Readers Respond: Winter '19 Gonzaga Magazine

a collage of images from the winter 19 magazine

May 02, 2019

Crisis of Confidence
(President’s Perspectives by Thayne McCulloh)

I wanted to send some feedback for the most recent GU Magazine article I just read. I am so appreciative of President Thayne McCulloh writing about his feelings on the Catholic Church and the sex abuse scandal. This is exactly what we need to hear and see more of from the church and other leadership! For years and years, the church has ignored the facts and protected those who have committed these crimes. Now the tide is turning, and open communication is the best way to shine the light on this problem. 
Sanjiv More (’83)

I very much appreciated the "critical conversations" article by Thayne. In the midst of another revelation of Catholic abuse, especially so close to home as I am a 2014 grad, I found it valuable to read Thayne's rhetoric around it all. I particularly liked his fourth point about encouraging conversation within our community. Keep up the good work.
Kristen Linsmeier (’14)

In response to GU President McCulloh’s letter, I am wondering if the GU student body was aware that the Jesuit West order was allowing priests that had been identified as sexual abusers and pedophiles, to retire at the Cardinal Bea House (CBH) on campus?  According to [other] articles, this information was not made public to the student body as a whole. There is also some inferences that this lack of awareness or public information, was done on purpose by the Order. I am also wondering if the Spokane Bishop had been informed?  There is a lot of talk and “posturing” in the public about being transparent on this issue, but one wonders if all the legal trouble is still driving the “lack of public awareness” about the Order retiring known abusers at CBH?
Tim Agosti

[Editor’s Note: Find updated messages from President McCulloh, including an April 2019 memo about forming a University Coalition to develop Gonzaga’s response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis, here.]


(To Be Continued article by Molly Bosch ’19)

Love your magazine! Quite an upgrade from days gone by.  In Comments, it was noted that Molly Bosch gave a great commencement address named “Cannonball.”  Was this already published in your magazine?  Did I miss it?  
Margaret Kuster (’63)               

 “Cannonball” – the most-read story on in 2018 – can be read anytime, here.


Use of Maiden Names
Just having perused the winter edition of the magazine, I am reminded that I need to ask, once again, that you consider reviewing the practice of omitting the maiden name of alumna. At my age (class of ’62) I look first to see if any of my classmates have died. I learned that Anne Baker had died this past May. Somehow I remembered that her married name might have been Dobson, but that isn’t always the case.  It would be very helpful if you had listed her as Anne Baker Dobson. Back in 2016 I sent you a photo of me and a classmate Pete Banulis meeting up at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia where I was a delegate. You omitted my maiden name and I got back to you about that. Apparently it doesn’t seem that important – but it is.  Our maiden name is who we were and are, regardless of marriage.
Jean Lemire Dahlman (’62)

[Editor’s Note: Gonzaga Magazine’s policy is to print the information provided by the alumna (or her family, in the case of an obituary). We have added a field in our news submission form to request the maiden name, so when a graduate completes this field, the name will appear in the magazine.]


Lifting the Lamp on Immigration

I want to thank you for including Dr. Cunningham's column, "The Concerned Historian," in the winter edition. Believing that a university should be a crucible for free speech, which creates vs erases discomfort, I was pleased that the university provided voice to this balanced perspective. I was a bit surprised by the inclusion of Dr. Cunningham's perspective in light of the recent decision to disallow *Ben Shapiro's attendance on campus. … Meanwhile, the university has, in recent history, welcomed Angela Davis to campus. Her history and current perspectives are significantly difficult – sometimes offensive – for me but I believe the mission of universities should be to acquaint students with competing – sometimes conflicting – points of view. This is essential if Gonzaga is to educate instead of indoctrinate. Those who have issues with Davis’ speech and behavior, which can seem “hateful” and “offensive” to some, should be expected to tolerate (vs. disrupt) Davis. The same expectation should be applied to those who have difficulty with Shapiro. … I did my undergraduate work in the ‘60s, when civil liberties folks objected to censorship efforts on the right. In a just society, censorship, if it occurs, should be applied equally, not selectively. Selectivity simply shifts the “hostile environment” to a different constituency, thereby creating a different marginalized class. This kind of decision produces no net gain – falling short of equality, short of the social justice Gonzaga claims “as a private, faith-based, mission-driven institution committed to the human dignity of every individual.” These are the reasons for my surprise and delight over the inclusion of Dr. Cunningham's item in the winter issue of Gonzaga Magazine. 
Carl Green (’05)

[Editor's Note: The decision regarding Ben Shapiro was later reversed. See President McCulloh's message here.]


I look forward to receiving Gonzaga Magazine. However, I was disappointed by some of the perspectives in "Lifting the Lamp.” On the one hand, Fr. Pete Neeley's take on the migrant situation along our southern border, "The Priest," was informative and inspirational. Fr. Pete is an extraordinary human being who has long "walked the talk" of the kind of humanism that should inform our viewpoints and guide our actions. Unfortunately, his pleas to avoid simplification of the issues and to humanize the debate seemed to have been lost on Professor Eric Cunningham's piece, "The Concerned Historian," in which he analogizes the plight of migrants fleeing for their lives and seeking asylum in the U.S. with car thieves trying to break into our locked cars. The article goes on to offer perspectives from students who met with Border Patrol, "The Visitors at Border Patrol." Mr. Wytmar learned how dangerous the job of border patrol is and reports that one of the agents said he assumed the role of "guardian" of the border because hard drugs and illegal workers taking cheap wages had "devastated his small Texas town." Is this indicative of the motivation that drives people to join the Border Patrol?  For the record, there is a mountain of data to show that undocumented aliens actually contribute positively to the U.S. economy and have significantly lower crime rates than "legal citizens" (see "4 Myths About How Immigrants Affect the U.S. Economy," PBS News Hour, Nov. 2, 2018). While I applaud anyone who participates in Justice in January and encourage all members of the GU community to support the Kino Border Initiative, Gonzaga Magazine falls short in this article of presenting perspectives that truly "humanize" the debate and that fairly and intelligently "complicate" a situation that defies simplistic understandings.  
Timothy Maciel (’71)


Finding Gems

I really enjoyed the article about Joanne Shiosaki. It reminded me of everything that was so special about my time at Gonzaga. Thank you for highlighting people who often aren't in the daily spotlight but make the experience so wonderful for students. 
Stacie Davis (’00)

I found the “Finding God Amid Disease” article to be fascinating. I had never heard the full story of Aloysius Gonzaga, and it’s cool to have a better understanding of this saint as an alumni. I also appreciated the struggles he faced with decisions as it felt informative and personal. 
Paxton Richardson (’15)

Per usual, I enjoyed the latest issue of Gonzaga. But asking me to pick a favorite article is like asking me to pick a favorite child or book.  Impossible! I think possibilities are the articles onimmigration (a balanced study giving ALL sides) and the one on The Way (Camino de Santiago). Two of our kids made the trek. My husband especially enjoyed the article on Dan Brajcich as he had him for class. Anyhow - we really enjoyed the issue and look forward to the next one.
Jackie & Carl Ruckwardt (’63)


Letters to the Editor Policies

Letters selected to appear in the print edition of the Magazine may be edited for clarity and space. Online, letters may appear in their complete form or with editing to keep individual submissions to a maximum of 300 words. 


Respond to a story in the spring 2019 issue: