Gonzaga University’s new president already is making a good impression with students by calling for more scholarships.
“What I like about him is he is going to build up the endowment fund,” said accounting major Tim Woods, a senior.
University officials on Thursday announced the selection of the Rev. Edward Glynn, a seasoned Jesuit administrator from Maryland, as the 24th president of the institution.
During the presidential search, Glynn emphasized the importance of building the university’s $50 million endowment, which is used for scholarships as well as professor positions.
Glynn, 60, takes over from outgoing President Bernard Coughlin in September. Coughlin, 73, will become Gonzaga’s first chancellor.
“He struck me as a very spiritual man, and someone who has a sense of direction for the university,” said Shawn Griggs, a student body senator who interviewed Glynn before his selection by the board of trustees.
“I have heard nothing negative,” said Griggs, a junior in international business.
Political science professor Blaine Garvin said he remembers Glynn when he served as academic vice president at GU in 1977 and 1978.
Glynn left Gonzaga to become president of St. Peter’s College, another Jesuit institution in New Jersey, where he served for 12 years. Since 1990, Glynn has been the chief administrator for Jesuit activities in several eastern states.
“He made a very good impression at that time,” Garvin said. He described Glynn as full of energy, open to new ideas and willing to listen.
“He’s not the kind of person to pull rank on you,” Garvin said.
Students said they hope Glynn will become a force in easing racial tensions following the harassment of black students on campus the past two springs.
Threatening hate mail was sent to black law students last month and in April 1995, leaving the university in the uncomfortable position of fighting off an image of racism.
“I hope this is a step in the right direction,” Coleen Stoudmire, one victim of the hate letters, said about Glynn’s selection.
She said the university needs to recruit more black students and faculty to create a climate of racial understanding.
“Bottom line. We need to recruit. We need to do it now,” Stoudmire said.
Glynn said he is committed to racial diversity. He served on the Urban League in Jersey City, N.J., while president of St. Peter’s College, a campus of about 50 percent minority students.