Ignatian Gala 2008

Gonzaga University Celebrates Jesuits, Benefactors with Ignatian Statue, Gala and Award

By PETER TORMEY, News Service Director
April 18, 2008

Gonzaga University celebrated the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the University’s many generous benefactors on Thursday, April 17 with the unveiling of a new statue of St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, and Gonzaga’s inaugural Ignatian Gala, during which the first Ignatian Spirit Award was presented to the members of Gonzaga’s Jesuit Community.

In the afternoon, Gonzaga celebrated the unveiling of a 9-foot bronze statue of St. Ignatius, sculpted by internationally acclaimed artist George Carlson and mounted on a black granite reflecting pool. The sculpture is located in front of the main north entrance to College Hall, formerly the Administration Building. Greg Hubert, a 1973 Gonzaga alumnus and president of Gonzaga’s Board of Regents, and wife Teresa honored the GU community by donating this meaningful work of art, the signature element of the new main entrance to College Hall.

Later that evening, more than 450 Gonzaga benefactors, including parents, friends, alumni and current students, attended the black-tie gala, Gonzaga’s signature event, which is named for St. Ignatius. In addition to the presentation of the first Ignatian Spirit Award, the audience was entertained by a performance by Kathryn Grant Crosby, widow of alumnus Bing Crosby, and presentations were made by Gonzaga President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., and several current Gonzaga students.

The Ignatian Spirit Award was established to recognize members of the Gonzaga community who embody the spirit of St. Ignatius and are an inspiration in serving the common good through their exemplary service and benefaction to Gonzaga. As Gonzaga University’s longest-standing benefactors and most loyal supporters since Gonzaga opened on the prairie in 1887, Gonzaga’s Jesuits are excellent living examples of people who truly live for others and devote their lives’ passion, faith and purpose to Gonzaga and the Society of Jesus.

Nearly 12,000 alumni, parents, friends, corporations and foundations supported Gonzaga last year, contributing nearly $16 million for financial aid, scholarships and capital projects. Seventy percent of Gonzaga alumni have supported the University at some point, placing Gonzaga second in alumni giving compared with its 61 peer institutions. Benefactors offer crucial support to Gonzaga students; 95 percent of Gonzaga’s students receive financial aid. This year, 271 private scholarships were awarded to benefit students and 1,400 Zags received endowed scholarship aid.

For more information, contact Laura Gatewood, Gonzaga’s director of stewardship, at (509) 313-6381 or via e-mail at gatewood@gonzaga.edu.

To watch the podcast videos of the entire event, visit Gonzaga's iTunes University website, http://itunesu.gonzaga.edu/.