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Seattle University


State of the University

Written by Casey Corr and Mike Thee
August 26, 2011

President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., laid out his vision for Seattle University in an address to key stakeholders on Tuesday night. Approximately 250 trustees, regents, advisory board members, alumni and other university supporters gathered in Pigott Auditorium for Father Sundborg’s State of the University address, in which he outlined seven goals for the next seven years: 

 Strengthening academics so that SU is the first choice for more and more prospective students;  

 Investing in undergraduate science learning and research, and building a new science facility; 

 Capitalizing on the global emphasis of a Jesuit education; 

 Moving forward with the Seattle University Youth Initiative; 

 Deepening our identity as a Catholic and Jesuit university; 

 Forming every student as a leader; and 

 Achieving championship athletics at the highest level. 

The president also identified four elements that are critical to realizing the seven goals: strengthening the university’s finances through budget efficiencies, philanthropy and new sources of revenue; conducting a successful capital campaign; expanding or developing new partnerships with organizations and companies in the fields of technology, biomedicine, sustainability and global health; and telling the SU story widely, consistently and positively. 

Sundborg’s speech was followed by a Q&A with a panel consisting of alumni Stu Rolfe of the Board of Trustees, Judy Rogers of the Board of Regents and College of Education Leadership Council, Chris Canlas of the Alumni Board of Governors and Ashely Burns of the Albers Alumni Board. After the panel, guests made their way to the Quad for an Italian-themed reception and wine-tasting. A portion of the proceeds from the wine sold was donated to SU. 

The event was organized by University Advancement and Board of Regents members Maureen Benoliel, Joe Zavaglia, Carol Penny and Kathleen Schafer. “(The State of the University is) a new tradition for SU we’re going to try it again next year to help build connections among the boards and start the year off together,” said Katie Chapman, director of donor relations and stewardship in University Advancement.

Sundborg will deliver a similar State of the University speech to faculty and staff at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, at Campion Ballroom.