When Redhawk student-athletes aren’t training, competing, in class, or being every day college students, they’re giving back to the community.

And not just when it’s convenient. The Seattle U student-athletes proved this past year that this is important to them.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, student-athletes logged a total of 3,838 volunteer hours.

“Our student-athletes are at the foundation of everything we do at Seattle University,” Shawn Farrell, Interim Director of Athletics, said. “It speaks to their quality as human beings when we see them putting in close to 4,000 volunteer community service hours.”

This commitment to community service is a big part of what student-athletes come to expect at Seattle U.

“Giving back to the community is an important part of the student-athlete experience at Seattle U,” Erin Engelhardt, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Support, said.

The volleyball (629 hours), softball (597) and women’s soccer (428) teams led all teams with the greatest total hours dedicated to community service.  Four additional teams joined them in averaging over 15 volunteer hours per student: men’s and women’s track & field, women’s tennis, and women’s swimming.

The amount of hours totaled up is notable on its own, but, to Engelhardt, what’s even more inspiring goes deeper than that.

“What is most impressive to me is the commitment from our student-athletes in seeking out the opportunities to serve, and sharing their passions with their teammates,” Engelhardt said.

Students volunteered in the community at numerous events and also within the Athletics Department to help run the WAC Softball Tournament and Red Tie Celebration. 

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized several events including the annual Holiday Toy Drive, Mission Day sandwich making and delivery, One Shirt, One Body Campaign, Dodge for a Cause, and Dance Marathon.

Overall, the department averaged 12 hours of service per student-athlete.  Service-learning hours, required in many Seattle U courses, were not included in the total.

“Every day, our coaches and staff challenge our student-athletes to adopt our mission to become leaders for a just and humane world,” Farrell said. “We take great pride in the student-athletes accepting that challenge, and it’s wonderful to see their actions have an extraordinary impact on our community.”

Engaging in that number of community service hours while also balancing the life of a collegiate student-athlete is impressive, and it’s something the student-athletes at Seattle U have embraced.

“Our student-athletes are truly special people in addition to being amazing athletes,” Farrell said.