Gonzaga History 1980-1989
Crosby Alumni House,
John Stockton and
|Herak Center for
The Kennel Club started in the 1983-1984 school year from a request of basketball head coach Dan Fitzgerald to baseball coach Steve Hertz asking for help to fill up the gym for home games in the Martin Centre. Hertz agreed to encourage his players to attend and to bring their friends. At first there were just a handful of students, mostly baseball and rugby players. They would get together for a pregame social to get prepared for the opposing teams by deciding which player and maybe coach to pick on.
The Engineering School continued to grow and in the 1980s there was a need to expand its facilities again. The $4 million fund raising project paid for a 35,000 square foot addition, lab equipment, and scholarships. The building was renamed the Herak Center for Engineering after the benefactors, Donald and Carol Herak, in May 1984. By the fall of 2002, the Engineering school enrolled 413 students.
Johnston Family Mall,
To make the campus more beautiful and similar to its beginning, the busy corridor of Boone Avenue just outside the Administration Building was closed and became a walking mall. Three blocks of Boone Avenue were vacated. Cul-de-sacs, gentle curving walkways, sculpted grounds adorned this mall. Over a million ornamental red bricks were used to make the walkway. The mall was dedicated in 1984 as the Johnston Family Mall, Gonzaga benefactors.
|Bob Newhart with his wife Virginia
during reception at the Spokane
Sheraton Hotel tohonor his Gonzaga
benefit performances, 1985
Actor and comedian Bob Newhart performed at the 1985 Parents’ Weekend. Newhart presented two performances to capacity crowds to benefit Gonzaga. His eldest son, Rob, was a Gonzaga junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the time.
Sept. 17, 1986
For over a year, Gonzaga celebrated its Centennial in various events. A campus-wide birthday party was held on September 17, 1986 on the lawn behind the Administration Building. For the Centennial, Gonzaga officially embarked on its largest fund-raising effort in its history, a capital campaign to raise $33 million in five years.
|Martin Centre under
|Students playing “Pictionary”,
In April 1987, Alphonse and Geraldine Arnold gave Gonzaga 4,250 ounces of gold. Proceeds for the sale of gold totaled $2 million, the largest single gift in GU’s history at the time. A trust was set up to be used for professorships, scholarships, and a Presidential Fund for support of unrestricted programs such as faculty research and development and campus renovations and improvements.
|Jepson Center, 1987|
|President Coughlin and John
Clute launch the second phase
of the $62 million capital
campaign at the Martin
Gonzaga University Theatre Sports or G.U.T.S started in 1988. With no costumes and no script, G.U.T.S. was total improvisational theater in which the stage was converted into a competitive arena. Divided into two teams of five on the Russell Theatre stage, students engage in a variety of stage competitions. In the “line” game, players who crossed the imaginary line became characters in a scene chosen by the audience. By 1991, G.U.T.S. had 30 members who performed once a month. The shows usually attracted an attendance of over 250 people.
|Jesse Jackson chatting with
students after his speech,
|Lou Holtz, front center, surrounded
by Gonzaga Administrators,
Gonzaga’s commencement, 1989
The other notable visitor to Gonzaga was Lou Holtz, legendary Notre Dame football coach. Holtz gave the commencement address at the 1989 graduation. Nearly 5,000 people, with 486 graduating seniors, heard him. Those unable to find a seat in the Martin Centre were seated in Hughes Auditorium and the Martin Centre field house for live, closed-circuit viewing of the ceremony, which also was televised over a cable channel. Holtz’s speech made for one of Gonzaga’s most memorable graduations.
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