Alumni Reunion Rekindles Memories

Alumni at Oktoberfest for Alumni Reunion 2019.
Oktoberfestivities
October 18, 2019
Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. — More than 415 Gonzaga University alumni returned to campus to reminisce, share memories and rekindle Zag friendships during Alumni Reunion Weekend Oct. 11-13. This year, Gonzaga celebrated the Classes of 1979, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and Gold Club (1969 and beyond).

cat truong shares her story at Zag Talks
Cat Truong shares her story at a ZagTalk. (GU photo)

Festivities began with a ZagTalk event featuring alumna Cat Truong (’14) who shared her story about how her Gonzaga education has informed her work as an engineer and artist, followed by an introduction to the new Integrated Science and Engineering (ISE), a transformational $56 million facility that the University launched construction of on Sept. 26 presented by Karlene Hoo, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Matt Bahr, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Deans Hoo and Bahr also shared insights to the future of an integrated STEM education at Gonzaga.

Marco and Monica Gonzales (’14) spent time with their Zag family two weeks after his season pitching with the Seattle Mariners ended and shared some of their experiences. Mike Roth, director of athletics, celebrated the major moment the Class of 1999 (and all alumni) experienced that March when the GU men advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with a dramatic tip-in by Casey Calvary with seconds left to beat Florida.

Mike Roth speaks at Alumni Reunion 2019.
Athletic Director Mike Roth speaks to alumni. (GU photo)

Friday evening featured a Spirits and Spirituality panel discussion with Alumni Chaplain Fr. Stephen Hess, S.J., and alumni about how Gonzaga’s mission is influencing their lives, followed by a Hamilton Block Party, an opportunity for alumni to visit their favorite area hangouts, including Jack and Dan’s, Geno’s and the Logan Tavern.

Saturday morning began with the beautiful autumn colors seen from an informal 3-mile Jog Down Memory Lane on the Centennial Trail led by Alumni Director Kara Hertz (’01) and Fr. Hess winding through campus and downtown, including the newly renovated Riverfront Park. 

After class photos and campus tours, alumni had lunch in the Hemmingson Center’s COG. Spokane Mayor David Condon spoke about the city’s future, followed by a special presentation by GU President Thayne McCulloh (’89), D-Phil., who celebrated his 30th reunion, reflected on his presidency, shared personal stories, and took questions from the audience.

Mayor David Condon with President Thayne McCulloh at Alumni Reunion event. (GU photo)
Mayor David Condon with President Thayne McCulloh at Alumni Reunion event. (GU photo)

Alumni then got a first-look at the women’s Zags basketball team at Numerica FanFest in the McCarthey Athletic Center followed by an Oktoberfest celebration on Foley Lawn, featuring a live band and commemorative Gonzaga steins.

At Mass on Sunday morning, Fr. Hess spoke about the universality of God’s transforming love. Scripture readings focused on God’s love and how it heals and transforms our lives. Fr. Hess reminded alumni of their experiences of God’s transforming love during their time at Gonzaga, and said our response to God’s love should be gratitude.

We show that gratitude, Fr. Hess said, by demonstrating to everyone that we are transformed by God’s love. God wants to love all of us, he said, no matter who we are or what we have done.

Hertz expressed gratitude to all alumni who returned for reunion.

“It’s inspiring to hear what they are doing in our world, their reflections on their formative time at Gonzaga, and to watch them reconnect with their classmates,” Hertz said. “We can’t wait to see you at another alumni and friends event soon.” Stay abreast of upcoming alumni events: www.gonzaga.edu/alumnievents 

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