I Love Being a Zag Because...

Students posing at a basketball game. The student on the left has peace signs up and the student on the right has an arm up, cheering.

February 17, 2023
Current Zags

Julie Prestigiacomo ‘24 

I love being a Zag because I am a part of a community. There is so much that comes with being a Zag; the biggest one is the family that comes along with this name. Everyone who attends Gonzaga, and everyone who is a part of the Gonzaga family, can proudly say they are a Zag. I love being a Zag because of the pride that comes with the name. We are a school that strives for excellence in everything we do. Yes, we have a large emphasis on the men’s basketball team, but our women’s team is no less spectacular. We also have extracurriculars that are inclusive to everyone. We have clubs that help everyone on campus find their niche and even people on campus that will help you start your own clubs. I love being a Zag because the possibilities are endless once you join this family. You can always find someone willing to help you and you can always find friends. Zags help Zags. 

Aaliyah Mae Lewis ‘24 

I didn't always love being a Zag throughout my time here at Gonzaga and I still find difficulty at times in seeing myself here. Being a student of color at a predominantly white institution came with obstacles that I wasn't necessarily ready for, but through my experience so far, the advocacy and community that comes from the students and staff of our DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity) department had become the turning point of my college experience. Our diverse population is small, but from it, we have built a tight-knit community that holds so many strong relationships and friendships. What I love most about being a Zag has been the process of reclaiming my identity and sharing it with a small community that reaffirms me and reassures my validation. Through FASU (Filipino American Student Union)HPIC (Hawaii/Pacific Islanders Club), and being a Student-Intern, I've experienced a lot of character development in recognizing why I should take up space on campus and why it matters to use that space with everything I stand for. My experiences here at Gonzaga differ from the larger population, but I have learned to love Gonzaga for the authentic relationships that I have developed over time.  

Matt Ratto ‘24 

I love being a Zag because of the people at Gonzaga, whether it be my classmates, my professors, or the staff on campus. I love the size of Gonzaga because I can walk through campus and wave to all my friends and people I know, as well as pass by someone that I have never seen before. The people are what make Gonzaga and it is the little things that make a difference. We have this saying, “Zags help Zags,” which is really evident on campus. One instance that comes to mind is when entering a building, someone will always hold the door open for you, even if you are a little too far away. The campus is always very lively and the atmosphere is one of the biggest reasons why I love being a Zag!  

Coleman Brummel ‘24 

There are so many reasons why I love being a Gonzaga Bulldog. First, the Gonzaga community on campus is one of a kind. The first thing you notice on campus is that everyone is looking out for each other. From just the simple kind gesture of holding the door open for you, to being able to ask just about anyone for help at any time, contributes greatly to the warm feeling on campus. Another reason why I love being a Zag is because of the sheer number of opportunities to get involved in the campus community. Intramurals, clubs, work, and volunteer opportunities are everywhere and allow you to connect with other students easily. Finally, the basketball game days are one of the most unique game day experiences you can possibly have and are the cherry on top of being a Zag. Tent City and the in-game experience are sheer madness and shows just how passionate Gonzaga students are for their team and their university. 

Irene Gil ‘23 


The first time that I visited Gonzaga University was when I finalized my decision to come to this school and being a student now also only made me feel more grateful for the choice I made. Firstly, everyone at this school lives up to the idea of serving the community and being there for others. Whether it be a stranger I feel that people at Gonzaga are always looking out for others. This school is also small enough that I can form deep connections with my peers and professors but also still big enough where I can meet someone new every day. Gonzaga also has many opportunities to be a part of new experiences such as studying abroad, community service, clubs, and much more. I have also been drawn to Gonzaga, especially with its nursing program and small class sizes. Though nursing school is rigorous I have been able to be a part of activities outside of nursing, especially studying abroad in Florence, Italy. The components of all these aspects of Gonzaga University are a few of the many reasons why I chose to come to Gonzaga and absolutely love being here.


Aileen Sarmiento-Velasco ‘24 


I chose Gonzaga because I liked the size of the campus and the community. When I started applying to colleges, I knew that I wanted to go somewhere relatively smaller because that’s what I was used to. I really appreciate the smaller class sizes because they make it possible to have a relationship with my professors, which is something I really value. I also liked the spirit and energy of the students here. The community here is very welcoming, zags are always ready to help other zags out, which is so neat and is something you can see every day on campus. I have found some friends here that I know I will have for the rest of my life and I’m grateful I got to meet them while at GU. 


Madelyn Wilkins ‘23 


The reason I love being at Gonzaga is the community. While the student community is welcoming and truly embodies the popular saying “Zags help Zags,” it was the way that staff and faculty are equally immersed in the community that drew me to Gonzaga. When I visited campus for Gonzaga Experience Live (GEL), I got the chance to meet both a professor and an advisor in my chosen academic field. Chatting with them and listening to their presentations, I could tell that they were invested in student success and that they wanted to actually know their students. Since I have come to GU, I have had countless opportunities to make connections with my professors and staff – whether that’s through office hours, professor-led review sessions, or seeing them in the line at Thomas Hammer. I stay at Gonzaga because of these connections and the support I continue to receive from my peers, professors, and other staff. 


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