Earth Month at Seattle University

Written by Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., President
April 1, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Today marks the beginning of Earth Month, a celebration that holds great significance for our campus community. As a university committed to building a more just and humane world, we are well aware of the existential threat climate change poses to all peoples, especially those living on the margins of society. And so as we rightly take pride in what SU has done, and continues to do, to help cool the planet, we know we must do more.

As we enter Earth Month, I invite you to participate in a number of activities and initiatives that will help guide the university’s path toward a more sustainable future. A full schedule can be found on SU’s Earth Month 2019 site. Let me highlight three.

  • Share “Your SUstainability Idea”: Tell us how SU might be more SUstainable and how you might support SUstainability—whether that’s by contributing your thoughts in this online survey, at #SUstainability on social media, at a special “wall of ideas” that you will find in the Student Center, Library and atrium in Pigott, or in suggestion boxes throughout campus. Your input will help guide the university’s new Sustainability Action Plan, which the President’s Committee for Sustainability (PCS) will soon start working on.
  • Learn more about how SU might reduce its carbon footprint through on-campus strategies and carbon offsets by attending a lunch hour event on Monday, April 29 (12:30-1:30 p.m.) at Wyckoff Auditorium, featuring Dr. Phillip Thompson, director of the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, as well as representatives from Microsoft and the Seattle Sounders, both of which have committed to going carbon neutral.
  • Attend a special film festival and discussion being put on by the Indigenous Peoples Institute. Students are invited to participate in the Interfaith Earth Day Video contest, organized by the Indigenous Peoples Institute. “How do I help the Earth” is the contest prompt and all submissions will be screened at Wyckoff on April 25. Participants have a chance to win $250.

To my mind there is no cause more consequential in our time than that of a healthier, life-supporting planet, and as a Catholic and Jesuit institution, we are called in a particular way to care for all creation. We take our cue from Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, and from the Jesuits worldwide, who have made sustainability one of their four Universal Apostolic Preferences. This Earth Month, let us join together to envision and begin to act upon new ways in which we can build a more sustainable and just world.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.