Scholarship Stories: Sarah Hitchings

first day

Sarah (left) with Spike and her roommate on the first day of school at GU.

As a senior in high school, a rare disorder that has been called “the forgotten disease” put Sarah Hitchings (’16) in a pediatric intensive care unit. Sarah never forgot her experience with Lemierre’s Syndrome; instead, it inspired her to pursue a career helping others.

“The amazing nurses I had during my time at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle inspired me to want to be a nurse as well,” said Hitchings, whose future aspirations also include serving the less fortunate. “I would love to spend the first few years out of college traveling around offering health care to those who can’t afford it through a program like Mercy Ships and then eventually seek out a position in a pediatric ICU.”

Hitchings’ education from Gonzaga will help her achieve her goals sooner than she thought was possible, thanks to the direct-admit nursing program and the scholarships she received.

“When I got my acceptance letter to the University, I also got accepted into the nursing program. To start off my first day of classes in a nursing course was amazing for me and it’s something I love about Gonzaga,” Hitchings said. “Also, my scholarship and grant helped me so much in being able to afford my education. Thanks to them, I won’t have to worry about debt at the end of my time at Gonzaga. That will be a big load off my chest as I start out as a new nurse.”

There’s more to Sarah Hitchings than just nursing; she is also one of the callers on Gonzaga’s Telefund team. She calls alumni, parents and friends of the university to update contact information, share happenings going on around the University, raise funds and connect with other Zags.

“I love that we get to see people’s donations make a difference,” said Hitchings of her Telefund experience so far. “Most students don’t get to interact with alumni this much, so they might not know how many truly amazing people have graduated from our University. Most of the people I talk to are so nice and genuinely care about Gonzaga students.”

Hitchings was surprised and pleased by one particular conversation she made during a weekend shift.

“I was speaking to an older alum and mentioned that I would be taking a trip to Europe. For the next 15 minutes, she told me about all the places I should visit, even going so far as to give me phone numbers of the places where students can stay inexpensively. It was a totally unnecessary kindness that she paid me and a perfect example of why it is so great to be a part of the Gonzaga family.”

So if you get a call from (509) 313-6442, it’s the Gonzaga Telefund team – be sure to pick up! There are many other students just like Sarah Hitchings who are excited to talk to you about your Gonzaga experience and share why they’re glad to be here, too. But you don’t have to wait for a call from the Telefund to make a gift in support of Gonzaga student scholarships. Visit to make your gift today.