Fr. Robert James Arenz, S.J. (1924-2011)
Former Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Born in Primghar Iowa, on Aug. 20, 1924, Father Arenz graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1945. As a Jesuit, he earned his doctorate in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1964. He entered the Society of Jesus at Los Gatos in 1950 and was ordained a priest on June 9, 1965 and pronounced his final vows in August 1970.
Fr. Arenz was a distinguished aeronautics engineer whose lifespan work included a pre-Jesuit career in the aircraft industry, and as a Jesuit, research with wave propagation at Jet Propulsion Laboratories, professor of mechanical engineering at Loyola Marymount University, and Dean of Arts and Sciences and professor of mechanical engineering at Gonzaga University. In 1965, Time Magazine referred to Fr. Arenz as “a promising young Ph.D. in astronautics.” He was also a pilot, and a chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Los Angeles, as well as an occasional chaplain to military bases.
Fr. Arenz died in Los Gatos, California, on November 15, 2011, at the age of 87, having been a Jesuit for 61 years, and a priest for 46 years.