Dr. Thayne McCulloh and Naosuke Itoigawa, President of Mukogawa Women’s University, as they discuss future exchanges between the universities. Photo by Rajah Bose

Although the last leaves of autumn have succumbed to the frozen days of winter, I find myself constantly warmed by the spirit of our students, the accomplishments of our faculty and staff, and the many blessings of this year. Thanksgiving ushers in an entire season of giving thanks, and it reminds me personally of friendships, relationships and the many memories made during my days as a student and employee at Gonzaga.

Fall at GU is always packed with activity, alive with ’round-the-clock events. This year we had particular opportunities to celebrate. Gonzaga was blessed to host the installation of Spokane’s new bishop, Blase Cupich, at Mc-Carthey Center just before Labor Day; the well-attended event drew over 3,000 children from the schools of the diocese. Under a beautiful blue sky, the 26th Annual Zags Golf Classic generated both goodwill and scholarship support for our fantastic student athletes. Later that same week, we marked the spiritual beginning of the academic year with our annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated in true Gonzaga fashion at St. Aloysius Church by the rector, Fr. Stephen Kuder, S.J., and the members of the Gonzaga Jesuit Community.

Seven weeks into the semester we held another recordbreaking Fall Family Weekend, a welcome opportunity for family members to check in with one another (and for our students to restock essentials). Particularly poignant for me was the first-ever reunion of our ROTC alumni, an emotional recognition of our military veterans from World War II to the present. And I must express my deep gratitude to all who prepared, attended and participated in the inauguration events of late October.

Our faculty has been hard at work developing support for a series of new, cutting-edge student research opportunities, and this issue features some of the work that opens real opportunities for our students to engage in meaningful scientific inquiry. These endeavors are designed to support our students’ passion for and a capacity to engage more effectively the world and the issues that face us.

As this edition of Gonzaga Magazine reaches you, students and faculty alike are busily preparing for final exams, as Advent – a season of expectation – envelops us. This has been another wondrous and remarkable fall. On behalf of our students, Jesuits, faculty and staff – please know that we are very grateful for your constant prayers and support. May the peace of Christ be with you and yours during this holiday season!

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