The last Seattle day, by Luke Holzerland

Posted on January 30th, 2017 by

Our last day in the wonderful city of Seattle was full of lasting memories and invaluable learning. We started off our final day with a visit to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the Seattle Center. We were graciously connected with the Gates Foundation through a Gustie Alumni by the name of Kaitlyn McElrath, class of ‘14. We met Kaitlyn and her dad, Charlie, at the Foundation’s main facility to begin our tour. We were briefly showed the way to a conference room where we met with Dr. Dan Hartman, Director of Integrated Development and Malaria. Dr. Hartman gave us a brief overview of the Foundation, how it started and the work that it does, and then opened it up to any questions we may have. The information that we learned from the Gates Foundation was incredible. Hearing about all of the wonderful work that the Foundation is doing was inspiring and filled us all with hope for the future. The Gates Foundation donates money and works toward bettering the world in places that have the greatest need. To do this, the Foundation donates $12 million a day, 365 days a year, in grants and other donations towards other foundations, company, and research facilities that are furthering their cause.

After learning the in’s and out’s of the Gates Foundation, we moved on to their Visitor Center to see the direct impact they have had since the Foundation began. We were given a wonderful and informative tour of the facility and learned an incredible amount about what the foundation has done to better the world. Through creating feasible bathrooms in third world countries, solving the problem of getting water and other ways to keep people healthy in third world countries.

























Following our final site visit at the Gates Foundation, we returned home to change and get ready for an alumni send-off event at the Pyramid Brewing Company with President Bergman and many Gustavus alumni in the Seattle area. We arrived at the Brewery to begin socializing with the many Alumni who gave up their evening to have dinner with us. The Alumni consisted of a few of our site hosts in Seattle, Alumni who live in the area and enjoy keeping up to date on Gustavus affairs and our site host coordinator, Kari Petrasek Merz, class of ‘99. We sat down for a wonderful dinner, got to know each other, informed everyone in attendance about our trip. How it went, what we did, what we learned, and how much fun we had. Then, we got down to business: talking about the new Gustavus Acts Strategic Plan with President Bergman. This provided us a way to talk about the main goals of the Plan, keep the Alumni up to date, and inform the students of the administration’s actions towards change. We did a great activity of splitting up everyone into four groups and talking about the main goals of the Plan, and how Gustavus can achieve them, which was incredibly valuable to us and President Bergman as well.

Following our send-off event, we returned home to finish packing, eat the rest of our food, and get to bed early in anticipation of our 5 am shuttle pick-up time to catch our plane the next morning. All in all, it was a great way to end our last full day in Seattle, which was an amazing trip and opportunity overall.


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