Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington as it celebrates its 125th anniversary. I take great pride in representing this nationally-recognized institution of higher learning.
In 1881, Father Joseph Cataldo, S.J., a Jesuit from the Rocky Mountain Mission, decided to establish a school for boys along the banks of the Spokane River. With $936 in silver dollars, Father Cataldo purchased 320 acres of land. Six years later, on September 17, 1887, Gonzaga College officially opened its doors serving 18 students.
For the last 125 years, Gonzaga University has transformed itself to meet the educational needs of an expanding region. First in 1912, the School of Law was established to meet the Inland Northwest’s legal demands. Then in 1921, the School of Business was formed to help bolster commerce with skilled business leaders. Seven years later the School of Education opened its doors to prepare teachers to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community. In 1934, when hydroelectricity was being developed as a new regional power source and engineers were needed to build dams, Gonzaga established a School of Engineering. And in 1975, the School of Professional Studies was created to educate health care professionals and prepare community leaders for the demands of the next century.
Today, Gonzaga University is one of our nation’s premier institutions of higher learning, educating more than 7,800 students. While at Gonzaga students can choose from over 75 fields of study, select from 25 master’s degree programs, and pursue doctoral degrees in Law and Leadership. In addition, Gonzaga student cheer on and participate in varsity soccer, baseball, golf, tennis, track, rowing, and of course perennial powerhouse men and women’s basketball teams.
So today, it is my grant honor to recognize Gonzaga University for achieving this historic 125-year milestone and applaud the entire University community – students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters – for the contributions they have made to Eastern Washington throughout the years. The Zag Spirit is alive and well, 125 years and counting.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Member of Congress
Washington, Fifth District