Page 3 - Gonzaga in the 1970s
P. 3
Gonzaga in the 1970s

The opening pages of The Gonzaga Record
1950-1959 pointed out that there is no better account
of the development of Gonzaga than Fr Bill Lee’s
brief history, written in two parts for the Records of
1985 and 1986. Fr Lee’s story is both engaging and
very readable, and the early Records are now on line
at, so this volume will do no
more than highlight some of the main points.

The ˋseventies were years of considerable
soul-searching and debate about the future of the
college. Questions were raised about intake,
expansion, the school’s experimental nature and its
status somewhat outside the national system.
Submissions were made to the Department of
Education and a variety of options proposed,
including the possibility of Gonzaga becoming a
comprehensive, even a co-educational, establishment.
When the Department rejected these suggestions the
Society of Jesus, ever mindful of its educational
mission, even contemplated the final closure of the

What prompted all this?

Fr Lee points to the pressure of changes in
Irish society: a ‘rising tide of affluence’ among the
middle class, increasing the demand for places in a
school like Gonzaga; and a commensurate increase in
the demand for places at third level, leading in its turn
to the establishment of the points system of entry to

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