SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University honored John and Donna Luger with its Ignatian Spirit Award at the eighth annual Ignatian Gala at the downtown Convention Center on Thursday, April 9. The Lugers were recognized for their strong connection to and support of the Jesuits in the Northwest, their commitment to Gonzaga, and deep love of family and Spokane.
John, a graduate of Gonzaga Preparatory School and the University of Oregon, served as chair of Gonzaga’s Board of Trustees from 2010-2012 and has been a member of the Board since 2000. The Lugers have provided counsel and support to several Gonzaga presidents. One of John’s Jesuit uncles, Father Paul Luger, S.J., now deceased, was among the recipients of the inaugural Ignatian Spirit Award (2008) given to Gonzaga’s Jesuits.
“The gifts, leadership and loyal service of the Luger family have had a remarkable effect on the University,” said Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh. “The Lugers are truly champions of Northwest Catholic education. It is an honor for the University to recognize John and Donna Luger for their longstanding support and commitment to Gonzaga students and Jesuit education.”
In July of 2014, Gonzaga’s Luger Field for soccer was named in honor of the Luger family whose generosity made possible the complete reconstruction of the playing field and the addition of a practice field. The Lugers have supported a wide range of Gonzaga initiatives, including scholarships and other athletics endeavors. Luger Field is a visible and lasting legacy of John and Donna Luger that recognizes the four Luger brothers – Howard Luger, S.J., George Fletcher Luger, M.D., Paul Luger, S.J., and Robert Luger, S.J. – Spokane natives who attended Gonzaga in the 1920s and 1930s and devoted their lives to improving their communities and exemplifying the values they developed at Gonzaga.
The Lugers played an instrumental role in the creation of the Fulcrum Foundation, the Archdiocese of Seattle’s organization that provides scholarships for schools and students in need. John also was a key player in the leadership and creation of the Nazareth Guild, a nonprofit aimed at keeping the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane financially healthy, academically excellent, and accessible. In addition, the Lugers are very involved with the Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, Washington.
In 2009 John received the prestigious St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award for his dedicated work and support of Catholic education over the years. John and Donna met at St. Aloysius Catholic School in the Gonzaga neighborhood. The Lugers now own JDL Enterprises.
For more information, contact Laura Gatewood, Gonzaga’s director of stewardship, at (509) 313-6381.