The Perfect Presidential Welcome

letter from Jim Collins

Dear Loras Students,

Welcome to all new students ­— first year, transfer, and graduate. Welcome back to all sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students. It’s fun to have the campus “alive” again.

In recent days, I wrote a letter to our alumni for our Loras Magazine. Since alumni are former students and students are future alumni, I thought I’d share a similar message and update. There are many exciting things happening that ought to make us all proud to be Duhawks!

Loras begins the new academic year with a number of national and regional rankings that further validate the deep pride we all ought to have in our soon-to-be alma mater. Some recent highlights include:

  • 2018 Forbes Magazine has again ranked Loras as one of the 200 colleges/universities in the USA to produce the happiest and most successful alumni
  • 2018 MONEY Magazine ranked Loras 3rd among all 34 of Iowa Independent, non-profit colleges and universities.
  • 2018 College Consensus listed Loras at the top of Iowa’s Catholic colleges and 26th among the 127 that were listed nationwide.
  • 2018 US News again ranked Loras 13th among over 200 Midwest baccalaureate colleges/universities. Loras was one of the only three Iowa colleges/universities designated as an A+ institution for B students.
  • According to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Loras College accounting graduates taking the CPA exam for the first time in 2017 recorded the nation’s seventh-best pass rate among all institutions that had at least 10 candidates.  Loras finished just behind Brigham Young University, but ahead of UW-Madison, Notre Dame, Drake, and Boston College, among others.

Campus upgrades are progressing well:

  • Phase 1 of 2: Phase Rock Bowl renovation is complete with the new field turf installed and track resurfacing to be completed. Landscaping and the video Tron installation will take place in Spring/Summer 2019.
  • Significant expansion of our broadband internet and wireless technology was completed this summer, upgrading our internet bandwidth to 2.5 gigabits per second, up from 1 gigabit per second that was installed in January of 2015.
  • Phase 2 of 4: Phase Keane Hall renovation is halfway complete. The elevator installation will be completed in October. We anticipate this phase of the project to be fully completed by the end of the fall semester.

Philanthropic support continues to advance our work. Recent successes include:

  • A $20,000 grant from the McDonough Foundation to support the purchase of a new projector for the Planetarium
  • A grant of approximately $200,000 from the Roy J. Car­ver Charitable Trust to purchase new science equipment and upgrade labs
  • A grant of approximately $650,000 from the National Science Foundation to support our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program
  • A $500,000 charitable gift annuity from an alumnus and his wife who wish to remain anonymous to support our student scholarship program

On behalf of my faculty and staff colleagues, I wish you a successful, productive and satisfying year. Focus on your academic experience, find time to pray and enhance your spiritual life, take time to be physically active, engage in unique opportunities and meet new people.

I am so glad you are part of an incredible community that ensures lifelong learning, engagement and friendships.

God Bless,

James E. Collins ‘84


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