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Alum John Giblin: Vet’s Second Chance To Complete His Degree

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This year marks the centennial year for adult education at Loyola and we are celebrating the anniversary by gathering stories of our alumni who want to share their Loyola experience, and how it has transformed their lives. SCPS changed its name a number of times but it has consistently served adult students.

The following bio came from John Giblin, who graduated with a BBA Business Administration from University College in 1969.

In 1960, with the encouragement of my mother, I attended Loyola‘s downtown (Water Tower Campus) campus as a freshman. Unfortunately, in the second year of attendance, I was asked to leave because of my poor academic performance. Had card games, like “pinochle” and “hearts”, been included in the curriculum, I would have continued as an honor student. Too ashamed to tell my mother what had happened, I continued to travel downtown spending the days at the “old” Chicago Library.

After about a month, I finally confessed to her. I had let her down, but more importantly, I had let myself down. Both low self- esteem and immaturity had deprived me of a great educational opportunity. Vietnam was beginning to escalate and no longer being a full time college student, I became immediately eligible for the draft. Joining the Army Reserve was an option and I took it. As brief as it was, the two months of the army’s basic training made me into a new person, both physically and emotionally. At the conclusion of my basic training, word came of President Kennedy’s assassination. Like 9-11, this devastating experience would be permanently etched in my memory.

After my army obligation was over, I went back to Loyola to see if I could get readmitted. They gave me a very long list of subjects that had to be retaken before even being considered for Loyola’s University College program. I worked full time and after many years of night school at junior colleges, I successfully completed the list and was admitted into Loyola’s night adult program. Again, after many years of night school at Loyola’s downtown campus, I finally graduated in 1969 with a degree in Business Administration. Thanks to Loyola, doors were opened allowing me to be able to attain more responsible positions.

Though I can’t brag about moving on to high ranking financial positions, my real success was to marry the “girl of my dreams” and together, raising three girls and one boy. Now, as a grandfather of three wonderful little boys, I very much realize the importance of my Catholic education and try to convey this to their parents. Loyola was definitely a very important stepping stone in my life. So thank you, Loyola.

If you would like to share your story as an alum, please email it to scps@luc.edu. We would love to hear from you. Also, the Centennial Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 28. All University College, Mundelein College and SCPS alumni are invited to attend this exciting event where you can meet other alum to share stories of then and now. Learn more about the Centennial Celebration schedule and registration here.