People of SU

In Memoriam: Remembering Steven Jenkins, ’17

December 7, 2022

Photo of Steven Jenkins with Coach Pete Fewing.
Steven Jenkins on graduation day with Men's Soccer Coach Pete Fewing.

Former soccer player and Criminal Justice graduate was an inspiration to all. 

Steven Jenkins began his time at Seattle University in 2002, originally majoring in Mechanical Engineering —before switching to Criminal Justice—and as a member of the men’s soccer team.

Born with Cystic Fibrosis, Jenkins always had challenges in life related to his health but never gave up, continuing to work toward and ultimately earn a degree in Criminal Justice and, in between hospital stays and periods of declining health, played the sport he loved. 

The university community and all those whose lives he touched along the way are remembering Jenkins, who passed away November 18, 2022. A memorial service will be Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Ignatius. The campus community is invited to attend to honor his remarkable life and legacy. 

Men’s Soccer Head Coach Pete Fewing called Jenkins “a true embodiment of strength and resilience” and someone who “never stopped fighting.” 

“Stevie fought the good fight, kept faith and finished the race and we could not be prouder of him. His spirit will live on in our hearts and minds,” Fewing said. 

In 2017, Jenkins was profiled in The Newsroom—just weeks from graduation—and spoke candidly of the 15 years it took to earn his degree, an academic journey interrupted by medical challenges including two lung transplants and cancer. 

Despite years of ups and downs with his health, including setbacks in his recovery, Jenkins never lost sight of his goal to earn a degree. And, in fall 2016, he returned to Seattle University to finish up what he started back in 2002. After graduating in 2017, he was looking at a career that combined his love of criminology and passion for justice, coupled with a desire to give back and help others.

In that article, Jenkins expressed gratitude for all who supported him and stood by him “through thick and thin.” 

Jenkins said, “Since 2002, the people at this school have been amazing. They have always been there for me and supported me. From Coach Fewing, Father (Stephen) Sundborg and Jackie Helfgott to many others, I cannot say enough about this place. I would also like to thank the entire medical team at the University of Washington for saving my life three times. And lastly, but not least, my family and those friends who are like family to me and who have been my rock through everything. I would not have made it without them.”

Read more about Steve Jenkins’ remarkable spirit and life.