Our Founders


St. Ignatius LoyolaSt. Ignatius Loyola

Founder of the Jesuit Order

“From among those who are now merely students, in time some will depart to play diverse roles–one to preach and carry on the care of souls, another to government of the land and the administration of justice, and others to other callings. Their good education in life and doctrine will be beneficial to many others, with the fruit expanding more widely every day.”
-St. Ignatius Loyola
 On Education, 1551

Joseph Cataldo, S.J.Joseph Cataldo, S.J.

Founder of Gonzaga University (1887)

Gonzaga University owes its founding and early formation to Sicilian-born Fr. Joseph Cataldo, S.J. (1837-1928). Chronically frail in health and seemingly unfit for the rigors of missionary life, Fr. Cataldo is a figure that continues to amaze and inspire historians. Fr. Cataldo recognized the need for a local formation of Jesuits to staff a school. Gonzaga College began its first academic year September 17, 1887, with a mass of the Holy Spirit, a tradition that continues today.

Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J.

Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J.

Founder of Gonzaga’s Heritage Society (1980)

“The most important thing is that the academic quality of Gonzaga is very high, very significant. Our faculty takes seriously the job of education. That’s what we’re here for, the development of the students’ minds. It includes knowledge through human intelligence and what we are blessed to know through faith. Each year hundreds of promising young men and women seek the opportunities that Gonzaga University has offered since 1887. It’s our turn now to make possible for future generations of Gonzaga students what others made possible for us.”
        –Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J., Chancellor

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