Celebrating 125 years of Jesuit education and empowering leaders for the greatest good.

A History that inspires our future

Explore some of the milestones that helped shape who we are and who we’ll become in the future.


1994 Seattle University acquires the School of Law from the University of Puget Sound. The Northwest’s largest and most diverse law school is housed in Sullivan Hall.
1997 The Chapel of St. Ignatius, the spiritual center of campus, opens. (The chapel celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017.)
2001 Rudy the Redhawk is unveiled as the university’s new mascot.
2002 A new Student Center opens on campus.
2005 Seattle University became the first university in the nation to host Tent City, a homeless encampment.
2006 The Lee Center for the Arts, a performance and visual arts space, opens. The space is named in honor of Jeanne Marie (McAteer) Lee and Rhoady Lee.
2006 Championship Field is redeveloped.
2007 Teilhard de Chardin Hall is transformed into a learning and living space to accommodate a growing student population.
2010 Lemieux Library, originally built in 1966, is renovated and expanded to include modern amenities and more areas for study and discussion. With the changes came a new name: the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons.
2015 Students begin studies in the School of New and Continuing Studies.
2015 Women’s soccer beats Washington State 2-1 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
2015 Men's soccer defeats UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
2016 The athletic complex Connolly Center gets a makeover, from the basketball court to the façade.


2017 President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., celebrates his 20th anniversary leading Seattle University.
2018 New residence hall slated to open.
2021 Unveiling of a new Center for Science and Innovation.
2041 Seattle University celebrates its 150th anniversary.


125 Stories of Impact

Our People. Our Projects. Our Mission at Work. This is Seattle University. Check back often as we share our story throughout this year of celebration.


What people, places, and experiences stand out as unforgettable? How has Seattle University made an impact on you? Read others’ stories and share your own memories using #SU125.

125th Media

Join the celebration. Download our 125th posters or share them with the world. Post, print and spread the word.


A Storied History

From its origins as a parish school on the frontier, Seattle University has a rich 125-year history reflecting the grit and determination of those who built the thriving university we know today.

Share your favorite SU memory

Help us celebrate by sharing your memorable Seattle University moments.


Our Vision

Writing a future as storied as our past

We will strengthen our reputation globally as a thriving university of distinction renowned for our innovation, our forward thinking and our ability to provide future scholars with a world-class education, built on moral and ethical principles, that empowers them to become change makers for the greater good.

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The Center for Science and Innovation—the most ambitious building project in Seattle University history—responds to the urgent need for well-prepared leaders in the fields of engineering, science, mathematics, computer science and software engineering.

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The CSI will feature 90,000 square feet of cutting edge space for teaching, research and collaboration. Dynamic learning laboratories will allow students to move from lecture to lab to analysis all within a single space. Additionally, large, multi-investigator research labs will nurture faculty-student collaboration and flexible classrooms will accommodate the core science classes required for all Seattle U students.

125th Events



Saturday, January 28, 6:00pm
International Dinner 40th Anniversary
Kick off International Week 2017 with the 40th Annual International Dinner. Come enjoy this definitive Seattle University experience with cultural performances from different community groups, international cuisine prepared by Seattle University students and local chefs, and raffle prizes provided by local businesses! Dinner is held in Campion Ballroom at 6:00 pm. For more information, contact albanol@seattleu.edu.



Saturday, February 18
Dance Marathon
Seattle University Dance Marathon is a 16 hour celebration for our year long fundraising efforts. We are student leaders advocating for the holistic well-being of patients and families at Seattle Children’s Hospital. On February 18th, 2017, we will be celebrating our 10th birthday and dancing with hopes to reach our $125,000 fundraising goal!
Campion Ballroom



Tuesday, February 21, 5:00pm
125th Anniversary Speaker Series
Living into the Mission: An Examen. Guided by leaders on and off campus, students, staff and faculty will reflect on the successes and challenges of living our mission today.
Campion Ballroom
Hosted by Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture



Thursday, February 23, 6:00pm
125th Anniversary Speaker Series
Taking the Leap: Entrepreneurship in 2016 conversation and lecture. Sue Oliver, Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at the Albers School of Business and Economics, serves as moderator. The panelists include Tiffany Ash, ’02, Founder and Vice President of Operations, Tableau Software; Valerie Trask, ’11, Entrepreneurial Consultant and Founder of Sansaire & Punchkeepe; and Mick McHugh, ’65, Restaurateur and Founder/Owner of F.X. McRory’s Steak Chop & Oyster House.
Sorrento Hotel
Hosted by SU Advantage Networking Series



Saturday, February 25
Search for Meaning Festival
This signature book and arts community festival features a veritable who's who of the literary and scholarly worlds, with over 50 best-selling authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more. Enjoy local and national author and keynote presentations, book signings, a theater performance and gallery art exhibit. Join community members from all walks of life and some of the world's most influential authors and scholars for a day of reflection upon your own human search for meaning.



Tuesday, February 28, 5:30pm
125th Anniversary Speaker Series
The Albers Executive Speaker Series invites executives from around the Puget Sound area to speak on a topic of their choice, and then respond to a questions from a selected panel and the audience. The third speaker of this installment is Doyle Simmons, CEO of Weyerhauser.
Pigott Auditorium
Hosted by Albers Executive Speaker Series



Tuesday, March 7 - Wednesday, March 8
Giving Day



Friday, May 5 - Sunday, May 7
Grand Reunion Weekend and Alumni Awards
The Alumni Association invites alumni back to campus during this weekend in spring to reunite with one another and to create memories that will last a lifetime.