Commencement May 10-12 Concludes 125th Anniversary Year

April 16, 2013

Gonzaga News Service 

11th-Consecutive Record Large Class

SPOKANE, Wash. — For the 11th consecutive year, Gonzaga University will graduate its largest class ever during its commencement exercises May 10-12. In this, Gonzaga’s 120th commencement, the University expects to confer a total of 2,349 undergraduate, graduate and law degrees — 128 more than its previous record-large class of 2,221 graduates in 2012. Gonzaga expects to confer 1,306 bachelor degrees (up 159 from 2012), 863 master degrees (off 24 from 2012), 19 doctorates (same as 2012), and 161 law degrees (off seven).

Commencement weekend marks the official conclusion of Gonzaga’s yearlong 125th Anniversary celebration. Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, the South African Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, launched the anniversary at commencement 2012 with an inspiring message, urging graduates to dream of a world without war, hunger, racism and other forms of oppression, and to partner with God to make their dreams come true.

A Remarkable Year of Firsts

It’s been a remarkable year of firsts, including the debut of National Gonzaga Day on Jan. 24 when the entire Gonzaga family united in person and spirit to celebrate the University’s rich and living mission of Jesuit, Catholic education. President Thayne McCulloh announced a major gift would help build a transformative new University Center and said Gonzaga is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most exemplary Jesuit liberal arts-based universities. Zags everywhere supported the 125th Anniversary theme “Tradition and Transformation.” Thirty alumni gatherings nationwide joined in, plus alumni celebrations in Calgary, Alberta and Tokyo. To crown the evening, fireworks brightened the night sky for fans departing the McCarthey Athletic Center after the Zags men beat Brigham Young University in basketball. National Gonzaga Day will be celebrated annually.

In another first, Gonzaga climbed to the Peace Corps’ No. 1 ranking nationwide among small colleges and universities whose graduates serve in the agency. President McCulloh invited a variety of world-renowned voices to campus, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman (Sept. 4), internationally recognized futurist Sir Ken Robinson (Oct. 26), and pioneering primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall (April 9). In February, President McCulloh approved Gonzaga’s first comprehensive Climate Action Plan, positioning the University for climate neutrality — zero emissions — by 2050. In another premiere, Gonzaga’s first class of Act Six scholars will graduate May 12; they are: Ylisse Bess, Jasmine Linane-Booey, Mercedes Hayes, Anna Hester, Rachel Ku, Oscar Marmolejo, Edwin Torres and Thuy-Anh Vo.

 In men’s basketball firsts, the Zags achieved the school’s first No. 1 ranking, first 30-win season (32-3) and first No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament in their 15th-straight trip to the Big Dance. The women’s team caught fire as well, earning their fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Gonzaga University Law School Commencement begins at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 11, followed by Graduate Commencement at 5 p.m.; both events will be in the McCarthey Athletic Center on campus. President Thayne McCulloh will be the keynote speaker for Senior Commencement on Sunday, May 12, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Defense attorney Judy Clarke, who has gained notoriety as counsel for some of those whom society shuns, will deliver the keynote address for Law School graduates. Clarke and retired GU law Professor John Morey Maurice will receive honorary doctor of laws degrees. Rev. Peter Balleis, S.J., international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service, will deliver the keynote address at Graduate Commencement and will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Felix Aripa, elder of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the Senior Commencement.

Other 2013 Commencement Events, MAY 10-12

Social Justice Missioning Ceremony: 4 p.m., May 10 in University Chapel (third floor of College Hall). Honors seniors embarking on volunteer work; guests welcome. 

ROTC Commissioning Ceremony: 5:15 p.m., May 10, St. Aloysius Church; guests welcome. 

School of Law Baccalaureate Mass: 6 p.m., May 10 in University Chapel (third floor of College Hall). 

Senior Dessert Social: 7-10 p.m., May 10 at Gonzaga’s off-campus Bozarth Mansion and Retreat Center. Gonzaga seniors and their guests are invited. 

Presidential Reception and Toast to Seniors: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., May 11, Martin Centre Fieldhouse; light refreshments. 

Undergraduate, Graduate Baccalaureate Mass: 1:30 p.m., May 11, McCarthey Athletic Center (doors open at 12:15 p.m.).