Mission Drives Accomplishments and Memories
As I write this message to you in this President’s Report, I do so with a full heart because after 24 years this is the last report in my time as president. My heart is full of gratitude for all of you who believe in Seattle University and who have supported and accompanied me during these years. I have never felt alone in leading Seattle University because I have known that I have been accompanied and supported by people like you: friends, alumni, donors, parents of students, members of our boards and more. I experience more and more that what is important is not the list of the accomplishments but rather the network of people and the relationships with them.
I want you to know how thrilled I am with the university’s choice of Eduardo Peñalver as the next president. I see him as the perfect leader for the new era of Seattle U. I hope you will all get to know him and discover how much a person of warmth, intelligence, faith, family and vision he is. I am confident that you will welcome him and accompany him as much as you have me. These will be exciting years ahead under his leadership and I will be eager to read in future President’s Reports what the university has been able to do and to become.
People ask me frequently what I am most proud of from these past 24 years. What stands out for me above all is the development of and consistent commitment to our mission. That mission calls us to be Jesuit and Catholic, supports our challenging and relevant academic programs and expresses our personal care of each student. The mission explains why we are so involved with the local community in the Seattle University Youth Initiative and in hundreds of other ways. It is the reason we have received such wonderful scholarship programs as the Sullivan, Costco, Naef, Fostering, Bannan and Alfie Scholars and the rationale for our wide-ranging degrees on the undergraduate, graduate and law levels, all in service of “empowering leaders for a just and humane world.” So, when asked what I am most proud of, I say, without hesitation—it’s the mission!
I have prayed for you early each morning all these years and I will continue to do so with heartfelt gratitude.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.