President Collins: TH First Citizen
Earlier this year, Loras’s very own president, Jim Collins, was honorably nominated for, and selected to be recipient of the Telegraph Herald First Citizen Award.
“I don’t know how to describe [the award] except to say it’s been very humbling and overwhelming. I remember being told sometime in December that I was the recipient, and I was just stunned. It was the last thing I thought that meeting was going to be about. So my way of looking at it is, while I’ve so appreciated the outpouring of kindness, mostly I’m hoping that it brings greater good for us here at Loras.” Presidents Collins said.
It is no secret that President Collins has done some wonderful things for the Loras community and the college itself.
“It’s hard for me to think about any Loras success as having anything to do with me. I think if there’s anything I’ve tried to do, it would be twofold. One is that I think, how I conduct myself [and] what I stand for, hopefully plays a role in how others conduct themselves. Again I’ve not been perfect on that, but I try and demonstrate goodness and relational value. I try and encourage hope and optimism, and to the extent I can, I hope that I treat everyone as an equal even though I fully recognize that I’m a decision-maker. I think the second thing is, I think so often whether it’s as a faculty member, a staff member, or a student, we sometimes wonder if we are really bringing as much to the table as what we think we could or should, or are we as an institution performing at the level that we want. I think I try and encourage people as much as possible, and try and remind them of the gifts and talents that they have, as well as try and promote passion toward both the work that they do, the experiences that they’re having, and the institution that they’re at.” President Collins said. The community feedback from Loras alumni and the Dubuque area has shown overwhelming appreciation for Mr. Collins’s work and attitude towards service. His work ethic and attitude mixed with personal morals towards every task are key components to his popularity among all those he encounters.
President Collins is determined and hopeful for the college’s future. He hopes that winning this award will bring positivity and more prosperity to Loras.
“I hope that we continue to be that beacon and light for the rest of the world. I think in a society where we see nothing but moral corruption, ethical failings, and hate rhetoric, I think that Loras has an opportunity in embracing its Catholic and liberal arts mission to suggest that there is a counter way to live one’s life, and the cleaner way is the more beautiful way, and the more beautiful way is going to be the more impactful and the more beneficial way. I think it’s largely because of what I experienced. I was fortunate to be raised in a family where I felt love. At Loras, I experienced transformational relationships, whether it was among the faculty and staff or among fellow students, that it built a level of self-confidence, and I saw what care, empathy, love, and faith could really do to help inspire one to be better.” Jim Collins is very humbled and grateful for the award. It is a wonderful example of what a Duhawk stands to be and why we are such an amazing and strong community here at Loras.