Board of Trustees
Dear Faculty, Students, Staff, Alumni, Supporters and Friends:
It is with a deep love and affection for Father Spitzer that the Trustees reluctantly accept his decision to work toward a transition of leadership in the Office of the President for Gonzaga University effective July 2009. Father Spitzer has been a phenomenal leader for the past 10 years. His achievements have been astonishing:
Highlights of Father Robert J. Spitzer's tenure as Gonzaga University President 1998-2008:
- Defined five pillars of Jesuit education that created a clear vision for Gonzaga's future: faith, service, justice, ethics and leadership.
- Expanded the Admissions Department and developed a Financial Aid strategy that helped increase enrollment and restore financial security.
- Developed a growth strategy that led to steady enrollment increases from 4,507 overall in fall 1998 to 6,923 in fall 2007; undergraduate enrollment increasing from 2,812 in 1998 to 4,386 in 2007.
- Championed raising the academic profile of the Gonzaga student body. In 1998, the average incoming freshman GPA and SAT scores were 3.54 and 1159 respectively. In 2007, the scores were 3.72 and 1192.
- Fostered service learning as an academic component of the curriculum and saw student service to the community and the world increase to more than 100,000 service hours annually.
- Expanded University Ministry programs, particularly liturgy and retreat programs.
- Established multiple leadership programs: Ignatian Leadership Program, Comprehensive Leadership Program, Leadership in Engineering Program, Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program and Gonzaga Ethics Institute.
- Completed a $119 million capital campaign, surpassing the goal by raising more than $150 million for buildings, student financial aid, faculty enrichment, technology and mission programs.
- Planned and/or oversaw construction and renovation projects totaling more than $200 million dollars including:
- Academic Facilities
- School of Law
- Science Building, Hughes Addition
- School of Business Administration, Hogan Wing
- School of Engineering and Applied Science
- PACCAR Center for Applied Science
- Gonzaga in Florence, Mozilo Center
- Fuller Building
- Athletic Facilities
- McCarthey Athletic Center
- Rudolf Fitness Center
- Patterson Baseball Complex
- Soccer Stadium
- Student Life and Residence Halls
- Cataldo Hall
- Dillon Hall
- Goller Hall
- Twohy Hall
- Corkery Apartments
- Kennedy Apartments phases I and II
- Other Projects
- West Mall expansion
- College Hall 3rd and 4th floors
- College Hall entrance and St. Ignatius statue
- Overseeing planning for future campus developments, estimated at more than $85 million:
- Student center
- Parking garage and retail complex
- Freshman residence hall
- Tennis center
- Oversaw increase in annual cash contributions from $5.8 million in 1997-98 to $15.4 million in 2006-07.
- Has set the wheels in motion to launch a new capital and endowment campaign focused on funding student financial aid, academic enhancements, faculty development and new capital projects.
- Rallied benefactors to contribute to a basketball program that plays in a new 6,000-seat arena.
- Spearheaded growth of the University's endowment from $89 million in 1998 to $152.4 million in 2007.
- Oversaw budget growth from $73 million in fiscal year 1998 to $180 million in 2007.
- Guided the University in growing total assets from $132.5 million in 1998 to $262.6 million in 2007.
- Inspired development of a Vision Statement and a Strategic Plan, Vision 2012, and in conjunction with the campus community, formulated a resource plan to carry it through to implementation.
His fund-raising skills, his accounting background, his intuitive vision and his incredible leadership, all based upon his strong Jesuit character and Catholic identity are driven by the underlying mission of Gonzaga University and his love of God.
Yes, we are losing a one-of-kind President, but hopefully gaining Father Spitzer’s continued commitment to Gonzaga, its long-term strategic plan, and the necessary fund-raising efforts to move Gonzaga to a greater level of excellence. We understand the importance of Father Spitzer’s national institutes and publications, but also understand his love of his alma mater and his commitment to accomplish its lofty goals. We are asking Father Spitzer to remain connected to Gonzaga in a very meaningful role. We hope he will stay on as a Trustee so he can continue to contribute to Gonzaga’s progress in delivering the very best Jesuit education.
We look forward to Father Spitzer’s continued miracle-working and love for Gonzaga.
Board of Trustees