Since the founding of Gonzaga University in 1887, students have said the friends they make in their time on campus become family, their Zag Family. Others, though, were part of Zag Families before even deciding to attend GU.

Juniors Campbell Dougherty and Kyle Ridgway are both legacies here at GU, each of their families consisting of former attendees. 

On the other hand, junior Ruby Lynde-Ginal is a first-generation Zag, but also a first-generation college student.

These three students may come from different backgrounds but they all have one thing in common — they all are proud of their school and their background. 

Ruby Lynde-Ginal: First-generation

Ruby Lynde-Ginal is not only a first-generation Zag, but also a first-generation college student. She is double majoring in technical theatre arts and religious studies, with a minor in philosophy.

Lynde-Ginal initially didn’t plan on attending college when she was in high school, but teachers and advisers convinced her otherwise. 

“I was an ASB officer, part of the leadership class, captain of the cheer team, dance team officer and some other things,” Lynde-Ginal said in an email. “All of my advisers and teachers thought it would be a waste if I didn't apply for higher education.”

With her time at GU, Lynde-Ginal has found a home in the theatre and dance department, in large thanks to a faculty member. 

“Courtney Smith has done more for me than I can even express,” Lynde-Ginal said.  “He helped me land a summer internship which was honestly one of the best experiences of my life.”

Lynde-Ginal is proud of herself for being a first-generation college student. 

“My parents had a rough go and weren't as fortunate as I have been. They're really encouraging though, and I talk to them everyday,” she said.

When touring schools her senior year of high school, GU was the last school that she looked at. After looking at schools throughout Washington and Oregon, she decided on GU.

“I can't really say truthfully that the community was something special, or I just felt called to be a Zag,” Lynde-Ginal said. “I kind of just picked this school on a whim, but I'm really happy with my choice.”

Kyle Ridgway: Second-generation

Kyle Ridgway decided to follow in his father’s footsteps when choosing where to go to school, which led him to GU.

Randy Ridgway, class of ‘86, majored in accounting and made sure that his kids became big Zag fans as they got older. 

“It was always top three," Kyle said. “I grew up being a big Gonzaga basketball fan.”

Randy Ridgway hoped that his kids could walk the path that he did for their college careers.

“We would have been/will be happy with any of our three sons choosing another school,” Randy said in an email. “But you can’t go wrong with Gonzaga and Jesuit-based education.”

Randy had a holistic experience at GU. He was a resident assistant in  Catherine Monica, a resident director in Cushing, involved in intramurals and participated in Knights, a sophomore male service organization that has since disbanded.

“My time serving as a Knight and all the fun times and brotherhood of that organization provided some great memories," Randy said.

Kyle said that his dad’s time at GU was a lot different than his, but the similarities between their college days are something they can share.

“In terms of basketball games and socialization, we can relate to those tracks a lot," Kyle said. 

Randy was one of the contributors to the Grotto next to St. Aloysius Church on campus. It is a tribute to Fr. Tony Lehmann S.J., someone who Randy was close to at his time at GU.

“In that time, the Knights had a lot of affiliation with the Jesuits,” Kyle said. “He was one of my dad’s best friends."

The grotto was dedicated in 2012, inspired by the grotto at Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, Indiana.

 “It kind of provides a nice transition and connection between the St. Al’s property and the university,” Randy said. 

Randy noted that even though GU has nearly doubled in size since his time here, the essence of campus has stayed the same.

“The 'Gonzaga Experience' is a very special thing,” Randy said. “I believe it is alive and well, and I hope it lives on in the hearts of Gonzaga students forever.”

Campbell Dougherty: Third-generation

Campbell Dougherty has a family history at GU that spans over three generations. His parents, Dennis and Molly Dougherty, ‘93, met on the steps of Catherine Monica Hall their freshman year on the way to a YoungLife event. His aunt and step-grandpa also went to GU.

Dougherty and his family now reside in Spokane. However, his dad is originally from Tacoma, and his mom is from Bozeman.

“My mom knew about Gonzaga and Spokane because my aunt went here,” Campbell said.

His uncle was also a big runner and would attend Bloomsday annually. 

Dennis Dougherty, Campbell’s dad, attended Bellarmine Preparatory High School in Tacoma. At the time, the school had a program through GU that gave students a chance to succeed at higher levels than they did in high school.

Dougherty’s step-grandpa, Michael Malone, also attended GU, where he received his master's degree. After graduating from GU, he went back to Bozeman and became the president at Montana State University.

Doughtery has been raised to be a big Zag fan his whole life. 

“Were they pushing it? Kind of,” Dougherty said. “But I also pushed it on myself.” 

Lindsey Wilson is a staff writer. You can follow her on Twitter @lindseyrwilson1.

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