Father William Ryan, S.J., concluded more than 40 years of teaching at Gonzaga this spring when he received the title associate professor emeritus. He is among the most beloved of Gonzaga’s teachers, respected for many years on campus as an expert resource on contemporary French and German philosophy.
Spend a few minutes in conversation, and Fr. Ryan likely will mention one of his core beliefs: “Friendship is the basis of education.” He is speaking here as a philosopher and means that justice in the classroom is paramount. “One does what is best for one’s friends,” he says. “From justice, a relationship can grow.”
Read the Web Extra ‘Father Ryan, S.J., and the ‘chair of inattention‘ by By Barbara Schneider (’77)
And grow they did.
“From your earliest years, you have been a beloved and highly regarded teacher, respected by your students for your unflinching standards, great sense of humor and even greater humanity,” said Academic Vice President Patricia O’Connell Killen at Gonzaga’s 2011 Academic Convocation in April. “You quickly gained a reputation as a ‘must take’ professor among Jesuit students in training, philosophy majors and Honors students.”
Fr. Ryan is ready to send a book manuscript on Viktor Frankl to the publisher and is eager to get to work on his next book project, which will focus on philosopher Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology. Fr. Ryan studied under Paul Ricoeur, one of the premier philosophers of the 20th century, as a student at the Université Catholique de Louvain and once brought Ricoeur to campus for three-day lecture series.
Also honored as professor emeriti were: Dan Hughes, math and computer science; Dennis McMinn, chemistry; and Jim McCurdy, law.