SEATTLE — “The city embraced me,” said Isaiah Kacyvenski ’00, M.B.A. ’11, about living in Seattle, “and I embraced it right back.”
Harvard President Drew Faust shared Kacyvenski’s story before 250 alumni and friends during her opening remarks recently at Your Harvard: Seattle at the Seattle Art Museum. The Your Harvard events comprise a global series organized by the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) that will occur throughout The Harvard Campaign.
After starring as a linebacker for the Crimson, Kacyvenski was drafted by the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks in 2000 and called the Emerald City home for the majority of his professional career. In Seattle, Faust says, Kacyvenski “discovered an unassuming metropolis ‘full of great minds and great people,’ a community that celebrated and rewarded ‘hard work, passion, and heart.’”
Kacyvenski was hardly the first recent graduate of Harvard to call Seattle home. The city and the rest of the Pacific Northwest are increasingly popular destinations for young Harvard alumni, with more than 5,000 of them in the Puget Sound and Western Washington region alone.
Alumni gatherings in Seattle date back to 1892, when a local group of alumni invited Harvard President Charles William Eliot to visit. The current Harvard Club of Seattle has operated since 1974.
Originally from Scarsdale, N.Y., Andrew Petschek ’12 refers to Harvard as his second home. Soon after graduation, Petschek found a third home when he moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft. “I didn’t know anyone when I came out here,” he said. “I naturally gravitated to those who had a shared … Harvard experience, because we all took part in that, the love and joy of Cambridge. My very positive past experience has been reincarnated out here.”
Like Petschek, other Harvard alumni were drawn to Seattle to work for major brands based in the area, including Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Boeing, among others.