For the first time, the Gonzaga Spires yearbook will not be handed out for free. In an effort to minimize waste and maximize quality, the 2020 yearbook will be available to all students who reserve their book this spring for $15.

My reason for writing this letter is simple. I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this commemorative collection of writing and photography for the rest of their lives when it comes out this September. 

In five quick minutes, you can go online (commerce.cashnet.com/spub), reserve your yearbook and ensure you’ll have a hard copy of Gonzaga 2019-20 to look back on, share with your family and reminisce on throughout the years to come. 

I implore all students not to miss their chance to secure their yearbook for a small $15 fee now, before the price increases to $50 on April 1. If you do not reserve your book before the final deadline on April 15, you won’t be able to get one next fall.

The Spires staff started working on this project at the beginning of the fall semester, and will continue to document the memories of the year all the way through graduation in May. 

As a result, the final product will be printed and available to students in September. In order to make sure graduated seniors, wherever they head across the country, can get their books, we will mail their yearbook to them for an additional $10. 

So, come September, everyone who reserves their yearbook this spring will get to enjoy it, whether they are on campus.

The beauty and value of a yearbook is it immortalizes the year we have all spent together here — in the classroom, in The Kennel, in the dorms and in Spokane. 

Although all of us have our own individual digital collections of memories on our phones, on Snapchat and Instagram, the yearbook aims to gather the experiences we’ve shared as an entire community. 

We have documented events, groups and roles you may have not been involved in, but your friends were, or your classmates, or peers or strangers you’ve never met, but can be inspired by all the same. 

After all, we don’t walk through this college experience alone; our lives overlap and intertwine with fellow Zags every day. This is how this experience should be remembered after you leave — the people around you are doing amazing things, and you got to live and learn with them. 

The Spires staff believes creating a yearbook is the best way to capture and commemorate that unique community experience.

The product you will receive in September after you’ve reserved your book is the result of countless hours of student work. The photographers you see on the floor of The Kennel during games, the students manning the table in Hemmingson during portrait days, the designers of posters and ads you’ve seen promoting this book … all working to create this book for you. 

This yearbook is entirely student-driven and created from start to finish. All of our photographers, writers, designers and promotions staff are your peers, and they’ve elected to spend their time creating this album of memories for you.

Colleges across the country are eliminating yearbooks from their campus. College yearbooks are becoming more and more rare, but this school still sees value in investing time, money and creativity into this project. 

Take advantage of this dedication. Reserve your yearbook, and guarantee yourself a beautifully, thoughtfully crafted keepsake of this year at GU.

Megan O'Herron is a senior studying journalism. 

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