My Puget Sound Story

Ally Bujacich
Director of Capital Development
Facilities Services


Today I’m going to tell you a story—my Puget Sound story. And, even though it has a cast of characters that includes dump trucks, blueprints, and hard hats, I think it’s a story you will be able to relate to.

Like many of you, my story at Puget Sound begins with one:

One shovelful of dirt, fresh earth turned over for the first time.

One piece of steel, soon to be an integral part of a complex web of beams and columns.

One brick, set in mortar. A cornerstone.

One piece of granite, one hunk of Wilkeson sandstone, one roof tile, one brushstroke of paint.

These solitary items are so small and so different from each other, but so full of promise of things to come.

Yes, one is a powerful number, indeed. But my Puget Sound story does not end with one.

That tiny scoop of dirt quickly turns into a hole in the ground, big enough for a building. The single length of steel is attached to concrete and bolts and other pieces of steel to create a strong and unwavering foundation. That first brick is bonded with hundreds of thousands of others to create four walls. The granite, the stone, the paint, and all of the other solitary components integrate and build upon each other to create one place, proving that the finished product is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

But my story still does not end with one. That one building integrates into the larger campus framework and architecture. It expands and strengthens the Tapestry of Learning. And if it inspires just one person who goes on to make an impact in the community, then my story has a happy ending.

My Puget Sound story has a theme: to build an inspiring physical environment for learning. If that sounds familiar, it’s straight from the strategic plan. It’s also one of two things that gets me excited, day after day, project after project, to be part of this place and to make contributions in my own way. And the idea of creating spaces like Weyerhaeuser Hall, Commencement Walk, and countless other places on this campus that inspire students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families motivates me every day.

Like any good tale, my story has a lesson, too: never underestimate the power of one. Construction projects have taught me that one builds upon another, and another, and another, and soon there is an undeniable change taking place.

Earlier I mentioned that there is another reason I’m compelled to this place, in addition to the opportunity to build an inspiring physical space for learning. (By the way we all share that opportunity to create an inspiring place, whether you wear a hard hat or high heels.) And that reason is you. In my daily work I’ve been lucky enough to catch glimpses of what you do, how you make an impact, and who you are. And I’ve learned we all have a Puget Sound story.

So what is your Puget Sound story that begins with one? Maybe it is one meal served, one lesson taught, one tour given, one connection made. Like that first brick that is joined with others, similar yet still unique, combined to create an architectural masterpiece, it is when my story and your stories come together that the one-of-a-kind Puget Sound experience is created. It all begins with one. And that is my Puget Sound story.


Ally Bujacich shared her Puget Sound story at the One [of a Kind] Faculty-Staff Celebration, Aug. 23, 2012.