This is what the Capital Campaign organizers said of him:
For over thirty years, Father John B. Woodward, S.J. tall,
and dressed always in his black clerics, was the personification of
rigorous Jesuit academic excellence. As Head of the
Mathematics Department, he guided Gonzaga’s mathematics
curriculum and brought to it a national reputation. As teacher of
Advanced Placement Math, he took Gonzaga’s best and
brightest, ran them through the gauntlet of logarithms and
algebraic brain twisters, and made them better and brighter. His
students have become professors and doctors and physicists and
heads of technology-oriented companies. Hardly a month goes by
that a visiting or phoning alumnus doesn’t share his experience of
being one of "Woody’s" students. More than a few have asked
"When is Gonzaga going to do something for Father
Woodward?" The answer, "as soon as the work is completed on
the new John Woodward, S.J. Mathematics Center located in
For many years Father Woodward, always the humble servant of
God, has steadfastly refused any recognition. This time, it seems,
Father Woodward’s students got the right answer.
Here are some more pictures of Father Woodward (from the
Despite his sometimes stern appearance, Fr. Woodward is a very nice guy. In class he was extremely organized and demanded a lot out of his students. He was infamous for his pop quizzes (Woody's Goodies), including the Russian Roulette at the end of the semester, and he loved calling on poor students without a clue to work out the toughest math problems on the blackboard.
He retired after my sophomore year in 1994 and lived at Gonzaga's rectory
until the summer of 2001. He now lives at a Jesuit retirement community in
Baltimore. I have been told that his condition has improved dramatically over
the last year and enjoys chatting with the staff at his residence.
He was also moderator of our Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta. I'm in this picture on the far left. He taught us why "Factoring is Fun," who KOKO the gorilla is, and how he managed to estimate the number pi to some thirty significant digits. He is truly a genius.
people have visited since May 7, 1999
Last updated July 5, 2001
by Nick Redmond