Gonzaga University officials decided to formally conclude the fall academic semester at the University today (Thursday, Dec. 18) due to dangerous driving conditions and record snowfall that has occurred in the Inland Northwest the past day.
In a memo to faculty, deans and the University’s Cabinet, Academic Vice President Thayne McCulloh said the decision was made after numerous conversations with faculty, deans, department chairs, and Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J.
Classes were canceled early Thursday (Dec. 18) morning at the Jesuit university due to dangerous driving conditions caused by a record 19.4 inches of snow that had fallen at the Spokane International Airport in the 24-hour period ending at 10 a.m. Thursday. Officials plan to wait until early Friday morning to announce whether Gonzaga will open Friday.
Officials said they considered the possibility of rescheduling some final exams for Friday but there is widespread concern about the challenges of commuting through Thursday night and Friday. Also, many faculty who had planned to give final exams Thursday had already made alternative arrangements with and for their students.
A Gonzaga University men’s basketball game was held Thursday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center as scheduled but Gonzaga fans were asked not to compromise their safety and to stay home unless they could be assured of safe travel.
The snowfall shattered a previous record of 13.0 inches set in 1950. Snow accumulations at the Spokane international Airport totaled 23.3 inches for the 36-hour period from 4 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 to 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18.