Weekly Update from the President - 10/06/05
Loyola press release - October 5, 2005
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
In the past week I was able to visit our alumni clubs in Chicago , St. Louis , and Miami . These visits were great opportunities to visit with alums and with students who are on their “domestic semester abroad”. In the discussions that we had with these visits a couple of themes emerged that I would like to address.
One issue has to do with our financial need and why we are trying to raise money at this time. While Loyola has sustained minimal damage to campus, the buildings of Loyola are only a part of who we are as a University. Loyola is its people: faculty, staff, and students. It is imperative that we are able to keep the Loyola community together at this time and into the future. Right after Katrina I made a commitment to pay our faculty and staff through this period. It is the right thing to do. So we have financial commitments to them. We really do not know, at this time, how this event will impact the financial health of the University long term. Preliminary estimated losses are in the range of $200-300 million over the next five to six years.
In my travel, some people always ask me about the endowment. Loyola is fortunate to have a strong endowment. However, much of the endowment is “restricted” which means that funds within the endowment were given for specific purposes (e.g., a scholarship to support a student or a professorship to support a faculty position). So much of the endowment is constrained and cannot meet our needs at this time. The goal of our fund raising efforts is to insure that we are able to keep the Loyola community in tact so that when our students return, they will come back to more than buildings.
At the gathering at Loyola University in Chicago last Thursday Shawn Donnelley (‘91 A&S) a member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees issued a challenge to our alums. Shawn said she would match, dollar for dollar, alumni gifts up to $250,000. We are most grateful for her gift and her leadership at this time of need and crisis.
Last week, we also learned about that Michael Ross of our History Department received the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award for his book Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Freeman Miller and the Supreme Court During the Civil War Era. I want to publically congratulate Michael for this example of outstanding research.
Later this week we will announce a re-entry date for those students who would like to return to campus. With power now restored we have lights and elevators, so people can move around campus. I know that many are anxious to return to campus. We need to be sure that we have sufficient staff on campus to handle the return. Our Student Affairs staff has developed a plan which will be posted later this week on the web page.
I also know that many students have academic questions about this semester and planning for next semester. I would encourage people to use the links on the web page for academic advice and planning. Also, there will be a “tour” by academic and student affairs to help people prepare for next semester and the transition back to St. Charles Avenue .
I want to be very clear that we are planning to begin our Spring semester as scheduled on January 9 th 2006 .
I hope this letter finds you well.
With prayers and best wishes,
Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.
5 October 2005