University description (as per official university website)
Gonzaga College started in 1881 with $936 in hard silver dollars. It bought Gonzaga’s founder, Father Joseph Cataldo, S.J., 320 acres of land and water, what people then referred to as “the old piece of gravel near the falls.” Six years later, the College officially opened the doors of its only building for “young Scholastics, whose ambition it is to become priests.” Exclusively for boys, the College was under the charge of the Jesuit priests. Enrollment for the 1887-88 academic year was 18 boys and young men.
Today, it is known as Gonzaga University, a private, four-year institution of higher education. More than 105 buildings dot the 131-acre campus overlooking the Spokane River. Students include both women and men, who can enroll in a multitude of undergraduate or graduate programs. Enrollment for the 2007-08 academic year was 6,923 students.
A constant throughout the years is Gonzaga’s educational philosophy, based on the centuries-old Ignatian model of educating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. At Gonzaga, students discover how to integrate science and art, faith and reason, action and contemplation. "Cura personalis," or care for the individual, is our guiding theme.
Gonzaga University belongs to a long and distinguished tradition of humanistic, Catholic, and Jesuit education. We, the trustees and regents, faculty, administration and staff of Gonzaga, are committed to preserving and developing that tradition and communicating it to our students and alumni.
As humanistic, we recognize the essential role of human creativity, intelligence, and initiative in the construction of society and culture.
As Catholic, we affirm the heritage which has developed through two thousand years of Christian living, theological reflection, and authentic interpretation.
As Jesuit, we are inspired by the vision of Christ at work in the world, transforming it by His love, and calling men and women to work with Him in loving service of the human community.
All these elements of our tradition come together within the sphere of free intellectual inquiry characteristic of a university. At Gonzaga, this inquiry is primarily focused on Western culture, within which our tradition has developed.
We also believe that a knowledge of traditions and cultures different from our own draws us closer to the human family of which we are a part and makes us more aware of both the possibilities and limitations of our own heritage. Therefore, in addition to our primary emphasis on Western culture, we seek to provide for our students some opportunity to become familiar with a variety of human cultures.
In the light of our own tradition and the variety of human societies, we seek to understand the world we live in. It is a world of great technological progress, scientific complexity and competing ideologies. It offers great possibilities for cooperation and interdependence, but at the same time presents us with the fact of widespread poverty, hunger, injustice, and the prospect of degeneration and destruction.We seek to provide for our students some understanding of contemporary civilization; and we invite them to reflect with us on the problems and possibilities of a scientific age, the ideological differences that separate the peoples of the world, and the rights and responsibilities that come from commitment to a free society. In this way we hope to prepare our students for an enlightened dedication to the Christian ideals of justice and peace.
Our students cannot assimilate the tradition of which Gonzaga is a part nor the variety of human culture, nor can they understand the problems of the world, without the development and discipline of their imagination, intelligence, and moral judgment. Consequently, we are committed at Gonzaga to developing these faculties. And since what is assimilated needs to be communicated if it is to make a difference, we also seek to develop in our students the skills of effective writing and speaking.
We believe that our students, while they are developing general knowledge and skills during their years at Gonzaga, should also attain more specialized competence in at least one discipline or profession.
We hope that the integration of liberal humanistic learning and skills with a specialized competence will enable our graduates to enter creatively, intelligently, and with deep moral conviction into a variety of endeavors, and provide leadership in the arts, the professions, business, and public service.
Through its academic and student life programs, the Gonzaga community encourages its students to develop certain personal qualities: self-knowledge, self-acceptance, a restless curiosity, a desire for truth, a mature concern for others, and a thirst for justice.
Many of our students will find the basis for these qualities in a dynamic Christian faith. Gonzaga tries to provide opportunities for these students to express their faith in a deepening life of prayer, participation in liturgical worship and fidelity to the teachings of the Gospel. Other students will proceed from a non-Christian religious background or from secular philosophic and moral principles.
We hope that all our graduates will live creative, productive, and moral lives, seeking to fulfill their own aspirations and at the same time, actively supporting the aspirations of others by a generous sharing of their gifts.