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’s 2009 commencement breaks another record

the Inland Register

(From the May 21, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, outgoing president of Gonzaga University, was awarded the school’s DeSmet Medal at commencement exercises this year. (IR photo by Image Studios, courtesy of Gonzaga University)

For the seventh consecutive year, Gonzaga University graduated another record-size class during commencement exercises earlier this month.

A total of 2,019 undergraduate, graduate and law students donned caps and gowns for the university’s 116th commencement ceremonies. Graduate and undergraduate ceremonies were held May 9-10, respectively. The Law School commencement took place May 16.

This year saw conferral of 1,072 bachelor, 743 master, 19 doctoral and 185 law degrees.

The ROTC commissioning ceremony was held May 8.

The Graduate commencement ceremony was held in McCarthey Athletic Center May 9. Keynote speaker was former Jesuit Scholastic Christopher Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World and A Vanished World: Medieval Spain’s Golden Age of Enlightenment, who received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Gonzaga.

An honorary Doctor of Laws degree was awarded to Dr. Anna Ledgerwood, director of trauma and professor of surgery at Wayne State University School of Medicine. A specialist in acute surgical emergencies, Dr. Ledgerwood earned a bachelor degree in psychology from Gonzaga in 1963.

The senior commencement ceremony was held May 10 in Spokane’s Veterans’ Memorial Arena. Keynote speaker was Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer, who has stepped down as Gonzaga’s president at the conclusion of this academic year. (Editor’s note: See page 3 for an interview with Father Spitzer.) Father Spitzer received the DeSmet Medal, Gonzaga’s highest honor.

Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees were awarded to Gonzaga benefactors Tom and Camilla Tilford. Tom Tilford, a 1966 alumnus, has served as a member of the Gonzaga Board of Trustees and is now a Trustee Emeritus and director of Gonzaga’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.

Commencement for the School of Law took place May 16 at Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center. The Honorable Ryan C. Crocker, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and keynote speaker for the ceremony, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gonzaga. Thomas J. Greenan was awarded Gonzaga’s 2009 Law Medal, given to individuals who have provided exemplary service to the law. Greenan has served as a Regent and Trustee to Gonzaga and is currently Trustee Emeritus. Greenan also served as acting dean of the Gonzaga-in-Florence study abroad program.

Bishop Skylstad was principal celebrant of the baccalaureate Mass for undergraduates and graduates May 9. Concelebrating were Jesuit Fathers Spitzer and Steve Kuder; Jesuit Father Steve Hess preached.

Jesuit Father Mark McGregor, coordinator of University Ministry, presided at the School of Law’s baccalaureate Mass on May 15 at St. Aloysius Church.


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