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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Kane Hall at Loras College
Image courtesy: Mike Day. Kendall C. Day family collection.

LORAS COLLEGE. Loras, Iowa's oldest college, offers four-year undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Music degrees. Pre-professional programs offered in cooperation with other institutions include architecture, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, optometry, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine.

Since 1984 Loras has been listed in Peterson's Competitive Colleges and was included in the New York Times "Best Buys in College Education." In 1990 the college ranked tenth among 232 Catholic colleges in the United States and 152nd among 1,500 four-year liberal arts colleges and universities in the number of graduates later earning a doctorate. Acceptance of health science graduates included 100 percent of those applying in dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, dental hygiene, and nutrition. The acceptance rate for those applying to medical schools was 79 percent, with 94 percent acceptance in veterinary medicine and 98 percent in nursing.

Loras was established in 1839 as ST. RAPHAEL'S SEMINARY by Bishop Mathias LORAS. (1) The College has functioned under several names (St. Raphael Seminary, MOUNT ST. BERNARD SEMINARY, St. Joseph College, DUBUQUE COLLEGE and COLUMBIA COLLEGE, finally adopting its present name during its centennial in 1939. (2)

Located at the rear of ST. RAPHAEL'S CATHEDRAL, St. Raphael's Seminary first served four seminarians brought by Bishop Loras from France, two Sioux and several local boys. (3)

On May 28, 1939 a bronze statue of Bishop Loras, sculpted by Vincenzo Miserendino, was unveiled on the Loras campus by Archbishop Francis J.L. BECKMAN. (20)

Bishop Loras soon became dissatisfied with the seminary. The school was overcrowded with seventeen students, and he felt the city offered too many distractions. (4) In 1850 the seminary was moved south of Dubuque along the present MILITARY ROAD and renamed Mount St. Bernard's College and Seminary. Loras also obtained three square miles of farmland to provide food for the students and income for the school. (5)

Father Joseph Cretin served as the president of the college until his departure to become the first bishop of St. Paul, Minnesota. Father Andre Trevis was the second president. His departure in 1855 led to rumors that the college was going to close. (6) In 1885 Loras became the third president of the college and served in the position until his death.

By 1856 it was clear that Loras' dream of a preparatory school, junior college, university, and seminary in one location was facing serious difficulties. There was a lack of interest in higher education in the area. Making the situation worse, there were financial problems caused by the PANIC OF 1857 and few endowments. (7) Enrollment further declined, the preparatory and college courses were dropped and in 1860 Mount St. Bernard was closed. (8)

Saint Joseph's College. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
The Vested Choir of St. Joseph College circa 1910

Bishop John HENNESSY came to Dubuque in 1866 and recognized the need to continue an effort to provide education. Students were housed again in Dubuque; some lived at the home of Judge Pollock on Julien Avenue. (9) In 1873 the school was moved to West 14th Street by the SISTERS OF CHARITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (BVM) into a building that had been used as the Dubuque City Hospital. (10)

In 1873 Bishop Hennessy renamed the school ST. JOSEPH COLLEGE. The college offered a four-year college and high school program. A new building was added to the campus in 1874, but in 1878 both were demolished. A new four-story brick building costing $15,000 was constructed by Reverend P. J. McGrath, the college's second president. (11) The college offered three departments--preparatory, commercial, and ecclesiastical. (12)

The direction of the domestic department of the college became the responsibility of the Franciscan Sisters of Dubuque in 1879. (13) With the addition of courses in theology, priests were able to complete their theological and seminary training.

Bishop Hennessy closed the seminary in St. Joseph College in 1882. (14) He chose not to reopen Mount St. Bernard and began building a seminary on KELLY'S BLUFF. Having two educational institutions in Dubuque at that time, however, proved impossible, so construction stopped. None of this affected St. Joseph College which continued to thrive. (15)

In 1884 the addition of a wing onto the east side of the brick building was paid for by the parishes of Dubuque. Although the school could then accommodate four hundred students, only ninety-two enrolled. (16) The enrollment in 1886-1887 fell to fifty-two. Several issues created the problem. There were no endowment funds and no endowed scholarships. State and private schools were better equipped and many students attended school in the Davenport diocese. (17)

To attract students, the curriculum was changed. A classical, philosophical and theological course with Christian doctrine and foreign languages was added. The commercial course was discontinued in 1891, and the regular curriculum was lengthened to six years--four years of Classics and two years of Philosophy. (18)

Sterling silver Saint Joseph's College collector's spoon.

In 1893-1844 under the leadership of Reverend Mark Mooney, who became the president in 1891, the college was incorporated under the laws of Iowa and authorized to grant academic degrees. (19) In June 1895 four men received their bachelor of arts degree. (20) In 1894 Rev. John P. Carroll became the new president. Carroll had the distinction of being the first graduate of St. Joseph's to become its president and the first American-born priest to serve as rector over the Dubuque diocesan college.

The tenure of Reverend Daniel M. Gorman saw the college's greatest expansion of grounds and building. The high school department was extended and the four-year course begun in 1915.

From 1914 to 1919 the institution was called Dubuque College. In 1917 while attending college, Maurice S. SHEEHY was the "sporting editor" and published a magazine which featured photographs of football teams going back to 1907 when the game was first played at the school. The popularity of the publication led it to be placed on sale at the Standard Office Supply Company, Fitzpatrick's book store, Fitzpatrick's billiard room and two newspaper stands. (21) It was admitted to the North Central Association of Colleges in 1917. In 1934 the summer extension school department, opened by the Catholic University of America, was made a part of the regular academic program.

Dubuque College became co-educational in 1919 through a change in the college charter. This allowed laywomen and sisters to attend summer school. (22)

In 1920 the name of Dubuque College was changed to COLUMBIA COLLEGE after a bitter controversy with the DUBUQUE GERMAN COLLEGE over names. Similarly named, the two institutions were often confused. The issue went to district court where Dubuque College prevailed. Before the case was appealed by the Dubuque German College, a compromise was reached. Dubuque College became Columbia College while the Dubuque German College was renamed the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE. (23)

Photo courtesy: Joseph Jacobsmeier

Reverend John C. Stuart served as the college president during WORLD WAR I when the school established several military training units. An endowment fund of one million dollars was raised prior to the war and received as one of its first major gifts $200,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Recognition of the fine academic preparation given students continued to be received by the school. In 1919 Columbia College was granted membership in the American Association of Colleges. In 1923 the New York Board of Regents placed Columbia on its list of approved schools. Columbia was placed on the approved list of the Association of American Universities in 1928.

Continued growth in the physical structure of the college was matched by expansion in the academic program. Columbia established its museum in 1927 and began a graduate summer school course as a branch of the Catholic University of America in 1934. (24)

Loras cap. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

The name Loras College, honoring Bishop Loras, was adopted in 1939. As part of a two-day observance of its centennial, a bronze statue of Bishop Loras was unveiled. The twelve-foot, $7,000 statue was placed on the highest location on the campus and dedicated by The Most Rev. Archbishop Francis J.L. BECKMAN. (25) CHRIST THE KING CHAPEL was built in 1947 as a memorial to servicemen.

Loras College was the scene of many activities aimed at world peace. A national leader of the peace movement, Archbishop Beckman used Loras to host a rally on October 20, 1939. (26) Anti-war forces used the college facilities again on May 29, 1940 for its "Midwest Peace Rally." (27) The largest rally was held on the weekend of June 21-22, 1941 in the newly completed Rock Bowl. An estimated seven thousand were involved in a field Mass for Peace in honor of the Sacred Heart. (28) Such activities only ended with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In the 1930s, Archbishop Beckman's interest in antiquities led to the founding of the COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY, ART, AND SCIENCE and the MIDWEST ANTIQUARIAN ASSOCIATION The museum's collections after 1938 were valued over $1,500,000. (29) Funding for the collections and museum, however, led to Beckman's replacement.


In 1939 Bishop Fitzgerald, then the registrar, organized Delta Delta Epsilon Sigma, an honor society. The organization in succeeding years spread nationally organizing chapters in leading Catholic colleges and universities. (30)

Father Michael J. Martin, president of Loras, signed a contract with the United States Navy in 1942, through the Civil Aeronautics Administration War Training Service, for the college to participate in training aviation cadets in Navy V-1, V-5, and 4-7 programs. (31) College enrollment which had dropped during the war grew from 394 in 1944, 614 in 1945, and 1,387 in 1946. (32)

Until about 1600 A.D. Latin was read, written and spoken fluently as the language of learning. In 1952 Rev. William G. Most, associate professor of Latin, developed a "natural" method of teaching Latin. After studying Latin literature, he decided that classic High Roman period Latin, used by Cicero, was a limited and "stilted form" to study. Instead of beginning the teaching of Latin with a set of grammar rules and later difficult material to translate, the new method began with easy material and an automatic procedure of using the language by speaking and reading it. While grammar was not eliminated, it was not used as the principal teaching tool. By 1958 his first and second year texts were used in 19 novitiates, seminaries, and high schools. (33)

During the tenure of presidency of Monsignor Dorance V. Foley (1956-1966), Loras underwent years of construction. Rohlman Hall, living quarters for ecclesiastical students were constructed in 1953; Wahlert Memorial Library, 1960; Beckman Hall, dormitory and art center, 1961; and work was started on St. Joseph Hall of Science. (34)

In 1959 Miss Rosalyn M. Schrup's donation in memory of his father Nicholas J. SCHRUP, Sr. and brother Charles Joseph SCHRUP made possible the installation of a foreign language laboratory. Located on the ground floor of Christ the King Chapel, the laboratory consisted of a control room and a listening room which contained twenty-eight individual listening booths. Loras instructors quickly assigned French, Spanish, German, and Latin classes for laboratory hours each week. (35)

Wahlert Memorial Library

In 1960 work on the Wahlert Memorial Library, named for H. W. (Harry) WAHLERT, president of the DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY and a ember of the Loras Board of Regents, was completed in July. (36) During the second week in August, an estimated 120,000 books and periodicals were moved from Keane Hall to the new library which could accommodate an estimated quarter-million books. (37) Plans for a new dormitory were announced. The building was to be located north of St. Joseph's Hall, the college's oldest building, along Loras Boulevard. The four-story residence hall would accommodate 248 students. This would be the sixth dormitory on campus. The other five provided housing for a total of six hundred students. (38)

In 1961 Loras constructed Iowa's first seismograph station on campus. The station was one of four supplied by St. Louis University to different sites in the Midwest for a study of earthquakes and other seismic waves. (39) In 1964 shock waves from the Good Friday Alaskan earthquake, which struck Alaska at 9:36 p.m., reached the Loras station at 9:43 p.m. The force of the shock waves caused considerable movement in the earth's crust in the Dubuque area for up to fifteen seconds and broke one of the seismographs. (40)

In 1963, the Catholic University of America decided to discontinue its branch program of graduate study on the Loras campus. Realizing the growing need for study beyond the baccalaureate degree, Loras initiated its Graduate Division offering the Master of Arts degree in some fields. (41)

Loras became coeducational in the fall of 1971 with the enrollment of Jean Brown, an African American student from Waterloo, Iowa. She joined twenty-four female students who moved into Smyth Hall and another thirty-five who lived off campus. (42) In 1973, the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees were introduced. The Division of Community Education was started in 1975. (43) In 1976 Loras announced the opening of the CENTER FOR DUBUQUE HISTORY.

The same year, John Deely, a professor of philosophy, one of Loras' many notable educators, came to the campus. Deely was described in the Telegraph Herald in 1993 as one of the world's leading scholars of semiotics, the study of signs that mean something other than what they are (like letters on a page) and the second-ever Thomas Sebeok Fellow of The Semiotic Society of America. He had recently published The Human Use of Signs or Elements of Anthroposemiosis. (44)

In 1982 Loras resumed its All-Sports Camp which introduced area children to a variety of sports. Students involved chose three sports--one "major" and two "minor" on which to focus. After being interrupted for two years during the PANDEMIC the camp returned with offerings in more than thirty sports with lawn games being the newest addition. An estimated 2,000 students from age 7 to 14 were expected to attend the camp in 2022 over four weeks. Most of the campers stayed in the college residence halls. (45)

On August 21, 1987, officials from CLARKE COLLEGE and Loras announced that their boards were investigating the possibility of consolidation. (46) The Loras Board of Regents and the Clarke Board of Trustees met on October 30 to discuss the board structure for such a combined school.

Merger plans ran into their first obstacle on December 10 when the Loras faculty voted to oppose the merger. (47) The faculty claimed they were not being involved in the planning and needed more information.

Merger plans continued. On January 22, 1988, the presidents of the two colleges announced that their respective boards had approved the merger and that it would occur in the fall of 1990. Loras faculty met on February 24, 1988, and gave their full support to Monsignor James BARTA in a move seen by some to make him president of the united college. (48) The next day Loras students overwhelmingly voted to postpone the merger plans. Results of the vote were sent to the college administration. In March two consultants arrived to work with the students, faculty, and staff and make recommendations on the plan.

On April 10 a proposed schedule of events leading to merger was announced. (49) On April 29, however, officials abruptly announced the merger was canceled. (50) The boards of the schools chose to look into five areas of cooperation including joint meetings of the boards of trustees, continued joint academic programs and student activities, cooperation in financial areas and sharing facilities, exploration into a joint theological graduate program, and creation of a joint committee on cooperation to continue joint planning.

In September 1992 Loras officials announced receiving a $97,000 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for the purchase of microscopes, videocassette recorders, and monitors for twelve Dubuque schools. Starting in early September on Saturday and on Saturdays for the following four months, science teachers would be trained on the equipment. A second grant for $24,000 from the Iowa Resource Enhancement and Protection Act would let teachers and students be better prepared for field trips through computer technology looking at the organisms they would be looking for in nature. (51)

In 1992 Loras included St. Pius X Seminary, a "minor seminary" that prepared men for advanced theological training. Responding to the number of lay people taking a more active role in the church, the college announced that beginning in 1994 lay workers would be able to earn a master's degree in religious studies by going to classes on weekends and two weeks in the summer. People interested in such a degree might be considering becoming Catholic school teachers, school administrators, education directors, religious education directors, music ministers, parish administrators, or pastoral associates for health care workers. (52)

Attracting potential students to the campus was one of the objectives of a program in 1992. Elementary students in the sixth grade from KENNEDY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL who had significantly improved or maintained a very high school on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills were invited to the campus for a day-long field trip. They were advised on how they could remain academically successful, given a tour of the campus, and served a lunch of hot dogs and burgers. (53) Attracting older students to the school in 1992 meant revisiting the Students Experience Life at Loras (SELL) program which was first used in 1991. In 1992 Loras bused 62 students from Chicago and 10 from Des Moines to the campus. The afternoon was spent touring the campus; learning about admissions, financial aid, and other essentials, and having a late lunch. (54)

Loras officials and students celebrated the Alumni Campus Center in 1993 as a "foundation for a heightened sense of community." The Loras Board of Regents had authorized raising money for the center in 1989. Groundbreaking for the $7 million project had been done in 1991. (55)

Loras’ athletic teams are known as the Duhawks. The name was given to the football team by a Detroit Free Press writer in 1924 by combining "Dubuque" and "hawks." The school fields 22 men’s and women’s varsity teams in the NCAA Division III. They are a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Loras’ colors are Royal Purple and Gold, colors exemplified by the home football uniform of purple jerseys, gold pants and gold helmets with purple face masks. (56)

Athletic teams fielded by Loras have gathered an impressive list of achievements. The women's golf team had five consecutive top finishes in the NCGA Division III Tournament. The college has produced over seventy All-Americans in the decade of the 1980s including seventeen with GTE-Academic honors in 1989-90. Since joining the Iowa Conference in 1986-87 the men's track team has won the championship every year. The Loras men's soccer team played in the Final Four NCAA Division III championships in 2012. (57) Between 1958-2017 the soccer team took 10 conference titles, five Final Fours, and 14IIAC coach of the year award for Dan Rothert. (58) Every January Loras hosted the NATIONAL CATHOLIC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT which attracted thirty-two teams, sixteen men's and sixteen women's, from twelve states in competition for the title.

In 1997 the Tri-Colleges, University of Dubuque, CLARKE COLLEGE, and Loras chose to end operating the Tri-College Education Department begun in 1986. Among the reasons for the change was different mission statements, governance, and salary structures. As a result of the breakup, Loras hired four additional faculty members for its education department. Located in Rohlman Hall, the new education department had 240 students making it one of the largest departments on the campus. Cooperation between the three school continued. If particular courses were not available on the campus of one school, they could be attended at either of the other two schools. A library system that linked all three campuses still existed and a shuttle service ran between all three campuses. (59)

Both the Undergraduate College and the Graduate Division of Loras College are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The teacher education program, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education. The undergraduate teacher education program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The American Chemical Society has approved the undergraduate chemistry program. Loras College is also approved by the Association of American Universities and New York Board of Regents. The Council of Social Work Education has accredited the social work major at the baccalaureate level. (60)

In April 1998 an announcement was made that anonymous donors had given Loras a total of $10 million, the fourth largest gift to a private college in Iowa and among the top seventy-five gifts to private colleges in the United States. The previous record of a donation at Loras had been $1 million from John Saeman of Denver, Colorado. The new donation was planned to be used toward the development of a Center for Catholic Studies, the endowment of a chair for Catholic thought, and general improvements to the campus. (61)

Loras became the site of Iowa's first college outlet in 1999 when college officials signed a contract with Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookstore chain. The bookstore would be located in the Loras Academic Resource Center when the $17.5 million facility opened in the fall of 2001. The bookseller would share a percentage of its profits with the college and provide $10,000 annually to the NATIONAL CATHOLIC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT which Loras sponsored. The store would operate primarily as a university bookstore, but would also handle books which might be of interest to the general public. The store would also stock and sell books written by Loras faculty and give professors a forum to read and sign their books. (62)

In 2014 the Interfaith Prayer Space opened at Loras in the Alumni Campus Center. The area allowed students of all faith and non-faith traditions a place to pray, engage in silent meditation, journal or gather to discuss faith-related topics. Better Together, an official Loras student group, helped the interfaith space become a reality. (63)

In April 2014 an anonymous donor allowed Loras College to establish the Public Opinion Survey Center to conduct periodic professional polls on political and social questions. (64) The first poll was released later in the month. The poll rose in importance ahead of the primary elections and when it correctly predicted all of the winners. The poll's results before the general elections were cited by national publications especially in the race for the United States Senate.

Loras College Television (LCTV) in 2015 was named Iowa's Collegiate Station of the Year for the sixth consecutive year. Media students also took first place in nine of eleven categories. (65) In the same month, February, three Loras students made history at the Delta Epsilon Sigma national writing competition. These students took three of the four possible first place finishes--the first time that happened in the event's history. (66) Loras College announced on August 26, 2015 they were awarded a $30,000 grant from the James B. and Melita A. McDonough Foundation. Grant funds would be used to purchase electronic classroom equipment that will make the newly renovated Loras College Center for Business Analytics on the third floor of Keane Hall a state-of-the-art learning facility. (67)

In November, 2015 Loras officials announced a new program to help students with autism thrive in school. Connections Academy, a four-year program, involves students with autism working with certified autism specialists at Loras' Lynch Learning Center. The Center has provided programs for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder for nearly thirty years. Students in the Academy will earn a bachelor's degree and develop skills in self-advocacy, socialization, and stress management. (68)

In 2015 the University of Dubuque, CLARKE UNIVERSITY, Loras College, and the Northeast Iowa Community College were named to the 2016 Military Friendly Schools list by Victory Media. The list designated the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that do the most to support military service members, veterans, and their spouses as students and ensure their success on campus and after graduation. (69)

On March 16, 2016 fire spread the attic area of the Loras College Visitation building housing student dormitories and the music and departments. Initially noticed by Radio Dubuque employees Josh Crowell and Mike Callaghan, the fire was thought the result of a lightning strike. (70) Initial estimates of damage were around $500,000.

Fire destroyed buildings and displaced SISTERS OF THE VISITATION OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (SVM) on the same site on June 30, 1936. The blaze broke out at the far end of the complex where they lived and operated ACADEMY OF THE VISITATION (THE). Flames visible nearly everywhere in Dubuque and into Illinois and Wisconsin destroyed the 60-year old academy buildings, furnishings, and equipment with a loss estimated between $50,000 and $75,000. (71)

Community donations in 1936 allowed the sisters to reopen all thirteen grades of the academy on September 8, 1936. In 2016 a similar response assisted forty-five displaced students. Temporary housing was provided by both the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE and CLARKE UNIVERSITY. (72)

A unique gathering was organized with the 1958 Loras graduates. Years ago, several decided to get together now and then for a sandwich. The group, calling itself "the 58 Gubs," grew to approximately twenty-five, although not all attended regularly.

In 2017 Loras became the newest partner in the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, part of NASA's National Space Grant College and Fellowship program. Students had access to money to take part in NASA related projects. The new affiliation also benefited the staff at Loras who now had the chance to conduct research and develop new courses dealing with NASA research areas. (73)

In 2017 it was announced that Loras College was being nominated for the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES. Founded in 1839, Loras is Iowa’s first college -- the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River. The four-year Catholic liberal arts college has received a $6,600 Historical Resource Development Program grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa. Heritage Works, a local nonprofit historic preservation organization will prepare the nomination. If the college received Register status, it would be one of only two college campuses in the state to have its entire campus on the Register as a historic district. (74)

Another important announcement was made in 2017. In August it was revealed that the college had surpassed its $100 million fundraising goal, the largest campaign in the school's history. The Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign had begun in 2013 and was expected to reach $105 million by August 31st. With a goal of increasing the school's ability to help students financially and attract and retain strong faculty, the campaign had resulted in more than 120 new endowed scholarships, 55 other awards, launching three new graduate programs and the Center for Business Analytics, renovate and upgrade classrooms and improve student retention and graduation rates. (75)

Loras officials announced in November, 2017 the launch of the Francis J. Noonan School of Business by the fall of 2018 and the construction of a state-of-the-art finance resource lab. Accreditation, to be pursued during the following 3-5 years, would position Loras as one of very few small undergraduate private college with an accredited program. (76) Loras announced that it had received a $5 million endowed gift to hire an dean for the school. This position was to be filled by June 1, 2018. (77)

Renovation of the Rock Bowl used for football, soccer, and lacrosse games was encouraged in December, 2017 by a challenge grant from Paul and Mary Finnegan, parents of a Loras alumnus. The Finnegans pledged up to $250,000 in matching donations toward the estimated cost of $1 million to replace the playing surface and track and provide a new scoreboard. An estimated $400,000 had already by raised to fund the project which was hoped to start in April, 2018. (78)

The 2017 Loras Dance Marathon involving over 260 Loras College students exceeded their goal by raising $216,023.16 for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network. This earned the college the position of #1 in the nation for Dance Marathon fundraising per capita for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. (79)

In August, 2019 Loras officials announced that the college's Cancer Research in Exercise Science Laboratory (CARES Lab) and its director Keith Thraen-Borowski had received a $330,000 grant to expand his clinical trial examining how exercise impacts cancer patients at community-based hospitals and ultimately to make exercise programming a routine part of cancer care. Plans called for renovating a 2,550-square-foot area in Keane Hall to serve as a clinical exercise space with a laboratory and private patient consultation rooms. The funding would also be used to equip the space with exercise and laboratory equipment and put together research projects. The CARES Lab was at the time conducting a clinical trial in partnership with MEDICAL ASSOCIATES CLINIC PC (THE) and MERCYONE DUBUQUE MEDICAL CENTER. (80)

In 2019 Gabrielle Noland won titles in the 100 and 200 and anchored Loras' winning 4X100 relay team as it won the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Fied women's team championship in Geneva, Ohio. The event was the first team national title for any sport in the school's history. (81)

College officials announced the last week of July, 2020 that the college campus had been listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES, a register maintained by the National Park Service. Nearly two years of work by Loras employees and students was done to research the building on the campus. The announcement recognized that Loras was the only the second college in Iowa to have its entire campus listed although others have had individual buildings recognized. (82)

Startling news struck the campus and Dubuque Community on September 9, 2020. Research into Mathias Loras' history before and after he came to Dubuque confirmed he had purchased an enslaved woman named Marie Louise while he was living in Mobile, Alabama and enslaved her from 1836 to 1852. He left her behind when he moved to Iowa, but used proceeds he received from her labor to help finance his work in Iowa. A statue of Loras was removed from campus after school officials learned this information and a member of Loras College's history faculty confirmed the facts were indisputable.

In a letter to the campus community on September 9th, Loras College President James COLLINS stated that the statue would be placed in storage

                until we have convened as a community to discuss 
                the impact of this knowledge about our founder and, 
                specifically, whether and in what context the statue 
                could or should be displayed in the future.

Collins also added there is no evidence Bishop Loras ever expressed remorse for his actions. Collins said confronting this part of the College's past did not absolve them of their duty to address it.

Collins added--

                 Slavery is an evil in any age, and its legacy of 
                 dehumanizing injustice persists. Bishop Loras’ 
                 abhorrent conduct is antithetical to the mission, 
                 vision, values and Catholic identity of this 
                 institution. Consistent with these values, Loras 
                 College denounces racial injustice and hate in all 
                 its forms.

The board announced the creation of a scholarship fund honoring Mary Louise's legacy starting in the 2021-22 school year. A second scholarship fund would be created to honor Loras' first Black graduate and fifth Black priest to be ordained in the United States, the Rev. Norman Dukette ('22) effective with the 2021-22 school year. (83)

Selected Loras students in the all of 2020 participated in DUDawgs, a Loras club which raised and trained service dogs. Their work was supported Definitely Dogs!, a Cedar Rapids nonprofit which supplied service dogs to those in need. According to Clera Hansen, founder and president of the Loras club, the activity would help the Cedar Rapids organization reach more people. Sherry Steine Ross, a co-founder, believed the activity would also help the community understand the positive impact of service dogs. Efforts in the first year were targeted at raising money to support the program. Definitely Dogs! would provide the puppies to live with on campus and visit the students to provide training classes and instruction for the students to use with their dogs. Between three to four dogs would be brought to the campus annually to be trained and place as post-traumatic stress disorder dogs, hearing dogs, or professional facility dogs. (84)

In 2023 Loras hired a coach and began its first-ever women's wrestling team. The coach, Wil Kelly, became a state champion while a students at WAHLERT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL and a national champion as a student at Wartburg College. Prior to coming to Loras, Kelly had competed and coached nationally and internationally. This experience was expected to prove valuable as women's college wrestling competes under international freestyle wrestling regulations. (85)

In 2024 Fletcher Lamkin, president of CLARKE COLLEGE; James COLLINS, president of Loras College; Todd Olson, president of Mount Mercy University; and Amy Novak, president of St. Ambrose College wrote an editorial which appeared in the Telegraph Herald. Entitled "Catholic Higher Education Still an Asset for Iowa and Iowans," the authors found that every student attending a private university in Iowa rather than a Regents university saved the taxpayer an estimated $13,000. With the assistance of the Iowa Tuition Gran, private colleges and universities provided increased opportunities for traditionally underserved students. An estimated 25% of their students were the first in their family to attend college, 33% were minority students, and 33% were eligible for Pell grants. (86)

Famous graduates of Loras have included Aloysius SCHMITT, David RABE,Thomas TAUKE, and James ROMAGNA.

Presidents of Loras College

Most Rev. Joseph Cretin 1839-1850

Rev. Ande Trevis 1850-1855

Most Rev. Mathias Loras 1855-1858

Rev. John L. Gosker 1860-1863

Rev. Thomas O'Reilly 1867-1873

Rev. William Downey 1873-1877

Rev. P.J. McGrath 1877-1882

Right Rev. Roger Ryan 1882-1891

Very Rev. Mark Cooney 1891-1894

Most Rev. John P. Carroll 1894-1904

Most Rev. Daniel M. Gorman 1904-1918

Right Rev. John C. Stewart 1918-1921

Most Rev. Edward D. Howard 1921-1924

Right Rev. Thomas Conry 1924-1939

Right Rev. Michael J. Martin 1939-1947

Right Rev. Sylvester D. Ludy 1947-1951

Most Rev. Loras T. Lane 1951-1956

Right Rev. Dorance V. Foley 1956-1966

Right Rev. Justin A. Driscoll 1967-1970

Mr. Burton R. McQuillan (Acting) 1971

Rev. Msgr. Francis Friedl 1971-1976

Dr. Pasquale Di Pasquale Jr. 1977-1987

Rev. Msgr. James O. Barta 1987-1994

Dr. Kenneth W. KRAUS (Acting) 1994-1995

Dr. Joachim Froehlich 1995-2001

Dr. Joseph Gower 2001--2002

John Kerrigan (interim) 2002-2004

Dr. James E. Collins 2004--


Loras marathon dance tokens to support University of Iowa Children's Hospital.



1. "History of Loras College," Loras College. Online: http://www.loras.edu/About-Loras/History.aspx

2. Ibid.

3. Kruse, Len. My Old Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa, Center for Dubuque History, Loras College, 2000, p. 263

4. Ibid.

5. Schuster, Judy Burns,"Loras Has 125th Anniversary," Telegraph Herald, May 7, 1964, p. 29. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VHZFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nbwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4846,1148982&dq=st+raphael+seminary+dubuque&hl=en

6. Sranley, Mary, "Loras History Winds Through 150 Years," Telegraph Herald, September 10, 1989, p. 28

7. Kruse, Len, p. 265

8. Ibid.

9. Gallagher, Mary Kevin, Seed/Harvest, Dubuque, Iowa: Archdiocesan of Dubuque Press, 1987, p. 34

10. Ibid.

11. Kruse, Len. p. 265

12. Ibid.

13. Gallagher, Mary Kevin, p. 31

14. Kruse, Len, p. 265

15. Ibid.

16. Kruse, Len, p. 267

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Kruse, Len, p. 269

21. "Review of Football at Dubuque College," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, January 12, 1917, p. 9

22. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. p. 70

23. "Dubuque College Controversy Resolved," Dubuque by the Decades, Telegraph Herald, July, 2020, p. 8

24. Ibid., p. 91

25. Kennedy, W. A. "Statue of Bishop Loras is Dedicated," Telegraph Herald, May 29, 1939, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=XulBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FaoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3925,5718820&dq=loras+college+history&hl=en

26. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. p. 88

27. Ibid., p. 89

28. Ibid. p. 90

29. Ibid. 85

30. "Loras Honor Society to Induct 18 Students," Telegraph Herald, April 3, 1949, p. 17

31. Ibid. 96

32. Ibid. p. 113

33. Ingerson, Ralph, "They're Learning Their Latin," Telegraph Herald, February 16, 1958, p. 10

34. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. p. 118

35. "Foreign Language the Easier Way," Telegraph Herald, January 27, 1959, p. 14

36. "Loras Names New Library," Telegraph-Herald, January 14, 1960, p. 1

37. "Loras Library 'On the Move,'" Telegraph Herald, August 10, 1960, p. 20

38. "Loras Plans $1 Million Dorm," Telegraph Herald, May 26, 1960, p. 9

39. Anderson, Wayne R. Iowa's Geological Past: Three Billion Years of Change,Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998, p. 5. Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=D2kzQ5RC4JMC&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=Loras+College+earthquake+%28dubuque%29&source=bl&ots=lNCa4L3MQY&sig=J-6dnel9xfH228dYLdHch6WhbCY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qLuHUre9F8KGyAGd04CQBw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Loras%20College%20earthquake%20%28dubuque%29&f=false

40. Ibid.

41. History of Loras College.

42. "Loras Goes Co-Ed," Dubuque by the Decades, Telegraph Herald, July, 2020, p. 35

43. History of Loras College.

44. Krapfl, Mike. "Loras Professor Knows His Signs," Telegraph Herald, October 31, 1993, p. 3A

45. Kelsey, Elizabeth, "Loras All-Sports Camp Returns After 2-Year Hiatus," Telegraph Herald, June 25, 2022, p. 5A

46. "Loras-Clarke Merger Chronology," Telegraph Herald, May 1, 1988, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vo9dAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jVwNAAAAIBAJ&pg=6575,19369&dq=loras+and+clarke+merger&hl=en

47. Nepper, Mark. "Loras-Clarke Merger Timeline Set," Telegraph Herald, April 10, 1988, p. 50. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gaFdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=51wNAAAAIBAJ&pg=3268,2057751&dq=loras+and+clarke+merger&hl=en

48. "Loras-Clarke Merger Chronology..."

49. Ibid.

50. Ibid.

51. Glindinning, Mary. "Loras Grants Will Bring Nature Into Labs," Telegraph Herald, September 8, 1992, p. 2

52. Hanson, Lyn. "Loras to Offer Theology Degree for Laity," Telegraph Herald, October 3, 1992, p. 6A

53. Krapfl, Mike. "Loras Woos 6th-Graders on Field Trip," Telegraph Herald, November 20, 1992, p. 3A

54. Krapfl, Mike. "Loras SELLS Kids on Campus," Telegraph Herald, November 12, 1992, p. 3A.

55. Jerde, Lyn Hanson. "Loras Dedicates Alumni Campus Center," Telegraph Herald, April 24, 1993, p. 3A

56. "Loras College," Wikipedia

57. History of Loras College

58. West, Brenden, "Bradley's British Invasion," Telegraph Herald, April 23, 2017, p. 27

59. Krapfl, Mike. "Teacher Education Evolves Three Ways After Tri-Colleges' Split," Telegraph Herald, January 18, 1998, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980118&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

60. History of Loras College

61. Krapfl, Mike. "Loras Lands $10 Million Windfall," Telegraph Herald, May 13, 1998, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19980513&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

62. Pieters, Jeffery, "Loras Makes Book on New Store," Telegraph Herald, November 13, 1999, p. 1A

63. Becker, Stacey. "Interfaith Prayer Space Opens at Loras," Telegraph Herald, September 23, 2014, p. 3A

64. "April," Chronology 2014, Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2015, p. 8

65. "Loras College Television Earns Station of the Year Honors," KWWL Online. February 23, 2015

66. "Three Loras Students Earn First Place in National Writing Competition," KWWL Online. February 20, 2015

67. Hanson, Brad. "Loras College Awarded $30,000 Grant," August, 26, 2015 KWWL Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/29886684/2015/08/26/loras-college-awarded-30000-grant

68. "Loras Program Aims to Aid Students with Autism," Telegraph Herald, November 5, 2015, p. 3A

69. "Clarke, Loras, NICC, UD, UW-P on Pro-Military List," Telegraph Herald, November 12, 2015, p. 3A

70. Hogstrom, Erik. "Fire Strikes Loras Dorm," Telegraph Herald, March 17, 2016, p. 1

71. Barton, Thomas J. "Donations Pour Into Loras," Telegraph Herald, March 18, 2016, p. 1

72. Ibid. p. 2A

73. Hanson, Brad. "Dubuque's Loras College Newest Partner in NASA-Affiliated Academic Program," KWWL.com Feb. 2, 2017, Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/34407749/2017/2/2/dubuques-loras-college-newest-partner-in-nasa-affiliated-academic-program

74. Descorbeth, Shirley. "Loras College to Apply for Historical Designation," KWWL.com Online: www.kwwl.com/story/35965330/2017/7/25/loras-college-to-apply-for-historical-designation

75. Hinga, Allie. "Loras Passes $100 Million Goal, Telegraph Herald, August 4, 2017, p. 1

76. Descorbeth, Shirley. "Loras College Announces New Business School," KWWL.com November 17, 2017, Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/36873197/2017/11/17/loras-college-announces-new-business-school

77. Hinga, Allie. "Loras Establishes School of Business," Telegraph Herald, November 18, 2017, p. 3A

78. "Renovation of Loras Rock Bowl Receives Gift Worth Up to $250,000," Telegraph Herald, December 23, 2018, p. 3A

79. "Loras College Dance Marathon," Online: http://www.loras.edu/campus-life/involvement/dm/

80. Hinga, Allie, "Loras Lands Cancer Research Grant," Telegraph Herald, August 20, 2019, p. 1A

81. Leitner, Jim, "Well-Suited for Hollywood," Telegraph Herald, December 25, 2019, p. 1B

82. "Loras Placed on National Register of Historic Places," Telegraph Herald, July 4, 2020, p. 3A

83. "Loras Placed on National Register of Historic Places," Telegraph Herald, July 4, 2020, p. 3A

84. Hinga, Allie, "Group Brings Canines to Loras," Telegraph Herald, September 25, 2020, p. 1A

85. Mederson, Mark A. "Loras Builds Women's Wrestling Program From Ground Up," Telegraph Herald, December 24, 2023, p. 1B

86. Lamkin, Collins, Olson, Novak, "Catholic Higher Education Still An Asset for Iowa and Iowans," Telegraph Herald, January 14, 2014, p. 10A

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