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Marquette University Alumni Association

Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Recipients

Young Alumnus of the Year Award

Seth GurgelSeth T. Gurgel, Arts '02

A tireless advocate for Asia’s most vulnerable people, Seth is working to empower public interest law advocates across Asia and connect them with lawyers, law firms and corporate social responsibility programs who support their work.

Seth is the Asia director for PILnet: the Global Network for Public Interest Law, founded at Columbia University Law School. He promotes the public interest career track among law graduates; helps strengthen public interest networks throughout the region; and develops pro bono practice among international and domestic law firms.

“In its best iteration, it’s a win-win: Grassroots organizations get needed resources and support, and pro bono lawyers and corporate social responsibility programs become more successful and relevant,” Seth says.

Seth cites Dr. Stephanie Quade, Marquette’s dean of students and director of the Burke Scholarship Program, as a mentor, teacher and friend. He has a strong drive to help others, and he gained that perspective while at Marquette.

“I doubt that there are many other universities in the country that stress the pursuit of knowledge to serve others more than Marquette,” he says. “At Marquette, my mentors and professors continually challenged me to ‘test out’ ideas developed in the classroom in the surrounding community.”

“Over time — bulwarked by that other great Jesuit tradition of regular and intense self-reflection — the line between classroom work and volunteer work began to blur,” he says. “In essence, ‘reflective, self-critical learning for the benefit of others’ defines what I do on my best days, and I learned how to do that at Marquette.”

Seth also graduated from New York University Law School and has a master’s of education from the University of Notre Dame.