From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Long-time Guatemala mission supporters honored with Gonzaga University’s DeSmet Medal

the Inland Register

(From the May 23, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Gonzaga University’s 115th annual commencement exercises earlier this month saw the conferral of approximately 605 bachelor, 400 master, 12 doctoral and 147 juris doctor degrees.

The May 10-12 exercises also saw individuals honored for significant contributions to the church, the school and society.

The schedule of events began with the ROTC commissioning on Friday, May 10, in the Martin Centre. Keynote speaker was retired Brig. Gen. George Bombel, a GU alumnus.

The Law School commencement was Saturday morning, May 11, also at Martin Centre. The Law School commencement featured Washington State Supreme Court Justice Bobbe J. Bridge as the keynote speaker. Bridge received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for the many contributions that she has made to the legal profession.

This year’s Gonzaga Law Medal was awarded to Jesuit Father Bernard J. Coughlin, chancellor of Gonzaga University and the school’s former president.

The Graduate School commencement was the evening of May 11, in Martin Centre. Guest speaker was Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. George received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree was Holocaust survivor Eva Lassman. Lasssman, from Poland, is a well-known speaker in the Spokane area, and was involved with the Anne Frank exhibit at GU in 2000.

The undergraduate commencement was Sunday morning, May 12, in the Spokane Arena.

Featured speaker was Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, a Gonzaga alumnus noted for his extensive and intensive ministry among the street gangs of Los Angeles. One focus of his work involves helping those Los Angeles gang-impacted and at-risk youth find productive jobs to help turn their lives around. In addition to speaking, Father Boyle was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Also receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws was Ernest Stensgar, chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Stensgar also serves as president of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, and is a member of the board of directors for the National Congress of American Indians.

The DeSmet Medal is the highest honor conferred by Gonzaga University. This year’s Medal was awarded to former GU business professor Jerry Monks and his wife, Clara. The Monks have been long-time supporters of the Spokane Diocese’s mission efforts in Guatemala. They now chair the diocese’s Guatemala Commission and have devoted years of work to the Adopt-a-Family Program, which pairs families in the United States with families in Guatemala for short-term material aid and assistance.

The baccalaureate Masses were celebrated May 10 at St. Aloysius Church for the Law School, May 11 in the student chapel for the graduate school, and May 11 at St. Aloysius for the undergraduates.

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