As this edition of Gonzaga Magazine arrives, the early signs of hopeful spring are beginning to reveal themselves to us; as befits this time of year, within this issue are many wonderful stories of hope, and rebirth, and celebration.
This issue recognizes some of the first women students to attend Gonzaga, their memories and experiences, and a view of where their journeys have taken them. How much has changed over the ensuing years! Today, 55 percent of undergraduates are women, with significant numbers represented in every discipline.
Acknowledging the remarkable success of our basketball teams during the season of tournaments, we take a moment in this edition to celebrate the enthusiasm of Zag Nation, and in particular, its Kennel Club. Without question, the enthusiasm and excitement of our students is key to transforming the McCarthey Athletic Center into a venue filled with high energy and entertainment.
The focus of our internal efforts this year has been to examine the ways in which we can continue to challenge students with a rigorous educational experience. The official beginning of the semester, the Spring Faculty Conference, offered a long-anticipated chance to examine the opportunities and challenges that we face in planning for the next fiscal year. Our focus must remain on our students and our students’ needs. Whether we are making decisions about financial aid, academic program needs, resource conservation or fundraising, our mission of educating students is central, and our choices need to reflect this.
A significant part of my work concerns issues relating to the Jesuit and Catholic identity of our University – discussions encouraged by the Society of Jesus as well as the 10-year review of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the Apostolic Constitution of Pope John Paul II on Catholic Universities. I am very proud of the role that Gonzaga plays as both a Jesuit apostolic work and an active part of the Catholic Church. I will dedicate some time in an upcoming edition to sharing my thoughts regarding our mission-based identity and its implications for our community, the Church, and society.
During this season of Lent and Easter, may the symbolic and literal signs in this time of renewal and new life bring us all hope and energy; may God’s blessing be upon you and yours, always.