News

Loras Benefits from Generous Gifts

11/14/2012
 
President Jim Collins recently announced the receipt of a $750,000 stock contribution from Dubuque residents Arnie (’62) and Joyce Honkamp and a $2.5 million commitment to Loras College from Dr. Patrick J. Lillis (‘71).
 
The first gift will be used to establish an endowed scholarship to memorialize and honor their beloved daughter, Heidi Anne Honkamp-Myhre, who died on July 24, 1997 after a brave battle with cancer. During her life, Heidi Anne showed a talent, appreciation, and deep love for the fine arts. 

According to her mother Joyce, “Heidi Anne had a passion for the fine arts. There is no better way to honor her love for the arts and to ensure her legacy than to provide students who share the same passion with access to an outstanding faith-based academic institution like Loras College.”
 
This generous scholarship donation will be used to assist students in pursuing their education at the College. Beneficiaries of the scholarship will be students involved with courses and programs provided by the College’s Communication and Fine Arts Division. Preference will be given to Wahlert Catholic High School graduates who demonstrate financial need.
 
Heidi’s father and 1962 Loras graduate, Arnie, stated, “I am forever grateful to Loras College for providing me an excellent Catholic education that led to lifelong professional and personal satisfaction. In particular, I’m indebted to my accounting professor, Mr. Bob Pommerich, for his strong career preparation in accounting and his encouragement to pursue public accounting. My gratitude to Loras and love for our deceased daughter makes our family proud to donate this scholarship in Heidi’s name so that deserving Loras students can pursue the same passion for the arts exemplified by our daughter.”
 
President Jim Collins indicated that “these scholarships will only aid the rapid growth and quality of the Loras communication and fine arts programs. Despite their reluctance, I asked Arnie and Joyce to let us announce their generosity publicly. First, I wanted to make sure the entire Loras community adequately expressed our deep appreciation to them. Second, I wanted to encourage all those who care for the arts, desire to honor Heidi’s legacy or wish to support Loras to follow the Honkamp’s selflessness to contribute to this scholarship or another deserving program at the college.”
 
Heidi Anne Honkamp-Myhre Memorial Scholarships will be awarded annually in amounts ranging from $1,000 - $5,000 beginning in Fall 2013.
Dr. Lillis’ gift will be used to support the science and pre-medicine preparation programs at Loras.
 
“Pat has been a strong supporter of Loras College for many years and has shown his generosity not only through significant financial support, but through his passion and deep appreciation for the experience he had as a student and athlete at Loras,” said Loras College President Jim Collins, “I am humbled by his support, personal friendship and deep love for the College.”
 
Lillis received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Loras and then went on to attend the University of Iowa to receive his medical degree in 1975. Since then, Pat has lived and worked in Denver, Colorado, where he is a partner with Lake Loveland Dermatology and an international leader in the dermatology field.
 
Lillis played on the Duhawk basketball team during his four years at Loras. After his junior year, he was accepted into medical school at the University of Iowa, but he declined acceptance there in order to play his last year of basketball with the Duhawks and complete his undergraduate education. Lillis is the fifth leading all-time scorer and the third leading all-time rebounder in Loras’ history.
 
“Loras has and always will hold a special place in my heart. I received a first rate education in a faith-based community. Having the opportunity to play basketball, getting amazing health science preparation and developing the very best lifelong friendships are hard to find at places other than Loras. I am grateful to my professors, coaches, Msgr. Barta and everyone at Loras. I was so well prepared for my medical work at Iowa and in my career. It is all because of Loras,” explained Lillis.
 
He was inducted into the Loras College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and Loras College again honored Lillis on September 23, 2011 in the Athletic and Wellness Center. The Lillis Court in the Athletic and Wellness Center was named in recognition of Lillis’ financial support of the building’s construction.  During the recognition ceremony, President Collins presented Lillis with the third Alumni Excellence Award in the college's history for "his outstanding accomplishments as both student and athlete at Loras, for his generosity to Loras College, for his service and dedication to educating children in Colorado, and for his extraordinary professional achievements in the dermatological field."  
 
According to President Collins, “Pat’s gift will further advance a historic strength at Loras in the health sciences and medical school preparation. The health sciences have always been and will continue to be a core strength at Loras College. This gift helps to ensure an even larger number of graduates can pursue various medical fields.”
 
Both gifts are a strong step in supporting the future of Loras College and a great impact on current and future Loras students.

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