Loras gets down to business

Tom Jensen – for the Lorian

Already known for its legacy of successful, community-driven leaders, Loras College, Iowa’s first college and the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi, announces the launch of the Francis J. Noonan School of Business. The College is now accepting students for the fall 2018 semester. The Noonan School’s mission is to educate students to be ethically-aware, data-informed, globally-prepared, responsible leaders.

“The addition of the Noonan School of Business will offer students new learning opportunities and meet the critical need in society to have well-formed, ethical leaders in business and related fields,” Jim Collins, president of Loras College, said.

The school is named after the late Francis J. Noonan, a 43-year member of the Loras faculty, retiring in 1991 as professor emeritus. Professor Noonan remains the longest-serving business faculty member and continues to hold a much beloved status among Loras alumni, faculty, and staff.

The Noonan School will focus on preparing students to utilize data to inform business practices that — combined with strong ethics grounded in Catholic social teaching — likely will become a nationally recognized destination for future business leaders, by serving as a light of “insight with integrity” in the global business world. Students will not only learn best business practices, but also ethical decision-making, while recognizing human dignity and the impact of policy and procedures, and ultimately contributing to the common good.

The Noonan School will also embrace Loras College’s tradition of experiential learning, preparing students for a rewarding first job and a successful career through participation in opportunities such as internships, study away opportunities, community-based learning, and immersive service-learning courses/experiences. These experiences, along with unique competencies gained from business education integrated with interdisciplinary learning, will give students the competitive edge to navigate businesses through complex markets.

During Loras’ historic $106,000,000 Inspiring Lives and Leadership campaign, the concept and foundational components needed to advance the School of Business garnered more than $10 million in commitments. Several outcomes were achieved as a result:

  • 3 Keane Hall renovation will house new business faculty offices, seminar space and classrooms
  • 3 Andrew P. Studdert Endowed Chair for Crisis and Ethical Leadership Analytics initiative will include new faculty lines, an MBA program, certificate program and undergraduate major
  • 3 Faculty development opportunities will include engagements at Catholic University and the University of Portland
  • 3 Common book reading and Business Case Study competition aligned with Catholic social teaching
  • 3 Business speaker series and student scholarships

In recent months, a couple whose generosity and longstanding love for Loras have been unfailing, stepped forward to provide a $5 million endowed contribution to establish funding for the Dean of the School of Business and the corresponding operational expenses. At their suggestion and with the unanimous affirmative vote from the Loras College Board of Regents, it was decided to name the School for Francis J. Noonan.

The existing, and increasingly popular, Loras College Executive MBA in Analytics will remain as a key component of the Noonan School. Immediate future plans include the construction of a state-of-the-art Finance Resource Lab that will include high-tech software and hands-on stock market investment learning opportunities. Additional offerings currently being explored include the development of a Certified Financial Planning certificate program, entrepreneurial courses, and expanded internship and study away opportunities.

Thanks to the anonymous donation, the Francis J. Noonan School of Business will immediately commence a nationwide search for an experienced, inspired dean who aspires to uphold and advance the mission of the Noonan School. Individuals interested in the position may contact Troy Wright, director of human resources, at troy.wright@loras.edu

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