2012-2013 Q&A with the President

(story continued)

Fr. Sundborg:  This year some of our students taught me to do "the hawk," and then around that time some of the Jesuits were saying let's buy these red clerical shirts (for "Red Friday" at SU). So then I find myself down at the Library Plaza with four other Jesuits in these red shirts doing the hawk and, of course, a photo was taken. That was a little over the edge for me. I just can't seem to bury that picture.

The Commons:  If you could choose another job here at Seattle University for a day or a week, what would that be?

Fr. Sundborg:  I often say I'd love to be a gardener on campus, but only on the sunny days. Or I'd like to be (head men's basketball coach) Cameron Dollar or (head women's basketball coach) Joan Bonvicini for just one day. No practice. Just win one game and that's it.

The Commons:  Besides learning to do "the hawk," have you had any other humorous interactions with SU's students recently?

Fr. Sundborg:  There's one I like that happens fairly frequently. Because I wear the priest's black suit all the time, everyone recognizes me in that. In fact, I kid them that I've got a black pair of pajamas with a white tab collar just so I know who I am during the night. But I'll be walking across campus on a weekend and there'll be a couple of students coming along and they'll say, "Oh, Father Steve, I didn't recognize you…You look normal!" I always get a hoot out of that. And then every once in a while a student will ask me, "What do you do around here?" And so I'll say, "I'm the president of the university." And then they'll respond, "Yeah, we know, but what do you do around here?"

The Commons:  Getting back to your "official uniform" for a moment--do you have a set of clerical shirts and pants for each day of the week, or how does that all work?

Fr. Sundborg:  No, no, I've got four shirts and four sets of pants and three jackets, and I mix and match them daily. Do I go with black and black, or do I go with black and black? And then which black shoes and which black socks? People don't realize how much money and time they could save if they dressed like this every day.

The Commons:  How many friends are you up to on Facebook?

Fr. Sundborg:  Zero.

The Commons:  Well then how do you keep track of how many friends you have?

Fr. Sundborg:  It's curious you asked this because today's reading in scripture is from Ecclesiastes. It says, "A true friend is like a treasure," and so my view is a few friends is enough.

The Commons:  So you wouldn't be very impressed if someone were to say to you that they're now up to 1,000 friends on Facebook?

Fr. Sundborg:  Well then I'd say do you have a true friend?

The Common:  How would you grade the Seahawks' draft this year?

Fr. Sundborg:  Is that a new kind of beer? "Seahawks Draft?" I've not heard of it.

The Commons:  Last year when we talked, you were in the process of transitioning into a new pair of glasses and you had mentioned getting a new car around that time as well. Anything new to report this year in terms of new acquisitions?

Fr. Sundborg:  This year I branched into the iPad so I am now able to cheat the way most people do at the meetings I lead by reading my e-mails at meetings that others lead.

The Commons:  Any new apps on your phone that you're enjoying?

Fr. Sundborg:  What about Bon App--does that count as an app?- 'cause they've got my number in the sense that I can go to any reception and someone from (SU's food service provider) Bon Appétit will bring me a glass of chilled white wine. Now I'd say that's a good app--a bon app!

The Commons:  Speaking of which, when Father Reichmann leaves SU this summer, he will leave behind a huge void in the pun department. Do you think anyone is capable of picking up the slack?

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Very fun. Thanks for the reading list. I love: matching black with black; the Seahawks draft; and hiding out for his birthday. My "little" brother just turned 70 - he and his wife went on a cruise!
(6/20/2013 3:22:16 PM, Sue Hogan )