Legacy of Leadership: A Presidency in Pictures

Reflecting on highlights of Father Steve’s tenure at Seattle U

This June, Stephen Sundborg, S.J., ends his 24 years as Seattle U’s president—the university's longest serving president—and embarks on the next stage of his life. During his time at the university, Father Steve—as he was fondly known—led the university through many of its most pivotal and defining moments of transformation and innovation. In this fourth and final installment of Fr. Sundborg’s legacy and leadership series, we look back at his presidency in photos.

Father Stephen Sundborg stands inside his office door

Father Sundborg, photographed behind his office door shortly after he took the reins as Seattle U’s 21st president.

Father Stephen Sundborg stands inside that same office door, 20 years later

Flash forward: That same photo, taken after his 20th year in office.

Fr. Sundborg standing alongside Nelson Mandela during a commencement ceremony.

As president, Fr. Sundborg welcomed many local, regional and national leaders and dignitaries to campus and conferred honorary doctorates on several notable individuals such as Nelson Mandela.

Father Sundborg standing in conversation with students on campus

President Sundborg—known by many as Father Steve—was recognized for his personable, friendly rapport with students, often stopping them to catch up or inquire about a class.

President Sundborg speaks on stage, with members of SU community in the audience, at campaign kick-off event.

President Sundborg formally kicks off the public phase of The Campaign for the Uncommon Good, the university’s largest—and his last as president—capital campaign.

Fr. Sundborg addresses graduating students inside a Capitol Hill church

Fr. Sundborg speaks at a Baccalaureate Mass.

Fr. Sundborg shakes hands with Pope Francis

Fr. Sundborg greets Pope Francis during a visit to Rome.

President Sundborg stands at a podium with several SU Jesuits behind him

President Sundborg, flanked by Seattle U Jesuits, delivers remarks at the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Father Steve is flanked by two alumni, all three holding umbrellas.

Father Steve was a regular fixture at many alumni events, including Homecoming and games where he displayed his Redhawk pride!

Father Steve leads a group of faculty, staff, community members down the lower mall near the Chapel.

President Sundborg leads the procession of faculty, staff and community members to the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

President Sundborg joins other members of SU holding shovels and breaking ground on the library renovation

The campus transformation under Fr. Sundborg’s tenure has been striking. Here, he participates in the groundbreaking for the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons.

Father Steve and students, with shovels, break ground on the new CSI building

One of the final capital improvement projects under his leadership is the Jim and Janet Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation. Here he joins students at the project’s groundbreaking. The building opens in fall 2021.

Father Steve sits at his desk in his office

Father Steve at work in his office.

A portrait of Father Steve, smiling

The Seattle U community sends off Fr. Sundborg with gratitude and best wishes as he embarks on the next chapter of his life.

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