A Christmas Message from Fr. Steve
Posted by Stephen Sundborg, S.J. on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 1:27 PM PST
The Advent season is one of joy and celebration. This year, it is especially true for me. You may have heard that Seattle University is celebrating my 20th anniversary as president. Twenty years offers much to reflect on. So many deep experiences of joy stand out.
Most importantly, I am grateful for all of you, our alumni. Do you know that in my tenure as president I’ve overseen the graduation of 44,000 students? I try to get to know as many students as I can. Each Seattle U class that I have had the honor to serve as president has taught me valuable lessons that have made me a better president.
I take great joy in students being able to attend Seattle University—to belong, to succeed, and to thrive—because of the Costco Scholarship Fund, the Sullivan and Bannan Scholarships, the almost miraculous Fostering and Alfie Scholarships, and dozens more scholarships. Our university leaps up in joy to be able to have these kinds of students among us, a diversity of deserving, needy, and dedicated students. They have transformed our university and made it so much better and more truly Jesuit because of who they have allowed us to serve.
I find joy in the development of several programs. Our Youth Initiative was truly blessed by God as it grew out of our being the first university in America to host a homeless encampment on campus. The School of Theology and Ministry continually surprises me in its ever-evolving and widening embracing of persons of all faiths, religions, commitments, and its remarkable bookfest, Search for Meaning. No college at Seattle University has more clearly claimed its place in these years in carrying out our mission than has the College of Science and Engineering, demonstrating how much science and engineering can do for the good of people.
Witnessing the intellectual passion of faculty and also of students—across all of our colleges and schools—in their scholarship and research brings me joy. A university is, after all, a matrix of intellectually passionate professors inviting and showing the way for students to find their own intellectual passions.
I have so much to be grateful and joyful for in this holy season. My prayer for all of you is that this Advent season brings you time to reflect with gratitude on what brings you joy and deserves celebrating. Though you may have left campus, you are still a member of our Seattle University family and I wish our extended family everywhere a very merry Christmas. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this holiday season and always.
Stephen Sundborg, S.J.