Building Up One Another
Human dignity is the same for all human beings: When I trample on the dignity of another, I am trampling on my own.The Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”) has named “walking with the excluded” one of the Universal Apostolic Preferences guiding its works around the world. At Gonzaga, we integrate the Jesuits’ thoughtful priorities into the ways we carry out our mission of educating students in an exemplary learning community that values care of the whole person. The hoped-for outcome is a capacity for critical thought and ethical discernment, informing a commitment to the dignity and welfare of others.
It is with these principles in mind that the Gonzaga Magazine team has evaluated at length the flurry of letters to the editor received last fall. In recent issues, we included same-sex marriage announcements in the alumni weddings section, which resulted in many readers sharing appreciation for representation of deepening inclusivity — as well as some less positive reactions, often expressing viewpoints with reference to teachings of the Catholic Church. However, nothing drew greater response from readers on this topic than the fact that Gonzaga Magazine printed a letter in the fall edition that was hurtful to fellow alumni, particularly those who are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. We received numerous messages expressing disappointment in this decision, and support for those in the LGBTQ+ community. Please know how deeply sorry we are for causing such pain and disappointment.
I responded individually to each person who wrote (as is my practice with all letters to the editor), which provided many opportunities for thoughtful conversation. These discussions also aided our team in discerning what this magazine stands for (and against) as an expressive voice of Gonzaga University. Through dialogue with alumni, faculty, staff and leaders, our team has decided not to publish the letters to the editor received last fall regarding this topic, to prevent further division among our alumni community. The inbox remains open for your letters, nonetheless. We value every message and rely on your feedback to help guide future stories and content.
This publication’s chief aim is to celebrate and edify the incredible community for which Gonzaga is widely known. As a reflection of our campus community, Gonzaga Magazine will continue to cover some of the topics that cause us to face the discomfort of examining who we are – individually and collectively – in trying times. However, we wish to do so in a way that informs and inspires our community, rather than divides it. We will continue to celebrate our alumni: those with impressive career achievements, humble small-town heroes, encouragers, scholarship-givers, policymakers, volunteers, advocates, educators, artists and scholars. We will gladly share your significant moments – all marriages and family developments, and whatever occasions make you proud enough to share your news with us.
Thank you for staying connected, for reading this magazine, and for continuing to edify others. I’m grateful for you.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Gonzaga Magazine has two new advisory committees — one comprising alumni and friends from a range of graduation years and professional experiences, and one with faculty and staff representing academics, student life, mission and more. Our team also enjoys learning from peers at otherJesuit universities. These interactions help guide our vision and policy development.