FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loyola University Chicago Celebrates
Third Commencement Ceremony
for Arrupe College Students
The Innovative Higher Ed Model Graduates a New Class,
Most of Whom Plan to Continue their Education
with a Four-Year Degree
CHICAGO, July 24, 2019—Loyola University Chicago’s Arrupe College will graduate its third class of students on Saturday, August 10. Approximately 75 students will cross the stage with their two-year degrees at the University’s Lake Shore Campus, and more than 90 percent of the cohort have plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree program.
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 to increase completion rates of post-secondary education degrees for students from low-income families, while also allowing them to explore a variety of fields in arts and humanities, business, and social and behavioral sciences.
The Arrupe Commencement student speaker, Esther Sosa Alonso, will be enrolling in the accounting program at Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business this fall. Alonso had a well-rounded couple of years at the college, acting as a student ambassador, a member of Arrupe’s first class of emerging leaders, and a STEM Club and Arrupe Business Society executive board member.
She was also part of the Bridging the Divide Program, a collaboration with the University of Chicago and Eureka College that addresses urban and rural divisions in the economy, workforce development, and immigration. She credits all these experiences—inside and outside of the classroom—with preparing her for the next step on her academic journey.
“Arrupe has given me the tools I need to continue pursuing a four-year degree,” Alonso said. “Being a part of Arrupe has enriched my life by providing various lenses through which I can analyze the world, resulting in a holistic and objective perspective on the world and the role I play in it. It has taught me the value of hard work and community and makes me strive to be a leader and a person for others.”
Other members of the Class of 2019 will be attending Saint Mary’s College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Maryland, Loras College, Western Illinois University, and Dominican University with which Arrupe has a partnership to ensure students can transition smoothly by easily transferring their credit hours.
With the additional 20 students who are on track to graduate this December, 51 percent of the third class is expected to graduate this year. This crushes the national average of only 13 percent of full-time students at two-year institutions graduating in two years, as reported by National Center on Education and the Economy.
“I am so impressed with Arrupe College’s success in conquering a serious problem in higher education: access,” said James Reynolds, this year’s Commencement keynote speaker. “For three years the college has been more than surpassing the benchmark when it comes to two-year completion rates and continues that trend with a remarkable number of students completing their bachelor’s degrees in just four years. I am honored to be speaking to this class of extraordinary students.”
Reynolds is founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Loop Capital. A 30-year veteran of the financial services industry, Reynolds held senior-level positions at several global Wall Street firms prior to founding Loop Capital in 1997. Since then, Loop Capital has grown into one of the most dynamic and diversified investment banking firms in the country.
A passionate advocate of giving back to the community, Reynolds currently serves on the boards of Avant, the Chicago Community Trust, Pangea Properties, the University of Chicago Medical Center, Intersect Illinois, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and World Business Chicago. Additionally, he is vice chair of the board of directors for the Chicago Urban League and a member of the CFA Institute, a global association of investment professionals.
Past affiliations have included serving as a director of the Chicago Housing Authority and as a board member for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, Chicago State University, the Chicago Zoological Society, the Youth Leadership Foundation, ETA Theatre, City Year, the Chicago Public Education Fund, Chicago United, and the Chicago Summer Business Institute. Additionally, Reynolds served as president of the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, an influential organization of African American business leaders in Chicago.
The Commencement ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on August 10 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 low-income students 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 17,000 students. Nearly 12,000 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 100 national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by 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.