National Gonzaga Day Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us on January 25.

Kindle Fire HD Winners:

Avrial BurlotAvriel Burlot

Tacoma, WA
I am celebrating National Gonzaga Day by shooting some hoops with the kids at the children's home I work with in Haiti. I'll wear a Zag's shirt with pride that day because without Gonzaga I would not have known about this amazing organization I have been with for three years. I proud to also be following in my mentors footsteps. I remind myself everyday, "we cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. I'm doing what I can and loving every minute of it.

Elizabeth Slamkowski

Washington D.C.
Elizabeth SlamkowskiSt. Thomas More Catholic Academy is a gem of an institution in the poorest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Southeast D.C. is blessed to have a beacon of hope in our school where we have amazing teachers that constantly energize the school with new ideas such as our College Day. My 2nd grade class celebrated an observed National Gonzaga Day on Monday of Catholic Schools Week by learning what it means to be a Zag! My 2nd graders learned all about Aloysius Gonzaga, Ignatius, and the Jesuits. We noticed that what the Jesuits believe is very similar to our class goals: Education and Heaven. My students have been saying things like "Men and women for and with others", "All for the glory of God", and "Educating the whole person". These are bright 2nd graders who have a thirst for knowledge and who will be lifelong learners. They are currently in a love affair with all things Gonzaga! Even though we had themes for the other days of the week, they wanted to learn more about Ignatius (often mispronounced) and Gonzaga. It looks like our "Saint of the Week" will have to be those two again next week.

Not only did we celebrate in class, but I brought "Go Zags" signs and gear for all of my kids to wear during our college panel in which I told my Gonzaga journey to the entire school and some of the church parishioners. (But was interrupted when my kids started chanting the cheer I taught them... Go Gonzaga!!! G-O-N-Z-A-G-A! It was awesome.) I got to explain how transformative of an experience my time at Gonzaga was, and I shed some light and hope to our students. The number 1 concern for our students is cost of college. We have 80% or more students on vouchers at our school, and for them to hear about how the Jesuits believe so strongly in education that they will help students make it an affordable experience was amazing. They asked me many questions specifically about GU, and I answered with such genuine love and appreciation for all that Gonzaga has done and is still doing for me. These kids will make a great group of future Zags!!

Gonzaga Sweatshirt Winners:

Nolan GradyNolan Grady

Merion Station, PA
I am celebrating National Gonzaga Day by continuing on the tradition of Jesuit education at a fellow Jesuit university. Working in Campus Ministry, I have the opportunity to form the mind, body, and spirit of another generation of students. This work includes retreats, small faith communities, social justice initiatives and advocacy, and immersion trips such as the one pictured here in Guatemala. From my first immersion trip as a Zag to Zambia, to my most recent time in Guatemala, I'm always reminded of what it means to live a life of global solidarity, and I strive to share that with all of those whom I encounter.

Natasha DSouzaNatasha D’Souza

Yakima, WA
I am celebrating National Gonzaga Day by continuing my education as a first year medical student. I cannot imagine where I would be with out my Gonzaga Liberal Arts education as I am embarking on my medical school journey. I carry Gonzaga's message with me daily because the Jesuit emphasis of mind, body, and spirit is crucial for my own well being as well as my future patients’ well being. My current school's mission to the underserved parallels Gonzaga’s mission of service and Gonzaga has given me the education, leadership skills, and inspiration to apply myself in an effective and compassionate way. With these tools in hand, I know that I can make the most of my time committing my service to others and to the greater good. As a current medical student at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and with exams around the corner, I will be spending part of my day studying. But with many other Zags in the area, I am also very glad to be able to lift my Zag spirit after the books. Decked out in all of my Zag gear, I'll be attending the Yakima Chapter Alumni Event to watch the game with my fellow alumni! Go Zags!

Rachael BanyRachael Bany

Portland, OR
I'm celebrating National Gonzaga Day by welcoming 500 excited music students to the Youth Music Project in West Linn, Oregon this winter. As a music nonprofit, the Youth Music Project's mission is to offer students in the surrounding community the ability to take music lessons no matter what their family income is. Through the use of scholarships and free instrument rentals, our students learn that they have something to give to the world. Their musical talent, whether in their rock band class or learning ukulele, they are encouraged to share their passion with others. Fostering a community of learning helps our students become young men and women for others, sharing their talents, hopes and smiles. They getting ready to rock and ready to roll into the world and make a difference.

Honorable Mentions:

Connie EmryConnie Emry

Spokane, WA
I live in a downtown condo (on Riverside) in Spokane. I will will wear a Zag t-shirt that day. I will walk over to the campus, go to the bookstore to pick out some gifts for relatives and will perhaps look in on the pre-game gathering. But it will primarily be a "walk of gratitude". I will walk there because I can, grateful for my health. I will walk there for exercise and to contemplate where I was 50 years ago: in Florence participating in the first year of the fabulous Gonzaga-in-Florence program. We'd been to Egypt and the Holy Land for Christmas break and were back in classes at this time 50 years ago. I will attempt to attach a photo below from the reunion in Florence last Fall; 30 classmates attended!

Maggie WardMaggie Ward

Nashville, TN
I am celebrating National Gonzaga Day this year by continuing my education in Special Ed. and spreading the Zag spirit to the little ones I work with in Nashville, Tennessee! Go Zags!

Kristen KonradKristen Konrad

San Carlos, CA
National Gonzaga Day this year will be one to remember. I have been in the hospital with my mother approximately 15 hours each day as she had lung surgery and was on a heart bypass machine last week. We just learned she will not be getting out until early next week, so National Gonzaga Day will be spent with my mother in the hospital. We are both looking forward to rooting for our Zags from her room, nothing could keep us from celebrating and watching the game together!

Mark Wen ( MBA '87)

Seattle, WA
I received my MBA from Gonzaga in the 80s, long time ago. I am planning to visit Gonzaga 1-25-2014 together with my 85 years old American host family parent. To celebrate this day together with family and my American host family is a dream come true.

Chris RoofChris Roof

Spokane, WA
Currently serving as the Gonzaga Men's Club Volleyball coach, I'll be with my team competing in the PIVA Winter Warm Up on the campus of the University of Idaho. The 2-day tournament features 19 teams and includes 2 Gonzaga men's teams, along with the Teresa Crane '07-led Gonzaga Women's Club Volleyball teams. PIVA is the Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Association for collegiate club teams in the Pacific Northwest, a conference I run as the Conference Commissioner.

Charlotte Ash

Lewiston, ID
I will be celebrating National Gonzaga Day by following the most important lesson I learned at G.U.: don't just talk about helping others, do it! More specifically, I will be helping uninsured, medically needy persons receive information about and/or sign up for the Affordable Care Act, and I will be giving them information about our regional free clinic here, so that one way or another, they can receive much-needed basic medical, dental, mental health, and eye care at no cost to them. And I will be wearing one of my G.U. shirts the whole time! GO G.U.!!!

Gillian Quinn

Humble, TX
I am celebrating National Gonzaga Day by helping my students get ready for college. Gonzaga developed a fire for social justice in me. Today, I am working as Founding School Leader at the KIPP high school I was blessed to open this summer. I will share my Zag memories with my predominantly first-generation freshmen (and future college graduates) and encourage them to start dreaming of a college where they will make friends that last a lifetime, learn from world-class professors, and gain the tools to give back to their community.

Carl UelandCarl Ueland

Renton, WA
One must wear their Gonzaga attire, then I will fly the Gonzaga flag on my flag pole, while driving my dark blue car with Gonzaga license plate, on the way to attend the Seattle Gonzaga event while watching the bulldogs win another game. It will also be a day to reconnect with old classmates I have not seen in a while. This Gonzaga day idea is brilliant.

Rebekah KuhlRebekah Kuhl

Eugene, OR
I will be celebrating National Gonzaga Day from my new home here in Eugene, OR, reflecting on the experience of a lifetime I had at GU throughout the last four years. I will reflect on how such a unique experience and culture has changed, and continues to play an important role in how I live my own life. Love and miss you so much Gonzaga family!

Karen DuBoisKaren DuBois

Richland, WA
I will be celebrating National Gonzaga Day for the first time this year. I am proud to be joining the Bulldog family this Spring 2014 to earn my graduate degree. Although I have been out of school for 15 years, everyone I have talked to has made me feel right at home. It has been so refreshing to see the difference a Jesuit school offers. I no longer feel like I should stifle my faith in the scholarly environment but rather use it to motivate my actions. I feel supported and encouraged to live by its principles, through my education, to benefit others. So what will I be doing to celebrate National Gonzaga Day? I will be outfitting my family in Zag wear & bringing my neighbors who are big Zag fans some good news about my first impression of Gonzaga! GO ZAGS!

Megan MignellaMegan Mignella

Spokane, WA
We're celebrating National Gonzaga Day on January 25, 2014, by GETTING MARRIED! The two of us met at Gonzaga Law School, fell in love, and decided that we wanted to commit the rest of our lives to one another. What better way to celebrate National Gonzaga Day by having two alums tie the knot? GU brought us together from opposite ends of the country - the bride is from Arizona and the groom is all the way from Connecticut - so GU will always have a special place in our hearts. Other GU alums, shown in the photo, were in attendance at the wedding to represent the Zags! Currently, both of us are working as attorneys in Spokane, and plan to stay actively involved in and supportive of the University. Married Zags for life!

Putter Tiatragul

Spokane, WA
Gy helping with the preparation of real Zag fans in their residence hall.

Shelby MasonShelby Mason

Studying for the NCLEX Nursing exam, repping my Gonzaga sweatshirt, and watching the Zags beat BYU! Let's Go Zags!

Cathy StoreyCathy Storey

Lewsiton, ID
We are celebrating with FAMILY, always...even the newest youngest Zag fan gets in on Game Day!!

Erin FitzgeraldErin Fitzgerald

Deer Park, WA
In the Jesuit tradition, theatre was used as a medium for educating and informing the public. Gonzaga's Jesuit heritage has played a significant role in my four years here at GU. Therefore, in the spirit of our Jesuit heritage, I will be attending rehearsals for Gonzaga University Theatre Department's Spring production "Alice", a new take on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". Theatre has been a part of Jesuit schools for over 200 years and I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful tradition, at such an amazing school. Happy National Gonzaga Day!

Karen BafusKaren Bafus

St. John, WA
I will be wearing a very SPECIAL ZAG shirt that was a very good freind of mine that passed last year she was a great Zag fan!! :}

Katharine JonesKatharine Jones

I will be watching the basketball game and I will be decked out in my Gonzaga gear! Go zags!!!

Josh SchwaderJosh Schwader

Sullivan, MO
I celebrated National Gonzaga Day on January 25, 2014 by Gearing up in my lucky hoodie, my brand spankin' new Gonzaga hat from the GU Library, my Gonzaga wedding ring, and my Gonzaga Bulldogs shorts. I then proceeded to tell everyone that GU was once again celebrating National Gonzaga Day, and everyone laughed at my loyalty to this great university. As I took it all in stride, I then won a madden tournament with my friends and got to put up my brand new Gonzaga Wall of fame on my Office wall. This year's National Gonzaga Day was so fun.

Then when we started playing against BYU I knew it was going to be a great day. I celebrated with my lovely wife and we watched Gonzaga win! What a day it was and I am so proud to be part of such a great institutional fan base like Gonzaga who does everything the right way.

Win or lose, no matter what I am there watching every game, and it just makes it even more special on National Gonzaga Day. I am so glad we won! GO BULLDOGS!

Debbie NielsenDebbie Nielsen

Spokane Valley, WA
Attending a local event at GU!

Alexander BeareAlexander Beare

I'm going to be celebrating with my fellow Zags and remembering all of the great moments we have shared together so far in our Academic Careers and personal lives! Go Zags!

2013 National Gonzaga Day