President Jim Collins (’84)
announced today that Loras College has received a total of $75,000 in donations from two local clergymen toward the $75 million Inspiring Lives and Leadership: The Loras Legacy
campaign. Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Kucera
has committed $50,000 to the general endowment and the Rev. Msgr. Stanley Hayek (’55)
donated $25,000 to create the Hayek Scholarship for any student who demonstrates financial need.
“Archbishop Kucera has been a tireless advocate for Loras over the years in both formal and informal ways. He served as chancellor and board member at Loras providing dedicated leadership. Since his retirement, he has been relentless in offering encouragement and prayers for all of us at Loras,” said Collins.
Kucera is a Loras College regent emeritus, having served on the Board of Regents from 1984-1995, and was the national chairperson for the College’s Century 21
capital campaign in 1985. He attended St. Procopius College (now known as Benedictine University), took his theological training at St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle, Ill., and later earned both his masters and doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
In 1959, at the age of 36, Kucera became the youngest president of Illinois Benedictine College. At the age of 41, he became the fifth and youngest abbot of the community of Benedictine monks who staffed the college. In 1976, Kucera was named chairman of the Board of Trustees and the college’s chief fundraiser. In 1977, Kucera was ordained auxiliary bishop of Joliet, Ill., by Bishop Romeo Blanchette. Kucera was named Bishop of Salina, Kan., in 1980 and appointed archbishop of Dubuque in 1984, where he served until he retired in 1995.
In honor of Kucera, a donor funded the Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Studies at Loras College. Opened in 1999, the Center supports Catholic intellectual and spiritual life at the College and in the Archdiocese of Dubuque and sponsors workshops, symposia, speakers, internships, research, retreats, travel and other activities consistent with this mission, both on campus and across northeastern Iowa. The Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Studies also oversees the Loras College Press and its publications.
Hayek graduated from Loras Academy high school in 1950 and enrolled in the seminarian program at Loras College where he received his bachelor of science in mathematics in 1955. He attended St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque from 1955-1959 for his theological studies and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque on January 31, 1959.
After being ordained, Hayek was associate pastor and taught in the parish high school at Holy Trinity in Provitin, Iowa from 1959-1961. In 1961, Hayek became a math professor and dean of Beckman Hall and Binz Hall at Loras College, and was the associate pastor at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Dubuque, Iowa from 1970-1971. From 1971-1976, he was pastor at Protivin, and he was a member of the team ministry for St. John’s, Waterloo/St. Nicholas, Evansdale from 1976-1981. He became pastor of St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville, Iowa in 1981 and was the pastor of Immaculate Conception in Charles City, Iowa from 1992-2003, when he retired. He now resides at Villa Raphael in Dubuque.
Hayek had several family members graduate from Loras College as well: his brothers Wesley (’47) and Bernard (’61); his nephew, Michael (’87); and his great niece, Sarah (Hayek) Drey (’04). Hayek became a Heritage Society member of the College in 1987.
“Msgr. Hayek has been a longtime supporter for Loras by encouraging talented prospective students to attend and providing generous financial support. This endowed scholarship will ensure his support for students in perpetuity,” said Collins.
Launched on October 10, 2013, the $75 million Inspiring Lives and Leadership: The Loras Legacy
campaign is the largest fundraising campaign in the 175-year history of the college. In addition to raising funds to support student aid and faculty/staff professional development, the campaign seeks funds to build upon the launch of its MBA program, business analytics initiative and other academic programs. As of May 13, 2014, the campaign has raised nearly $55 million through more than 15,700 donors.