It was the summer of 1966 in Spokane. The Beatles, Petula Clark and Simon and Garfunkel could be heard on the radio and a brand new 10-level parking garage called “The Parkade” was under construction downtown. Rosemary Menzia (’64) was at Gonzaga, taking summer courses toward her master’s degree in counseling. When her friend Alberto (Al) Pasqualotto (’62), who played on the Gonzaga hockey team, invited Rosemary to go downtown to Domini’s with him, she agreed. She had no idea that she was about to meet the man with whom she would spend the rest of her life.
Everybody called him “Cy,” and he was a friend of Al’s, too. Cy Rief had graduated from Gonzaga with his bachelor’s degree in 1960. Cy and Rosemary shared their Catholic faith. They shared their love of Gonzaga. They shared their interests in education and Jesuit learning. Over the next year, everything they shared helped to build a relationship that only grew stronger and stronger. They were married in Prosser, Wash. on August 12, 1967.
Cy and Rosemary both went on to complete master’s degrees and then into careers in education, teaching and counseling. They had two daughters, Jennifer (’92) and Rachel (’97), both of whom became proud Zags, too.
Gonzaga plays an important role in Rosemary and Cy’s relationship. “The classes, the Jesuits, the faith, they all fit into our love today,” said Rosemary. When you look at Rosemary and Cy together, you will see two people who, after more than 46 years of marriage, still make each other smile. They still share the same passion for Gonzaga and they pass it on to everyone they meet.
If you ever get the chance to attend an alumni event in Yakima, almost without a doubt, you’ll find Rosemary and Cy there. Rosemary will be quick to greet you and ask with the sweetest grin, “when did you go to Gonzaga?” When you meet her, you’ll know right away that Gonzaga has a place deep in her heart. You’ll see in the love that Rosemary and Cy share that they are living what they learned at Gonzaga, every day.
The Riefs give back to Gonzaga in many ways: through involvement in the Yakima alumni chapter, through donations to scholarships and programs at GU, and by being proud examples of what makes Gonzaga so great. They enjoy attending events and game watches as well as volunteering with the Yakima alumni chapter’s service projects. Their philanthropy back to their alma mater is extended to the Fund for Gonzaga, the Gonzaga Scholars Program (high-need student scholarships), Mission Possible, the Class of ’98 Scholarship and more.
Rosemary and Cy’s daughters inherited their parents’ love for supporting Gonzaga; Jennifer made a gift to the Disability Resources, Education, & Access Management (DREAM) program and served as a mentor with the Gonzaga Alumni Mentors Program (GAMP) after graduation, while Rachel has made gifts to the Fund for Gonzaga and the Class of ’98 Scholarship.
When alumni couples like Rosemary and Cy give back to Gonzaga, it counts as two toward Gonzaga’s alumni participation tally. Gonzaga is currently #3 in the WCC for alumni participation behind Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara. Couples who can “show a little love” to GU with a gift right now can have their participation counted twice toward putting Gonzaga in the #1 spot. Visit gonzaga.edu/give if you have a little love to give.