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The Aquilian

Mrs. Carole Kopp: The lady behind your newest purple hoodie

Mrs. Carole Kopp is always ready to greet the next student in need of a new purple hoodie.

“Hi, Hon. How are you? What can I help you with?” says Mrs. Carole Kopp, bookstore manager, anytime a student stops by to pick up a new piece of merchandise from the bookstore.  

Monday through Thursday, Mrs. Kopp arrives at Gonzaga around 7:30 a.m., Gonzaga is just waking up, some of the classrooms are lit up and the weight room is booming. She makes her way up the garage stairs and across Eye Street to descend down the ramp to take a look at which sports team is getting a morning workout in. She then makes her way to her office. 

“We try to get here before you get here, and then we close right after less lunch,” Mrs. Kopp said.

Nestled away in the cafeteria, where not many have been, is a room where all bookstore products are located; from the second you walk in, your eyes are bigger than your wallet. You may gravitate to the newest backpack, hat or polo. The sweatshirts and sweatpants are stacked high. The new polos on display light your eyes up when you walk into the room. 

Mrs. Kopp began her service to Gonzaga during her son’s freshman year at Gonzaga. With Greg ‘21 being her only child and her career at Citigroup ending when Greg was a young kid, Mrs. Kopp began to use her free time to volunteer in the bookstore helping out with whatever the manager at the time needed. Soon after the manager stepped down, Mrs. Kopp stepped in. 

“When Greg was a freshman, the manager at the time kind of recruited me to volunteer, so I would come in every other Tuesday for two hours. Then the manager moved out, and that’s kind of how I ended up working here part-time,” Mrs. Kopp said.

Being the manager of the bookstore, Mrs. Kopp has the freedom to create anything she wishes to and feels the Gonzaga community will embrace. Mrs. Kopp works with big athletic companies down to smaller companies not many of us have heard of. 

“We get pretty much free reign, and we can order whatever we want. We work with all different vendors— Nike, Under Armour, johnnie-O  to no-name companies,” Mrs. Kopp said.

While Mrs. Kopp works with vendors to create the gear, she works with members of the Gonzaga community to get the gear created that the students want. For example, recently Richie Pineda ‘24, the school student body president, has been working back and forth with the bookstore staff to create some limited-edition merchandise for the members of the student government.

“Whenever I walk into the bookstore, I’m always greeted by a smile that is there to help me in any capacity whether that is a gift around Christmas, or recently, it has been to talk over the Student Government merchandise we have been working to create,” Pineda said. 

 In addition to with working with Pineda and the student Government, Head Varsity Golf Coach Mr. Mike Hanagan ‘08 has worked closely with Mrs. Kopp and her staff getting the golf team merchandise. 

“I do not think people appreciate how active and incredible the Gonzaga Bookstore is as a partner for teams. For the golf program, Mrs. Kopp and her team help us identify uniforms, purchase gear and build a team store for the season. They are professional, timely and always get us the best price,” Mr. Hanagan said. 

Working alongside Mrs. Kopp is another Gonzaga mom, Mrs. Marah Hoffman, mother of Andrew Hoffman ‘25, Quinn Hoffman ‘21 and Jack Hoffman ‘20. Mrs. Kopp believes that she and Mrs. Hoffman work great together because of how well each of them specializes in the two vital components that make the Gonzaga bookstore what it is. They can divide and conquer while still working together to create new products the community will enjoy.

“She’s very creative,” said Mrs. Kopp, who was a finance major. “I like the numbers part of it.” 

Mrs. Kopp enjoys every day on Eye Street creating new and exciting swag for the men of Gonzaga to wear. This coming August will mark her second year of service to the Gonzaga community. 

“We really feel like we’re like a service here for you guys,” Mrs. Kopp said.

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