Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university in the United States. Located on Seattle, Washington's First Hill, 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 one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges 2007" ranks Seattle University among the top 10 schools in the West that offer a full range of masters and undergraduate programs.
The university's sports teams are the Redhawks, and participate in the NCAA's Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The athletics program at SU has produced top-notch athletes both on and off the field.
Between 1953 and 1969 the Seattle University basketball team, then known as the Chieftains, reached the NCAA Division I Tournament 11 times. The 1958 team, lead by Elgin Baylor, advanced to the NCAA championship game, where they lost to Kentucky 84-72.
On March 7, 2007, President Father Steven V. Sundborg sent a campus-wide e-mail explaining that the West Coast Conference of the NCAA Division I would not be expanding now or in the foreseeable future. Father Sundborg left the door open to more campus discussion, but Seattle University remains a Division II team in the GNAC.
On May 11, 2007, despite the West Coast Conference recent decision to not expand, the Seattle University board of trustees gave its approval anyway to apply for Division I status. If the move is approved by the NCAA, Seattle University could transition to a mixed Division I and II schedule in 2008-09 and could be Division I in all sports as early as 2009-10.