Presidential Update – Academic Year 2019-20

I would like to offer my sincere appreciation for your generous financial support last fiscal year and in previous years, among the many other ways in which you help to advance Loras.

We completed the 2019-20 academic year strong even as we finished the final several weeks through remote engagement. Among the many highlights and achievements enjoyed by the College and our students, I note the following:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC): Successful institutions have this all-important and rigorous process conducted every 10 years. A peer review team preliminarily concluded that Loras met all five criterion components and the underlying sub-components. Loras was tentatively recommended for maximal reaccreditation for the next 10 years without the need for any monitoring or progress reports. The review process will conclude in the fall semester with an onsite visit.
Shamari Scott (’20) at 2020 Black Excellence Night
  • Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders: Seniors created a social media campaign around mental health to try and combat the stigma associated with it while providing support to anyone struggling and uncertain where to turn.
  • Delta Epsilon Sigma (DES) National Undergraduate Writing Competition: For the 27th consecutive year, Loras College students won First, Second or Honorable Mention places in one or more genres of the DES national writing competition.
  • American Chemical Society (ACS): The Loras College Chemistry Club earned a “Commendable” performance rating from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for the first time in the club’s history, marking it as one of the top 30 percent of the 500 student chapters around the world.
  • Loras College Television (LCTV): Loras College media studies students and LCTV earned top state and regional honors from
    • Iowa College Media Awards Association. Loras College Television was named Television Station of the Year for the 11th straight year. Eighteen students took home a total of 19 awards, including First Place in 10 out of 11 categories.
    • Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association. Loras students won three First Place awards and garnered three Awards of Merit.
  • Upper Midwest Chapter National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Foundation Student Production Awards: Loras students garnered five Crystal Pillar awards and were nominated in eight categories.
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): Loras received certification as a member of LULAC, the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. LULAC’s mission is focused on advancing the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 1,000 LULAC councils nationwide.
  • BSU- During the spring semester of the year 2020, Black Student Union engaged the community of Loras College with the following projects:
    • January – February: Black Women of Excellence Mural
    • February – Black Excellence Music in the Pub
    • February – Black Excellence Night 2020
    • Black Heritage Month collaboration with the Center for Inclusion and Advocacy
    • Membership count of 76 students
  • NASPA Region IV-E Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award earned through the success of LULAC, BSU, and general efforts by the Center for Inclusion & Advocacy- NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. It supports professionals who provide programs, experiences, and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert with the mission of our colleges and universities. Established in 1918 and founded in 1919, NASPA is comprised of over 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. Territories.
Macenzie Kraemer (’20)
  • Intercollegiate Athletics: A historic winter took place and was cut short due to COVID-19.
    • Women’s Basketball: The women finished the season 25-4, 13-3 in A-R-C and were ranked #7 in the nation. This is the first time in our women’s basketball history they have finished in the top 10 nationally. Their season ended before playing in the Sweet 16 after they defeated #4 DePauw University in the round of 32.
    • Indoor Track and Field: The men’s team entered the indoor national championships ranked 2nd in the country before their season was cut short. The women’s team entered the same championships ranked 4th in the country.
    • Wrestling: The men went 14-1 in route to the program’s first A-R-C title (8-0 in conference). Loras defeated Wartburg College and ended their 27th conference title win streak and 220 dual match win streak. The National Championship tournament was canceled, but Loras finished the season ranked No. 1 and saw eight wrestlers earn NWCA All-America honors

I am beyond proud of these outcomes, along with the many more not mentioned, given the unique and unprecedented academic year. The Loras community demonstrated an amazing collective resolve in making things work, especially in the final weeks. The move to send the community home to study and work challenged everyone at Loras, but our Duhawks demonstrated great resilience. Students were responsive and flexible; the faculty was adaptive and committed; the staff was creative and supportive. Despite the difficulties we faced and the uncertainty that lies ahead, I have never been more confident in our ability to begin a new academic year from a position of strength.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2020, Loras was ranked the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 12th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).