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Gonzaga aiming to fully return to in-person classes, campus activities this fall

Gonzaga University’s administration building is seen on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. The FBI has determined the people who "Zoom bombed" a meeting of Gonzaga's Black Student Union in 2020 most likley did not live in the United States.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga University is aiming for a full return to in-person courses and campus activities for the upcoming fall semester, Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh announced Monday in a letter to the university community.

McCulloh said the university made the determination based on government projections showing when COVID-19 vaccines may be available for widespread distribution. The latest timeline from the Washington State Department of Health shows the general public will not receive vaccines until the summer or fall at the earliest.

“Gonzaga is working to seek approval as a point of distribution for the COVID-19 vaccines, but it is not yet clear if, or when, this might happen,” McCulloh said in the statement. “If in the meantime you become eligible for the vaccine(s), we strongly encourage you to make arrangements to receive it/them.”

Washington State University and Eastern Washington University similarly announced goals earlier this year to return to in-person campus activities by the fall.

For the current school year, Gonzaga’s learning has taken place through a mix of virtual and in-person approaches. More information on the university’s COVID-19 response is available at Gonzaga’s ZagOn webpage.

“Achievement of this goal is dependent upon the health, welfare and safety of our students, staff and faculty – including the widespread availability of vaccines,” McCulloh said. “Presuming we are safely able to do so, our intent is to support ‘in-person’ and face-to-face delivery of those courses that, prior to the pandemic, were delivered in person.”

In addition, McCulloh said the university will soon share details about spring commencement, summer sessions and summer/fall study abroad programs in the coming weeks.