Gonzaga University will hold funeral services for the Rev. Bernard Coughlin, the university’s longest serving president, on campus in late February.
Coughlin is credited with leading Gonzaga back from near financial death in the 1970s, setting the stage for the university to invest in its now-renowned basketball program in order to raise the school’s national profile. People also remembered Coughlin for his kindness and community involvement, including leading Spokane’s Chamber of Commmerce in 1988.
He died at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California on Tuesday and will be transported to Spokane for a visitation and vigil on Feb. 20, followed by a funeral on Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in St. Aloysius Church. Gonzaga will host a reception across from the church in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room following the ceremony.
Jesuit priests can have funerals at places where they formerly served if they had a long affiliation or expressed a desire to have services there, said Jesuits West spokesperson Tracy Primrose.
Fr. Robert Lyons, who has taught at Gonzaga since 1980, said he could not recall another former president who has had funeral services held on campus.
Primrose said Coughlin will be buried at the Jesuit cemetery at Mount St. Michael in Spokane. The Rev. Joseph Cataldo, Gonzaga’s founder, was buried there when he died in 1928, as well as Coughlin’s predecessor Rev. Richard Twohy and the school’s first president Rev. James Rebmann.
Cataldo’s funeral services were also at St. Aloysius Church, Lyons said.
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