Looking Back to Move Forward


The month of February is Black History Month. For that matter, Loras College recognizes the legacy of an African American woman, Marie Louise, through the scholarship named in her honor.

In September of last year, the statue of Loras College founder, Bishop Mathias Loras, was removed after a discovery of his involvement in the slave industry. The discovery led to the creation of two scholarships, one of which is known as the Marie Louise Scholarship.

Marie Louise was an Alabama woman who, for 16 years, was enslaved by Loras during the 19th century. Louise was a courageous woman who was known for speaking her own mind and, at times, resisting the demands of her owners, including Loras.

Director of Financial Planning Zach Gries explains how the administration lets the community know they condemn Loras’ participation in slavery. Gries also explains how the administration created a scholarship that celebrates the quality and dignity Louise stood for.

Gries states, “As our office and Jim Collins and the board of directors were talking and working and trying to move forward and solve the problem in some way, this is what we decided on as something we can do as a small gesture to move forward.”

The Marie Louise Scholarship offers current and incoming African American female students $1500 for each of their first two years of attendance and $3,000 for each of their last two years.

The second scholarship, created with the Marie Louise Scholarship, honors the first African American student to graduate from Loras College. MyDuhauk will, soon, take a closer look at the life and legacy of Father Norman Dukette.

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Studying for bachelor's degree at Loras College Received associate degree from Northeast Iowa Community College From Luxemburg, Iowa

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