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ather Frank Costello, SJ, has a

Above, Red Mass marks the opening of a new academic year. Opposite, in the Luvera Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola

long memory. Sitting in the dining room of Jesuit

House, the stately residence hall that Gonzaga’s Jesuit community calls home, Father Costello reveals the kind of intimacy with Gonzaga University that comes only through long acquaintance. That mission, of course, has its pragmatic qualities. Father Costello believes there are a couple of practical reasons why fully half of the twenty-eight U.S.-based Jesuit institutions of higher learning boast law schools. One reason, he said, involves social acceptability. Many Catholic students in the late-nineteenth century were either immigrants or children of immigrants. Those students chose to attend Jesuit colleges or universities because degrees earned at those schools, he said, “allowed them to achieve economic and social advancement. And one of the ways that (goal) was best carried out was through a law career.” The second reason is tied to Jesuit educational tradition. “The scholastic method in philosophy was universal,” Father Costello said. “In each of those schools, there was a class in ethics. And within ethics, there would be a section asking what is law. Every one of those Jesuit schools had that tradition. So studying law and ethics was a natural part of the instruction.” But there was a third reason, too—one that grew out of older Catholic practices and involves the values with which the Jesu-

A Spokane native, Costello was born in 1921, just a dozen years after the Gonzaga School of Law’s creation. He attended Gonzaga High School during the years classes were held on the university campus. When he graduated in 1939, he was eighteen years old. “I went to the Jesuits that same summer, down in Sheridan, Oregon,” he said. Thirty years later he was back, ordained as a priest, bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in hand, and ready to help shepherd Gonzaga through the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Father Costello came to head the political science department and later became a university vice president. From his office in Chardin Hall, which then housed the law-school faculty, Father Costello advised a generation of Gonzaga undergraduates who harbored dreams of a career in the law. He was well suited for the job. To Father Costello, the intent of the Jesuits to build universities, especially those that include schools of law, was part of the order’s original mission. 11

maintained that he derived a special joy from teaching. “I get an enjoyment out of teaching that’s difficult to put into words,” Myers told the Spokane Daily Chronicle in 1975. “I get a special satisfaction out of teaching, in the sense of helping in the education of the people who will be the lawyers in the years to come and who will be in this area.”

Joe Nappi Sr. professor (1949–1991) Born in Syracuse, New York, longtime GU Law Professor Joe Nappi Sr. came to Spokane as one of Roosevelt’s New Dealers. While still in his teens, Nappi joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, which took him to Priest River, Idaho, where he and hundreds of other workers cut trees and built roads. After winning a football scholarship in 1939 to Gonzaga University, Nappi followed the lead of numerous other young Americans during World War II and joined the military. He learned Japanese well enough as a Navy officer to serve as an interpreter during the post-conflict war-crimes trials in Tokyo. Nappi returned to Spokane, earned a law degree in 1948 from Gonzaga, and went into private practice. A year later, he began

Father Francis “Frank” Conklin, SJ Professor/dean (dean 1975–1978) Charles Flower, who earned his GU Law degree in 1966, never doubted that Father Frank Conklin, SJ, hailed from Butte, Montana. “You ever been to Butte?” asked Flower, first editor-in-chief of the Gonzaga Law Review. “It was a tough town.” Father Conklin, Flower said, “came from Butte. And he had the scars on his face to prove it.” After graduating from Butte Central High School, Father Conklin attended Gonzaga University, where he graduated in 1948. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1942, taught at Gonzaga High School from 1949 to 1952, and was ordained in 1955. He studied law at Georgetown University, graduating in 1961 first in a class of 300. He went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in law from Yale University (1962, 1963, respectively). Hired by the Gonzaga Law School to teach constitutional law, Father Conklin served two stints as dean: in an interim position, 1965–1966, and full time in 1973–1975. During his second term, Father Conklin oversaw the conversion of

Smithmoore Myers, right, confers with Dean Lewis Orland.

gree, studied further at George Washington University and the University of Geneva. In 1967, he received an honorary LLD from Gonzaga. Dean Orland, who wrote several books on Washington trial practice, joined the GU Law School faculty in 1950. He re-

“He would get you up on your feet and work Father Conklin, SJ, served twice as dean of the Law School.

Father Conklin’s resignation caused a short-lived student revolt. His action and words tended to rouse passions. As a man honored at Georgetown University “for assisting those less fortunate to enjoy equal justice under law,” he was seldom shy about speaking his mind.

He studied at Georgetown University, graduating first in a class of 300.

Lewis H. Orland

Webster School into the first stand-alone Gonzaga University School of Law and an unprecedented rise in enrollment that included students from all over the country. As befits a person with strong convictions, Father Conklin’s relatively short term as full-time dean didn’t go smoothly. His departure, which came in February 1975, occurred during a time when the school had attracted criticism by the American Bar Association. The bar association’s various “points of deficiency,” in large part, were due to eased admission standards that had allowed the student body to grow by 1975 to an unprecedented level: 984.

Professor/dean (dean 1968–1973) It’s a long way from Moscow, Idaho, to the Harvard Yard, both geographically and emotionally. But native Idahoan Lewis H. Orland made both treks and, in the process, became a noted scholar, author, and Gonzaga Law School’s ninth dean. Orland graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Idaho before heading for Harvard and, after earning his law de26

you over unmercifully.” signed as dean in 1973 and returned to the classroom. “Dean Orland’s devoted service to the Gonzaga Law School during the difficult days of its transition from a small school with 150 students to a combined day and night school of nearly 600 students merits the gratitude of the university, the Law School and the community at large,” said Father Richard E. Twohy, SJ, Gonzaga president. Jim Wickwire, who graduated from Gonzaga University Law School in 1967, had a different, if no less reverential, take on Dean Orland as a teacher (whose courses included pleadings and civil procedures, and evidence). “He was the one who just scared the living hell out of you,” Wickwire said. “He would get you up on your feet and he would work you over unmercifully. “And it was great,” Wickwire added, “because you knew you had to be really on to deal with the questions and the followups. Nobody did it like he did it. And he did it with intellectual rigor. It was really valuable.”

Joe Nappi Sr. was admired by his colleagues for his love of teaching and his love of students.


This civil rights march took place peacefully in March 1965 at the Spokane County Courthouse.


The Sixties Happened Even in Spokane

s a decade of activism and protest, the 1960s began, arguably, in 1964 with the student protests at the University of California, Berkeley. Grandly dubbed the Free Speech Movement, the student-led protests drew attention to everything from the struggle for civil rights—which had begun a decade earlier in the South—to the growing resentment over America’s involvement into what would become the Vietnam War. Quickly enough, the student protests would spread to other college campuses, from New York City’s Columbia University to the University of Oregon. The decade would barely be done before the Kent State shootings in early 1970 would extend the movement for a few years more. As Mark Vovos, Gonzaga Law School (class of 1968), recalled, “It certainly was a turbulent time in the country. We were in a war, and there was the civil rights movement. Those things were out and around and about us. But here in Spokane …” Well, to be frank, in Spokane, things were a lot calmer—and more innocent. When a civil rights protest march took place in

1965 at the Spokane County Courthouse, no police gathered, and no violence took place. Rather, a Spokesman-Review photograph showed one marcher, Paul Tusch, above, a senior at Gonzaga Prep, hiding behind his “Freedom Now” sign—because he had skipped school that day. For the most part, Gonzaga Law School remained on the periphery of political activism. Why was this? As those who attended Law School in the 1960s explain, it was a different era, one that posed obligations and presented expectations that would seem foreign if not outright strange to students of today. For one thing, the 1960s represented the gradual change from the generation that emerged from the Great Depression and fought World War II and in Korea. It was the generation that, only slowly, began to bridle against Cold War fears and the pressure of 1950s conformity and complacency. Such changes, as with most cultural movements, came slowly to the Inland Northwest. Gonzaga the Law School was much smaller then. Vovos was one of twenty-eight graduates in 1968. Charles Flower (class of 1966), the first editor of the Gonzaga Law Review, was one of 38

twenty-nine graduates, while Gonzaga Bulletin. According his Law Review succesto the Spokesman-Review, sor, Jim Wickwire (class of the protesters chanted and 1967), graduated in a class of threw rocks at the police oftwenty-four. And the school ficers who had been called in was a four-year program that to quell the disturbance. held classes at night, allowThe cause? “The students ing students to work full time started burning copies of the and still earn their legal eduschool newspaper, protestcation. ing an article telling of the Vovos, who would go on university turning down a to become one of Spokane’s proposal to let women visit leading trial attorneys and an male students in their dormiadjunct law professor, worked tory rooms and vice versa,” fulltime as a bailiff at the Sporeported the Spokesman-Rekane County Courthouse for view. Superior Court Judge Willard Various kinds of comRoe (a 1940 GU Law gradumentary about the Vietnam ate). Concerns for students War occurred on the univerin Vovos’ class were, he said, sity campus. On October 29, mostly about the practical as1965, a “non-demonstration” pects of their individual lives. was held in support of the “Certainly the war was goconflict. Three years later, ing on,” Vovos said. “We were during the annual fall ROTC aware of that.” But, he added, Military Ball at the Daven“The majority of the people in port Hotel, the Associated the class worked. And the maStudents of Gonzaga Unijority, maybe sixty percent or versity sponsored an AntiLaw student Frank Burgess, basketball phenomenon of the sixties and later a respected federal judge so were married.” Military Ball in the Student Not that protests were unUnion Building. And on heard of at Gonzaga. On May 13, 1964, a crowd of five hundred October 15, 1969, classes were suspended so that the student five hundred or so gathered on campus to burn issues of the body could “examine the historical and political aspect of the Vietnam War.” But such events were rare at the Law School. In the decade to come, when Law School enrollment would swell to nearly a thousand students, activism would grow around a range of issues, from the Vietnam War to more say in course selection and tuition costs. The students of the 1960s, though, had more immediate concerns. “You went to school at six o’clock at night,” Vovos recalled. “Then you had a class from six o’clock to seven o’clock, then from seven o’clock to nine o’clock or nine thirty. If you worked a fulltime job, too, that was a long day, and a lot of guys I knew worked.” And while attrition was high, those who endured did so with their primary goals intact. “People were trying to get through,” Vovos said. “They wanted to graduate. They wanted to get jobs.” Jim Wickwire, who became an internationally known mountain climber, here with Sandy and Smitty Myers


Celebrating Gonzaga: School of Law, The First 100 Years  
Celebrating Gonzaga: School of Law, The First 100 Years  

Sample pages from "Celebrating Gonzaga: School of Law, The First 100 Years"