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Bulldog Briefs for July

University Mourns Fallen Solider, Alumnus Mathew Fazzari

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Thousands lined a flag-draped route from the Walla Walla Regional Airport, down Main Street to Groseclose Funeral Home on June 20, paying tribute to 1st Lt. Matthew “Mat” Fazzari, 25. The 2010 Gonzaga alumnus was Walla Walla’s first soldier killed in the war in Afghanistan. He and Capt. Scott Pace, 33, Brawley, Calif., died when the helicopter they were flying was apparently struck by enemy fire June 6 in combat. The funeral was held June 22 at Assumption Catholic Church. Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh said the University was deeply saddened. “Mat was a well-known, beloved, and respected member of the University Community and Gonzaga’s ROTC Bulldog Battalion,” President McColloh noted. “The love and prayers of the entire Gonzaga family go out to Mat’s wife, Tovah, and their two young children, Dominic and Samuel; to Mat’s parents, Greg and Susan; and his three siblings, Danielle (Class of 2012), Luke and Shawn.” In 2010, Gonzaga presented Fazzari with the Forrest P. Ewens Servant Leadership Award. “Mat Fazzari was the best of the best and a noble hero,” said Lt. Col. (Retired) Alan Westfield with Gonzaga ROTC. “His memory will live and he will never be forgotten. May we be inspired to be better persons by Mat’s character, approach to life, example, and supreme sacrifice.”

Alumnus Wilkins to Read from Memoir July 21

SPOKANE, Wash. – Joe Wilkins (’02, honors, computer engineering) will read from his new memoir, “The Mountains and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry” at Auntie’s Bookstore downtown at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 21. Wilkins lost his father at a young age and was raised by his mother and grandfather in the harsh landscape of the Bull Mountains of eastern Montana. Wilkins uses his own story and those of the young boys and men growing up around him to examine the violence, confusion, and rural poverty found in this distinctly American landscape. These lives ultimately offer a new examination of myth and manhood in the American West as Wilkins casts a journalistic eye on how young men seek to transcend their surroundings in search of a better life. Rather than dwell on grief or ruin, Wilkins’ memoir suggests it is our stories that sustain us. Wilkins also has penned two collections of poems, “Notes from the Journey Westward” and “Killing the Murnion Dogs.” He teaches writing at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

Alumna Strohmaier Scores among Nation’s Best on CPA Exam

SPOKANE, Wash. – Kiely Strohmaier, a 2011 Gonzaga University Masters of Accountancy program alumna, recently received the Elijah Watt Sells Award for earning one of the top scores in the nation on the Uniform CPA Examination. Strohmaier and 36 others won the award for earning a cumulative average score above 95.5 percent on all four sections of the exam on their first attempt in 2011. More than 90,000 people took the test to become certified public accountants in 2011. Strohmaier, a staff accountant for CliftonLarsonAllen in Moses Lake, Wash., received the award in May (2012). The annual award is presented by the American Institute of CPAs. “This came as a huge surprise,” Strohmaier said. “When you are taking the exams, you really have no idea where you stand or how you are doing.” Gary Weber, director of the program, called Strohmaier “an outstanding student.”

Institute for Hate Studies Awards Banquet Oct. 16

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies will honor the Kootenai County (Idaho) Task Force on Human Relations  and Rev. Percy “Happy” Watkins, pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church of Spokane, at its 4th annual Take Action Against Hate Banquet, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Oct. 16 in Cataldo Hall’s Globe Room on campus. The institute annually presents the Eva Lassman Take Action Against Hate Awards to an Inland Northwest individual and organization to recognize those committed to challenging hatred. The banquet theme, “Transformations,” echoes Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary theme “Tradition and Transformation,” and this year’s honorees are longtime leaders in transforming the community. The featured speaker will be Gonzaga’s Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye. To make reservations or to become an Institute member or banquet sponsor, visit the following link. For more information, call (509) 313-3665 or contact the institute via e-mail.

Six Zags Competing in NBA Summer League

SPOKANE, Wash. – Six former Gonzaga men’s basketball players are participating in the NBA Summer League. Adam Morrison, the third pick of the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft, played with the Brooklyn Nets in the Orlando Summer League. Morrison, who played in Turkey this past season, is now with the Los Angeles Clippers in the Las Vegas Summer League through July 22. Austin Daye, drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2009 after his sophomore season at Gonzaga, averaged 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Pistons in Orlando. A free agent, Daye can sign with any NBA team next season. Four other Bulldogs are trying to impress NBA teams in Las Vegas:

  • Micah Downs, the 2009 West Coast Conference Tournament MVP, will play for the Dallas Mavericks. He played in Spain this past season.
  • Jeremy Pargo, who played in Israel for two seasons and was signed by Memphis last December.
  • Steven Gray (’11) will be with the Washington Wizards in Las Vegas. He played in Latvia last season.
  • Robert Sacre, chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers as the 60th and final pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.

View complete NBA Summer League information.

Rev. Spitzer, S.J., Produces Film ‘Cosmic Origins’ 

IRVINE, Calif. – Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Gonzaga’s immediate past president, was executive producer for a new investigative film seeking to answer the question: Has science really disproven the existence of God? A synopsis of the film answers, “No – but for generations many scientists have ignored the concept of creation because doing otherwise would raise the question . . . of a Creator.” The 49-minute film, offered on DVD (with a 3-D version on Blu-ray disc) by Ignatius Press, is titled, “Cosmic Origins: Does Science Point to an Intelligent God?” In the film, seven renowned physicists and academics – including Jennifer Wiseman from the NASA Goodard Institute of Space Studies and Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias – discuss the relationship between science and faith. View the trailer. Rev. Spitzer – a philosopher, educator, and author – is founder and president of the Magis Institute for Faith and Reason.

Sign up for Zagapalooza, Part of Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary Celebration

SPOKANE, Wash. – Experience Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary Celebration by taking part in Zagapalooza, the University’s all-out, all-class Reunion Weekend set for Oct. 19-21. Online registration for Zagapalooza is open. All Gonzaga alumni are cordially invited to this one-of-a-kind weekend, starting with a Kickoff Celebration Friday night (Oct. 19) at the Spokane Convention Center downtown. Saturday events include Kraziness in the Kennel when you can get a sneak-peek at the men’s and women’s basketball teams along with many other special events – including:

  • Nike: Unleashing Human Potential
  •  ”Jersey Boys,” the smash-hit Broadway musical touring show about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
  • Special faculty presentations
  • Guest appearances, and much more.

Most fun of all, reconnect with your classmates and other Gonzaga alumni.

Doctoral Student from Ivory Coast Helps Educate about Humanitarian Crises

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Evelyn Ello Hart, an Ivory Coast immigrant and a student in Gonzaga’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies, spoke at a conference here last month for the initiative titled, the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network. The network results from discussions among Jesuits about better directing students’ enthusiasm for humanitarian efforts. Ello Hart has helped refugees relocate to the United States from Kenya, Sudan and Syria. She has been working with Jesuit Commons, a group of individuals, schools and institutions that help people on the margins. According to the Catholic News Service, she emphasized the Jesuit maxim – “men and women for others” – as one reason for her efforts. Ello Hart will organize service projects next year in the Los Angeles Archdiocese as an Augustinian volunteer.  . . . Read more

New ‘Jesuit Connection’ App Available

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Society of Jesus, the largest order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers in the United States, inspires universities, high schools and middle schools, parishes and retreat houses. Now, the more than 450-year-old order has an app: The Jesuit Connection. Free at the iTunes App Store, the application operates on any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad; a similar app will be available soon at the Android Marketplace for use on devices such as the Droid, Evo and HTC Touch. The app allows users to locate Jesuit retreat centers, schools and parishes across the nation, read the latest news and information about the Jesuits, and access Jesuit prayers and spirituality documents. Visit the app information page to learn more.

Carnival-Theme Exhibit Opens Aug. 17 at Jundt Art Museum

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga’s Jundt Art Museum celebrates the 125th Anniversary with a festival-themed exhibit featuring works 0f carnivals, circuses, and carousels in the Arcade Gallery. This exhibit of prints and photos titled “Damn Everything but the Circus…” opens Aug. 17 and runs through Nov. 17 – just in time for families visiting for Zagapalooza. Continuing in the Jundt Galleries is a series of summer exhibitions titled “Close-In,” featuring works by regional artists. The inaugural exhibition, titled “Out of order/in-between,” by Spokane artist and instructor Thomas O’Day, runs through Aug. 31. . . . Read More

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