Gonzaga College started in 1881 with $936 in hard silver dollars. It bought Gonzaga’s founder, Father Joseph Cataldo, S.J., 320 acres of land and water, what people then referred to as “the old piece of gravel near the falls.” Six years later, the College officially opened the doors of its only building for “young Scholastics, whose ambition it is to become priests.” Exclusively for boys, the College was under the charge of the Jesuit priests. Enrollment for the 1887-88 academic year was 18 boys and young men.
Today, it is known as Gonzaga University, a private, four-year institution of higher education. More than 105 buildings dot the 131-acre campus overlooking the Spokane River. Students include both women and men, who can enroll in a multitude of undergraduate or graduate programs. Enrollment for the 2009-10 academic year was 7,837 students.
A constant throughout the years is Gonzaga’s educational philosophy, based on the centuries-old Ignatian model of educating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. At Gonzaga, students discover how to integrate science and art, faith and reason, action and contemplation. "Cura personalis," or care for the individual, is our guiding theme.