May 2019 Alumni Newsletter

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Special Announcement

Professor Kelley 

Professor Amy Kelley retires after 40 years

After 40 years of teaching at Gonzaga Law, Professor Amy Kelley retired this spring. Professor Kelley was among the first tenure-track women to join the law faculty. Before coming to Gonzaga Law, she was a law clerk for the U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls and in private practice in South Dakota. As a legal professional, Professor Kelley developed a national reputation as an expert on water law and is the Editor-in-Chief and contributing author of Water and Water Rights (Lexis/Nexis). Professor Kelley received her J.D. from the University of South Dakota.

Professor Kelley has become a pillar of teaching and scholarship at the school for decades. We extend our thanks and congratulations for her years of dedicated service.

Alumni News

Charnelle Bjelkengren ('00): First female African American Judge in Eastern Washington

Gonzaga Law extends hearty congratulations to alumna Charnelle Bjelkengren (’00) for being appointed to the Spokane County Superior Court. With this appointment, Bjelkengren is the first female African American judge in Eastern Washington.

“Charnelle has a strong reputation as a fair, impartial and well-informed jurist who has earned the respect of those who appear before her,” Governor Jay Inslee said in a news release about the appointment.

With the appointment of Bjelkengren, the bench of the Spokane County Superior Court is now composed entirely of Gonzaga Law alumni.

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Delia Garza ('10): Austin's first Latina Mayor pro term

By most measures, the role of mayor pro tem in Austin City Hall is a symbolic title, but District 2 Council Member Delia Garza, who became the city’s first Latina to hold the position during Jan. 7’s council inauguration, called symbolism a powerful tool.

“Symbolism is one of the most important ways we show our values as a community and a representative government,” Garza said following the unanimous appointment from her council colleagues. “Symbolism is a powerful asset when fighting for those who need your voice most.”

One council member is elected to act as mayor pro tem in the absence of the actual mayor. A large part of Garza’s new duty will be to run City Council meetings when Mayor Steve Adler is away.

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Judge Christine Schaller ('96) to address Saint Martin's University Class of 2019

Alumna Christine Schaller will deliver the 2019 Commencement address at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, May 11. Schaller serves as the presiding judge for Thurston County Superior Court, and her current rotation is as a criminal judge hearing pretrial matters and presiding over Drug Court.

“I am honored and excited to speak to the graduates of Saint Martin’s University,” said Schaller. “We are linked by our common experience of an amazing, life-changing education at Saint Martin’s.”

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Upcoming Events 


Commencement 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019
9:00 A.M. McCarthey Athletic Center

Come celebrate the fantastic achievements of the Class of 2019 as they graduate from Gonzaga Law. The commencement address will be given by Madelyn F. Wessel, the University Councel at Cornell University. You will also be able to hear from Professor Jessica Kiser and Class of 2019 Student Speaker Emily Grace Sauvageau.

Help us celebrate with the Class of 2019!

Anchorage Alumni Social

Monday, May 20, 2019
6:00 - 7:30 P.M.
49th State Brewing Co.
717 W. 3rd Avenue

Are you a Gonzaga Law alumni living in or around Anchorage, Alaska? If so, we would love to see you. Come join Dean Jacob H. Rooksby and Gonzaga Law leadership for appetizers and drinks in downtown Anchorage. We look forward to hearing about the great things our Alaska alums are doing and sharing updates about Gonzaga Law! Please RSVP to Bryn Boorman by May 15.

Temple of Justice Alumni Reception

June 11, 2019 5:30 - 7:00 P.M.

You are invited to join Dean Jacob H. Rooksby, Sarah Guzman, and members of the Washington State Supreme Court for a reception at the Temple of Justice in Olympia, WA. More details forthcoming.

Recent Photos


2019 Linden Cup

On March 23, 2019, Gonzaga Law held the finals of the Linden Cup Appellate Advocacy Competition for the 84th time in our history. After presenting lengthy arguments and expertly fielding questions from the panel of judges, 2Ls McKenzie Lawrence and Lesley Gangelhoff (pictured here) were named the 2019 Linden Cup winners.


Naturalization Ceremony

Over 60 participants from 31 countries became new United States citizens during a Naturalization Ceremony hosted by the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Family and friends filled the Barbieri Courtroom to celebrate as Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington administered the oath of citizenship to the new Americans.


Trey Dolezal ('92) Visits Gonzaga Law

Gonzaga Law alum and sports agent Trey Dolezal (pictured here with Professor Patrick Charles) visited Gonzaga Law this month to share his story and passion for sports law. Dolezal gave a guest lecture to students about his career path, from serving as an Assistant Attorney General in Texas to representing corporations in private practice and opening his own law and sports agency firm.


2019 Clarke Prize in Legal Ethics CLE & Writing Competition

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Clarke Family Writing Competition! Taylor Schaefer took home the top prize while Alex Hutchings came in second. The 2019 Clarke Prize in Legal Ethics CLE featured a robust discussion by a panel of experts on the ethical implications of artificial intelligence technologies. Professor Brooks Holland and panelist Bea Koempel-Thomas ('05) of Lee & Hayes are pictured above.