The Campaign for Uncommon Good Unveiled to the Public

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Recently, a large campaign was unveiled by the faculty to spark talk and engagement within the community about Seattle University’s big plans for the upcoming years. The Campaign for the Uncommon Good was kept a secret for the past six years while the school raised money from private donors, and now it has been taken public.

There are three key focuses for The Uncommon Good: Access to education, science and innovation, and mission and programs.

About 75 million dollars raised from the campaign will go towards investment into education. Aly Vander Stroep, associate vice president for Development, dove deeper into how the campaign is broken down.

“It’s comprehensive. Some of those monies are for current use, meaning they come in and are used within that year or the following year,” Vander said. “Meeting immediate needs of students helping the financial aid office in making certain that were providing the most robust, the most financial aid support we can for deserving students. The most significant amount of money is coming in for endowment.”

Stoep stresses two great scholarship programs that are made possible with this money, called gap scholarships and the Fostering Scholars. Over 89% of undergraduate students at Seattle U receive financial aid.

Gap scholarships are for students who may have issues continuing their education at Seattle U due to finances; they are there to encourage students to stay in school and not let money hinder them. The Fostering Scholars provides students who have been in the foster care system with full scholarships, year-round room and board, specialized counseling and advising and many more factors to help these students succeed at a high level.

With over 600 days to go to reach their goal of 275 million dollars, Seattle U is calling on alumni to make a difference now that the campaign is public. The Alumni Association is taking the campaign on the road with The Uncommon Impact Tour through Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii in an effort to reach out to other alumni and strengthen the Seattle U community—or even build a community of supporters.

“It’s really an opportunity to bring Seattle University to them and share with them some of the exciting things that are happening on campus, and then to also invite them to engage with us in ways that maybe they never have before,” Vander Stoep said.

Assistant Vice President of Alumni Engagement Jonathan Brown is eager and inspired by the alumni he has already connected with so far. At the Portland event, some of the alumni brought equipment to do a livestream about the event—taking Brown by surprise.

“Really good energy, I think we are getting the message out there,” Brown said.

In the impromptu livestream, Kathleen McCabe, class of 2010 and President of the Portland Alumni Chapter, discussed what the uncommon good means for her.

“I am drawn to the unique impact of a Jesuit education and how it inspires us to incorporate justice into our daily lives, in our careers, families and our communities,” McCabe said.

She further explained that everybody at the event was there for a reason, evoking a similar feeling of connectedness within the community. Of course, a lot of alumni are right here in Seattle, so Brown and the team are finding ways to best reach out to not only the alumni but the community of Seattle as well to serve as a reminder that Seattle U is here.

“There is a branding presence that exists in the community—so more ads on the radio, more ads on transit busses, and billboards.”

Brown then showed that Seattle U took over The Seattle Times online and the front page was covered in ads about Seattle U and the campaign.

Homecoming will be one of the most important factors in the public part of the campaign, especially because there are so many events catered towards alumni. There will be reunions for the classes of 1969 and 2009, a legacy pinning event, a tailgate and the homecoming basketball game—which for the first time in years is on campus. There will even be a reunion for the Hiyu Coolee hiking club for its 80th year.

For the new Center for Science and Innovation building, $100 million will be invested from the campaign. The CSI comes after an increase for demand in the STEM field, especially at Seattle U—where almost 1,300 students are studying for some type of degree in the field.

Jesuit and mission services will receive $100 million and go towards this section of the campaign to commit to creating a sustainable and just world.

The Center for Community Engagement’s Youth Initiative worked with Campus Ministry and Student Development to emphasize the importance of student mental health and that with the money raised, Seattle U hired another mental health counselor.

However, the campaign is not just about money. It is about the involvement and engagement Brown explained.

“One thing we would like to do is restart or enlarge the alumni community, the sustained alumni presence,” Brown said. “Out of these seven locations, only two have a real set alumni chapter. We should be able to do better than that.”

Michaela may be reached at [email protected]