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Marching Back in Time to Advance Gonzaga’s 2012 Quasquicentennial (125th Anniversary)

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Editor’s Note: Starting this issue, @Gonzaga will march back in time to provide a monthly snapshot of the University every six years until 1887, Gonzaga’s founding. This series will reach 1887 by fall 2012, which is when Gonzaga will celebrate its Quasquicentennial (125th Anniversary). We begin this unique, yet non-comprehensive view of Gonzaga’s colorful past with the 2004-05 academic year. Next month, we’ll highlight 1998, then ’92, ’86, and so on. Click the following link to I-D people in this photo.

Celebrate Quasquicentennial!

By Peter Tormey

Optimism filled the air in fall 2004 as President Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., thanked benefactors for their “incredible generosity,” which allowed Gonzaga to reach its Capital Campaign goal early.

For the third straight year, Gonzaga was ranked the No. 4 best university (No. 6 best value) in the West by U.S. News & World Report in its “Universities-Master’s” classification, marking the 10th straight year Gonzaga ranked among the West’s best. The School of Engineering tied for the nation’s No. 21 best undergraduate engineering program.

(From left) Mike Roth, Tom McCarthey, Sandy McCarthey, Mary McCarthey (hidden), Phil McCarthey, Dominique McCarthey, Tom Tilford, Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., and Fr. Mike Moynahan, S.J. at the ribbon cutting for McCarthey Athletic Center, Gonzaga’s 6,000-seat basketball and events arena. Gonzaga University photo.

(From left) Mike Roth, Tom McCarthey, Sandy McCarthey, Mary McCarthey (hidden), Phil McCarthey, Dominique McCarthey, Tom Tilford, Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., and Fr. Mike Moynahan, S.J. at the ribbon cutting for McCarthey Athletic Center, Gonzaga’s 6,000-seat basketball and events arena. Gonzaga University photo.

Gonzaga prepared to open its $25 million McCarthey Athletic Center, named for the families of major benefactors Phil and Tom McCarthey of Salt Lake City. A sellout crowd packed the McCarthey Athletic Center on Oct. 23 for Grand Opening festivities. The Bulldog men won all 13 games in the new arena, finished 26-5 and were ranked No.10 in the Associated Press Poll. They earned a No. 3-seed into the NCAA Tournament and beat Winthrop 74-64 before falling to Texas Tech. Senior Ronny Turiaf (who returned to graduate in 2010) was WCC Player of the Year and honorable mention All-American. Sophomore Adam Morrison led all scorers and also was Honorable Mention All-America. Postseason honors also went to WCC Newcomer of the Year, J.P. Batista, WCC Coach of the Year Mark Few; and first-team All-WCC players Turiaf, Morrison and Derek Raivio.

Coach Kelly Graves led the Lady Zags to their most wins ever (28-4). They won 14 consecutive WCC games, lost to Santa Clara in the WCC Tournament championship but earned a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. Graves earned his second WCC Coach of the Year Award. Postseason honors also went to Shannon Mathews, WCC Player of the Year, and all-WCC first-team picks Mathews and Ashley Burke.

Total enrollment in the 2004-05 academic year reached 5,862 students. Gonzaga’s largest class in history (to date) graduated (May 2005) as Gonzaga conferred 993 bachelor, 395 master, 17 doctoral and 200 juris doctor degrees.

Thayne McCulloh (who will be inaugurated as Gonzaga’s 26th president Oct. 22) became vice president for administration and planning.

Faculty of the Year (spring 2005) were Dan McCann, exercise science, Teaching Excellence Award; Laura Brunell, political science, Faculty Excellence Award; and Father Patrick Hartin, religious studies, Outstanding Scholar Award.

Father Pat Lee, S.J., began his tenure as vice president for mission in May.

Gonzaga held vigils and Masses to mark the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II upon his death April 2.

The percentage of undergraduate alumni who contributed to Gonzaga rose from 27 percent in fiscal year 2004 to 31 percent in FY 2005, an all-time high. Gonzaga raised $15.5 million in 2004-05.

Some 300 Gonzaga-in-Florence alumni attended a 40-year reunion in April, and the Florence class of 2004 benefited from a new building, owned and operated by Gonzaga.

The Center for Community Action and Service-Learning (CCASL) announced in October (2004) that Gonzaga students had put in more than 100,000 hours of volunteer service, worth more than $700,000 to the community, the previous academic year.

Alumni of Gonzaga’s Glee Club returned to campus Sept. 24-26 (2004) to celebrate the 100th birthday of its only director, Lyle Moore. The University’s Men’s Glee Club, founded in 1932, put Gonzaga in the national spotlight.

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