Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom


Media Contact:
Evangeline Politis
Communication Manager

Loyola University Chicago Celebrates
Second Commencement Ceremony
for Arrupe College Students
The Innovative Model Graduates a New Class
with Two-Year Degrees and Little-to-No Debt

CHICAGO, August 9, 2018—Loyola University Chicago will celebrate its second class of Arrupe College graduates on Saturday, August 11, at the University’s Lake Shore Campus. Seventy students will graduate this summer and an additional 25 are on track to graduate this December, totaling to a 51 percent graduation rate. This far exceeds the national average reported by Complete College America—only 5 percent of full-time community college students earn an associate’s degree within two years.

Launched in 2015, Arrupe College is a two-year associate’s degree program that provides a rigorous liberal arts education to motivated students with limited financial resources and an interest in attending a four-year institution. The program addresses the need in higher education to increase completion rates of post-secondary education degrees for historically marginalized students, while also providing them with the opportunities to explore a variety of fields of study in the arts and humanities, business, and social and behavioral sciences.

“Chicago’s city colleges are segmented, in a good way, so if you want to be an electrician, you know there is a program specifically for you,” said Jacob Caplan, a college counselor at Eric Solorio Academy High School, a feeder school to the college on Chicago’s Southwest Side. “But when I see a student of mine who wants to get into college and find their passion once they get there, those are the students that I think can fall through the cracks in big systems, and I tell them to look at Arrupe. Even if, at the end of two years, they still have no idea what they want to do, they’ve met professors who they can rely on for guidance and support.”

Of the nearly 1,000 students at Solorio, about five to ten attend Arrupe each year. Twenty-three students have matriculated into the college since 2015, and seven have graduated and moved on to four-year institutions.

This fall, 60 graduates in the Class of 2018 are pursuing further education to earn bachelor’s degrees at colleges and universities around the country, including Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Maryland, University of Southern California, Marquette University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dominican University, DePaul University, and Loras College. Students are planning to study engineering, education, political science, social work, biology, computer science, and business.

“Since I started at Arrupe College, I have felt that Arrupe allowed me to fully understand Cura Personalis and to cultivate a newer image of someone I did not know was in me,” said graduating student Angel Rodriguez, who will be pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work at Loyola in the fall. “The education that Arrupe offered not only changed me, but also inspired me to think bigger than a bachelor’s degree. My associate’s degree is my first goal achieved in reaching for a better life.”

For Commencement, Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum, will serve as the class’s speaker. Puente’s 25-year career includes serving as director of the Center for Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives for the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies; director of New Community Initiatives for the Resurrection Project; and director of research, public policy, and advocacy for the National Latino Education Institute. She also served on the board of Advance Illinois.

Among her many accolades, Puente received a leadership award from the League of United Latin American Citizens in 2011 and was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S. by Hispanic Business magazine in 2005. A highly respected and thoughtful policy analyst and author who regularly speaks on the implications of the nation’s changing demographics, Puente is a media expert on Latino issues and founded the Latina Leadership Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women in 2002 to support organizations that provide services to women and girls.

The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. this Saturday, August 11, in Loyola’s Mundelein Auditorium, 1020 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago. For additional details, visit LUC.edu/commencement.

About Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago
Named after Pedro Arrupe, S.J., former superior general of the Society of Jesus, Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago is a two-year associate’s degree program for motivated students with limited financial resources and an interest in attending a four-year institution after graduation. The program offers associate’s degrees in Arts and Humanities, Business, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The college’s unique education model features enhanced pre-enrollment orientation; a strong cohort and holistic, integrated series of supports for students to optimize their chances for academic and social success; intensive one-on-one contact with specialized faculty and staff; a degree that is fully transferable to state and private options throughout the state; and a financial strategy that permits students from underrepresented groups in higher education to fully finance the cost of instruction with aid that does not include, or minimizes, assuming debt. Arrupe College is located at 1 E. Pearson Street, on Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus. To learn more about Arrupe College, visit LUC.edu/Arrupe, “like” us at Facebook.com/ArrupeChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @ArrupeChicago.

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 –



LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO · 1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660 · 773.274.3000

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy