Dr. Thayne McCulloh President Dr. Thayne McCulloh (BA, ’89) became Gonzaga University’s interim president in the summer of 2009, succeeding the eleven-year tenure of Jesuit President Father Robert J. Spitzer. McCulloh, with 19 years as a Gonzaga administrator, knows that it is his job – ‘interim’ title notwithstanding – to collaborate with other Gonzaga stakeholders and continue to build upon Fr. Spitzer’s remarkable legacy. In fall 2009, Gonzaga enrolled its largest freshman class ever, more than 1,200 students, bringing the university overall enrollment to more than 7,500. While continued success in all ways is important to McCulloh, sustaining and reinforcing the mission of Gonzaga as a Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic institution is fundamental to him. “We, as a community, are going to be led first and foremost by our University Mission, which unites us and allows us to remain focused and faithful to the charge that has been given to all of us,” McCulloh said. “Our fundamental mission is to educate men and women in an environment that is both academically rigorous and distinctively Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic.” McCulloh knows that environment well. He spent three years here as an undergraduate, earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology, before moving on to Oxford University to earn a doctorate in experimental social psychology. He returned to Gonzaga in 1990 and has held numerous positions – and worked on many projects – over the past 19 years. These include service as interim academic vice president, vice president for administration and planning, associate academic vice president, and dean of student financial services, among others. Gonzaga is ingrained in him.
“Gonzaga is our life in a lot of ways,” said McCulloh, who with wife Julie (BA ’92, MBA ’97, Gonzaga’s dean of admission), has three daughters. “The way we choose to work and live is with an understanding that it’s not merely ‘a job.’ We feel we are participating in something really important. It’s great to be a part of it, and it’s why we feel at home at Gonzaga. It’s hard to draw a sharp distinction between our private life and our life at Gonzaga, as there is an awful lot that we share, as a family, in common with others who work here. “I came to Gonzaga to get a college education, and what brought me back as an employee was the awareness that this place is about transforming women and men who have unique gifts and talents, and come from all different experiences. Here we ask students to focus on important life questions, and we challenge them to think about what they want to do with their lives that will be of benefit to their fellow human beings. That’s a powerful and important endeavor in a world so desperately in need of it,” McCulloh said. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Washington, D.C. and Seattle, McCulloh attended Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School. Following high school, he completed a three-year enlistment as a food service sergeant in the U.S. Army. He arrived at Gonzaga in its centennial year (1986), served as a resident assistant and resident director, was president of Alpha Sigma Nu (the Jesuit honor society), and was elected student body president. He, Julie, and their three daughters are big fans of Gonzaga sports and attend home games when their schedules permit. McCulloh will serve as interim president pending the selection of a permanent Jesuit president by the Board of Trustees.
Mission Statement of Gonzaga University Gonzaga University belongs to a long and distinguished tradition of humanistic, Catholic, and Jesuit education. We 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.
GONZAGA A AM MEN’S ’ BASKETBALL A A 2009-10
Published on Nov 18, 2009