With a sold-out crowd of 400 guests, a captivating speaker celebrating the 50th anniversary of his most famous accomplishment, and a lineup of auction items exclusive to the event, Seattle University’s Red Tie Celebration last Saturday, May 18, in the Leonessa Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt more than accomplished its goal of benefiting the athletics program.

Jim Whittaker ’52 was honored on the 50th anniversary of his accomplishment of becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. Both in a video introduction and in his live speech, Whittaker talked about the importance of going outdoors and facing challenges, both physical and intellectual, while enjoying everything the world has to offer.

Kip Toner ’66, Seattle University men’s basketball season ticket holder and CEO of Kip Toner Benefit Auctions, led the live auction, which featured Super Bowl tickets, suites for Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners games, and the opportunity to own an Australian shepherd. Between the live auction and the silent auction that took place during the pre-dinner reception, over 225 items were available for bid, with proceeds going towards Seattle U Athletics.

The final financial tally is expected to be completed within the next week, but the event has surpassed the $245,000 mark in gross revenue. Anyone looking to still make a contribution can go to the Red Tie Celebration website at www.seattleu.edu/redtie and purchase a Vacation Internationale package to one of four destinations for $500.

The co-chairs of the inaugural Red Tie Celebration were Anne ’87 and Matt ’86 Moran, with tremendous assistance from the University Advancement donor relations and stewardship staff, the marketing and communications department, and the athletics department staff, coaches, and student-athletes. The date for next year’s Red Tie Celebration has been set for May 31, 2014. More details about next year’s event will be released as they become finalized.

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