Gonzaga Historical Highlights


For a more detailed and illustrated timeline, click on "A History Unfolds" box in left panel.


1887-1895 | 1896-1912 | 1913-1940 | World War II | 1946-1960 | 1961-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-present

College Hall 

1887    Gonzaga College opens, with Father James Rebmann, S.J., as its first President

1892    Recreation Hall built

1892    St. Aloysius Church built

1892    Football first appeared

1892     Electricity and city water become available at Gonzaga

1894    First Commencement

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1898    Administration building completed

1899    St. Aloysius Chuch and Recreation Hall moved

1899    Father George de la Motte, S.J., installed as President

1899    Army Cadet Program begun

1900    College Hall moved 

1900    First baseball field, with grandstand, is erected

1900    Tennis courts constructed

1903    President Theodore Roosevelt comes to campus

1904    Administration Building addition completed

1905    Basketball team begun

1906    Typhoid outbreak

1907    Infirmary, Goller Hall, built

1911    Gonzaga celebrates its Jubilee

1911    New St. Aloysius Church dedicated

1912    Gonzaga becomes Gonzaga University with the addition of Law School Program

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1913    Father James Brogan, S.J., becomes President

1915    First Law students graduate

1918    Students Army Training Corps started, then disbanded after the Armistice

1918     Spanish influenza epidemic

1919    Greater Gonzaga Campaign inaugurated: first major financial campaign

1921    “Fighting Irish” nickname changed to “Bulldogs”

1922    Football Stadium built

1922    Elementary school department dissolved

1924    Summer school program introduced

1924    Knights of the Kennel (now the Knights) established

1924    American Passion Play “Golgotha” staged as dormitory fundraiser; repeated 1925

1925    DeSmet Hall built

1926    Gonzaga High School and Gonzaga University formally separated

1927    Cataldo Memorial Fund begun to help deserving students through College, named for Rev. Joseph Cataldo, S.J., founder of Gonzaga University

1928    Summer school sessions are opened to women

1928    School of Education established

1928    School of Music established

1930    Men’s Glee Club first performs

1930    School of Music is reduced to department status

1934    School of Engineering opened

1937    Bing Crosby awarded honorary degree

1937    New fight song introduced by Bing Crosby and the Glee Club

1941    Football discontinued at Gonzaga

1942    Sammy Grashio Victory Course dedicated

1942    V-5 Naval cadets arrive

1943    V-12 Navy College Program added to the Navy V-5 Program

1944    Navy V-5 Program discontinued

1945    Navy V-12 Program discontinued

1946    Campion Hall (barracks) begin to house students

1945    S. S. Gonzaga Victory launched

1948    Co-education begins

1949    Dillon Hall (now Herak) built

1950    President Truman comes to campus, receiving Citation of Merit

1950    Gonzaga Boxing team is co-National Collegiate Boxing Champion

1951    Crimont Hall opens to house women

1952    Boxing discontinued

1951    Women’s service organization Spurs formed

1954    COG and Madonna Hall built

1954    Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Prep split

1955    Great Teachers Program started to secure professors’ salaries

1957     Welch Hall built

1957    Father Edmund J. Morton inaugurated as President

1957    Crosby Library built

1960    Frank Burgess, All American Basketball Player

1960    John F. Kennedy on campus

1962    Gonzaga celebrates its Jubilee year

1962    St. Catherine & St. Monica Hall, Hughes Hall, Alliance Hall, Campion House and Rebmann are built

1963    Law School purchases Webster Elementary School

1963    Gonzaga in Florence Program started

1963    Gonzaga purchases Waikiki Mansion (now Bozarth) for a retreat center

1963    Gonzaga hosts first Parents’ Weekend

1964    Original College Hall torn down and Jesuit House built in its place

1965    Kennedy Pavilion dedicated (now Martin Centre)

1966    Health Center built

1968    First laymen appointed to Board of Trustees

1969    On Oct. 15, GU students participate in Spokane’s Vietnam Moratorium Day

1969    Russell Theatre opened

1970    First Pilgrimage

1970    Goller Hall burns down

1974    Fr. Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J., inaugurated as President

1978    Presidential Press Secretaries’ Forum

1978    Bob Hope receives Honorary Degree and gives Commencement address in honor of the late Bing Crosby

1980    Gonzaga Alumni Association purchases Crosby House

1983    John Stockton plays for the Bulldogs as a senior, named MVP

1983    Crew is introduced as a club sport

1984    Dillon Hall expanded and renamed Herak

1984    Johnston Family Mall constructed

1986    Gonzaga celebrates its Centennial

1986    Kennedy Pavilion expanded and renamed the Charlotte Y. Martin Centre

1986    Waikiki Retreat Center renamed Bozarth

1987    School of Business expands into the new Jepson Center

1988    Centennial Capital Campaign enables more than 1,400 scholarships and 5 endowed professorships

1988    Gonzaga University Theater Sports (GUTS) established

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1990    Gonzaga hosts Goodwill Games athletes

1990    GU begins entering intercollegiate crew competitions

1992    Foley Center built (Center for Information and Technology)

1992    Former Crosby Library converted into Crosby Student Center

1993    GU forms first women’s golf team

1994    Rosauer Center built to house School of Education

1995    Jundt Art Center and Museum built, including Dale Chihuly chandelier

1995    Dussault Apartments constructed

1996    Burch Apartments constructed

1996    Baseball team moves to West Coast Conference to join other sports

1997    ZagNet installed; residence halls wired to Internet

1997    Institute for Action Against Hate founded

1997    Parent’s Weekend revived under the new name Fall Family Weekend

1998    Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., becomes President

1999    Men’s Basketball team appears in the NCAA Elite Eight

2000    New School of Law building built

2001    Corkery Apartments, Dillon and Goller residence halls built

2003    Additions to Hughes Hall, Jepson Center, and Cataldo Hall constructed

2003    Administration Building and COG remodeled

2004    McCarthey Athletic Center opens on site of baseball field

2007    Patterson Baseball complex built opens

2007    Kennedy Apartments open

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For more information, please contact Stephanie Plowman, Special Collections Librarian, plowman@gonzaga.edu

Updated January 2013