Celebrating 20 Years

Posted by Seattle University Alumni Association on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 3:02 PM PDT

On September 26th, 2017, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., celebrated 20 years leading Seattle University. More than 41,000 alumni have diplomas with his name on them. To say he has had quite the impact on the Seattle U community is an understatement. In speeches and the most recent Seattle University Magazine, Fr. Steve has taken a forward-looking approach as he reflects on his presidency, envisioning the university over the next five years. We are taking a look back at just a few of Fr. Steve’s many accomplishments and new additions that have influenced our alumni of the last 20 years during their time on campus and since.   

Chapel of St. Ignatius
In 1997, Fr. Steve inaugurated the award-winning Chapel of St. Ignatius, designed by architect Steven Holl to focus on the spiritual needs of students.

Seattle University Mission
Fr. Steve says that the writing and acceptance of the university mission statement in 2003 is the defining moment of his presidency. The Seattle University mission remains alive and well in the education and actions of students, alumni, staff and faculty.

McGoldrick Learning Commons
In 2010, the McGoldrick Learning Commons was opened, as a new addition to the historic Lemieux Library, providing enhanced learning opportunities for the Seattle U community.  

Seattle University Youth Initiative
Launched in February 2011, the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) has quickly become the largest community engagement project in the institution’s history and a signature element of the university. In 2012, the White House honored Seattle University with one of only five Presidential Awards for community service.

Return to Division I Athletics 
As of 2012, Seattle University completed the five-year process of returning to Division I athletics, creating more visibility for the university and more opportunities for our talented and committed student athletes to compete on the national level.

William F. Eisiminger Fitness Center
In order to educate the whole person, mind and body, Seattle University has invested in the Connolly Complex, first with the addition of the William F. Eisiminger Fitness Center in 2012, and again in 2015 with a complete renovation of the Connolly Complex to ensure gender equity and Title IX compliance.

Core Curriculum
Alumni tell Fr. Steve that the most important thing at Seattle U is the Core Curriculum which was completely revised in 2013 to make the curriculum more relevant for students as they engage in learning about themselves, their communities, and the world. 

A Visit with Pope Francis
Arguably the highlight of his career, Fr. Steve and a small group of Seattle U community members traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis for 45 minutes in 2014, an experience that has impacted his leadership ever since.

School of New and Continuing Studies
Established in 2015, The School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS) became Seattle University’s 9th distinct school or college.  NCS programs are specifically designed for adult students. 

Endowment for Jesuit Teaching and Ministry 

Throughout his tenure as president, Father Sundborg’s goal has been to push further Seattle U’s Jesuit mission and the unique set of values we hold as a university. The Endowment for Jesuit Teaching and Ministry, in his name, will secure Fr. Sundborg’s vision in perpetuity.

You can learn more about the Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., Endowment for Jesuit Teaching & Ministry by contacting Saoirse Jones.


For a more in-depth look at Fr. Steve’s tenure at Seattle University, don’t miss the story in the most recent issue of the Seattle University Magazine.