Loras College receives the largest gift in history.

On May 2, 2005, Loras College President Jim Collins (’84) announced that Loras College had received the largest gift in the College's history.

5/2005 Press Release:

The gift, from J. Paul and Frances Breitbach, of Winston-Salem, N.C., provides $500,000 per year throughout Breitbachs’ lives and $10 million to be distributed from a charitable remainder trust upon their death. In total, the gift will likely amount to $15 million or more. Previously, the college's largest gift was $10 million by an anonymous donor in 1998.

"This generosity of the Breitbachs will greatly enhance the ability of Loras College to promote study of the Catholic intellectual tradition, prepare students for various forms of service to the Church, and train business students to apply Catholic values and teaching in the business world," said President Collins.

Four initiatives to be funded by the Breitbach gift include: 1) the creation of a Catholic Thinkers and Leaders course of study, 2) the establishment of a Center for Catholicism in Corporate America, 3) the enhancement of the Loras College faith community, and 4) increased support for the Loras College Master of Arts in pastoral studies.

In commenting on the couple’s decision to make the gift to Loras, Paul Breitbach said, “These programs will strengthen Loras’ commitment to its Catholic tradition and will better prepare our students to live out their faith as they go through life.”

The Catholic Thinkers and Leaders program will include courses in which students will examine the intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church through the study of such great Catholic intellectuals as Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine , as well as modern day leaders such as Mother Teresa and Joseph Cardinal Bernadin. Classes in this area will be open to all students and taken in addition to their chosen major.

Some key aspects of this program are: an endowed professorship to oversee the course of study; a course on the writings of the great thinkers and leaders in the Catholic Church integrated into the curriculum; internship opportunities with a Catholic parish or ministry; and a capstone class and thesis on one of the great Catholic thinkers or leaders.

The Center for Catholicism in Corporate America will create coursework and programming in the accounting and business department that examines the tenets of Catholic thought and their applications in today's business world. Students will explore issues ranging from ethics in business to the role of American corporations in improving society and engage in study, conversation and writing regarding Catholic teaching on issues ranging from just wages and benefits to the challenge of promoting social justice in a capitalist economy.

Key aspects of this program include: an endowed professorship to develop and oversee the Center for Catholicism in Corporate America; enrolling students from the accounting and business department in courses centered on Catholic thought in corporate America; a summer seminar through the Loras College Chicago Center to discuss issues and trends in the business world and how to approach them from the standpoint of Catholic teaching; a capstone class and thesis on an emerging business issue and the application of Catholic thought in addressing it; an internship in a corporate setting; on-line resources for business leaders around the globe; and an annual business symposium sponsored by Loras on applying Catholic thought to a variety of corporate environments.

The third component of the Breitbach gift is aimed at continuing the spiritual growth of our students. To that end, Loras College will enhance the opportunities for students to enrich their spirituality.

Some key elements of these faith opportunities will include: a four-week seminar studying one of the great Catholic thinkers; a seminar studying the history of Loras College and Bishop Mathias Loras; the creation of a peer ministry program whose student leaders would coordinate Catholic identity programming and activities for residence halls; and internships with the Chancery Office.

Finally, a portion of the gift will be used to enhance the College's current Master of Arts program in pastoral studies and prepare students for various lay ministries in the Church.

J. Paul Breitbach is a 1960 graduate of Loras College. He began his career in the Chicago office of Price Waterhouse and was admitted to the partnership in 1973. Upon retirement from Price Waterhouse in 1992, he was named the executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation and guided the company through the second most successful IPO offering in Wall Street history. In 2001, Breitbach retired from Krispy Kreme and was appointed president of the Krispy Kreme Foundation.

The Breitbachs always have been faithful advocates and supporters of Loras College and its mission. Paul Breitbach served on the Loras College Board of Regents, including serving as the Chair of the Board from 1996 through 1998. He was elected regent emeritus in 2001, and was named the Distinguished Alumnus in 2002 for his outstanding professional achievements and contributions to Loras College.

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