FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Loyola University Chicago Honored with Hosting
the 2020 Opus Prize as Part of
University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration
CHICAGO, November 22, 2019—The Opus Prize Foundation has chosen Loyola University Chicago as its partner to manage the selection process and presentation of the 2020 Opus Prize.
The Opus Prize is an annual, faith-based humanitarian award recognizing individuals domestically and internationally who are addressing persistent and pressing social problems within their communities. This is one of the world’s largest faith-based awards for social entrepreneurship, including one award of $1 million and two $100,000 prizes. Each year, the Opus Prize Foundation chooses a Catholic university to serve as its partner in facilitating the selection of the Opus Prize.
“We are honored to host the Opus Prize next year as part of our 150th anniversary celebration,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney JD, LLM, EdD, president, Loyola University Chicago. “The University is closely aligned with the mission and values of the Opus Prize Foundation with a focus on service of faith, promotion of justice, and our historical legacy of community collaboration. Including the Opus Prize as an integral part of our sesquicentennial celebration emphasizes the impact we have had as a forward-thinking institution and the impact we can continue to have as part of the dynamic Chicagoland and global communities of service.”
Previous recipients of the Opus Prize have come from different faith traditions, and the focus of their work is varied and deep. Among the many pursuits of justice and charity, these awardees are tackling critical issues, such as:
- Building a school and vocational training center for pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers in the Kibera slum, Nairobi, Africa (a Loyola Opus Prize 2019 finalist);
- Freedom from the sex trade and exploitation in Kolkata, India;
- Assisting marginalized individuals struggling with addictions and mental health issues in Sydney, Australia;
- Promoting higher educational opportunities for refugees in Dzeleka, Malawi.
The Opus Prize is awarded through a year-long partnership, providing unique opportunities for engagement and formation to inspire students, staff, faculty, and the greater Loyola community. These partnerships provide the mutual benefits of supporting the work of faith-based social entrepreneurs around the world while seeking to inspire the next generation of leaders to pursue lives of service.
In January 2020, Loyola will convene an Opus Prize Jury comprised of Dr. Rooney, Loyola board members, Chicagoland business and faith leaders, and social entrepreneurs. The Opus Prize Jury will consider the candidacy of each of the nominees and determine three finalists for the awards.
Students are central to the selection process. Loyola extends the life-changing opportunity for six students to serve as 2020 Opus Prize Student Scholars. These students will join faculty and members of the Opus Prize Foundation board on site visits in the spring to observe and engage thoughtfully with the finalists and their organizations. After the delegate visits, the University will reciprocate by hosting all three finalists for a week-long celebration in Chicago in November 2020, where they will engage in classrooms and conversation with students, faculty, staff, and the university community. That week will culminate in the Opus Prize awards dinner with the announcement of the $1 million award and two $100,000 prizes.
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 14 schools, colleges, and institutes, including Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, and Stritch School of Medicine. 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.