Quad.

April: The dedication of the Chapel of St. Ignatius. July: Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., became Seattle University’s 21st president.


today Growth, progress and reputation blossom leading up to our 125th anniversary.

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Student Clubs Build Community





6 5


Academic Club

4. Art Club

2. Engineering Club

5. Girls Rifle Club

3. International Club

6. Spurs Club

A member of these clubs? Share your story at

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“We wanted to pass on the vision of what it was like growing up in Hawai’i, to bring students from Hawai’i together with students who were not from there.” —Elliott Chamizo, ’66, founding officer of Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i Club

By Tracy DeCroce Separated by an ocean and worlds apart from their distinctive island culture, a small band of students from Hawai’i founded the Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i Club in 1962. Its two-fold vision was to share Hawai’ian culture within a diversifying Seattle U campus and create a home base for students from the islands. In its first year, the club organized a luau with traditional food and dancing that drew 200 people. It remains one of Seattle U’s most popular campus events. Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i means

“gathering of beautiful people of Hawai’i.” In its early days the club would greet incoming freshmen at the airport, have potlucks and organize ski trips. Today, the 200-member club still “provides a home away from home for the people of Hawai’i and, of course, for those who take interest in the culture,” says Club President Kylie Teramoto, ‘17. Pictured: Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i Club officers in 1963.

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By Tracy DeCroce

“There was discrimination out there … but I always felt safe at (Seattle U).” —Dorothy (Laigo) Cordova, ’53

In the old Immaculate Conception School building on south Capitol Hill, Dorothy (Laigo) Cordova, ‘53, works intently at her desk in a room brimming with stories. Towering around her are stacks of books and memorabilia, black and white photographs and rows of donated, mismatched filing cabinets containing the largest collection of Filipino-American materials in the United States. The history Cordova curates is intricately linked with her own and that of her alma mater, Seattle University. Her office at 18th and Marion is in the same building where she attended Catholic grade school. It’s just blocks away from her childhood home, where she grew up with eight siblings, all of whom attended Seattle U. “I’ve lived my entire life within a five-mile radius,” she says. Seattle University is near to Cordova’s heart, just as it was to her late husband, Fred Cordova, ’52, and late brother Val

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Laigo, ’54. But it would be a mistake to gloss over some of the harder truths of their experience during a time in our country of great civil and social unrest. Unpacking their story involves taking an unflinching look at racial discrimination that marred the country and the region and to which Seattle University wasn’t immune. But Dorothy, Fred and Val, each in their own way, refused to let the actions of individuals tarnish their relationship with the Jesuit Catholic university so deeply intertwined with their culture, faith and personal identity. “Ninety-nine percent of things were good at Seattle U,” Cordova says. “Things that were not so good were because of individuals, not the university. That’s human nature.”

When the time came for college, Seattle University felt like an extension of the Laigo’s neighborhood and Catholic upbringing. It was also affordable. “It was always a given that we would go to Seattle U,” says Dorothy, who recalls paying $40 a quarter. The low tuition also drew her future husband Fred Cordova, whose family relocated to Seattle from California to attend the school.

After graduation, Val became a popular Seattle U art professor. He painted the murals that hung in the original Lemieux Library when it opened in 1967. Dorothy and Fred married and had eight children, four of whom went to SU. Fred worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Catholic Northwest Progress before becoming Seattle U’s public information director.

Val Laigo entered SU in 1948, a year before Dorothy. On his first day, Val met Fred at registration and the two struck up a fast friendship. The two became wellknown campus figures as members of The Spectator staff, Fred a sports writer and Val its cartoonist.

Dorothy’s hands were full raising their family and running a Filipino youth group. But the former sociology major couldn’t say no when the U.S. government offered her a job researching issues facing Asian Americans in the 1970s. When federal funding dried up, she continued on as a volunteer, founding the Filipino-American National Historical Society, which she manages single-handedly today.

The two also started the Pinoy Club, believed to be the oldest club on campus. Pinoy references a term of endearment, “Little Pinoy,” that Filipinos called one another, Dorothy says. Their club dominated a Homecoming contest in which each student group decorated a classroom. The Pinoy Club transformed its room with imagery of the Philippines, sprayed fake flowers with perfume and performed traditional dances. The funny thing is, Dorothy says, “we had no clue what the Philippines looked like. It was all in our imagination.” The 1950s is often associated with milkshakes, soda fountains and clean-cut youth. In large part, it was a happy time. But students of color were often subtly or overtly excluded from this picture, as was the case for Dorothy, Val and Fred.

Like her husband and brother, Dorothy found her way back to Seattle U. At the invitation of the late former President William Sullivan, S.J., she served on the Board of Regents from 1981 to 1991. During Seattle U’s 100th anniversary, Dorothy and Fred were honored among 100 of Seattle U’s alumni. Top: 1951 Pinoy Club hosts a campus event. Right: 1952 Pinoy Club officers Dorothy (Laigo) Cordova, ‘53, president, Albert Acena, ‘54, vice president, and Beverly Fleming, secretary/treasurer. Below: Val Laigo, ‘54, finishes his dramatic threepiece mural, depicting the meaning of life in terms of the Jesuit ethos, for the Lemieux Library dedication in 1967. For many years the mural was Seattle’s largest.

“We would go to a restaurant with friends and not get served,” Cordova recalls. “There was discrimination out there … but I always felt safe at (Seattle U).” Even as she shares her positive feelings, she describes discrimination that she and others experienced on campus such as when the well-liked Fred and Val were disinvited by members of the Intercollegiate Knights (IK) after its president had asked them to join. They rose above when James Goodwin, S.J., helped them organize the interracial Alpha Phi Omega service club, which ultimately eclipsed the IKs in prestige.

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125 YEARS 1971







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Have a Homecoming memory to share? Share your story at






There were the pie-eating and beard-measuring contests, the goldfish-swallowing and banjoplaying adventures, the selection of a king and queen and entertainment by legends such as Lou Rawls—all part of Seattle U’s Homecoming festivities of the past.


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Compiled by Tracy DeCroce Seattle University’s transformation from a small Catholic college on Capitol Hill to a thriving university of distinction is 125 years in the making. The creation and development of the university came to be through the perseverance, adaptability, patience and inclusivity of individuals leading the way.


Here’s a closer look at many of those leaders— presidents, to be exact—through the years who helped put Seattle U on the map.




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1. VICTOR GARRAND, S.J., 1891-96

7. JOSEPH TOMKIN, S.J., 1914-21


8. JEFFREY J. O’SHEA, S.J., 1921-25

3. ADRIAN SWEERE, S.J., 1897-1905

9. WILLIAM M. BOLAND, S.J., 1925-29

4. FRANCIS C. DILLON, S.J., 1905-07

10. WALTER J. FITZGERALD, S.J., 1929-31

5. HUGH P. GALLAGHER, S.J., 1907-10

11. JOHN A. MCHUGH, S.J., 1931-34

• First president of the Jesuit parish school that would become Seattle University. Assisted by Father Adrian Sweere, S.J. • Opened two structures on the Broadway campus to establish Immaculate Conception School. • Designed the Garrand building—the first on campus. • Interim president until Father Sweere returned from Yakima. • Later became pastor of Seattle’s second Jesuit parish, St. Joseph’s Church, on north Capitol Hill. • Intellectual scholar of cultural anthropology. • Financed construction of Immaculate Conception Church, which still stands at 18th Avenue and East Marion. • Per the Society of Jesus custom, Fr. Sweere also served as religious superior of the Jesuit community and pastor of Immaculate Conception Church. • First American-born president. • Tasked with relieving debt for Immaculate Conception Church. • Persuaded the Board of Trustees to rebuild when a fire nearly destroyed Garrand. • Oversaw Seattle College’s first commencement. • First president to involve lay men in college fundraising. • Initiated fundraising plans that stalled for a new gymnasium.

6. CHARLES F. CARROLL, S.J., 1910-14

• Regraded the campus east of Broadway. • Relocated the college’s youngest students to new parish school at Immaculate Conception church. • Envisioned building a new home for the college next to St. Joseph’s church, but fundraising drive fell short.

• Preserved Seattle College during exodus of all collegelevel students during World War I. • Accepted generous offer by T.C. McHugh to purchase the defunct Adelphia College and relocate Seattle College. • Oversaw reopening on Interlaken Boulevard and accreditation of the college and preparatory high school. • Restored traditional higher education at Seattle College. • Added a two-year program, followed by a third and fourth year. • Awarded college’s first baccalaureate degrees since 1918. • Severed ties with preparatory high school to elevate college status. • Tried to secure a separate campus for high school students. • Moved the 21 college students to their own “campus,” a rented duplex on Roanoke East. • Offered steady leadership after the stock market crash of 1929. • Assessed college balance sheet, realized assets exceeded liabilities and waited out the financial crisis. • Saw enrollment rise to record 30 students. • Oversaw return to and restoration of neglected Broadway campus. • Supported Father James B. McGoldrick, S.J., in establishing an extension school that admitted women, effectively making Seattle College co-ed. • Broadened campus offerings to include a bookstore, a debate society, a basketball team and a student newspaper, The Spectator.

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12. JOHN J. BALFE, S.J., 1934-36

17. KENNETH W. BAKER, S.J., 1970

• Hired the first dean of women and awarded eight baccalaureate degrees to women. • Launched College of Education, nursing school partnership with Providence Hospital and departments of business, music and drama. • Oversaw accreditation of Seattle College’s four-year program.

• Navigated student activism during Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War. • Seattle recession and the “Boeing bust” coincided with dire university financial situation. • Become editor of a scholarly Catholic journal.

18. LOUIS B. GAFFNEY, S.J., 1970-75

• Inspired collective efforts among faculty, staff, students, board members and the community to rebuild university coffers. • Trimmed budget by 10 percent, placed a moratorium on federal loan payments, sold/leased properties and led a stabilization drive with Bill Boeing, supported by lead benefactors Marguerite Casey and Eva Albers. • Established a Board of Trustees with men and women.

13. FRANCIS E. CORKERY, S.J., 1936-45

• Oversaw rapid growth during World War II and led campus war efforts. • Purchased or leased buildings and property throughout Capitol Hill for housing, classrooms and a school of engineering. • Launched a $200,000 drive for a new liberal arts building, what is today’s Administration Building.

19. EDMUND W. RYAN, S.J., 1975-76

14. HAROLD O. SMALL, S.J., 1945-48

• Managed enrollment that doubled to 2,500 in post-war years, largely because of returning veterans benefiting from the G.I. Bill. • Acquired more real estate and built the first on-campus residence hall and the memorial gymnasium. • Ended his tenure with six distinct schools: arts and sciences; nursing; education; commerce and finance; engineering; and graduate studies.

15. ALBERT A. LEMIEUX, S.J., 1948-65

• Directed expansion of the university from a small sectarian college to a modern institution of higher learning. • Inherited six buildings on six acres. When he left: 26 buildings on 40 acres. • Doubled the student population to more than 4,000.

16. JOHN A. FITTERER, S.J., 1965-69

• Secured federal loans and philanthropic dollars to build Connolly Center. • Trustees sold property and consolidated debt to address financial pressures. • Became university’s first chancellor.

• Tried to persuade the state legislature to pass a resolution permitting public funding for religiously affiliated schools. • Selected William J. Sullivan, S.J., as the first provost.

20. WILLIAM J. SULLIVAN, S.J., 1976-1996

• Reset Seattle University’s financial course by relieving operating shortfalls and loan debt. • Led two capital campaigns that added Chapel of St. Ignatius, Casey and Bannan buildings and School of Law. • Built $90 million endowment and increased enrollment by 70 percent.


• Established Seattle U consistently among top 10 universities in the West. • Led successful capital campaign for modern library. • Broadened Seattle U’s social justice work through nationally recognized Seattle University Youth Initiative.

Note: Presidential terms were shorter in the early years. In those days, Jesuits favored the practice of moving priests as a way to avoid “inordinate attachment.” Sources: Seattle University, A Century of Jesuit Education by Walt Crowley; Seattle University website; and



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When you’ve spent 45 years at the same organization—in this case, Seattle University—like John Eshelman did, you get to wear many hats. Before he retired in 2014, Eshelman assumed many roles at Seattle U: he taught economics at Albers and did stints as provost, executive vice president and interim vice president for finance. He even spent a year as acting president. He is someone with the insight of having been at the university during some pivotal and defining moments of its development and shares how the university has changed over the years and where it may be headed.



ESHELMAN: It might be a shorter list to list those things that haven’t changed, but here are a few changes:

ESHELMAN: I have many, many fond memories of my years at SU. It was a wonderful place to be because I was able to work with bright, competent people who were good people to be around. Coming to work each day was a pleasure. There were many things that gave me satisfaction, but one that stands out is the acquisition of the School of Law and the process of integrating it into the university. The faculty and staff were and are great assets to the university. It was a lot of fun working with them. Another fond memory is of Friday afternoon gatherings of faculty over wine and cheese in my office. I wish there had been more of them. There are a lot of interesting people on the faculty. Being part of the Deans’ Council was a pleasure, as was being part of the Cabinet/Executive Team. Those associations resulted in some lasting friendships.

• The campus has been transformed from undistinguished and unattractive to an urban jewel. • Graduate education is a much larger part of the educational mission. • Student body, faculty and staff are much more ethnically diverse, a diversity that has become central to the character of the institution. • Women are fully part of the institution. I think the only woman in a senior leadership role in 1969 was the dean of the College of Nursing. Many departments in the university had only male faculty. I believe Dr. Virginia Parks, vice president for finance, was the first woman vice president at the university. • The School of Law and the Chapel of St. Ignatius. Q. FROM AN ACADEMIC SIDE, WHAT MAKES SEATTLE U DISTINCTIVE AS A UNIVERSITY? ESHELMAN: Attention to the individual student, making sure each of them is a treated as person, not a number, and really paying attention to their learning has been an essential characteristic of SU education for all the years I’ve been associated with it. The particulars have evolved, but the focus on the student has not.

Teaching, both undergraduates and graduates students, was great fun. Grading papers was not. Q. LOOKING AHEAD, HOW DO YOU SEE OUR NEXT 25 OR 50 YEARS SHAPING UP? ESHELMAN: Looking at SU’s strengths and what it has to build on, I have to be optimistic. But there are a couple pretty dark clouds on the horizon. I don’t think anyone, locally or nationally, has a handle on the ways in which digital technology will change higher education. The impact thus far has been largely one of enhancing, rather than disrupting, traditional educational models, but will that continue to be so? SU is lucky in that its strong suit is in high-touch education, something not easily replicated by technology. But, the other side of the coin is that high-touch education is expensive and the cost of higher education is going to be a difficult issue in the coming years, both for families and for national policy. —Tina Potterf

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THE ASCENT OF LEGENDARY MOUNTAINEER JIM WHITTAKER, ’52 Jim Whittaker has literally touched the sky. In 1963, Whittaker, ’52, became a legend among mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts the world over when he became the first American to successfully climb the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest—all 29,028 feet of it. It was an achievement for which he received the Hubbard Award of the National Geographic Society from President Kennedy. The former CEO and President of REI is as spry as ever—and still skiing at the age of 87. Whittaker inspires others through his passion for exploration of the peaks and valleys of the planet, his love of the Northwest and his Seattle University education. Whittaker’s memoir, A Life on the Edge, is a fitting title for the amazing journey and adventures that define his life—and not only in the mountains: he and his family lived on a sailboat and traveled the South Pacific for four years. The affinity Whittaker has with nature runs deep and it moves him to exploration.

“In my mind getting people into the outdoors is like getting people into church and getting them into the magical creation of the planet.” —Jim Whittaker, ’52

“In my mind getting people into the outdoors is like getting people into church and getting them into the magical creation of the planet,” he says. A love of adventure—both inside and outside the classroom—was nurtured at Seattle U. The Seattle-born Whittaker and his twin brother Louie came to the university on basketball scholarships. Although the basketball thing didn’t really pan out—Jim had to leave the team after Coach Al Brightman learned he was spending his off time skiing, an activity deemed high risk for injury and therefore off limits—he immersed himself in scholarly pursuits here. “And although I did not earn a varsity letter in basketball I did earn one in another sport,” Whittaker says. “The week after I came back from Mt. Everest, there was a parade in Seattle. Our convertible pulled over in front of a grandstand and I went up on the platform, where Father Lemiux was standing. He said, ‘Jim, we have a new sport at Seattle University. It’s called mountaineering and anyone who

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reaches the summit of Mt. Everest gets a varsity letter. Here you are.’ ” He found great mentors among professors and the Jesuits on campus. As he wrote in his memoir, “Every class opened a door to a whole new world of ideas.” The biology major chose this discipline “because I wanted to deepen my understanding of the natural world I loved so much.” After graduation he was drafted to serve in the Korean War. Following a two-year stint with the Army he returned home, continued his mountain excursions and in 1955 became the first fulltime employee of REI. His most famous ascents came thereafter: Mt. Everest and the world’s second highest mountain, the formidable K2. In 1990, Whittaker returned to Everest as leader of the phenomenally successful Mt. Everest International Peace Climb, which put 20 climbers from the U.S., China and the then Soviet Union on the summit in the name of world peace. Whittaker’s passion for the outdoors carried over into his professional interests. For 25 years he was part of the REI family—finally retiring in 1979 as president and CEO. For Whittaker, a love of the outdoors was kindled as a child and influenced by his parents. “There were three boys in the house and my mother would say, ‘Go outside and play.’ We’d kick the can and climb trees and walk down to the beach and enjoy nature,” he says. “With my mother we would lie in the grass and look up at the clouds. I felt at home in that environment.” Currently, Whittaker travels with his wife Dianne Roberts and encourages others to “go outside and play.” As for his hope for his alma mater for the next 25 years: “… that Seattle University and the Jesuits continue to guide us up that ‘mountain,’ where from the top we can enjoy nature’s diversity, where we are one family, living together in peace and friendship, on one beautiful planet.”





Over the years Seattle University has been visited by an impressive array of notable leaders in politics and pop culture, global dignitaries and living legends from Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks to the Dalai Lama and Babe Ruth.




1. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks visits campus in 1990. 2. Nelson Mandela discusses the challenges facing Africa in 1999. 3. Babe Ruth entertains a crowd at the Interlaken campus in 1925.

4. Eleanor Roosevelt visits SU’s broadcast television set in 1961. 5. The Dalai Lama receives an honorary doctorate from the university in 1979. 6. Neil Diamond provides entertainment at Homecoming in 1970.

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ATHLETICS They were trailblazers and champions, team players and national leaders who were instrumental in putting Seattle University’s athletic programs on the map—from men’s and women’s basketball to baseball, soccer, tennis, golf and more. We honor some of our legendary players.

Left: Women’s basketball’s April Lewallen, ‘80, Debbie Henderson, ‘81, and All-American Sue Turina, ‘81, achieve new heights on the basketball court. Center: The winning men’s tennis team included starts Steve Hopps, ‘67, (front) and Tom Gorman, ‘68, (fifth from front). Right: Patricia (Lesser) Harbottle, ‘56, hoists her championship trophy for golf and proved herself a true trailblazer in the sport.

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By Chelan David Despite being at the top of her tennis game in her youth, with much success as a high school player, Janet Hopps-Adkisson, ’56, had no intention of joining the tennis team once she arrived at college. That changed when French Professor Frank Logan, S.J., approached her after class one day and invited her to work out with the men’s tennis team the next quarter for a spot on the roster (Father Logan was the men’s coach.) “I came to SU without any thoughts about tennis,” Hopps-Adkisson recalls. “I was on an academic scholarship and entertaining thoughts of becoming a Holy Names nun.” The decision to join college tennis—and the men’s team, no less—altered her life trajectory. Her winning streak continued and Hopps-Adkisson would become the #1 player for SU tennis, beating 70 percent of her male opponents. And her winning ways continued after graduation. While her foes didn’t always appreciate her acumen on the tennis court—one Oregon State “victim” claimed he had been distracted by foul balls from a nearby SU vs. Oregon State baseball game—Hopps-Adkisson’s teammates embraced her. “The guys on the team and the guys on the other sports teams became my friends,”

LEGENDARY SEATTLE UNIVERSITY TENNIS PLAYER HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR OTHERS she says. “Many of the Jesuits also became friends, those I had in class and some who came to watch me play in matches. I suddenly had a great support team.” It meant a lot to Hopps-Adkisson, who didn’t live in a dorm and was struggling to make new friends—her family moved to Seattle from the San Francisco Bay area— when she arrived at Seattle U. Despite being on the men’s tennis team, Hopps-Adkisson didn’t consider herself a trailblazer at the time. “Pat Lesser was playing on the men’s golf team so I accepted being on the tennis team,” she says. Jack Gordon, the school’s sports publicist at the time, didn’t hesitate to get the word out about SU’s forward-thinking practices. “SU had recently become a university and the school needed the news to compete with the UW, which was the king in Seattle at the time,” says HoppsAdkisson. “Having two top women athletes commanded print. I think it spoke for the true Jesuit character.” For post-season play, Hopps-Adkisson competed in the Women’s All-Collegiate Tennis Tournament, the precursor to the NCAA tournament. She won the singles title three times and the doubles title twice.

Upon graduation, Hopps-Adkisson, a standout student at SU who graduated second in her class, achieved a national ranking of #5 in singles in 1958 and a #1 ranking in doubles in 1960. She held five national titles: clay court doubles in 1956, indoor singles, doubles and mixed doubles in 1961 and national hardcourt doubles in 1962. Following her stellar playing career HoppsAdkisson ran her own tennis camp for 24 years and coached the SU men’s and women’s team for 10 years. She, along with her husband Bill, also raised seven children. Hopps-Adkisson is a member of the Seattle University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Northwest Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. These days she is mostly off the courts but that competitive streak is still alive. “I currently am retired from tennis having had back surgery and both knees replaced, but am a 14 handicap golfer to relieve my competitive bent,” she says. This spring Janet Hopps-Adkisson, ‘56, will be one of the honorees at the Seattle University Red Tie event. Learn more at

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Seattle University has built quite a reputation for its Division I athletics program. Central to this is basketball, particularly the men’s team of the late 1950s that helped put Seattle University and the program on the map nationally. One of the key players of that momentous 1957-58 season that culminated with the NCAA Championship Game against Kentucky was Elgin Baylor, ‘58. Born in 1934 in Washington, D.C., Baylor was a hoops star in high school and played in some local recreational leagues before he ended up at Seattle University.

The story goes like this: Seattle car dealer Ralph Monroe essentially recruited Baylor to the university. His first year here Baylor sat out to play for an amateur team while establishing eligibility at the university. For the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons he suited up for the team and was one of the top scorers, averaging 31.3 points per game. In the 1958 NBA draft Baylor, coming off the national title loss against Kentucky, was the #1 overall pick by the Minneapolis Lakers and skipped his final college season to go pro. Although a knee injury in the 1970-71 season all but ended his professional career he would play a handful of games the following year before retiring at age 37.


Shortly after his playing career came to a close, Baylor was hired by the expansion New Orleans Jazz as an assistant coach for the team’s first season. He later became head coach. During his coaching stint with the Jazz, Baylor was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1980, he was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary All-Time Team and in 1996, was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. In April 1986, the Los Angeles Clippers hired Baylor to serve as the team’s vice president of basketball operations. In 2014, Seattle U honored him at the Red Tie fundraising event.


Many know brothers Ed “Eddie” and Johnny O’Brien, class of 1953, for their prowess in Seattle University athletics. In addition to being All-Americans on the basketball court the brothers also made their marks on the diamond and later, as Major League Baseball players, sharing the field with legends including Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron. Following their playing careers, Ed returned to his alma mater to serve as athletic director and Johnny, as a King County commissioner, spent years running the King Dome. The O’Brien Center for Athletic Administration, which houses athletic administrative offices, is named in their honor. Ed O’Brien passed away Feb. 21, 2014.

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U.S. tennis team (l-r) Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and captain Tom Gorman share the victory after defeating Switzerland to win the 1992 Davis Cup.

Tom Gorman, ‘68, grew up playing tennis on the parks and recreation courts alongside Northeast 50th Street in Seattle. Eventually, he would appear on the greatest stages tennis has to offer: the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the French Open. Ranked as high as 31st nationally as a junior player while a high school student at Seattle Prep, Gorman applied at several schools throughout the country but ultimately chose Seattle University. “I chose SU because President Father Lemieux and Athletic Director Eddie O’Brien took a very personal interest in me as a student and as an athlete,” Gorman recalls. “And besides, a lot of my Seattle Prep buddies were going there.”

The decision proved to be a wise one for the gifted athlete. Gorman played tennis for SU from 1965 to 1968, earning two All-American nominations. “Going to SU was a great decision because during my three years I played all the other schools’ number one players and my game improved dramatically,” he says. In addition to his athletic exploits, Gorman has fond academic memories from his time at SU as well. “I loved Father LeRoux. I consider one of my accomplishments at SU was leaving him speechless one time during Speech Class,” he recalls. “The one quote that has stayed with me was from Economics teacher Father Corrigan: ‘Read the book!’” Following graduation Gorman went on to play professional tennis, winning seven singles titles and nine doubles titles. He was also a member of the winning U.S. Davis Cup team. As a coach he led the U.S. Davis Cup team to victory in 1990 and 1992. Among the tennis luminaries he coached: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang. “The most important thing I knew was that the Davis Cup is all about the players. So I made sure I didn’t let my ego get in the players way,” he says. In addition to the U.S. Davis Cup, Gorman also coached the Men’s U.S. Olympic tennis teams in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). In 1995, Gorman was inducted into the NCAA Tennis Hall of Fame and in 1997 he was inducted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. Gorman recently retired as the director of tennis at La Quinta Resort & Club. He and his wife Danni now live in Sun Valley, ID, and make frequent trips to visit their daughters KellyAnn and Hailey in Atlanta and Fayetteville. This spring Tom Gorman, ‘68, will be one of the honorees at the Seattle University Red Tie event. Learn more at

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By Tracy DeCroce and Tina Potterf

FOR JOHN TOPEL, S.J., NATCH OHNO, S.J., AND PETER ELY, S.J., THE CONNECTION TO SEATTLE UNIVERSITY RUNS DEEP. Collectively, they have spent more than 75 years teaching, inspiring and leading in the Jesuit Catholic tradition at the university, during decades marked by great challenges and dramatic change, instability and sure-footedness. Recently they came together to discuss, from a historical perspective, what makes Seattle University the university it is today. HOW IS SEATTLE U SIMILAR TO/ DIFFERENT FROM OTHER JESUIT UNIVERSITIES IN THE COUNTRY? FATHER TOPEL: We are similar in that we have the same basic philosophy of education, the same sense of what humanity is about. We are all seeking the truth in God. FATHER ELY: Jesuit universities are similar in their interpretation of humanistic and scientific learning, in imagination, in having a central sense of educating the whole person. There is always a sense that we have a role in society. We educate people to take their place in society and as leaders with a conscience. And we share with the other 27 Jesuit universities in faith that does justice. FATHER OHNO: One difference—the aspect of talking about ethnic and racial diversity informs the conversation here more so than at other universities. It’s an advantage for us to be in a spiritual, not religious, region.


HOW DOES SEATTLE U STAND APART? FATHER TOPEL: We’ve tended to be more experimental and one of the first to strike out in new directions. We were pioneers, incorporating women, Matteo Ricci College and an ecumenical ministerial master’s program. … Everything has its relationship with God. … Everybody wants to search

Left to right: Peter Ely, S.J., John Topel, S.J., and Natch Ohno, S.J.

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“There is always a sense that we have a role in society. We educate people to take their place in society and as leaders with a conscience.” —Peter Ely, S.J. for God and incarnate justice. This whole enterprise is about service to God. It’s an integral part of who we are at Seattle U. FATHER ELY: We share with other universities a commitment to faith that does justice, faith that’s transformative. It’s always part of educating ourselves. HOW HAS OUR JESUIT CATHOLIC MISSION OR IDENTITY EVOLVED IN THE TIME YOU HAVE BEEN HERE? FATHER TOPEL: When I was the Rector of our Jesuit community, there were 62 Jesuits. Now, there are 25. Of the 62, 40 were connected to the university; now it’s 14. This means we have to spend a lot more time to educate lay faculty and staff. FATHER ELY: In the theology department about 40 or 50 years ago almost all of the theology professors were Jesuits. Now there is one full-time and one part-time— me. Today, women and lay people are teaching theology and that has deepened our program as well. FATHER OHNO: Our purpose is not to proselytize, but for each person to find themselves and their own religious beliefs. When one comes here one is challenged to do so.

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WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE INTERACTIONS WITH STUDENTS? FATHER TOPEL: It’s that moment when a student opens their eyes and says, ‘That’s it!’ Or when your students come alive— that is the most memorable time for me. FATHER ELY: One of my former students approached me and said he’d been thinking of the question of God. He said, ‘I don’t want to be 60 years old and be thinking of this question.’ Eventually the gift of faith came to him. When that happens it’s very special. FATHER OHNO: Many of us live among students in the residence halls. I attend orientations with different groups of students; I am at their graduations. I see the journey they are on and I’m with them over this important period in their lives.

said, tears streaming down her face, ‘You gave me back my God.’ These are the kinds of things you can do when you are open. We have a lot of academic freedom here. FATHER ELY: In student evaluations they say, ‘The Bible is not as boring as I thought it was.’ One student brought a bottle of wine with a note, ‘Thank you for helping me think.’ That’s a big thing for us Jesuits—the power of the mind. WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES OR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF SEATTLE UNIVERSITY AND JESUIT CATHOLIC EDUCATION?


FATHER TOPEL: Challenges for the next 25 years: Catholic identity, hiring people who understand Catholicism is more important than [the number of] Jesuits on campus. People who understand the tradition is important. At the same time, we want to move ahead as a strong liberal arts college.

FATHER TOPEL: I taught a master’s class one year on religion and healing. I don’t have a background in psychology. It began with a critique of religion, then got into Christianity. At the end of class, one of the students, a Jewish woman, said to me ‘It was the first time I’ve been able to look at a crucifix without averting my eyes.’ Another

FATHER OHNO: One of the hallmarks of Jesuit training is to be contemplative in action. We’ve had a remarkable amount of growth—we need to be contemplative of where we are. And to move from the action phase to more discernment of where we are going to retain the quality education we offer.


Providence Heights College of Sister Formation campus in Issaquah, Wash., 1961.

By Tracy DeCroce In 1956, Seattle University founded The College of Sister Formation (CSF), the nation’s first fouryear college within a university offering bachelors degrees to religious women. Located on a 243-acre campus in Issaquah, the resident college convent had nine buildings and could enroll up to 300 sisters. Many SU Jesuits were among the faculty.

Above: Sister Katherine Marie, FCSP, Sister M. Eunice, CSJ, and Sister M. Robert, OP, prepare to roller skate around the Providence Heights campus, 1962. Right: Sisters Geneveive Gorman, dean of the College of Sister Formation, and Teresa Lang, provincial superior, circa 1960.

CSF was born of the national Sister Formation Movement, which called for a more expedient postsecondary education. As Sister Alice St. Hilaire, SP, former CSF assistant dean, shared at a conference in 2006: “(M)any of us were still making our way through the 10- to 20-year plan of earning a bachelor’s degree through summer schools, Saturdays and evening classes.”

CSF closed in 1969 as the number of women religious declined. But as CSF alumna Sister Cele Gorman, ’68, says, the bonds formed by sisters of Northwest religious communities led to collaborative projects with lasting impact. “Graduates eventually became leaders of their respective communities and created such entities as the Intercommunity Housing (now Mercy Housing NW) and the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.”

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1 2 5 T H M E S S AG E


Seattle University’s 125th anniversary is celebrated not only on campus but also citywide. Just look around—the signs are omnipresent: from sprawling wallscapes adorning buildings to bold signage on public transportation and events. Learn more about the 125th anniversary, along with stories on what makes this university and milestone special, at Photos by Yosef Chaim Kalinko

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901 – 12th Avenue PO Box 222000 Seattle, WA 98122-1090


As we honor the past we look ahead to what’s next for Seattle University in the Spring 2017 edition.

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Winter 2017 Seattle University Magazine  

125th Anniversary Commemorative Edition

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