Our Mystery Zag from Spring 2022 is Randy Williams

split image of two separate men
At right is Randy Williams. Who is the new Mystery Zag on the left?

December 01, 2022
Gonzaga Magazine Winter 2022

Special Education Professor, 1979-2013

It is difficult to find a day when Randy Williams doesn’t have a smile stretched across his face. He loves seeing his students excel in special education classrooms around the area. He opened many opportunities for them and exuded pride in their accomplishments. He was a student favorite and was honored for his teaching expertise.

Reader Responses

It is because of Randy that I became a top-notch early-childhood special education teacher, changing the lives of children and families in Tumwater School District for 31 years. Randy de- manded attention to detail and the applied behavioral analysis I learned from him was the foundation for my classroom and stu- dent success. Data, data, data! That was his mantra and became mine. I hear him always in my head, saying, “How do you know what you are doing is working if you don’t have the data?” I am forever grateful to Randy and Gonzaga for my incredible teach- ing career, from which I just recently retired. Thank you, Randy! — Deborah Wyatt (’88) Olympia, Wash.

This Zag is the best teacher I have ever had, and one of the most memorable people I have ever known. I know that Randy’s dedication to high-quality effective teaching has impacted the lives of many, many people. His warmth and enthusiasm brightened my days at Gonzaga, even as I worked my tail off to meet his high standards. Randy is a bright light in this world, and I will always be grateful that our paths crossed. — Linda Christensen (’86) Kenmore, Wash.

That is Professor Randy Williams, from the department of my major, special education. Randy was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had with regard to communication. You knew what you had to do to succeed, and he made it possible. He is a big reason I was successful in my first teaching job. And he taught me to bowl. Thanks for making learning accessible even to a slouch like me! — Dustin Ooley (’03) Beaverton, Ore.

I was lucky to have had my first class as a freshman from Dr. Williams. He gave plenty of opportunities to students to show what they were learning. At Halloween, he turned his house into a haunted house, enlisting the help of other professors, and only upperclassmen were invited. As freshmen, we looked forward to finally being invited to attend. It was an unforgettable experience. I believe we even had to sign a waiver to enter. — Jennifer Ziolko (’98) Oregon City, Ore.

Who’s this Zag?

Longtime friends called this beloved soul Padre. A former Carthusian monk who stopped by Gonzaga in Florence in 1969 to visit his friend and to offer several Masses, he soon thereafter entered the transfer portal and became a Jesuit priest. He served until 1982 as Gonzaga in Florence dean of students, then returned to GU’s Spokane campus as alumni and men’s basketball chaplain. He carried a card emblazoned with “Have Chalice Will Travel” as he performed hundreds of wedding services, baptisms and funerals for his Gonzaga family. He ended every conversation with “To be continued . . .” Who is this Zag?

If you know this Mystery Zag, please share a favorite memory: