Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
For 20 years, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. of Seattle University (Seattle U) has been known throughout the Puget Sound region and beyond as a leader dedicated to academic rigor, service and the promotion of justice.
Those are among the many reasons why he was selected to receive the 2018 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Leadership Award for the Pacific Northwest and western Canada region, said Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE, a global nonprofit association of educational institutions that serves professionals in the field of educational advancement.
"As someone who actively encourages students, faculty, staff and alumni to serve their community in meaningful and notable ways, President Sundborg sets the standard for servant leadership," said Cunningham. "He is a visionary and inspirational leader."
Sundborg will accept the award at the CASE District VIII Conference, which encompasses this region, in Seattle in February.
Throughout his tenure at Seattle U, Sundborg has remained true to the core values of the Jesuit Catholic education. He actively supports programs that encourage others to impact the greater good, whether at home in their communities or in developing countries around the world.
Seattle U supporters Tony Audino, founder and CEO of Conzenza, and Anthony Holter, executive director of the Fulcrum Foundation, helped nominate Sundborg for the award and described him as a leader who has always compelled the Seattle U community to pursue the greatest good and to become women and men for others.
Sundborg has bestowed honorary degrees on such social justice leaders as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Corazon Aquino. His vision for Seattle U has enhanced academic excellence and brought focus to the development of resources to support a growing student population.
"Advancing education, especially higher education, toward the ever-changing needs of an increasingly global population requires visionary leadership, like that of Fr. Sundborg," said Mark Koenig, chair for CASE District VIII.
With Sundborg's leadership, Seattle U has added a new law school, student center and student residences.
Father Sundborg grew up in the Territory of Alaska. He entered the Jesuits in 1961 and was ordained a priest in Seattle in 1974. He completed his doctoral studies in spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1982. He taught theology at SU from 1982-1990, was appointed Rector of the Seattle U Jesuit community in 1986, and served as Provincial of the Northwest Jesuits from 1990 to 1996.