BRIDGE Program

Pre-Orientation & First Year Mentoring, BRIDGE, Social Justice & Leadership 

August 18-21, 2024

BRIDGE stands for Building Relationships in Diverse Gonzaga Environments and has two major components: (1) a summer extended orientation program that takes place right before Welcome Weekend, and (2) a first-year peer mentoring program that continues during the academic year.

BRIDGE is a Social Justice and Leadership Institute designed for students who identify as first generation*, low income, students of color, LGBTQ+, and/or undocumented.  This Extended Orientation Program introduces underrepresented students early on to specific faculty, staff, administrators, student leaders, and other campus resources that can help facilitate a smoother transition to student life.  In alignment with Gonzaga’s Jesuit mission, BRIDGE activities and workshops focus on identity development, community building, cultural fluency, resilience theory, and the social change model of leadership.  BRIDGE also covers such relevant topics as imposter syndrome, stereotype threat, and allyship in an effort to proactively address the “culture shock” that many underrepresented students experience during their first semester at a predominantly White institution (PWI).

First Year Mentoring

All BRIDGE participants will be assigned two BRIDGE peer mentors, fellow students who continue to support their mentees throughout their mentee’s first year in college.  BRIDGE is the start of a robust network of year-long support for underrepresented students, who will be trained and nurtured to create a better tomorrow through social justice leadership.  BRIDGE was named Outstanding New Program in 2019 by the NASPA Latinx Knowledge Community.

BRIDGE Benefits:

  • Personalized, year-long mentorship from underrepresented upper class students with experience in navigating Gonzaga
  • A head start in learning about different campus and community resources
  • Special Access to a $500 textbook scholarship and textbook lending library
  • A customized tour of Spokane and the surrounding areas
  • Begin to navigate college expectations and identify resources to help adjust to college
  • Additional support from UMEC staff during the academic year

*Although there are many definitions, typically a first-generation student is the first person in their immediate family to attend college, or is someone whose parents never graduated from college.

Registration and Cost:

Opens: Friday, June 21, 2024 at 6 p.m. PST. 40 spots are available.

Cost: $25 refundable deposit to hold your spot for BRIDGE. Deposit will be refunded when you show up for the first day of BRIDGE.

Registration for all Extended Orientation programs is on a first-come, first served basis.


BRIDGE fee waivers, based on financial need, are available for students on a first-come, first served basis. If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact the Unity Multicultural Education Center for more information at prior to registration opening.  Thank you!

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