When we said everyone was invited back to Grand Reunion Weekend, we meant it. Not only do we have six class years celebrating milestone reunions, but we have a number of student club and organization reunions. Three such reunions are for KSUB/KSXU, The Spectator and Resident Advisors (RAs). (Check out the full list of club and organization reunions.)
We sat down with alumni from each of these student organizations to look back at their time at Seattle U, how their student involvement impacted their lives and why they’re looking forward to Grand Reunion Weekend.
Kathleen Pellegrini, ‘87
Kathleen had always liked her RAs when she lived in Xavier so in her junior year, she took the plunge and became an RA for Bellarmine on floor 7.
“I enjoyed all of my residents, but my favorite thing about that experience was my fellow RAs. Some groups really click and we really clicked.”
According to Kathleen the group would all take breaks at the same time and head to the Comet Tavern.
“It’s terrible, but we used to leave numbers on the white boards outside our rooms of where people could reach us and our number was always the Comet Tavern.”
The group of RAs has stayed tight throughout the years, having impromptu reunions at the Comet Tavern every year for the past 30 years.
Kathleen’s stint as an RA didn’t just give her lifelong friendships, it gave active resolution and peer counseling skills that she finds herself using to this day. Kathleen has married, works in medical sales and has a 14-year old daughter. “I find that my active listening has translated well into parenting skills and I use them a lot now with my daughter.”
Kathleen is looking forward to Grand Reunion Weekend for the opportunity to catch up with people. She’s on the planning committee for the 1987 30th reunion as well as for RHA. “It’s so fun to go through names, recognize people and reconnect with those I’ve lost touch with.”
For those fellow RAs on the fence about returning, Kathleen says, “As we get older and our kids get older we realize what a special time college was and those are the things that need to be celebrated. We are here living our lives and it’s time to celebrate and reconnect with old friends.”
Allison Westfall, ‘87
By the time she arrived at Seattle U, Allison had been involved in student newspapers for years and worked at the local paper when she was in high school. It’s safe to say she would have found her way to The Spectator even if it wasn’t a requirement of her journalism major.
Allison loved working with her fellow reporters who were all excited to tell the stories important to the campus. She experienced the shift from an edgy advocacy approach to news to a more neutral tone, a valuable experience for her future career.
Allison did go on to work as a journalist covering the education beat, but eventually shifted to public relations working as a press secretary for a state representative. Her journalism skills enabled her to communicate succinctly and effectively. Today Allison is working in the State Department of Education.
Allison encourages all former Spectator journalists to come out for Grand Reunion Weekend. “It’s going to be great to be back on campus and it will be fun! Come see what life experiences have brought each of us. I am hoping that even if you aren’t having a class year reunion, you’ll come to Grand Reunion Weekend and celebrate that time of your life.”
Ashley Thorpe-Bloxom, ‘11
Ashley joined KSUB her sophomore year. Her show, “Heavy Metal Pollution,” began as an opportunity to goof off and play the music she loved with her co-host and best friend. What started as a whim, quickly sparked a passion and Ashley became KSUB’s Loud Rock Director.
“My favorite memory of KSUB was really just doing my show. It was 2 hours I looked forward to every week and it was never a chore, just a chance to play the music I loved.”
KSUB opened the door to Ashley’s current profession. During her junior year Ashley became a radio intern for KISW and has worked there ever since moving up from part-time to full-time Promotions Coordinator.
KSUB has also grown since Ashley’s time at the helm. The small web-based station changed names and widened its reach, becoming KXSU, an FM station that can be heard across the city on 102.1.
“I remember getting 13 listeners on my stream and I was so excited. Now that KSUB is KXSU, I hope other students discover a love of the medium and the chance to express themselves. It sparked a love of radio for me.”
Since graduation, Ashley has traveled a bit, but much of her life is consumed with her job and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I get to wear a ton of hats. I write on-air copy, web content, manage our contests and promotional calendars and also plan events, concerts and tastings and I love it.
Ashley promises to do her best to come back and celebrate KSUB at Grand Reunion Weekend, despite the fact that it’s also the weekend of the Taco Truck Challenge, an event that she is in charge of.