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Anniversary Activities & Events (All events open to the public unless otherwise noted)

125th Mass of Holy Spirit September 12, 2012 Held at St. Aloysius, this annual mass marks the beginning of the academic year. GU Campus, 1890

Pilgrimage September 15, 2012 Outdoor spiritual journey along an 11-mile route in North Idaho. Open to students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Transition and Transformation: 125 years in 125 Items Opens September 17, 2012 An exhibition showcasing items from Gonzaga’s history. This year marks the 44th Pilgrimage, a retreat to reflect on Gonzaga’s heritage of faith and justice.

Constitution Day Lecture September 17, 2012 Dr. Blaine Garvin speaks in recognition of the 225th anniversary of the constitution.

College Hall, 2012

Law Centennial Speaker Scott Turow September 20, 2012

Celebrate 125 years with us The 2012-13 academic year marks the 125th anniversary of Gonzaga University and the School of Law Centennial. The celebration, themed ”Traditon and Transformation,” kicked off with Commencement in May 2012 and continues through May 2013.

Generations of civic leaders, educators, business owners, engineers, scientists, attorneys and community members have earned degrees at Gonzaga. And the people of Spokane have been among Gonzaga’s greatest and longest-standing supporters.

Gonzaga and Spokane have grown up together and it is a privilege to welcome the community to celebrate this milestone with us.


Tradition 1881 was a pivotal year for both Gonzaga and Spokane. With $936 in silver dollars, Father Joseph Cataldo, S.J., purchased a 320 acre tract of land that would become the home of Gonzaga University. Although small in stature and in chronic poor health, Fr. Cataldo possessed that fighting Bulldog spirit Gonzaga is known for; dedicating his life to missionary work and growing the University. That same year, Spokan Falls (what we now know just as “Spokane”) was incorporated as a city – of about 1,000 residents. Six years later, Gonzaga College officially opened its doors. On the first day in 1887 there were seven students and by the end of the year enrollment grew to 19. The student body continued to grow over the next few years, prompting growth in campus buildings as well.

Acclaimed author Scott Turow kicks off the School of Law’s Centennial celebrations.

Who knew?

Today, Gonzaga University is a nationally known, private, four-year university encompassing more than 130 picturesque acres in the heart of Spokane. Gonzaga students annually provide up to 100,000 hours of community service and the University is Spokane’s fifth largest non-governmental employer. Gonzaga and Spokane continue to grow in positive ways. Our commitment began – and continues – right here, in the community we have always been a part of. We look forward to what the next 125 years holds for the entire region. We invite you to join us at special events on campus and around the country through the year. And be sure to look for this special feature each month in the Inlander.

Zagapalooza All-Class Reunion October 19-21, 2012 All alumni are invited to attend this all-out, all-class reunion weekend. Register at

Join the celebration at When Gonzaga opened its doors, the first class was made up of male students aged 10 to 17. Now most students are between the ages 17 and 22.

From 1948 to 1968, freshman students were required to wear beanies during the first few months of the school year.

40 percent of Gonzaga’s students participate in some type of study abroad program such as Zags in Zambia.








Fr. Cataldo founds Gonzaga College

Gonzaga becomes a university and adds the School of Law

Bing Crosby receives an Honorary Degree

GU’s boxing team named co-National Collegiate Boxing Champion

GU builds five dorms in one year

Gonzaga’s Mascot, Spike makes his first appearance

Gonzaga celebrates its 125th anniversary

Three Gonzaga law graduates are now members of the Washington Supreme Court: From left, Justice Mary Fairhurst (‘84), Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (‘77) and Justice Debra Stephens (‘93).

Anniversary Activities & Events (All events open to the public unless otherwise noted)

Congressional Chaplain’s Lecture October 10 Gonzaga graduate Pat Conroy, S.J., shares his always-engaging stories about life as chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony – A Gonzaga Celebration October 13-14 Two inspiring Spokane Symphony Orchestra concerts, underwritten by Don Herak and family, in honor of Gonzaga’s 125th anniversary year.

100 Years of Excellence Gonzaga University’s School of Law opened 100 years ago this month in two cramped lecture rooms at College Hall, where a volunteer faculty of four offered night and weekend classes to 19 students. Today, the School of Law occupies what is perhaps the finest campus facility of its kind in the Northwest, with more than 70 full-time and adjunct faculty members who infuse the student curriculum with an ethic of social justice and public service firmly rooted in Jesuit and Catholic educational traditions. A Commitment to Public Service At Gonzaga, the study of law involves more than just training for a profession that can bring personal wealth and prestige. It is about honor, responsibility to society, service to those most in need and faith in justice. No wonder then that so many Gonzaga law graduates have gone on to distinguished careers in public service. Gonzaga law alumni have served in Congress, as judges, as state attorneys general and as United States attorneys. Here in Washington, Governor Chris Gregoire, state Supreme Court Justices Barbara Madsen, Debra Stephens and Mary Fairhurst are all graduates of Gonzaga’s School of Law. Justice Stephens, a 1993 summa cum laude graduate, sees community engagement as the hallmark of the Gonzaga law school’s Jesuit tradition. “A Gonzaga legal education is more than taking classes and passing exams,” Justice Stephens said. “It is community service through the practice of law.”

Who knew?

Zagapalooza All-Class Reunion October 19-21 All Gonzaga alumni are invited to participate in this all-out, all-class reunion weekend. Register at

Kraziness in the Kennel October 20 Get loud and be proud as the Zags rev up for the 2012-13 NCAA men’s basketball season with a free scrimmage open to all fans. The Chad Mitchell Trio, which won national acclaim in the 1960s, was founded by Gonzaga Glee Club members Mike Kobluk (‘61), Mike Pugh (‘61) and Chad Mitchell (‘59). Kolbluk and Mitchell will share stories and videos from the group’s early years at Zagapalooza.





First class graduates from GU School of Law

Tom Foley is GU’s first national collegiate debate tournament qualifier

Father Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J. is named president of Gonzaga

New law building along the Spokane River is dedicated

For more information: 509.313.6398

Dozens of GU grads gather each year in New Orleans to offer hands-on help to homeowners in need as part of the National Alumni Service Project.

Anniversary Activities & Events (All events open to the public unless otherwise noted)

Women’s Basketball Tips Off November 3 Coming off a run in the NCAA tournament, the Gonzaga women tip off another thrilling season with an exhibition game against Eastern Oregon.

‘A Historian of the Present’ November 14

Making the World a Better Place One Heart at a Time Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam has always been the heart of a Gonzaga education. The Jesuit philosophy – which translates as “for the greater glory of God” – promotes faith, service and social justice in preparing students to help make the world a better place. Gonzaga alumni take great pride in living that mission. Father Greg Boyle, S.J., a 1977 GU graduate, has spent more than 25 years changing the world one heart at a time. After completing his studies, Boyle returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to work with at-risk youth and help heal communities scarred by crime and violence. Boyle founded what has become the nation’s largest gang-intervention program, creating Homeboy Industries to offer job training and opportunities that help young people become contributing members of their communities. Learning Through Service, Living the Mission Father Boyle looks back at his Gonzaga days, when he volunteered at a downtown soup kitchen, as an eye-opening experience that helped set the course for a lifetime. Learning through service is still a big part of the Gonzaga experience. Students annually log more than 80,000 hours of volunteer work in the community. And alumni continue to live the mission. Today, Gonzaga ranks second nationwide among small universities in the number of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps and first among all universities in service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Who knew?

Idaho poet Robert Wrigley, described by one critic as “a historian of the present,” will read from his most recent work, Beautiful Country.

International Day of Tolerance November 16 Join Gonzaga students, faculty and friends in linking arms to form a human chain of solidarity in observance of the International Day of Tolerance.

Transformational Partnership: Sunnyside High and Gonzaga November 27

Gonzaga’s great gridiron team of 1924 featured five players who went on to play professional football.

The Gonzaga Guild presents a lecture by Dr. Charles Salina, who helped Sunnyside High School improve graduation rates. It has been called one of the top “turnaround” stories in Washington.

For more information: 509.313.6398





The original Gonzaga building was moved one block

The Gonzaga Glee Club performs for the first time

Bob Hope gives GU commencement address in honor of Bing Crosby

GU alumna Shirley Johnson shares Nobel Peace Prize

Gonzaga University 125th Anniversary Inlander Insert  

Supplemental insert that appeared in the Inlander newspaper

Gonzaga University 125th Anniversary Inlander Insert  

Supplemental insert that appeared in the Inlander newspaper