Dear Students, Staff, Faculty, Parents, Alumni and Friends,
Even as we transition to Fall-like weather, approach mid-term assignments, and work to remember names of classmates from days gone by, Homecoming marks one of my favorite times of year.
I love watching students interact with alumni. It is heartening to view new students, parents, staff and faculty partake in the festivities as they proudly embrace being part of the Loras community. I enjoy seeing alumni greet some of their favorite staff and faculty. It is fun to watch legacy families reunite at Loras, especially those who have sons and daughters currently enrolled. It warms my heart to greet so many of last year’s graduating class as they return for the first time as alumni. Perhaps the greatest purple and gold swelling, for me, relates to attending athletic contests, musical performances, lectures, liturgies, and other festivities as our students display their exceptional talents.
By the end of the weekend, I am always exhausted, but more than anything else, I am grateful. I am grateful for and proud of the positive impact Loras College continues to make on the lives of so many individuals. I am grateful for the many faculty and staff who selflessly dedicated themselves in service to Loras students. Our current faculty and staff does that very same thing today. I am proud of so many of our alumni who have gone on to live meaningful lives while representing the Loras mission on a daily basis. I am grateful to parents and guardians who have entrusted their children’s education to Loras. Of course, I am grateful to our students who inspire my generation and give great promise for the future.
My hope and prayer for this Homecoming weekend is that all of you will enjoy the inordinate number of activities planned for your enjoyment. I trust you will enjoy renewing friendships, meeting a few new ones, and soaking in the wonderful atmosphere that Loras uniquely creates within its community. It is worth reflecting on and being grateful for the many reasons why Forbes Magazine designated Loras as one of America’s 200 Most Loved Colleges and Universities.
Whether at one of our liturgies, during a private reflection, or as you reminisce with friends, I hope you will all join me in offering a prayer of gratitude for the gifts the Loras experience provided for so many of us, the opportunities it currently provides our students, and for the faithful vitality of Loras into the future. After all, I do not think there has been a time where the phrase, “America Needs Duhawks,” or our motto, “Pro Deo et Patria,” ring more true.
Have a great weekend. Make good decisions and demonstrate once again why Loras is a place for which we all can be proud.
James E. Collins ‘84