FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loyola University Chicago Celebrates
2018 Founders’ Dinner
Guest Speaker Dr. Jill Biden Headlines Annual Fundraiser
for Student Scholarships;
Sister Jean Receives Prestigious Spirit of Loyola
CHICAGO, August 7, 2018—Loyola University Chicago will celebrate its annual Founders’ Dinner on Wednesday, September 12, at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Drive. A signature fundraising event for student scholarships, the gala recognizes alumni, students, individuals, and corporate and foundation partners who exemplify the hallmarks of a Loyola education—leadership and service to others. This year, former Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will join veteran CBS News White House reporter Bill Plante in conversation, before beloved “Sister Jean” Dolores Schmidt, BVM, receives the Spirit of Loyola as an individual who embodies the Ignatian spirit.
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden (2009–16), is a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, and a proud military mom. Throughout the Obama-Biden Administration, she worked to bring attention to the sacrifices made by military families, highlight the importance of community colleges to America’s future, and raise awareness around areas of particular importance to women. Dr. Biden and her husband continue their commitment to strengthening the middle class, protecting women and children against violence, and supporting community colleges and military families through the Biden Foundation.
Receiving the Sword of Loyola as this year’s Spirit of Loyola awardee, Sister Jean captured the hearts of millions of hoops fans during March Madness. Known for her maroon-and-gold Nikes with her name on the heels (“Sister” on the left, “Jean” on the right), for her electric smile, and for huddling with the Ramblers before each game in prayer, she achieved star status in a matter of weeks.
In addition to her responsibilities as chaplain to the Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team and to San Francisco Hall residents, Sister Jean has been an academic advisor and campus minister on the University’s Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses. She is also responsible for the SMILE Program (Students Moving Into the Lives of Elderly), a partnership between Loyola students and residents of The Clare Retirement Facility. In 2009, she was honored with the Dux Mirabilis Award, given to an extraordinary leader in the Loyola community, and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University in 2016.
Loyola’s schools, institutes, John Felice Rome Center, and the College of Arts and Sciences also honor an alumnus/alumna during the celebration. This year’s awardees include:
The Damen Award Recipients
- College of Arts and Sciences – Ashruf Ghanimah (BS ’06)
- Quinlan School of Business – Mr. Eric Lugo (MS ’12, MBA ’12)
- School of Continuing and Professional Studies – Mr. Dominique Merritt (BA ’10)
- School of Education – DeRionne P. Pollard (PhD ’05)
- Institute of Environmental Sustainability – The Hon. Mike Quigley (JD ’89)
- School of Law – Ms. Maria Woltjen (JD ’87)
- Stritch School of Medicine – Dr. Daniel Mulrooney (MD ’97)
- Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing – Sr. Donna Marie Wolowicki, C.R. (BSN ’71, MSN ’75)
- Institute of Pastoral Studies – Ms. Kimberly Cavnar (BA ’77, MPS ’80)
- School of Social Work – Ms. Maudette T. Carr (BSW ’96, MSW ’01)
The Coffey Award Recipient
- Christine Boyd (MUND ’73, MPS ’87)
The Felice Award Recipient
- Gemma Allen Nader (JFRC ’64–’65, BS ’66)
Since 2002, Founders’ Dinner awardees have provided over $4.75 million in scholarship support for Loyola students. For tickets, sponsorship information, and more on each of this year’s awardees, visit LUC.edu/founders.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 13 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.
– Loyola –