Remembering Jeff Brotman

Written by Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
August 3, 2017

Dear Seattle University Community,

The death this week of Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman was sad news for our Seattle University community and city, and for me personally. Few people have made as significant an impact on our university as Jeff Brotman.

Jeff and Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal transformed our university by establishing a scholarship fund for underrepresented minority students at Seattle U and the University of Washington in 2000. Since then, the Costco Scholarship Fund has brought to our campus community hundreds of students who otherwise would not have been able to attend. The impact of this wonderful program is shown in the lives and careers of the SU alumni who have benefited from the scholarship fund and in the many ways it has made our university more inclusive, academically strong and faithful to our Jesuit educational mission.

Jeff was wholly committed to the Costco Scholarship Fund and especially to the success of the scholars. Whenever I had the occasion to spend time with him, I was struck by the passion with which he worked to create new opportunities for so many young people.

Jeff and his wife Susan also supported the Seattle University Youth Initiative as well as the Sinegal Family Endowment at Seattle U, which provides scholarships for students in the Albers School of Business and Economics and the College of Nursing.

As we mourn the loss of this good friend of our university, we do so with an appreciation for the enduring imprint he leaves on our campus, academic programs and, of course, our students and alumni. Please join me in praying for Jeff, Susan and his loved ones and in reflecting on the many lives he touched here at Seattle U, in the wider community and across the world.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.