First of all, we would like to give a big welcome to the class of 2015, transfer students & new faculty & staff as well as give a big welcome back to all sophomores, juniors and seniors and faculty & staff! We are all so thrilled to have the campus buzzing again with amazing energy!
We had such a fun and wonderful experience this year with Orientation. Not only did we get to meet so many wonderful families and new students, but we also were lucky enough to meet and cook with some of the staff from the Homegirl Cafe.
For those of you who are reading this who don’t already know, the incoming Freshman required reading was “Tattoos on the Heart” written by Fr. Greg Boyle, a Gonzaga Almunus & founder of Homeboy Industries. In the book, Jesuit priest Boyle recounts his two decades of working with homies in Los Angeles County, which contains 1,100 gangs with nearly 86,000 members. Boyle’s Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention program in the country, offering job training, tattoo removal, and employment to members of enemy gangs. The book helped decide this years theme of “Make Your Mark” and encouraged everyone to reflect on how they are going to make their mark on Gonzaga and in the community.
Another division of Homeboy Industries is the Homegirl Cafe which is a “social enterprise assisting at-risk and formerly gang-involved young women and men to become contributing members of our community through training in restaurant service and culinary arts.” In conjunction with the required reading and the orientation theme, Gonzaga invited the executive chef, Pati Zatare and three homegirls to come to Gonzaga and cook with Zag Dining’s team. The results were amazing. Not only did we have the pleasure to meet amazing women from a different culture, but we were able to prepare their food their way and work beside them. What these group of women have been through is indescribable and we are so fortunate to have had them join us in Spokane and to learn from their experience. Not to mention, their food was delicious and all of our guests raved about it!
A Big thank you to everyone who helped make this amazing event and weekend happen. We loved every second of it!
Check out our slideshow here: