Ignatian Leaders Scholarship



This highly-competitive scholarship awards $24,000 ($6,000 annually over four continuous years) to 20 outstanding incoming first-year students. The award is offered over and above any other grant or scholarship that the University provides. 


The Ignatian Leaders Scholarship was established to recognize and honor twenty (20) incoming first-year students whose commitment to academic excellence, leadership potential, and community service is evident in their high school and pre-collegiate involvement. Ten of the selected scholars will be women, and ten will be men.

The Ignatian Leaders Scholarship takes its name from Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits). Ignatius was born in 1491 in Azpeitia, a town in northern Spain. In his youth, he fashioned himself a romantic courtier and soldier, but an injury he suffered in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521 changed his life forever. While recuperating from his injury, Ignatius underwent a religious conversion and pledged himself to the service of God. Following years of preparation and education, Ignatius was ordained  a Catholic priest, and with the blessing of Pope Paul III, he and a group of men formed the Society of Jesus in 1540. Ignatius' vision, practical guidance, and charisma earned the   Jesuits many followers, and it is in recognition of his extraordinary vision and leadership that this scholarship bears his name. Gonzaga University proudly celebrates its heritage as one of twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. 


The Ignatian Leaders Scholarship is a highly-competitive scholarship. Once applications have been reviewed, 40 finalists will be invited to Gonzaga to participate in a two-day (overnight) visit. The ILS Competition Weekend will begin at 11:30 AM on Saturday, March 8 and ends at 1:00 PM on Sunday, March 9. Invitees must participate in the ILS Competition Weekend to be eligible for further consideration.

Invited finalists will be hosted on campus and at the University's historic Bozarth Retreat Center for the weekend. All meals, materials, and housing will be provided by the University; invited participants are responsible for travel expenses to and from Gonzaga.

* A limited number of need-based travel stipends will be offered to those finalists who indicate that the travel distance is cost-prohibitive. Additional information regarding the Competition Weekend will be provided to finalists when they are notified of their selection. 


To qualify for the Ignatian Leaders Scholarship Competition, the applicant must:

  • Have a completed Admission Application on file at the University as of January 8, 2014. You may apply for the ILS before receiving your GU admission decision. 
  • Secure nomination from a high school counselor, Gonzaga University Admission Counselor, or through the self-nomination process (see below).
  • Have a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.5 at the completion of the fall term of his or her senior year.
  • Qualified applicants will have: a desire to pursue leadership opportunities in their collegiate life, a commitment to academic achievement, and a commitment to community service.
  • An applicant must also complete the Ignatian Leaders Scholarship Application (including a letter demonstrating the above criteria, as well as two letters of recommendation). More detailed information is provided on the application form.
  • All complete Ignatian Leaders Scholarship applications must be postmarked on or before January 8th, 2014 for the 2014-2015 school year.


High school counselors wishing to nominate a student for the Ignatian Leaders Scholarship should email the Scholarship committee at ILScholarship@gonzaga.edu. Please include the student's name and date of birth, as well as a brief description of the qualifications/criteria on which you are basing the recommendation. An application will be emailed directly to the nominated student. 


If you feel that you meet the above criteria and wish to nominate yourself for the Ignatian Leaders Scholarship, please contact Erik Hoffman, ILS Director, at hoffmane@gonzaga.edu to request an application. Self-nominees should provide brief explanations of previous experiences with leadership, community service, and academic accomplishment when requesting an application.