• Stephanie Elie-Martin

What Makes GU Education Special

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

Gonzaga is a Jesuit school in beautiful Eastern Washington. To say that Gonzaga was my top choice is an understatement, as it was my only choice. I was repeatedly asked by well meaning friends and family if I had a back up option, and I didn’t. I had prayerfully researched and considered a number of Master’s programs and new concretely that Gonzaga was my top and only choice. The reasons for this are many. However, as I knew I wanted to pursue my PhD a reputable school with respect and recognition was vital. I also wanted to assure that bringing God along with me wasn’t going to be taboo, but encouraged. It was also firmly set on a Master’s in Communication and not a subset or variation. Thus, Gonzaga rose to the top. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to study here. However, as I progress in my education I have noticed something I hadn’t before about Gonzaga: Cura Personalis. Cura Personalis is Gonzaga’s theme, which means care for the whole person. The university doesn’t just care about the student as a number or a dollar sign; they care about their health, well-being and overall success.

Having completed my undergraduate degree as a number in the crowd the profundity of this struck me as significant. I wish I had this while I was struggle to adjust to the demands and freedom of college. I wish I felt cared for validated, and guided. I wish there had been more resources for my mental and emotional well-being. I can wistfully imagine how my experience and the outcome would have been dramatically better. As an employee of higher education I wish that more schools, or all schools, would adopt a similar approach. Success isn’t just magically manifested in the classroom, but is the culmination of the entirety of the students experience. Gonzaga wants every student to feel cared for, supported and valued. What a beautiful and poignant mission. How would the world change if we each set about such a vision for how our lives impact others. I can only imagine the powerful impact this mission would have on the world. In the interim Gonzaga is providing a stunning foundation for each and every one of its students.

Cura Personalis has endowed the school with a myriad of resources aimed at helping the whole person. They offer counseling, prevention, resilience education and activities, and peer education. These manifest themselves in activities such as mindfulness exercises and nature walks. They are endowing their students with the tools to not only take their formal education and move forward into the world successfully, but have the knowledge and tools to keep their mental and emotional self cared for and successful as well. So while Gonzaga provides an exemplary, Christ led education they provide a forward thinking mission of caring for the whole person. This is truly what makes Gonzaga’s education so special. I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of it. Go Zags!

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