Welcome to the first edition of the new Gonzaga Magazine – a project several years in the making. The story of Gonzaga – its past, present and future – are the stories of its alumni, students, faculty and friends; our hope is that this format allows us to do our storytelling in a more compelling manner. Let us know what you think!
This edition highlights a significant aspect of the University’s work – our involvement in international education and service. As so many of you know, in 1963 Gonzaga established one of the earliest American “junior year abroad” programs in Florence, Italy. This summer while traveling in Tuscany, I again heard stories of the “mud angels” – among them Gonzaga-in-Florence students – who helped to rescue people and property (including significant works of art) during the historic 1966 Florentine flood. For many years Zags have been engaged in study abroad, but also in service abroad through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Peace Corps and several other humanitarian aid efforts.
During the past five years, Gonzaga’s faculty and staff have developed numerous intensive international education programs, nearly all have a service component. This summer, our faculty taught students in Zambia, Benin, Ecuador, Poland, Italy, England, Slovenia, Turkey, Mexico and El Salvador. Gonzaga’s focus on developing women and men who serve with and for others is strongly in evidence. Indeed, the opportunities enabled by distance-delivery of education have resulted in new ways of reaching those who need us the most: those who simultaneously live at the margins of culture and at the heart of the Jesuit mission. In future publications, you will learn of our other international education efforts, including a new law exchange program in China. All of these endeavors are created with the intent of developing students with a passion for, and a capacity to, more successfully engage the world.
By now, we are welcoming another talented class of students. Since the fall semester begins before summer is truly over, we all look forward to several more weeks of glorious warmth, even as the students settle in to classes and routines. As I recount the opportunities I have to visit with alumni, students, parents and friends of Gonzaga, I am again reminded of the abundant blessings that each of you represent to us. On behalf of all of us – Jesuits, students, faculty and staff – please know that we are grateful for your prayers and support. May the peace of Christ be with you and yours, always.