President Thayne McCulloh, right, congratulates Kevin Daniels (’79), Seattle alumnus and one of four Distinguished Alumni Merit Award recipients at the annual DAMA ceremony on Oct. 20.

President Thayne McCulloh, right, congratulates Kevin Daniels (’79), Seattle alumnus and one of four Distinguished Alumni Merit Award recipients at the annual DAMA ceremony on Oct. 20.

The fall is filled with opportunities to offer thanks, and at Gonzaga, the latter months of the calendar year especially. We are thankful first and foremost for our students, both returning and new: For our newest students, the novelty of being at GU has begun to fade as they face the realities of post-midterm work. We are thankful as well for our faculty and staff: These men and women accompany our students on their journey of challenge and discovery. And we are grateful for the families of our students, whose support and encouragement sustain them through the short days and cold nights of winter.

Most of all, we are grateful to you – those who support Gonzaga throughout the year in so many ways. This annual edition of Gonzaga Magazine is dedicated to you, and in a particular way those who support us through their benefaction. As important, and valuable, as the work of the University is, it would be impossible without your gifts and your support.

These are challenging times for our country. The effects of the recession are evident to all of us. At Gonzaga, we are working hard to continuously improve the quality of the educational experience while simultaneously evaluating ways of becoming more efficient in our operations and less wasteful in our practices. Our efforts in both regards have borne fruit, as our faculty continue to attract highly competitive federal and foundation grants to support student research, and our conservation efforts over the past year have reduced our consumption of necessary utilities such as natural gas.

Despite the economic difficulties we all are confronted with, I am grateful for the chance to serve as president of Gonzaga during this particular time in our history. We continue to attract extraordinarily talented students whose enthusiasm for discovery and zeal for life is palpable in every dimension of the GU experience. As we approach the celebration of our 125th anniversary in September 2012, I am filled with excitement about the moment we find ourselves in, for Gonzaga is a university on the move.

The story of Gonzaga University is, first and foremost, a story about people – people who made, and continue to make, a difference. From the beginning, the Jesuits sought to educate young people who would be able to go forth and discover God’s grandeur and glory in their work and in their relationships. As we reflect on the past and present, we see this thread, one that runs through the experience of every Gonzaga era – and know that with your continued love and support, our future is bright indeed. May Christ’s peace be with you and yours, always.

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