Why Seattle University?


Jordie Simpson

Max Tran, a computer science freshman holding up the Redhawk hand sign.

Hundreds of first-year students loaded their belongings into bright red carts, and unloaded them for the first time into their new homes. In quick succession came tearful goodbyes to parents, early morning orientation activities, new friends and the start of the fall quarter. 

Welcome Week was the culmination of months of revising and re-revising applications and excitedly awaiting responses from universities across the country. Once decisions were released, over 1,100 students committed to Seattle University. Everyone had a reason for becoming a Redhawk, but those reasons varied drastically depending on the student. 

Laurel Maronick, a first-year computer engineering student, says that her decision was based on her hometown of Helena, Mont.. 

“I went to a high school of 1,000 people,” Maronick said. “It was a pretty modest size, and Helena wasn’t anything special. I mainly wanted to move to the city and experience something different. I want to go back to Montana eventually, but I wanted to try something new and Seattle U seemed like the perfect place to do that.” 

The main draw to Seattle U for Maronick was not necessarily the city, but the campus. The natural beauty of campus paired with its location in the center of the city was extremely appealing. 

“It’s kind of like you’re still in nature,” Maronick said. “Seeing the greenery for the first time was very surprising. Most colleges that are green are out of city centers, and most colleges that are in cities are very concrete based. It was just so different from any other school I toured.” 

While the allure of the city and beautiful campus was certainly a factor for many, Seattle U’s tradition of Jesuit education attracted many new students as well. First-year Computer Science major Max Tran noted holistic learning as a major selling point. 

“A big part of what drew me to Seattle U was the community,” Tran said. “Coming from a Jesuit high school, I was looking for another Jesuit community that was more active in practicing and engaging in Jesuit ways of learning. Not just a place that teaches you to be ruthlessly competitive, or make money. You shouldn’t have to keep up by putting your values or others down.” 

Tran is also a member of the Honors Program, which he says is the perfect example of well implemented Jesuit education. 

“One of the things that stands out to me in Jesuit education is the education of the whole person,” Tran said. “You learn about other people with different values and cultures. It’s important to be aware of the world and have those interdisciplinary connections. Better understanding the humanities, how humans work, through Honors classes has been really valuable for my computer science studies.” 

Undergraduates aren’t the only first-year students on campus. First-year Law student Ania Kamkar is a recipient of the Gregoire Fellowship, which rewards high achieving students who bring diverse thoughts and perspectives to Seattle U.

 “I knew I really wanted the Gregoire Fellowship,” Kamkar said. “I wanted it for three reasons. It’s mentorship from Christine Gregoire, the former Governor of Washington, it’s a scholarship, which makes this whole experience possible and it’s a guaranteed internship at a corporate law firm, a government agency and a Seattle based company.” 

Kamkar also noted that companies who sponsor Fellowships like the Gergoire know that Seattle U creates strong learners who are ready to enter the workforce and contribute to their communities. 

“A former student here is now the head of legal affairs at Sub Pop Records,” Kamkar said. “After he graduated he helped create an externship at Seattle U for students to learn about contracting and agreements at the label. That was another big reason I came here, he couldn’t speak more highly about this school and the type of student it creates.” 

“Why Seattle U?” is not a simple question to answer. Everybody has a unique perspective based on their own social, academic, geographical or religious backgrounds. Whether students come from a public school in a small city in Montana, a large state school seeking a law fellowship or a private Jesuit school in Seattle, all first-year students have a place at Seattle U to fit in and find a new experience, club, class or professional connection to further their education.