Aerial view of Seattle University's campus and downtown Seattle, Washington.
Seattle University's Role
As part of the mission to educate leaders for a just and humane world, Seattle University is collaborating with the Opus Prize Foundation to award a $1 million faith-based humanitarian award and two $100,000 awards to recognize unsung heroes working on the front lines of today's most persistent social problems.
Established in 2003, the Opus Prize is given annually to humanitarian leaders or organizations that combine a driving entrepreneurial spirit with an abiding faith to combat deeply rooted issues including poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and injustice.
“The transformation of lives is something we all care about deeply, and I know this will be an exciting and inspiring experience for all of us.”
“It's an honor for Seattle University to be chosen as the partner university with the Opus Prize Foundation,” said Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. “The transformation of lives is something we all care about deeply, and I know this will be an exciting and inspiring experience for all of us.”
Seattle University was selected because of its Jesuit Catholic dedication to social justice and service to society. SU's holistic approach to education and emphasis on professional formation is instrumental in the administration and hosting of the 2008 Opus Prize.
“The Opus Prize Foundation is proud to partner with Seattle University, a university that embodies the mission and values of the Opus Prize, to identify and honor faith-based social entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to solving some of the world's most persistent challenges,” said Amy Sunderland, executive director to the Opus Prize Foundation.
Seattle University's participation included the identification of award nominees by members of the SU community, the convening of a SU-appointed, blue-ribbon jury of distinguished leaders who selected the finalists to be considered, and SU will host the Opus Prize Award Event in Seattle on November 18 at Benaroya Hall.
This past spring the Opus Prize Foundation sent a group to visit the sites of the award finalists. Three Seattle University students accompanied by a faculty or staff member participated in the site research, which provided them a first-hand opportunity to be inspired by the international humanitarians and to commit to lives of service themselves. The three university pairs included graduate student Tuseef Chaudhry and Catherine Punsalan, assistant professor of theology and religious studies; student Emily Griffin, '09, and Madhu Rao, associate professor Albers School of Business and Economics; student Matt Lyons, '09, and Joe Orlando, director of Jesuit Mission and Identity and assistant vice president for Mission and Ministry.
The award recipients
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