Loras College has officially launched its largest fundraising campaign in the 175-year history of the institution. Hosted on campus the Thursday before Homecoming, alumni, regents and friends attended as well as current students, faculty and staff.
The last campaign, Belief Unfolding, began in 1996 and raised more than $50M. Due to the success of that campaign and numerous efforts ever since, Loras has significantly upgraded its campus infrastructure with new and renovated buildings, created a technology rich campus and enhanced its academic offerings and outcomes. As a result of these successes, Loras won high praise and maximal accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in 2010.
“Loras is delivering an ever-better education to its students, and we now need to strengthen our financial position to secure our future,” said regent board chair John Schmidt following the board’s unanimous approval last May to launch the campaign. “Given our flourishing national reputation, beautiful campus infrastructure and strong academic outcomes, we now need to raise money to better support our people. To the extent this campaign will be successful, we will be able to meet the financial needs of our students and better support our talented faculty and staff.”
“We have already raised over $43M toward our $75M goal. From my standpoint, this is just the beginning. I have every confidence that we will meet and surpass this goal,” shared President Jim Collins.
The Campaign Steering Committee is chaired by former United States congressman and Verizon executive vice president, Tom Tauke (’72). He is joined by: former Creighton University president, Fr. John Schlegel (’62); former Leo Burnett CEO, Bill Lynch (’64); parent of a current student, Mary Finnegan; attorney, Theresa Hoffman (’82); former Coca Cola executive, Don Ulrich (’58); Dubuque businessman and community leader, Arnie Honkamp (’62); and former Krispy Kreme and Price Waterhouse executive, Paul Breitbach (’60).
“All of us at Loras are incredibly grateful for this extraordinary commitment of dedication, time and deep care for Loras,” said Schmidt. “Loras College has quietly made amazing strides during the past decade. This campaign is focused on telling the Loras story and generating the financial support that will sustain and accelerate the college’s drive for excellence,” said Tom Tauke. “So many of us have directly benefited from the outstanding education provided by Loras. Now is the time for us to step up and do our part so that today’s young people have the opportunity to prepare themselves academically and spiritually for the huge challenges of life. This is a noble cause.”
According to Collins, in addition to raising funds to support student aid, faculty and staff compensation and professional development, Loras will also seek funding for the launch of its new MBA program and business analytics curricular focus. “Substantially growing our endowment will provide the future support needed to advance our people’s success and financing programs like our MBA will help to further distinguish Loras’ strong academic reputation,” added Collins.
The campaign kickoff on Oct. 10 drew a crowd of nearly 200, and celebrated the recent college successes, while outlining the goals of the campaign. As part of the event, students, faculty and staff shared their personal Loras stories. The evening also was highlighted by remarks from Collins and Tauke, and performances by the Loras College Jazz Combo and the Loras College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.