Law school honors legacy of George Sundborg

Seattle University School of Law mourns the loss of George Sundborg, who paved the way for Alaska's statehood and helped ensure that Alaskan students could go to law school.

Mr. Sundborg, father of University President Father Steve Sundborg, died Feb. 7 at age 95. George, together with his late wife, Mary, was a generous friend of the School of Law, having established the Alaska endowment that supports, among other activities, the George and Mary Sundborg Scholars.

"We extend our condolences to President Sundborg and his entire family," Dean Kellye Testy said. "We are so grateful to George and Mary for their commitment to the law school and the legacy they leave. One of the activities George enjoyed so much each year was a luncheon we hosted for him annually with the student scholars."

As a tribute, the School of Law will lower the flags outside Sullivan Hall Saturday, Feb. 14, the day of his funeral mass. The Funeral Mass will be Saturday, Feb.14, at 8 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Magnolia.

Mr. Sundborg was a champion of Alaska Statehood and one of the authors of the Alaska State Constitution. Many of the documents from his experience with that process are on display in the Alaska Room on the fourth floor of the law library.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin recognized his extraordinary contributions.

"Alaska has lost a true visionary and respected leader," Governor Palin said. "We will be forever grateful for Mr. Sundborg's guidance in creating a document that is regarded as one of the finest constitutions in the United States. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

Over the course of his distinguished career, Sundborg worked for and owned several Alaska newspapers. He was elected to a territory-at-large seat for the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955. Sundborg served on Ernest Gruening's staff from 1951-53 while Gruening was territorial governor and from 1959-68, when Gruening served in the U.S. Senate. Sundborg also authored several books about Alaska.

Sullivan Hall