Sent March 18, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
Dear Gonzaga Alumni and Friends,
First and foremost, we hope you and your family are well. If this virus has touched your life or a loved ones’ life, please know our prayers are with you. Community is the heartbeat of Gonzaga University, and as someone who is a valued member of this community, you know how strong Zags are together. This pandemic feels particularly difficult because the hallmark of who we are must be manifested in new ways. Yet, we learn from St. Ignatius Loyola through the tenets of the Society of Jesus that tension isn’t something to fear or turn from. While the effects of these current events continue to unfold, we want you to know: your Gonzaga community is here for you, just as you are for others.
The rapid changes in the scope of the COVID-19 coronavirus have led Gonzaga University students today to experience some major adjustments to their academic experience. Disruptions to on-campus learning, concerns for parents and grandparents, questions about when they will get back to residence halls or on-campus jobs and what will happen for the graduation celebration are issues that are top of mind for students.
Guided by our Catholic and Jesuit mission we are first focusing on care for the individual. That begins with our students and their families, our faculty and staff, and extends to each of you as well. Along with our faculty and staff colleagues, our institutional leadership is working diligently to make thoughtful decisions in response to constantly shifting challenges — you can see how these have unfolded in the University’s communications thus far.
As we teach in our classrooms (and soon in virtual classrooms online), building community at home, in our professions, and around the world is critical to living an impactful life. The dramatic change we are all experiencing in this moment can feel threatening to the traditions of closeness that feed our souls; however, there is a bright light ahead — because we have experienced the power of connection, love and inspiration, we can together strengthen relationships in new ways. COVID-19 may take the Zags out of the community, but it will never take the community out of the Zags!
In the coming days and weeks, you’ll hear from the University about new ways to connect with your Gonzaga family. Additionally, if you’d like to help others in the Gonzaga community, there are ways. From sharing stories of Zags doing good deeds to volunteer and giving opportunities, we will be in touch about how we can together have an impact for those who need it most.
For generations, the Gonzaga community has collectively created life-changing experiences for students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and fans. Thanks to you, this will never change. You are someone for whom we are truly grateful. Your commitment, now and over time, to pay forward the special gift that Gonzaga has been for us to the nearly 8,000 students currently enrolled helps deliver on our mission. For them and all of you, we remain committed as women and men for others.
If you have any questions, please contact Joe Poss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well, stay safe, and keep in touch.
Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.