“Without Gonzaga, there is no way we would have met,” said Brooke Sullivan (’03). She remembers first meeting her husband, Matt Sullivan (’03), through the Knights and Setons organization. They met while helping with graduation their freshman year, after which, their two groups of friends started to spend time together. At basketball games, service projects and campus celebrations, Matt and Brooke saw an awful lot of each other over the next few years. During their junior year, Matt and some of the guys went to Gonzaga-in-Florence, while Brooke and the girls stayed in Spokane. Matt and Brooke stayed in touch while he was away and upon his return from Italy, they began to spend time together as a couple without the rest of the group.
“Our friends all recognized that we were dating, but we really didn’t admit it until late in the summer,” Brooke recalls. From that time forward, Brooke and Matt were joined at the hip. Their dating experience, however, wasn’t exactly typical, due much in part to the uniqueness of the Gonzaga experience.“The activities and the community that Gonzaga provided laid the groundwork for us. Spending so much time volunteering together gave us a chance to learn a lot about each other and understand what was important to each of us,” said Brooke. Gonzaga also played a large role in the couple’s wedding, which was held at St. Aloysius prior to a reception at Cataldo Hall. More than 80 Gonzaga alumni attended the wedding and as Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan left the reception, the guests made a human tunnel for the couple to run through while everyone chanted,
“Go! Gonzaga! G-O-N-Z-A-G-A!”
Today, the Sullivans keep Gonzaga very close to their hearts. Their two sons have godparents who are Gonzaga or Gonzaga-in-Florence alums. Brooke and Matt are active in the Seattle alumni chapter and they have high hopes that their sons will follow in Mom and Dad’s footsteps, becoming Zags as well. In addition to inspiring their sons to attend Gonzaga someday, the Sullivans hope to inspire others as well. They have generously chosen to endow a scholarship so that future Zags may have many of the same opportunities that they did.
“With 96% of Gonzaga students receiving financial assistance and an average graduate debt load of $30,000, we saw a clear need to make a gift of support,” said Matt. “We were both the beneficiaries of financial aid, which made it possible for us to attend Gonzaga. The generosity of the entire Gonzaga community aiming to make a Gonzaga education possible for all who seek it inspired us. We have been committed to donating annually to Gonzaga, but we wanted to make a strategic gift that would be long lasting. We recognize the need for scholarships and are hoping that by making this gift, it will inspire others to consider doing the same.”
Matt and Brooke were active participants in the recent GU +1 24-Hour Challenge, making an additional gift and encouraging their friends and classmates to do the same. Brooke was named specifically by another donor, who made a gift in the challenge and cited Brooke’s post on Facebook as the inspiration for the gift.
Gonzaga is extremely grateful for the Sullivans and all of the individuals and couples who have chosen to “show a little love” to the University by making gifts of support and sharing inspiration. Annual gifts and endowments like the scholarship Matt and Brooke have created have a tremendous impact on the entire Gonzaga community. If you would like to celebrate your connection to Gonzaga by supporting the University and its students, please visit gonzaga.edu/proudzagsgive to make your gift today.