Seattle University
Seattle University
Former Name Seattle College
Business Function Education
Opened est. 1891
Type Private, Jesuit
Chancellor Fr. William J. Sullivan, S.J
President Fr. Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
Vice-President Timothy P. Leary
Provost Isiaah Crawford
Faculty 609
Students 7,717 (2008)
Undergraduates 4,288
Postgraduates 3,429
Campus Urban
Colors Scarlet & White colors.jpg
Nickname Redhawks
Mascot Rudy the Redhawk
Athletics NCAA Division I/NCAA Division II
Location University District

"Connecting minds to what matters."

Seattle University (SU) is a non-profit Roman Catholic Jesuit university located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. It was founded in 1891 as the School of the Immaculate Conception by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and continues to operate as a Jesuit institution. Today, Seattle University is the largest independent university in the Northwest and is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2008" ranks Seattle University 6th out of schools in the West that offer a full range of masters and undergraduate programs.



Seattle University was founded by Father Victor Garrand, SJ and Father Adrian Sweere, SJ in downtown Seattle at the request of Jesuit Superior Father Joseph Caltado, SJ. Initially, the school served as both a high school and college. In 1893, construction started on the First Hill campus. The school moved to First Hill in 1898 and changed its name to Seattle College, at which point the high school became a separate institution now known as Seattle Preparatory School. In 1909, the college awarded its first bachelor's degrees. In 1931, Seattle College became the first Jesuit university in the country to admit female students.

At one time, the Jesuits planned to move the college to the tract of land that is now the heart of Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood, but by 1940 they decided against the move, and sold the land in 1940. In 1948, Seattle College changed its name to Seattle University under Father Father Albert A. Lemieux, SJ. In 1993, the Seattle University School of Law was established on campus after many years of sharing a joint-law school with the University of Puget Sound.



The Seattle University campus is 48 acres (194,249 m²) and is located on the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. North of the campus is Capitol Hill, which can be reached via Broadway Avenue. In Sir-Mix-A-Lot's song Posse on Broadway, Seattle University is the college he makes a reference towards.

The campus includes numerous works by well-known artists (including the Centennial Fountain by Seattle artist George Tsutakawa—recipient of an honorary doctorate from Seattle U.—and a large glass sculpture in the PACCAR Atrium of Piggot Hall by Tacoma, Washington artist Dale Chihuly, as well as works by Chuck Close, Jacob Lawrence, Gwendolyn Knight, William Morris and David Mach) and several architecturally notable buildings. Of the latter, probably the most famous is the Chapel of St. Ignatius, designed by New York architect Steven Holl, born in Bremerton, Washington: the 1997 building won a national Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1998.


Seattle University offers 44 bachelor's degree programs and 24 graduate degree programs, plus a law school and a doctoral program in education. The university consists of eight colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Albers School of Business and Economics, the College of Education, the School of Law, Matteo Ricci College, the College of Nursing, the College of Science and Engineering, and the School of Theology and Ministry. A Seattle University education is estimated to cost $150,000, although much of this is covered by financial aid.


Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics, started in 1945, was named after the Albers family. George and Eva Albers were generous donors to the university. Their daughter, Genevieve Albers, attended SU and continued the family's legacy of generosity to the school; she also sponsored a business forum, established an eponymous professorship, and donated funds to create scholarships. In 1967, the business school added an MBA program, which is now the largest nationally accredited, evening program for working professionals in the Pacific Northwest. The part-time MBA Program is recognized among the Top 25 by "U.S. News & World Report's 2007 America's Best Graduate Schools." US News also ranks the Albers School among the top 10% of undergraduate business schools nationwide. The Albers School is accredited with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business AACSB.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, Seattle University's graduate program in psychology is notable as one of the few schools in the country to focus on Existential Phenomenology as a therapeutic method. The College of Education also offers mainstream programs in community counseling and school counseling.

Service-learning and social justice are important components of the educational experience at Seattle University, which strives to "empower leaders for a just and humane world." Each year students, faculty and staff commit hundreds of hours to service projects and community outreach through the Center for Service and Community Engagement.

The university is increasingly attracting and retaining a diverse student population. Since 1995, the number of underrepresented minority students – Native American, Hispanic and black – has nearly doubled from 441 in 1995 to 856 at the start of the 2006-07 academic year. More than one-third of the overall student body represent diverse groups.

School of Law

The Seattle University School of Law is one of three law schools in Washington state, the other two being the University of Washington School of Law and Gonzaga University School of Law. The School of Law was founded in 1972 as part of the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, WA In 1993, the University of Puget Sound and Seattle University agreed on a transfer of the law school to Seattle University; in August 1994 the transfer was completed, and the school physically moved to the Seattle University campus in 1999. The 2008 US News and World Report Law School rankings list the School of Law in the top 100 Law Schools in the nation. The school of law is home to the number two Legal Writing program in the nation. Also, the school of law is the largest and most diverse in the Pacific Northwest.

Matteo Ricci College

The Matteo Ricci College was founded in 1973 and named after Italian Jesuit missionary, Matteo Ricci. The program allows high school students from Seattle Preparatory School and other area high schools to graduate with a bachelor's degree in humanities or teaching after as little as three years in high school and three years in college.

Mission Statement

Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.


The vision of Seattle University is to be the premier independent university of the Northwest in academic quality, Jesuit Catholic inspiration, and service to society.


The values of Seattle University are: care, academic excellence, diversity, faith, justice, and leadership.



Between 1950 and 1971, Seattle University sports teams were known as the Chieftans and competed as a Division I independent school. From 1971 to 1980, Seattle University's sports teams competed in the West Coast Conference. In 2000, Seattle University changed the name of its mascot to Redhawks. Currently, the school is reclassifying from Division II to Division I after a 28-year hiatus. This integration process will take four years before Seattle University can acquire full status under Division I. Sometime during or at the end of the reclassification period, Seattle University would like to re-join the West Coast Conference since every member is a small, private, religiously-affiliated institution.

Notable Alumni

  • Elgin Baylor - NBA Hall of Famer; general manager, Los Angeles Clippers, 2006 NBA Executive of the Year.
  • John Juanda (1996, M.B.A.) - Professional Poker Player.
  • Mohamed Ali Alabbar (1981) - Chairman of Emaar Properties; one of the world's largest real estate development firms with $25 billion in assets.
  • Major General (Ret.) Patrick Henry Brady - recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Gary Brinson (1966) - founder and retired chair of Brinson Partners; GP Brinson Investments; The Brinson Foundation. The January 2003 issue of CFA Magazine named Brinson as one of seven living legends in the investment profession.
  • Major General Peter W. Chiarelli (1972) - Director of Operations, U.S. Army, commander of forces in Iraq
  • Jeffrey Flowers (1965) - President, Marco Polo Hotel Group
  • William P. Foley, II (1970, M.B.A.) - Chairman and CEO, Fidelity National Financial
  • Mary Kay Fualaau (formerly Mary Kay Letourneau) (1989) - A former schoolteacher convicted for having a sexual relationship with her underage student.
  • Micheal Gilleran (1971; J.D. 1975) - Commissioner of the West Coast Conference
  • Ray Heacox (1976) - President and General Manager of KING-TV, KONG-TV and NorthWest Cable News
  • John E. Hopcroft (1961)- renowned theoretical computer scientist; co-winner 1986 Turing Award
  • Richard Jones (1972) - Judge; King County Superior Court that sentenced Gary Ridgeway, "The Green River Killer"
  • Carolyn Kelly (M.B.A.) - President and COO, The Seattle Times
  • Michael L. Kelly (1975) - Trial Lawyer and Lecturer - Los Angeles, California
  • Robert Kruse (1995, M.B.A.) - Founder & President of VenLogic LLC
  • Steve McConnell (1991, M.S. Software Engineering) - Chair of the IEEE Computer Society's Professional Practices Committee
  • Duff McKagan - Bassist of Velvet Revolver, ex-bassist of Guns N' Roses
  • Stan W. McNaughton (1974) - CEO, PEMCO Insurance
  • Charles Mitchell (1974) - Chancellor, Seattle Community Colleges; was president of Seattle Central Community College in 2001 when Time magazine named it “College of the Year.” Former professional football player with the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.
  • Frank Murkowski (1955) - Former Governor of Alaska and former U.S. Senator from Alaska
  • Carol Nelson (1974; 1984, MBA) - President, CEO, Cascade Bank
  • Eddie O'Brien - Baseball player for Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Johnny O'Brien - Baseball player for Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Braves
  • Dino Rossi (1982) - Former Washington State Senator and Republican nominee for Governor of Washington
  • John D. Spellman (1949) - Former Governor of Washington state.
  • Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift (J.D.; 1994) - served as legal counsel for Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Listed as 100 most influential lawyers in the US.
  • Jim Whittaker (1952) - First American to summit Mount Everest in 1963.
  • Will Espero (1982) - Hawaii State Senator

Campus Map

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