Associate Academic Vice President Raymond Reyes is excited to spend National Gonzaga Day working in Zambia, extending the Jesuits’ centuries-old intercultural encounter.
By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – The yearlong celebration of Gonzaga University’s 125th Anniversary, themed “Tradition and Transformation,” will reach a crescendo on National Gonzaga Day, Jan. 24 (2013), when Zags worldwide unite to celebrate and support the University’s rich and living mission to educate people for others.
Zags will unite in person, virtually, and in spirit to mark Gonzaga’s mission and to collectively imagine the University’s continued transformation to meet changing educational and social demands. From the 35 alumni chapters scattered across the United States, to Calgary, Alberta, home of the Canada Alumni Chapter, to Tokyo where Gonzaga’s Japan Alumni Chapter was recently formed, Bulldogs everywhere will celebrate the power of an inspired idea, Gonzaga’s life force. That idea, encapsulated in Gonzaga’s mission, was brought to Spokane by Italian Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo and took physical form 125 years ago in Gonzaga’s founding.
Raymond Reyes, associate academic vice president, will be in Zambia on National Gonzaga Day, collaborating internationally with Jesuits to advance Gonzaga’s educational influence on the African continent. In so doing, Reyes follows the lead of Father Cataldo, inspired by the centuries-old words and deeds of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
Zags worldwide are encouraged to don their favorite Zag-wear on this special day and celebrate the mission and “Gonzaga Experience” by living their faith, helping others, mentoring a student, giving to a scholarship or simply cheering on the Zags in the men’s and women’s basketball games that evening. The nationally televised men’s game against Brigham Young University tips off at 8 p.m. (Pacific Time) in the McCarthey Athletic Center; the women’s game against Pepperdine University begins at 7 p.m., from Malibu, Calif.
More than 30 National Gonzaga Day Events Planned Nationwide
More than 30 free NGD events are planned nationwide, including one open to the entire Spokane community starting at 6 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center Ballrooms B & C (334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.); both games will be shown, there will be special giveaways throughout the evening, hot dog meals and activities for the entire family. All NGD events include revelry, university updates and a short, special halftime program from the Kennel including a message from President Thayne McCulloh. The halftime program will be webcast to all NGD events worldwide or can be viewed live online at NationalGonzagaDay.org. In the spirit of Gonzaga’s mission, donations will be accepted to benefit those in need (details will be emailed upon RSVP).
Tom Tilford, Trustee Emeritus and chair of Gonzaga’s Anniversary Celebration, said the University hopes to create a wave of energy on National Gonzaga Day, inspired by the anniversary, by encouraging others to commit to something in honor of Gonzaga’s mission.
“Gonzaga invites everyone to celebrate by committing to one small thing – or maybe it’s a larger thing – in the name of the University’s mission and in honor of Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary,” Tilford said. “It could be as simple as making time for quiet reflection or as big as deciding to mentor a student.”
Gonzaga asks Zags everywhere to share how they are celebrating the day on NationalGonzagaDay.org or Gonzaga’s Facebook page for a chance to win prizes – including game tickets, overnight stay courtesy of Red Lion Hotels and an iPad mini.
Other ways to celebrate include viewing a 12.5-minute lecture on Gonzaga.edu/125 or posting to the Alumni Online Prayer Community. Spread the word about NGD by changing your Facebook profile or cover image to a Gonzaga-themed image found on NationalGonzagaDay.org (Galleries section). Gonzaga gives special thanks to premier sponsors Avista and Washington Trust Bank for their generous support of the 125th Anniversary Celebration, as well as numerous other sponsors.
For his part, Reyes is delighted to serve Gonzaga in Africa at this historic moment. Like so many before him for 125 years, Reyes is inspired by the power of the idea that started the University. Click the video below to view a compilation of comments from Reyes and other Gonzaga faculty and students about National Gonzaga Day.