President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., welcomed faculty and staff to a new academic year and shared his priorities for the months ahead at a gathering on Sept. 15. Having recently been reappointed to a new five-year term by the Board of Trustees, Father Sundborg headlined his annual President’s Welcome by identifying his three goals for the year ahead:
- Leading the process for developing a compelling vision of what the university will look like in five years
- Dedicating himself to the university’s capital campaign, with a specific focus on raising $50 million in 2017-2018, including $30 million for the Center for Science and Innovation
- Committing to student success
“Perhaps a good way to put all of that together,” the president said, “is to say that we want to unify everything we’re doing under the thematic of 'inclusive excellence in a Jesuit way.'”
He also shared three watchwords—belong, succeed and thrive—to guide faculty and staff in supporting and serving students.
Father Sundborg opened his remarks by reflecting on how he changed over the summer. He said he was coming into the new academic year and his fifth term as president with a feeling that he was embarking on a new chapter and with a deeper sense of gratitude.
Also sharing remarks at the President’s Welcome were Executive Vice President Tim Leary and SGSU President Pa Ousman Jobe (Finance, ’18). Touching on recent national events such as Charlottesville and the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), Jobe made a powerful appeal to faculty and staff, asking them to step up their commitment to marginalized and vulnerable students.
“The issues that we are dealing with right now as humans—whether it is in Seattle, nationally or internationally—should (not) be optional,” said Jobe. “We should not choose to tap out because it does not affect us. Please let’s do our part within our Seattle University campus.”