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The Aquilian

    Mr. Jim Kilroy and the journey to Eye Street

    Surrounded by students, Mr. Jim Kilroy admits his favorite part of his job is mentoring the young men on Eye Street. (Photo from Mr. Jim Kilroy)
    By Jack Beall–

    Mr. Jim Kilroy, the dean of students at Gonzaga, grew up in New Jersey. As one could imagine, his journey from there to Eye Street is an interesting one. Mr. Kilroy grew up with two sisters and went to an all-boys Catholic high school. He was the captain of both the soccer team and unsurprisingly, considering his height, the basketball team. Mr. Kilroy described his high school as similar to Gonzaga. 

    The energy, spirit, and brotherhood that exists here existed for me back then, and it was an incredible experience,” Mr. Kilroy said.

    He now admits that his love for his own high school was probably the first sign that foreshadowed a career in education. 

    After high school, Mr. Kilroy attended the University of Notre Dame where he studied business management; however, he had entered school longing to become a doctor or at least involved in the medical world. His mother was a nurse and subtly pushed him in this direction. Although he studied business management, while at Notre Dame, Mr. Kilroy decided that he wanted to become an educator. 

    Mr. Kilroy coached a seventh and eighth grade boys basketball team in the area. 

    “I loved it and my players really responded well to me, and I saw first hand the various ways they grew while on the team. There were other experiences like that along the way that proved to me I should be in education,” Mr. Kilroy said. 

    This experience was a turning point in his life. He decided to get his master’s degree in education at Notre Dame in their ACE, Alliance of Catholic Education, program. 

    After receiving his degree, he was sent to teach in Jackson, Mississippi where he taught everything besides math, one of his favorite subjects. Two years later, he moved back east to Washington, D.C. when Gonzaga hired him as a math teacher. After a eight years as a teacher at Gonzaga, he became a candidate for the dean of students job, which he currently holds. In addition to the dean of students, Mr. Kilroy continues to teach math and coach golf. 

    Mr. Kilroy had an interesting response as to which job was his favorite.

    He answered, “I think one way to answer this is to lump all of those roles together and then be able to say my favorite — and most rewarding — the job is that of a mentor.”

    Mr. Kilroy has undoubtedly come to be one of the most familiar faces on campus as he makes a constant effort to get in touch with the community, which he describes as his favorite part of Gonzaga. With new students coming in every year to Gonzaga, Mr. Kilroy has the opportunity to help transform boys into Gonzaga men, which he has done so effectively for years. The energy that Gonzaga students bring to campus is certainly reciprocated by Mr. Kilroy giving fist bumps and encouraging words to students who walk through the halls every day. 

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    • C

      cousinsfMar 26, 2021 at 9:06 am

      Jack, Great job here.