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Loras College establishes Leo Catholic High School Scholarship

Robert Waterbury

Thanks to the generosity of William (Bill) and Kathleen Lynch, Loras College has established an endowed scholarship fund to support deserving students who enroll after graduation from Leo Catholic High School in Chicago, Illinois.

The Lynch contribution will establish the Leo Catholic High School Endowed Scholarship for two students. The first recipients will be selected this academic year and it will be awarded effective in Fall 2023.

“I feel the values, Mission, and Vision instilled at Loras College build on those learned by students at Leo High School.  They develop the skills needed to be successful and contribute to the needs of today’s broad competitive society.”

Bill graduated from Loras College in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and earned his MBA from the University of Iowa two years later. He began his career at Leo Burnett Advertising as a trainee and media buyer and moved through the ranks to become president and CEO of both Leo Burnett Company Inc. and Leo Burnett Worldwide Inc. After a successful 31 years in advertising with one of the largest agencies in the world, Bill retired in 1997 to assist numerous business, civic and religious organizations in the Chicagoland area, including Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago. Leo Catholic High School is a Big Shoulders Fund school.

Bill received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievements and Contributions from Loras College in 1992. From 1993-2003, Bill was a member of the Loras Board of Regents, serving as chair from 2000-2003. He funded the Lynch Learning Center, a portion of the Lynch McCarthy Apartment Complex on campus, and headed the College’s Belief Unfolding campaign. Bill is currently a member of the President’s Advisory Council and was a steering committee member for the Inspiring Lives and Leadership: The Loras Legacy campaign. Two of Bill’s daughters, Kelly and Maureen, both graduated from Loras; Kelly in 1988 with a degree in marketing and English literature and Maureen in 1989 with a degree in business. Bill’s grandson, Bob Johnson, graduated from Loras in 2021.

“Bill and Kathleen have dedicated their lives to Catholic education. This newly established scholarship fund will further advance the missions of Leo Catholic High School and Loras College. On behalf of the entire Loras community, I am grateful to Bill and Kathleen for their unfailing generosity over the years,” said Loras President Jim Collins (’84).   

Founded in 1926 and shaped by its Catholic heritage, Leo Catholic High School in Chicago offers a diversified college preparatory curriculum with a commitment to individual instruction. Over the last eight years, Leo has graduated 100 percent of its seniors with more than 96 percent going on to college.

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