DUBUQUE, Iowa – The leadership of Jim Collins (‘84), the longest-serving president in the 181-year history of Loras College, has been recognized with a $50,000 gift from a member of the class of 1953.
“President Collins has been a magnificent leader of Loras for many years and I am pleased for the opportunity to salute him,” said John Colloton (‘53), chief executive of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics from 1971 to 1993 and an emeritus Loras College Board of Regents member.
Collins, who has been a Loras employee for 35 years, has been president of the College since 2004. In making the gift, Colloton cited Collins for:
• Leading Loras to historic highs for graduation, student retention, student placement and fundraising.
• Completing in 2016 the Inspiring Lives and Leadership campaign, which raised more than $105 million — the greatest such effort in Loras history. The campaign led to the creation of three graduate programs, 120 endowed scholarships, 55 annual awards and the attraction and retention of many influential faculty members.
• Establishing the Francis J. Noonan School of Business, study-abroad programs in Portugal and Argentina, and a business analytics major – all of which have added value to every Loras degree.
• Creating a clear understanding and culture at Loras in which high-quality leadership is defined, not through the use of power, but rather by directly caring for people, putting others and the institution before oneself, and building cooperation and consensus among a diverse faculty and staff.
• Completing numerous construction and renovation projects, including the Athletic & Wellness Center, modernization of the St. Joseph Hall of Science, Keane Hall, the Rock Bowl and the Graber Sports Center.
• Impressive growth in state, regional and national rankings. In 2018, Loras was recognized as one of the Top 10 Catholic Colleges by College Consensus; Fifth among Iowa’s 48 colleges and universities according to Top College Consensus; Loras was recently distinguished with a No. 13 ranking among Best Midwest Regional Colleges by U.S. News.
For his work in enhancing Loras on multiple fronts, improving higher education in the state and nation, and creating improvements in the Dubuque community, Collins was named the recipient of the First Citizen Award by the Dubuque Telegraph Herald in 2018.
“Needless to say, I have developed solid admiration for the leadership of our president and his overall executive skills and personal character,” Colloton said.
In addition to his career at the University of Iowa and time as a member of the Loras Board of Regents, Colloton’s service extended to the state and national healthcare communities. He was elected chairman of the National Council of Teaching Hospitals in 1979 and he was appointed an inaugural member of the prestigious Congressional Office of Technology’s Prospective Payment Commission in 1983.
In 1987, Colloton was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. A year later, he became only the second non-physician chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 1993, he became UI vice president for statewide health services, a position from which he could focus more intensively on health reform issues of import to the university, as well as the entire state. He has served on policy and advisory boards at Duke University, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and the Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Loras has had a deeply positive impact on my life and career and I am most grateful,” Colloton said. “It is hard to know where I would be in life were it not for what the College has done for me. It very generously gave me a start and that is often the biggest hurdle!”
Collins called Colloton a great Duhawk and thanked him for his generosity.
“I am terribly humbled by him and extraordinarily grateful to the many people who have helped Loras achieve the many successes for which John gives me too much credit,” Collins said. “John exemplifies Duhawk greatness and what all can be accomplished with a world-class Loras education that develops the whole person in mind, body and spirit to achieve meaningful outcomes throughout life and across careers. “