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Award Established for Graduates of Cristo Rey Network High Schools

Robert Waterbury

Loras College announces the creation of the Loras College Cristo Rey Award. The $100,000 gift from Brian J. Smith (’77) and his wife Patricia Ryan will provide financial assistance to Loras students who are graduates of the Cristo Rey Network of High Schools.

The Cristo Rey Network is a collection of 38 Catholic high schools in the United States that integrate four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through a Corporate Work Study Program.

“Brian and Pat are an extraordinarily successful and generous couple. They are products of strong Catholic education and continue to passionately support it in varying ways. The establishment of the Cristo Rey scholarship fund will provide access to Loras College for several gifted Cristo Rey students. It is Brian’s and Pat’s hope that there will be others among the Loras faithful who will contribute to the scholarship, “ said Loras College President Jim Collins (’84).  

Smith, a 1977 graduate from Loras College, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Melbourne Laboratories. In February 2021, he became a part-time visiting professor in the finance section and entrepreneurial program at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Ryan, a graduate of Georgetown University, is the president of the Ryan Smith Foundation and co-owner of Ryan Pharmaceuticals LLC. Brian and Pat have two children, Shannon and Brendan.

“To be in a position to support Cristo Rey students from across the country who have chosen Loras for their college experience is an honor and blessing. It is a model that deserves to be nurtured, cultivated, and emulated,” said Brian Smith. 

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