The Gonzaga University Student Body Association will honor the lives of students Matthew Cole Madison and Ann Komadina and 2005 GU alumna Evelyn Grace Khallaf – all who died during the 2005-06 academic year. Their deaths have deeply affected the Gonzaga University community, said former GSBA President Nick Perrault.
Khallaf, from Portland, Ore., was known to Gonzaga students, faculty and staff as Eva. A 2005 magna cum laude graduate, she died in a car accident in September 2005 in Warrenton, N.C., where she was teaching at Louisburg High School through the Teach for America program. Khallaf was president of the GU sophomore women’s service club the Setons in 2003-2004 and was the resident assistant of Welch Hall during 2004-05. An early graduate, Khallaf had planned to return to Spokane this month to take part in the commencement ceremonies with her class.
Madison, a junior from Bozeman, Mont., died while on a trip to Scotland in early January of 2006, during his year at the Gonzaga-in-Florence (Italy) study abroad program. Madison, an avid golfer who earned All-State honors in the sport in high school, died in a fall from a steep incline while trying to get a look at the legendary St. Andrews golf course.
Komadina, a freshman from Reno, Nev., died in April from complications in emergency surgery. She was part of the Honors Program, was extremely interested in the environment and enjoyed tennis, watching movies with her mother and friends, and reading books. During their visit to campus, Ann’s parents, Tom and Ellen Komadina, expressed their hope to have Ann be remembered through the living example that life is precious and that we must, as a community, care for one another.
A new bench surrounded by flowers will be dedicated to Khallaf and placed near the doors on the west side of Welch Hall. The project is expected to take place this summer. GSBA is partnering with GU athletics to host the Matt Madison charity golf tournament this coming fall (2006). The tournament will be added to the current intramural schedule.
Plans to honor Komadina, from Reno, Nev., are still being discussed. GSBA aims to collaborate with the Office of Student Life to create a university policy in her name. Her brother Stephen will be a Gonzaga senior this fall. Perrault has worked with his staff in developing the memorials.
“It is important that we dedicate something to these students because they had such an impact at Gonzaga,” Perrault said. “It is a way for friends, family, and the entire Gonzaga community to celebrate their lives.”
For more information about the memorials, please contact the GSBA at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (509) 323-6874.