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Seattle University


Happy Birthday, Father Sullivan

Written by Mike Thee
December 16, 2010

Always a momentous occasion, SU’s Annual Alumni Advent Mass was made even more special this year by the visit of President Emeritus William Sullivan, S.J. Making his first return to campus since leaving in 2009 for his home province of Wisconsin, Sullivan was on hand to celebrate his 80th birthday.

But first, before a Chapel of St. Ignatius that was filled with SU graduates, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., delivered a homily “Seeds of Hope,” which drew and expanded upon a story he told in an op-ed he wrote on the DREAM Act. Sundborg’s piece first appeared in the Los Angeles Times and was later picked up by several other outlets nationwide.

Then it was time to celebrate the man of the hour. Father Sullivan’s many admirers packed the Paccar Atrium to re

PHOTO GALLERY: Visit Alumni Advent for images from the Mass and Fr. Sullivan's 80th birthday celebration.

connect with the university’s 20th president and wish him well on his milestone birthday.


Prior to Sullivan’s return to the Wisconsin Province, he was named SU’s first ever president emeritus by the Board of Trustees in recognition of his 20 years of service as president and 12 more as chancellor. Among the birthday gifts showered on the president emeritus was a Washington State license plate bearing the numbers 1891, the year of SU’s founding.