Dear Seattle University Community,
At Seattle University, our mission is to empower leaders for a just and humane world. In addition to an unwavering commitment to academic excellence, our mission requires us to foster an inclusive community, one that fully reflects the rich diversity of the globally interconnected world that our students will lead toward greater justice and humanity. Seattle University therefore seeks out and welcomes students, faculty and staff from all faiths—including many who identify with no faith tradition. We welcome people of all races, national origins, sexes, gender identities and sexualities. And we welcome people with a diversity of viewpoints.
Because our commitment to diversity is intrinsic to our mission, it is also ultimately rooted in our Jesuit, Catholic character. This understanding takes on added significance in light of today’s disappointing U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, which will likely hinder the ability of many universities to achieve a diverse student body. At Seattle University, we will continue to use every tool consistent with the law to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive academic community.
Our foundation in the Jesuit educational tradition makes us different from other institutions of higher learning. Today’s decision leaves unanswered important and unsettled questions about how the Court’s restrictions on the consideration of race in admissions interacts with our constitutional right to the free exercise and expression of our Jesuit, Catholic values. We are actively exploring the implications of today’s decision for those questions.
In the meantime, we will make every effort to continue to recruit and retain students who reflect the diversity of the world we are preparing our students to lead.
Eduardo M. Peñalver