Helen '76 and Bob Batie decide to see the impact of their giving during their lifetimes
Helen received her MA in 1976 after four consecutive summers in the SU Master of Religious Education, or SUMORE program. Her time at Seattle University marked a major turning point in her personal as well as her professional life. Helen belonged to a convent for nearly fourteen years and was serving as a teacher and director of religious education at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma when she felt the need to broaden her theological background. What she found at SU was “a very liberating experience and a vibrant breath of fresh air” that, in turn, inspired her to leave the religious order and embark on a new career in hospital chaplaincy. She went on to earn her CPE, or certification in pastoral education, at Bethesda Hospital in Denver and made her way back to Tacoma where she served as a chaplain in Franciscan hospitals for 23 years.
Helen and Bob made a decision in 2008 to leave a gift by will to SU's School of Theology and Ministry, or STM. However, in 2014 they realized that they really liked what was happening at SU with all of the outreach into the local community through the Youth Initiative, and the diversity of the staff and students providing strength to the quality of the education here. They were also impressed with the work being done at STM in building understanding between many denominations, and the wonderful success of the annual Search for Meaning Book Festival. They were inspired to revise their plans and give outright during their lifetimes, instead of waiting until they were gone. Bob and Helen realized that they could also make good use of the tax benefits now by giving through an IRA account. Plus, Bob adds, “No one can say what the future will bring, and we don’t want our three children to worry about fulfilling gift commitments from our estate.”
Helen says of her SU experience, “My graduate education came at a critical time – opening a new vision and direction in my life. It’s great to see all that is being done and accomplished at SU today and know that our support is serving a wonderful purpose that is true to the Catholic tradition.”