From state-of-the-art facilities to diverse research grants, impactful campus events to new academic programs, take a look at some of the noteworthy moments and accomplishments featured in the
2022-23 Report of the President.
The School of Education created a doctoral degree in school psychology, allowing graduates to work in educational settings as well as private practice, community and hospital settings, making them eligible for licensure as psychologists.
The E. L. Wiegand Foundation awarded the School of Health Sciences a $169,000 grant to secure vital new equipment to help train nursing students.
Gonzaga completed the implementation of the Canvas Learning Management System spurred by a need for more user-friendly tools and robust faculty-student support. The Canvas platform integrates with other Gonzaga database and service platforms, offering greater efficiencies.
A principal academic accomplishment of the 2022-23 academic year at Gonzaga University was the launch of the
Center for Lifelong Learning, offering continuing education, professional development and personal enrichment programs to the public.
Programs and certificates are designed to meet the needs of professionals seeking to advance into leadership roles, start a new career, and desiring to grow and learn, no matter what their stage is in life.
“We want to bring the expertise and opportunities of this world-class university to our community,” said Rachelle Strawther, director of the GU Center for Lifelong Learning. “Our mission is to create pathways for people from all backgrounds and educational levels to learn and grow at Gonzaga.”
The Center for Lifelong Learning partners with departments across campus to offer a wide range of non-degree programs, including, but not limited to:
The first major offering was a pair of
Certificates in Cybersecurity and Software Development. The cybersecurity “bootcamp” covers industry fundamentals, systems and network security, vulnerability assessment and security operations, while the software development program covers key aspects of front-end web development, back-end web development, databases and data structures and algorithms.
Certificate in Climate Action Planning helps guide organizations across the country in achieving their local community’s climate goals. The combined expertise of GU’s Institute for Climate, Water and the Environment and Center for Lifelong Learning delivers practical guidance on achieving emission-reduction goals and building more climate-friendly cities, churches, schools and businesses. Institute for Climate, Water, and the Environment
One year after the Northwest’s deadly heat dome, GU’s Climate Institute
launched “Spokane Beat the Heat” to help residents understand the impacts of extreme summer heat and help prevent future heat-related deaths. The initiative included urban heat island mapping, a community survey and a correlation data study, which resulted in a heat health education campaign developed in partnership with the Spokane Regional Health District with presentations to Spokane’s Mayor and City Council. Climate Action Lessons
Climate Literacy Fellows created seven new hands-on climate literacy lessons and engaged with more than 2,000 area students in grades 2-8. Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J. (’68), of the Vatican, presented
“Caring for our Common Home, in This World and with This Climate.” Laura Petes, chief of staff for Climate & Environment and assistant director for Climate Resilience at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, discussed working with federal agencies to advance the climate and environmental priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration.
focused on improving outcomes for youth and families in Northeast Spokane and Gonzaga continued to provide in-school mentoring programs with elementary, middle and high school students. GU students also volunteered at O’Malley Senior Apartments, Thrive International Refugee Services, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington and more. Opportunity Northeast
Skye Clark (‘22) served youth at Gonzaga Family Haven as an AmeriCorps volunteer
The Center for Community Engagement supported a full array of wraparound programs for the residents of Gonzaga Family Haven to help 70+ families,
fostering movement from intergenerational poverty to independence. The Haven received $576,000 in direct federal funding from the Department of Health & Human Services to enhance its programming and services for Haven residents, and has also been supported by many generous benefactors.
4,300 GU students fulfilled more than 87,000 hours in community engagement.
100 sections of community-engaged learning courses were provided, from philosophy and psychology to business, nursing, engineering and more. Speakers and Events
A cornerstone of Gonzaga’s mission is challenging students through unique and thought-provoking perspectives. Over the last year, the University hosted individuals whose life experiences and stories have provided opportunities to pause, join in dialogue and generate questions that inform and inspire our work.
Here are just a few examples:
Caring for our Common Home, in This World and with This Climate | Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J.
With his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home,” Pope Francis invited people of all backgrounds to undergo an “ecological conversion” to live in better harmony with all of God’s creation. Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J. (’68), Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is in charge of the Catholic Church’s efforts to assure humanity’s ability to live in dignity. Given how climate-related disasters disproportionately affect the world’s poorest citizens, Czerny’s work involves not just the science of climate change but migration patterns, social services, global economics and more. Czerny’s presentation
explored the intersections between faith, climate change, and Gonzaga's role in caring for our common home. How to Fight Poverty with Profits: A Conversation with Cotopaxi Founder | Davis Smith
Inspired by his youth growing up in the foothills of the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador, Davis Smith
created his business, Cotopaxi, to be a positive change agent. Relationships with nonprofit partners, coupled with the use of recycled, repurposed and responsibly sourced materials, have led the company to fight poverty in new and unique ways. Building Stronger Communities Through Sustained Activism | Helen Zia
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Helen Zia
spoke on issues ranging from human rights and peace, to women’s rights and countering hate, violence and homophobia. A Fulbright Scholar and graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class, Zia is an activist, award-winning author and former journalist. Zia presented “Building Stronger Communities Through Sustained Activism,” a discussion about Asian American and LGBTQ+ movements, sustaining social movements, and challenging the Model Minority Myth. Persistence, Passion and Patience. An Evening with America’s First Latina Military Pilot | LTC Olga Custodio, USAF (retired)
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, America's first Latina military pilot, retired Lieutenant Colonel Olga Custodio,
shared her story. Custodio was the first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training with a fighter qualification to fly the T-38 as an instructor pilot. From breaking barriers and overcoming challenges as a woman in a male-dominated profession throughout her career, Custodio has gained life insights and perspectives, especially for women working to achieve their dreams. Inclusive Excellence in Action
During the 2022-23 academic year, the Office of Inclusive Excellence finalized and distributed a
Strategic Plan to outline priorities for the University through 2028 including:
Recruiting, retaining and fostering the success of a diverse community
Nurturing an inclusive campus climate and intergroup relationships
Promoting inclusive teaching, scholarship and service
Building capacity through education, training and development
Strengthening and deepening community relations and partnerships
Developing University infrastructure to assess, report and ensure accountability
As noted in the report – which expands from a previous platform of diversity, equity and inclusion to a broader set of ideals including belonging and justice – the work of inclusive excellence belongs to all members of the campus, from hiring and training of employees to curriculum development and student activities.
In Fall 2023,
28% of the student body was from underrepresented minority groups – a percentage that has continued to grow each year. (The incoming first-year undergrad
class in Fall 2023 was 33%.)
In 2023, two community groups continued their longstanding traditions of gathering to celebrate their high school and college graduates, meeting at Gonzaga to recognize their students’ accomplishments.
In its 27th year, the African American Graduation Celebration honored more than 50 graduates from Spokane-area high schools and more than 20 from local colleges.
Also in its 27th year, the Native American Community Graduation recognized Native grads from nearly 30 regional high schools, as well as nearly 30 graduates from postsecondary schools, representing many tribes and bands, from Tohono O’odham and Ojibwe to Sioux, Blackfeet, Turtle Mountain Chippewa and more.
During this academic year, Student Affairs welcomed additional leadership in its Diversity, Inclusion and Community Education (DICE) department, with
Jessie Mancilla as director of the Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC) and Jamie Bartlett as director of the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Center. Coming Together
The Gonzaga campus fell victim to vandalism that specifically perpetuated the erasure of Native Americans, done by a hate group known to target other populations, including Jewish and LGBTQ+ community members. Following the incident, the University hosted a series of speakers providing education on the rise of hate and proper tactics for increasing awareness and reducing harm.
Gonzaga’s ROTC battalion
celebrated its 75th anniversary. The United States Army Cadet Command consistently ranks Gonzaga in the top 15% of the nation’s ROTC programs and the Bulldog Battalion has qualified for competition at West Point Sandhurst four times since 2016. In
recognition of Title IX’s 50th year, Gonzaga recognized the ways the 1972 civil rights legislation addressing sexual assault, employment discrimination and gender bias among other issues changed athletics operations to support women in sports. Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC)
celebrated 25 years since the establishment of the Unity House, which seeks to provide support to students of color at a predominantly white institution. In addition to expanding the popular annual Diversity Monologues, UMEC honored its heritage with a mural in the Hemmingson Center.
Mural by Daniel Lopez inside the John J. Hemmingson Center. Strategic Alliances
Spokane leaders celebrated the region’s newest state-of-the-art hub for medical and health education, research and innovation, anchored by the
University of Washington School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Health Partnership. The 90,000-square-foot building, located at 840 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., in Spokane’s University District, is the academic home to the UW School of Medicine Spokane and its 120 first- and second-year students, Gonzaga’s Department of Human Physiology, and more than 500 GU undergraduates in nursing and health sciences, plus faculty and staff. Seattle University, Gonzaga University and Saint Louis University jointly received a $1 million
ADVANCE Partnership award from the National Science Foundation to increase the recognition and inclusivity of faculty promotions processes with the overarching goal of encouraging change across all 28 members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU).
A learning lab inside the Health Partnership facility. Exhibiting Excellence
hosted “Americans and the Holocaust,” a touring exhibit created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association, focused on U.S. responses to the Holocaust and participation in World War II. Gonzaga was one of only 50 universities accepted as a host, among 250 applicants. Exploring Tribal History
The Office of Tribal Relations, the Center for Community Engagement and Mission and Ministry offered the first faculty/staff immersion centered on
understanding Jesuit connections to local Native American tribes. The trip included a visit to the site where Fr. Pierre DeSmet, S.J., began his work among the Bitterroot Salish and a visit with members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Honoring Our Military
joined the Pat Tillman Foundation as a University Partner to enhance recruitment and retention of military members and veterans through support services and financial aid provided by the foundation. Alumni Relations also launched the Military Service Community to unite all grads who have served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Understanding Hate
Gonzaga University and the Community Colleges of Spokane
presented the seventh International Conference on Hate Studies as scholars from around the globe addressed the challenges of hate in the 21st century. Unleashing Spirit
ESPN’s College GameDay aired live from McCarthey Athletic Center, which featured a full student section for the early morning broadcast. Dancing with Leadership
In May, Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars” fame and his father Bruce Hough, ’19 M.A. came to campus to offer
“Taking the Lead: Lessons in Leadership from the Art of Dance,” a benefit for the University’s dance department and School of Leadership Studies. Derek also taught a master class with Gonzaga dance students. Interested in More from the Report?