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Zag Student-Athletes Live Mission by Serving Others, Supporting Community

Men's basketball players (from left) Steven Gray, Manny Arop and David Stockton help out at the Annual Gonzaga University Alumni and Eastside Rotary Club Soapbox Derby. Photo courtesy Louise Torgerson.

Men's basketball players (from left) Steven Gray, Manny Arop and David Stockton help out at the Annual Gonzaga University Alumni and Eastside Rotary Club Soapbox Derby. Photo courtesy Louise Torgerson.

By Louise Torgerson
Gonzaga University Athletics

Gonzaga University’s student-athletes live out the institution’s mission of being people for others through service work, organized by the athletic department’s Life Skills Program, that cultivates strong relationships with organizations throughout the community.

The Zags consistently seek to be involved with service as they balance commitments in academics and athletics.

“The sheer number of hours committed to community outreach by Gonzaga’s student-athletes is a testament to how much enjoyment and fulfillment we get from serving others,” said senior Matthew White, a rower and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

This fall, nearly 50 student-athletes took part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes. The Zags’ relationship with Union Gospel Mission’s meals program also continued this fall. Women’s basketball players built AIDS caregiver kits at an event for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization tackling the causes of poverty and injustice worldwide.

Their relationships with Habitat for Humanity, Spokane’s Boys & Girls Club, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center, Campus Kitchens, Page Ahead, Soles4Souls, and local schools also continue throughout the year.

The Life Skills Program upholds the mission of Gonzaga and the athletic department by aiming to enhance student-athletes’ lives by developing within each person the Jesuit philosophy of cura personalis, care of the whole person. The program provides opportunities, services, and resources to help develop Gonzaga student-athletes by focusing on five commitment areas: athletic excellence, academic excellence, personal development, career development, and service. The program collaborates with campus and community partners to foster skills in student-athletes that prepare them for life after college.

View the slideshow of Gonzaga student-athletes at work serving the community.

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