This celebration recognizing Gonzaga’s 125th anniversary follows the tradition of recognizing each 25 year celebration: the silver in 1912, the golden in 1937, the 75th in 1962, the centennial in 1987 and now the 125th. For the most of the last 50 years, two Jesuits have been the president of Gonzaga, shaping and guiding the school into what it is today: Fr. Bernard Coughlin, SJ and Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ. Gonzaga inaugurated its first lay president Dr. Thayne McCulloh, PhD in 2010.
Gonzaga celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1912. This is the medal that was designed for this event.
Gonzaga College’s twenty-fifth Annual Commencement held Friday, June 21st, 1912 celebrated the college’s Silver Jubilee
Title page from book published in 1912 to commemorate Gonzaga’s 25th anniversary and written by Fr. George Weibel SJ. and Gonzaga students
Book of prayers for students published in honor of the university’s Golden Jubilee in 1937
Beginning in the fall of 1961 Gonzaga began to celebrate its 75th anniversary with yearlong activities. To commemorate this occasion, the Spokane Mayor Neal R. Fosseen made this proclamation stating that Gonzaga Week would be from October 27 to November 3, 1961.
Medal given as a keepsake for the university’s 75th Anniversary in 1962
Plaque made for the Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” which was on extended loan from The B. Gerald Cantor Art Foundation from July through December 1st 1986 as part of the university’s Centennial Year. The statue was on display in the Johnston Family Mall in front of the Administration Building entrance where today the Ignatian statue stands. The “Thinker” weighed 1,700 pounds. Several of the Rodin works remained on exhibit in the Johnston Family Mall and in the Administration Building during the centennial year.
Young boy looks up at the "Thinker" in front of the Administration Building in 1987
On front: “Gonzaga University 1887-1987”, on back: “Excellence 100 Years, 1 Troy Ounce”
Coin used to commemorate Gonzaga’s Centennial. For over a year, Gonzaga celebrated its Centennial in various events. A campus-wide birthday party was held on September 17, 1986 on the lawn behind the Administration Building, now College Hall. For the Centennial, Gonzaga officially embarked on its largest fund-raising effort in its history, a capital campaign to raise $33 million in five years.
On loan from Sue Weitz
"Zag nation, Unite!" Wrist band made to celebrate Gonzaga’s 125th Anniversary. It was distributed at Historic First Day on September 17, 2012 for attendees enjoy the food and fun. Shows the 125th logo.
The bigger-than-life Bing Crosby bronze statue was dedicated in front of the Crosby Library (now the Crosby Student Center) on his birthday, May 3, 1981. Bing died on a golf course in Madrid, Spain in October 1977. Sculpted by Debbie Copenhaver, the larger-than-life, 8-foot bronze statue of Bing depicts him striking a casual pose with his pipe, hat, and golf clubs.
Immediately after the Bing Crosby statue’s installation, students as a prank unscrewed the pipe and took it. Eventually, the pipe was returned. After numerous pranks, the pipe was permanently removed and now is attached only for special occasions. This is one of three pipes.
On May 11, 1950, President Harry S. Truman visited Gonzaga University to receive a Citation of Merit. His arrival was the first time in Gonzaga's history that the nation’s highest official spoke on campus. Truman came to Spokane after attending the dedication of the Grand Coulee Dam. A huge platform was placed on the quadrangle near the Administration building facing the engineering building. Over 4,000 spectators watched President Truman received his Citation of Merit from President Francis Corkery, S.J. for his "moral stand in world affairs." Truman gave a ten minute speech stressing equality and dignity of man before God and the need to eliminate injustice and achieve lasting peace.
President Truman and GU President Fr. Corkery at Citation of Merit Ceremony, 1950. DeSmet Hall in the background.
Magnuson placing the Presidential Medallion around Fr. Coughlin's neck
Fr. Bernard J. Coughlin became Gonzaga’s 23rd president in October 1974. Prior to his arrival, Gonzaga was facing soaring operating deficits; campus growth was static; and enrollment had begun to decline. Within two years of his arrival, the budget was balanced and enrollment had begun to grow. Coughlin would continue to successfully serve Gonzaga as president for 22 years. Afterwards, he became Gonzaga’s first Chancellor.
The Presidential Medallion was worn as part of the president’s academic attire at ceremonial occasions such as commencement and convocations. Fr. Coughlin stated that he only wore this Presidential Medalion once, as it was too heavy. Its design includes the University’s seal. There are six disks on the chain representing the six schools and colleges at Gonzaga.
Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. was the 25th president of Gonzaga University from 1998-2009. A GU graduate of 1974, he defined the five pillars of Jesuit education that created a clear vision for Gonzaga’s future: faith, service, justice, ethics, and leadership. He completed a $119 million capital campaign for buildings, student financial aid, faculty enrichment, technology, and mission programs. He planned and oversaw the construction and renovation projects totaling for than $200 million dollars. Furthermore, he developed a growth strategy that led to steady enrollment increases from 4,507 in 1998 to 6,9213 in 2007 and championed raising the academic profile of the student body. He fostered service learning as an academic component of the curriculum.
Ten Universal Principles, with him holding up three fingers and a book of Proofs
Created in recognition of Fr. Robert Spitzer’s 60th Birthday in May 2012, the three fingers represent three points when he gave presentations. Board of Trustees and Regents as well as Gonzaga Vice Presidents received one.
On loan from Sue Weitz
Dr. Thayne M. McCulloh was inaugurated as the 26th president of Gonzaga on October 22, 2010. He is the first lay president to serve at Gonzaga. Prior to his permanent appointment he had been the interim president starting in 2009. President McCulloh, a 1989 Gonzaga graduate, has been focused on the advancement of academic excellence, development of a strong community, and promotion of institutional health in the context of a vibrant Jesuit and Catholic learning environment.