News and Updates

Board Adopts Resolution Honoring President Sundborg

February 13, 2020

Seattle University Board of Trustees
Resolution Honoring President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.

Be It Remembered

That the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of Seattle University:

Whereas, Father Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., has announced his plans to retire as President of Seattle University following the conclusion of his current term on June 30th, 2021;

Whereas, Father Sundborg was born and raised in the Territory of Alaska, where his civic-minded family played a crucial role in creating the Alaska State Constitution;

Whereas, Father Sundborg received his calling to the priesthood at an early age, and first developed a relationship with the Society of Jesus at his home parish in Juneau, then at Monroe Catholic High School in Fairbanks and later Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington, D.C.;

Whereas, at age 18, Father Sundborg enthusiastically entered the Society of Jesus and was later ordained a priest in 1974; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg was a diligent university student, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Gonzaga University in 1967, a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Gonzaga University in 1968, and degrees in Theology (Spirituality) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, culminating in a Doctorate degree in 1984; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg was a respected and admired faculty member in the Seattle University Theology Department from 1982 through 1990 and was chosen as the Rector of the Seattle University Jesuit Community from 1986 through 1990; 

Whereas, in recognition of Father Sundborg’s special talents and leadership, Father Sundborg was appointed as Provincial of the five-state Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus in 1990 and served in that leadership role through 1996; 

Whereas, in 1997, Seattle University was honored to welcome Father Sundborg back to campus as the university’s 21st President, a role in which he has excelled ever since; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg has presided over the continued enhancement of the university’s academic reputation, consistently increasing the university’s national and regional rankings, and its national recognition as a leader in service-learning and sustainability; 

Whereas, throughout his presidency, Father Sundborg has raised nearly $560 million in donations for Seattle University and has developed key resources in support of growing student access and enrollment, building a new Student Center, a new Law School, a Center for Performing Arts, a Library and Learning Commons, a Fitness Center, and a new Center for Science and Innovation; 

Whereas, in 2003, Father Sundborg authored Seattle University’s Mission Statement, dedicating the university “to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world;” 

Whereas, Father Sundborg has developed strategic opportunities for the Seattle University community to carry out that mission, championing endeavors such as the Costco Scholarship Fund for highly qualified underrepresented students, the Seattle University Youth Initiative to strengthen education and support systems for 1,000 local youth and community-engaged learning for SU students, and the Seattle University Mission Day; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg is a role model for Seattle University students in living a life of purpose and positive change for the greater good, serving in leadership roles for numerous foundations and organizations including United Way of King County, YMCA of Greater Seattle, the City of Seattle Governing Council of the Committee to End Homelessness, Lakeside School, the Seattle Nativity School, and the Fulcrum Foundation; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg has contributed to the advancement of higher education, serving the Boards of Georgetown University, Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Francisco, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and the Independent Colleges of Washington; 

Whereas, Father Sundborg has received prestigious honors and accolades throughout his presidency, including the Christus Magister Medal from the University of Portland, the Martin Luther King “Vision from the Mountaintop” Award, the Seattle-King County First Citizen Award, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Leadership (CASE) Award, and the Campus Compact Engaged Presidential Leadership Award; and 

Whereas, throughout the many accomplishments of his presidency, Father Sundborg has remained committed to “being in service to our students,” providing tens of thousands of students with a distinctive Jesuit education so they may realize their full potential and become the individuals they are meant to be. 

Be it resolved: that the Board of Trustees of Seattle University expresses its profound appreciation and gratitude to Father Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. for his leadership and faithful service as President of Seattle University. 

Passed, approved, and adopted by the Board of Trustees of Seattle University at a duly called meeting at which a quorum was present and proper notice given as required by law and by the bylaws of Seattle University on this 13th day of February, 2020.

Seattle University

By: Nicole W. Piasecki Chair, Board of Trustees
By: Mary S. Petersen Corporation Secretary

View the signed resolution (PDF)