SPOKANE, Wash. – “Meet me at the COG after class” was the opening sentence for The Gonzaga Bulletin’s story Oct. 15, 1954 about the newly named student union building. While students called the building the “COG,” the structure was formally referred to as the “Student Union Building.” The moniker “COG” is an acronym for the phrase “Circulus Omnium Gonzagaorum,” which is fake Latin for “circle of company of all Gonzagans.”
The ‘Eiffel Rifle,’ Zags’ First 7-Footer Jean Claude Lefebvre Debuted in 1957 to International Fanfare
Kelly Olynyk (Canada) and Przemek (SHEM-eck) Karnowski (Poland) are not the first foreign 7-footers to play basketball for Gonzaga University. Jean Claude Lefebvre, a 7-foot-3-inch 280-pounder from France, started playing for the Zags in the fall of 1957. He was the tallest college basketball player in the United States at the time.
Gonzaga University has had many successful men’s basketball coaches since the University began competing in the intercollegiate sport in 1906. The first coach to reach 100 wins was Claude F. McGrath (1904-89).
Before John Stockton or his son David Stockton, there was Houston John Stockton. The grandfather of Gonzaga University and NBA basketball star John Stockton, and great-grandfather of current Gonzaga basketball player David Stockton (John’s son), Houston played football for Gonzaga during the sport’s “Golden Age.” As a triple-threat halfback, Stockton was proficient in running, passing, and punting. His defensive skills as a linebacker were as distinct as his offensive prowess. Houston was the father of Jack Stockton, a founder of Jack and Dan’s tavern near Gonzaga’s campus.
As Gonzaga marks its 125th Anniversary with special events through May 2013, the University’s tradition of celebrating its founding every 25 years continues unabated. Gonzaga’s Silver Jubilee, a three-day fete in 1912, launched this unbroken string of celebrations, and marked Gonzaga’s transformation from a college to a university.
The city of Spokane Falls was officially incorporated in 1881 with approximately 600 residents. Recognizing the need for a college, several Spokane civic boosters co-signed a letter to the Society of Jesus, dated Oct. 1, 1881, asking them to start a school for boys.
As Gonzaga University’s 125th Anniversary Celebration continues, this issue of @Gonzaga concludes its series looking back to its founding in 1887. This series began in September 2010. Each subsequent monthly story looked back six more years. In this series-concluding story, we travel back in time to its first academic year 1887-88.
In recognition of Gonzaga University’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, launched at commencement in May, @Gonzaga continues its series looking back to its founding in 1887. This series began in September 2010 when we looked back six years to the 2004-05 academic year. Each subsequent monthly story looked back another six years. In this story, we travel back in time to view highlights of and around the 1890-91 academic year. This series concludes in September’s @Gonzaga with a look back at events leading to its founding. See the official 125th Anniversary website (www.gonzaga.edu/125) for a historical timeline and more stories.
In recognition of Gonzaga’s quasquicentennial celebration (125th anniversary), which was launched at this year’s commencement ceremonies May 12-13, @Gonzaga continues its monthly series counting back to its founding year, 1887. This series began in September 2010 when we looked back six years to the 2004-05 academic year. Each subsequent monthly story looked back another six years. In this issue, we travel back in time to view highlights of and around the 1896-97 academic year.