The O’Keeffe family


A Family of Loyal Zags

Katherine (Noonan, ’79) and Dr. John O'Keeffe (’79) are parents of Sarah (’07) and current students, Shannon and Sean. They are members of the Alumni Chapter in Denver and give to both the Great Teachers Program and scholarship. And, they are headed to Spokane for their reunion and Fall Family Weekend! “Why would you want to profile me, of all people?” Katherine asked when we called to interview her. That’s easy: she and her family represent the ideal alumni “case study.”


Asked to choose her favorite memory of Gonzaga, Katherine recalled the first time she met John outside Catherine/Monica Hall. He and a friend were newly outfitted ROTC uniforms that were “way too big… you couldn’t see their eyes out from under their caps and their clothes hung on them like clowns.” Out of this first encounter grew lasting friendships and love.  In fact, as Katherine was helping her oldest daughter, Sarah, move into CM, they realized that her dorm room was two doors down from where her parents first met!

Kathy chose Gonzaga because she wanted to attend a small Catholic University, where she could learn and grow in faith. She says “The small student environment, devoted clergy, and committed professors and other personnel, combined with the numerous opportunities for faith growth and service gave way to a profound experience that remains with me, today.” She participated in Pilgrimage and Search, and served in the Spurs, now known as the Setons. Her experience was so profound, and she was so enthusiastic, that her two sisters and all three children chose Gonzaga as well.

“My kids have embraced and grown from the many faith-filled opportunities provided through Gonzaga’s campus life. They volunteer in their communities and are pursuing careers that lend service to others. A mom can’t help but brag little. We are so proud to have them apart of the Gonzaga Community!”

And we can’t help but brag a little about such loyal Zags!

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