Mid-Summer Appointment of Acting Vice President for Mission Integration

May 6, 2022

Dear Members of the Gonzaga Community,

Each May, the conclusion of the academic year brings with it many emotions: excitement for our graduates as they prepare to turn their tassels, relief as finals are completed and classes conclude, and hope for all that is to come in the next phase of our students’ journeys.  In the days ahead we will celebrate the graduates of the class of 2022, and ahead of these events I wanted to share with you news concerning an upcoming transition in leadership.

Several weeks ago, Dr. Michelle Wheatley announced her plans to step down from her role as Vice President for Mission Integration this summer.  In her message, Dr. Wheatley shared her gratitude for the opportunity to journey with our community and that she would be working closely with leadership on a thoughtful transition to identify our next Chief Mission Officer.

As we move through the summer and continually work to define this role, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ellen M. Maccarone, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Advisor to the President, as our Acting Vice President for Mission Integration/Chief Mission Officer, beginning mid-July.

In her role as a faculty member in Gonzaga’s Philosophy Department, Dr. Maccarone has worked diligently to incorporate Ignatian pedagogy and practices from the Jesuit intellectual tradition into her teaching and service on behalf of Gonzaga.  In addition to her work in the classroom, Dr. Maccarone’s Mission-focused work has been significant – including, but not limited to:

  • Initiating the faculty “Scholars for Mission” Program
  • Chairing the Mission Fellowship Evaluation Committee
  • Participating in the Ignatian Colleagues Program
  • Serving as SEEL Board president
  • Serving as a Core Curriculum Fellow for Mission, member of the AJCU Committee for Mission Priority Examen, and member of the Mission Advisory Council
  • Authoring multiple publications focusing on mission reflection and Jesuit education

While serving in the Acting VP role, Dr. Maccarone will continue progress on the Institutional Work Values, Jesuit Recruitment, Laudato Si’ Action Platform, and will serve on our Steering Committee for Implementing Commission Recommendations.

A formal search for our Chief Mission Officer position will begin next academic year, and we will be sure to share additional information about the process as that timeline nears.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Wheatley for her many contributions and excellent leadership over the past nineteen years; and let us also thank Dr. Maccarone for her willingness to serve in this critical role following the conclusion of Dr. Wheatley’s time at Gonzaga.   


Thayne M. McCulloh, D. Phil