Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



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


Gonzaga University bestows over 1,600 degrees during 118th commencement exercises

the Inland Register

(From the May 19, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

For the third consecutive year, Gonzaga University graduated its largest class ever, during its 118th commencement exercises May 6-8 in Spokane.

The university conferred approximately 993 bachelor, 395 master, 17 doctoral and 200 juris doctor degrees this year.

Commencement events began with the ROTC Commissioning Friday afternoon, May 6, at Cataldo Hall.

The Law School commencement took place the morning of May 7 in the McCarthey Athletic Center on the Gonzaga campus. This year’s Law School keynote speaker was Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed received Gonzaga’s Law Medal, a distinction awarded to those individuals who have provided exemplary service to the law.

The Law School’s baccalaureate Mass was celebrated the evening of May 7 at St. Aloysius Church.

The Graduate commencement was held the afternoon of May 7, also in McCarthey Athletic Center.

Jesuit Father Pat Ford, former academic vice president of GU, received the DeSmet Medal, the highest honor the university confers. Father Ford is the executive assistant to the provincial and chief of the provincial staff of the Oregon Province for the Society of Jesus, a post he has held since stepping down from GU in 2001.

Keynote speaker was Roberta Jones Greene, former two-term Spokane City Councilwoman. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the university, as did Deacon John Byrne, former GU professor, scholar, administrator and mentor. Deacon Byrne serves at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, and is former Director of Deacons for the Spokane Diocese.

Gonzaga’s undergraduate commencement exercises were held Sunday, May 8, in the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The undergraduate keynote speaker was Joe Dowling, director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Dowling received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees were given to Claire and Bob McDonald, longtime Regents (and now Regent Emerita and Emeritus, respectively), and major benefactors of Gonzaga; and Alvin J. Wolff, Sr., who has had a distinguished business career and demonstrated a strong commitment to the people of Spokane.

The DeSmet Medal, Gonzaga’s highest honor, was awarded March 25 to E. Thomas Martin of Shell Beach, Calif. Martin was a 1965 GU alumnus who had served on the GU Board of Regents since 2002 and was a tremendous supporter of Gonzaga-in-Florence. Martin died April 2 at the age of 61.

The baccalaureate Mass for both the graduate and undergraduate schools was celebrated the afternoon of May 7 at McCarthey Athletic Center.


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