Last May the Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, came to Seattle Academy as a key note speaker. This event was organized by the Interesting, Well-Rounded Individuals Club (IWRIC), which was founded by senior William Owen. The IWRIC is dedicated to broadening the experiences and perspectives of its members by exposing them to people and outings that will help them become more “interesting and well-rounded.”
Examples of club events include bringing in a businessman from the start-up world, Chapin Henry, an interesting student from the SAAS community, Eli Bernstein, and Ed Murray, the current Mayor of Seattle. Apart from these guest speakers, the club also went to visit a nearby dog daycare to spend time with puppies and took part in a BBQ featuring beef from a cow that was raised on a club member’s local family farm.
The process of arranging the guest speakers was surprisingly simple. “I mostly contacted people from the Seattle community,” Owen said. Some of those contacted included rapper Sir Mix-a-lot, Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, and Le Mans racer and Seattle resident Bruno Lambert. Owen sent an initial email to the mayor’s office in October 2015.
“One of the Mayor’s assistants responded to my email and said she would propose the idea to him,” said Owen. The assistant said the Mayor was intrigued by the idea and was excited to hear students were interested in topics like politics, and that he loves opportunities like these.
“As the plan started to move forward the topic of conversation turned towards logistics,” Owen said. Faculty at Seattle Academy were contacted and were onboard with the idea. Dates and times were proposed and considered and, although the process took almost the entire school year, the vision of the Mayor of Seattle coming in for a talk became real.
“After a date and time were nailed down the whole school was contacted,” Owen said. All Seattle Academy students, faculty, and parents were invited to see the Mayor speak in May 2016. “It was very cool to be a part of this event and I was pretty nervous when the day came,” Owen said.
The Mayor spoke during lunch on May 31, 2016. He talked about his educational experience and life in politics. There was then a question-and-answer portion where the floor was opened up to SAAS students to ask questions. “It went really well. We had a good turnout and there was no shortage of good questions. It was a great achievement for the club. I think as the club’s organizers we all learned that it never hurts to ask and that persistence really pays off.” Owen said.