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Departments and Information: Foley History

GU's Library Legacy

 GU's Library Legacy: Transitioning from the "Storehouse for Knowledge" to the "Library of the Future"

Online Exhibit

About our building

The Ralph E. and Helen Higgins Foley Center Library opened on September 1, 1992. The facility is named in honor of Gonzaga alumnus Ralph E. Foley, who served with distinction as a Superior Court Judge in Eastern Washington for 34 years and was a member of the faculty of the Gonzaga University School of Law, and his wife Helen Higgins Foley, a former school teacher and the daughter of pioneer settlers. Judge and Mrs. Foley's son, the Hon. Thomas S. Foley, represented Washington's 5th Congressional District in the U.S.House of Representatives for 14 consecutive terms and served as Speaker of the House from 1989-1995.

The four-level brick facility was designed by Tan-Boyle-Heyamoto Architects of Spokane, WA in association with the Architects Collaborative, San Francisco, CA, and was built by Levernier Construction Co. of Spokane, WA. The Foley Center is the recipient of numerous awards for library architectural design excellence.

             

History

Crosby Library was dedicated as the home to Gonzaga's main library on November 3, 1957 as a memorial to the Crosby family. The library, built at a cost of more than $700,000, was made possible through the efforts of Harry L. "Bing" Crosby. It is a three story building with 33,464 square feet. When the library moved to the Foley Center, the building became the Crosby Student Center in 1993.

The first library on Gonzaga's campus was housed in the Administration Building (now College Hall). Father Francis Monroe, in his capacity as prefect of the library, presided over a rectangular room on the second floor measuring approximately 50 by 22 feet. Many librarians would come and go over time. The collection was moved around as it grew, until it finally out-grew the available space. In 1947 Father Corkery discussed building a separate building to house the library with Bing Crosby.