Reaching New Heights: A Message from the President

Thayne McCulloh, President

October 30, 2023
President Thayne McCulloh, D.Phil.

I am pleased to present Gonzaga University’s Report of the President for 2022-23.

When there are so many wonderful things to celebrate, developing an annual report is neither simple nor easy. In the following pages, you will read about many of the achievements from the last year, as well as some things we are looking forward to. I hope these stories give you a glimpse of our work, inspire you, and affirm for you what an exceptional place Gonzaga truly is.

In times of difficulty, it’s sometimes possible to lose the focus on our fundamental purpose as a Catholic, Jesuit university. We are, in fact, about a hope-filled future.

Every student who comes to us is a talented individual, filled with dreams and tremendous potential. Meeting them where they are and challenging them to become even more hopeful, more competent and capable, comes through thousands of individual interactions with faculty, staff, peers, and community members across time – in and outside of the formal learning environment. Our students leave prepared to make a meaningful, positive impact on the world in large part because we believe in them and their potential, and because of the support they receive, much of which comes from you, our benefactors and supporters.

At the start of fall semester, I gather with faculty and staff to share what I consider to be the top priorities for the upcoming academic year (also known as the “things that keep me up at night”). This fall, I began with a story about an alumnus from many years ago who – just like every one of our current students – arrived at Gonzaga full of hope and excitement. Following their first year on campus, they were involved in a horrific auto accident which left them paralyzed. While this accident forever changed the course of the student’s life, Gonzaga faculty, staff and Jesuits continued to reach out in the ensuing years, to provide encouragement and hope to this individual and their family.

This former student recently passed away and chose to leave behind a significant financial gift for Gonzaga in their estate. While each year our university is the proud beneficiary of tremendous generosity from many alumni, it is important to realize that this individual had been at GU for just one year. The impact of their experience that year, coupled with the care they received from our community, made a lifelong difference. We are a place that believes each individual is worthy of honor and respect, made in the image and likeness of the Creator. This is just one of the many ways I know us to be living out the meaning of our mission.

A School of Health Sciences.

The Institute for Informatics and Applied Technology.

Reimagining the Learning Environment.

A Center for Ignatian Dialogue and Discernment.

These are just a few of the priorities that inform our thinking as we look forward to advancing this next year through the newly approved institutional Strategic Plan, a roadmap that will continue to set Gonzaga up for success, growth, and the opportunity to develop creative solutions to pressing issues. Advancing the strategic priorities of this plan is entirely about developing opportunities for students and maintaining the profile of Gonzaga as a healthy, vibrant, creative community – because both things matter.

As a higher education institution, it is imperative that we continuously evolve, respond to contemporary needs and challenges, preserve the things that we do well, and change what needs to be changed. I look forward to the work to come, and the possibilities that will emerge for Gonzaga University as a result. Together, we truly are Reaching New Heights! 

Sincerely yours,

Thayne M. McCulloh, D. Phil.

More from the Report of the President