Father Steve Returning to SU as Chancellor

February 22, 2024

Dear Seattle University Community,

It is a pleasure to share the news that, this summer, my predecessor, Father Steve Sundborg (“Fr. Steve” to all who know him) will be returning to Seattle University to take on the role of “Chancellor,” the title that Jesuit universities traditionally reserve for former university presidents. Fr. Steve served as president of Seattle University for 24 years, from 1997 to 2021, and led the university through a remarkable period of growth, innovation, and transformation. The role of Chancellor is not new to Seattle University—Fr. Bill Sullivan, S.J. served as the university’s Chancellor from 1996 to 2005 following his tenure as president from 1976 to 1996.

For most of the past three years, Fr. Steve has been in residence at Georgetown University, where (after a well-deserved sabbatical) he has been assisting President DeGioia in building the capacity for communal discernment among senior leadership. In his new role, Fr. Steve will be working closely with the Office of Mission Integration to develop the capacity and practice of communal discernment at Seattle University and to help in the creation of formation and retreat opportunities for senior leaders and boards. He will serve as a key ambassador and advocate to university friends and alumni, and he will be available for other priestly ministries to the wider Seattle University community.

Fr. Steve has asked me to share this message with you:

I am excited to return as Chancellor to Seattle University, to which I am so devoted, in order – under President Peñalver’s direction – to serve the university community, its friends and alumni, as a Jesuit priest.

I look forward to formally welcoming Fr. Steve back to campus this summer.


Eduardo M. Peñalver