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2017 Zag Grads: McKayla Ferris

Posted on May 1, 2017 in: commencement, Feature Stories, Spotlight, Students

McKayla Ferris (Photo courtesy GU Athletics)

McKayla Ferris, a classical civilization major from Chandler, Arizona, is the Fredric Schlatter, S.J. Classical Civilizations Book Award winner for her commitment to learning and high level of academic achievement – reflecting the dedication of Jesuit scholars in teaching Latin, Greek and classical culture.

Apart from her studies, Ferris played outside hitter position for the women’s volleyball team since 2013, and was recognized as West Coast Conference All-Academic First Team (2015 and 2016) and the Utah Classic tournament MVP (fall 2016). One of 13 women to reach 1,000 career kills in GU volleyball history, she and fellow seniors led the team to its best record in 26 years.

Ferris was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Classics Club and the history honors society Phi Alpha Theta. She was on the Dean’s List (minimum 3.5 grade-point average) for two semesters and the President’s List (minimum 3.85 GPA) for three.

She will attend Loyola Marymount University this fall to earn a master’s in educational studies and use her final year of NCAA eligibility playing beach volleyball. She hopes to join the professional beach volleyball circuit in Southern California and help advance social justice issues in the greater Los Angeles area. When her athletic career ends, she hopes to teach classics at a university.

Ferris said she appreciated her understanding and attentive classics professors, and Gonzaga’s small class sizes that foster a tight-knit community.

Her words of wisdom to incoming students: “It is OK to feel overwhelmed as long as you keep in mind that it will get better. College has this amazing habit of making you a little uncomfortable in order to make you a lot better.”

Read about more of this year’s outstanding Gonzaga graduates.

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