Guard signs letter to play at Loyola

Denzel Brito, who helped lead St. Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., to a state basketball championship, has signed a letter of intent to play at Loyola University Chicago.
Here is the story, as it broke,  on
By Ed Collins
Denzel Brito has come a long way since getting cut from the Wareham Middle School basketball team.
A 6-foot-1 guard who wound up starring at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Brito signed a national letter of intent to play Division 1 basketball at Loyola University of Chicago on Thursday, making the announcement on the court at the Gleason Family YMCA where he put in a lot of time developing his game.
“I started right here in this very gym and this is where I wanted to make my announcement,” Brito said. “Looking back, getting cut was a good thing. It made me work even harder and gave me the extra motivation I needed to show people what I could do.”
After playing his freshman year at Wareham High School, Brito transferred to Lawrence Academy, where he helped lead the Spartans to a 29-0 record and the Class C New England Championship this past season.
“It was tough leaving home, but it was the right decision,” Brito said. “The whole experience has been great. I’ve accomplished a lot in the classroom and on the court.”
Brito, who ended up choosing Loyola over Hofstra and Florida Atlantic, said his visit to Chicago made a big impression on him.
“It’s a great school, I like the coaches and my teammates, and it felt like a family environment,” said Brito, who also received interest as a football player from Connecticut, Syracuse, Boston College, and Penn State after playing wide receiver and defensive back on the Spartans’ 9-0 football team. “I come from a very close family, so that was important to me.”
Brito’s parents, Lu Brtto and Tanya Pina, were on hand for the signing along with his grandparents, some aunts and uncles, and his little sister. The announcement came as a big relief to everyone.
“It’s been stressful, because there are a whole lot of things you have to consider,” said Lu Britto, who works as the senior program director at the Gleason YMCA. “You have to look at things from every angle in an attempt to figure out what the best fit is going to be. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here, but we’re all happy with Denzel’s choice.”
Brito will play for head coach Jim Whitesell at Loyola in the Horizon League, the conference that Butler came out of this past season to reach the NCAA finals before losing to Duke.
The Ramblers, who wrapped up a 14-16 season with an 80-66 loss to Cleveland State in the first round of the conference tournament, haven’t played in the NCAA Tournament since 1985, so Brito is hoping to help change that.
“That’s every player’s dream and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s a very competitive conference and we’ll be playing a tough overall schedule, so we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Brito said. “The big things for me will be building some confidence and working hard every day at practice to earn playing time.”
Brito, who plans to major in sports management, will graduate from Lawrence Academy on June 4. He’ll leave for Loyola on July 6 to start taking some summer courses and begin a workout and conditioning program, and he’s anxious to start a new chapter in his life.
“This is what I’ve been working so hard for and the time is now. It’s an opportunity that I want to make the most of,” Brito said. “A lot of people have supported me along the way and I don’t want to let them, or myself, down.”

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Hey Quigley: What’s with the Roosevelt T-shirt?

Loyola grad and professor Mike Quigley in a Roosevelt T-shirt? Chicago Tribune photo
Yesterday, Loyola Student Disptach reported on a Chicago Tribune story that U.S. Rep. Michael Quigley, a Loyola University Chicago Law School graduate and a part-time instructor at the university,  rolls out a mattress and sleeps on the floor of his office.


We commend his work ethic and frugality.

But we have a problem with the photo. Mike, why the Roosevelt T-shirt?

Come on, you’re a Loyola guy!

For the complete Tribune story, click: House members sleeping in the office

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Loyola names new Gannon Center director

Loyola University Chicago announced Friday the appointment of Janet Sisler as the new director of the Ann Ida Gannon Center for Women and Leadership.

Here is the text of the announcement from Provost John Pelissero:

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share news of the appointment of Janet Sisler as the new director of the Ann Ida Gannon Center for Women and Leadership. Ms. Sisler is executive director of the Madonna Foundation and concurrently serves in senior leadership at Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation. 

Ms. Sisler is a double graduate of Mundelein College, having received both her bachelor’s and a master’s degree in religious studies. Furthering her education, Ms. Sisler received a Master of Education in research and policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Sisler was honored with the prestigious Coffey Award at Loyola’s Founders’ Dinner in 2009. Named for M. Justitia Coffey, BVM, the first president of Mundelein College, this award honors an alumna for her leadership in the community, accomplishments in industry, and service to others. Ms. Sisler is actively involved with the Gannon Scholars program and serves on the Mundelein College Alumnae Board. 

For the past ten years, she has served in a variety of management positions with the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation, which has a mission of ministry to the elderly, women, and children. She is president of the Franciscan Community Benefit Services, and corporate director of community relations for the organization. In her role as executive director for the Madonna Foundation, she oversees the Madonna scholarship program, develops strategic partnerships with Catholic universities and high schools, and led a program that achieved 100 percent college enrollment for the scholar class of 2009. 

For a decade, beginning in 1991, Ms. Sisler served in leadership roles for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Office of Catholic Schools. While serving the largest Catholic school system in the world, her administrative experience ranged from ministry and consulting to assistant, associate, and interim co-superintendent of schools. Her 30-year track record of success in leadership, experience in education, ability to deal with controversial and sensitive issues, and knowledge of working within the framework of the Catholic intellectual tradition are second to none. She is a known quantity when it comes to building relationships, fundraising, and bringing visibility to organizations. Ms. Sisler was chosen from a large and impressive pool of many qualified and creative candidates.  

I would like to thank Dawn Harris for her service as Interim Director of the Gannon Center since 2008.  Dawn will return to her faculty position in Mangement this summer.    I also would like to thank the search committee chaired by Kelly Shannon, Vice President, University Marketing and Communication.  Other members included:  Dr. Timothy Gilfoyle, Dr. Elizabeth Hemenway, Fr. Charles Jurgensmeier, Dr. Bridget Kelly, Nicole Meehan, and Gary Soltys. 

Please join me in welcoming Janet, who will begin her appointment on Monday, July 12.


John Pelissero


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Loyola athletic teams earn NCAA academic honors

Five Loyola University Chicago athletics programs earned Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA  for their academic performance, according to the University Athletic Department. The teams receiving recognition from the NCAA are in the top 10 percent of their respective sports’ multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR).

The Loyola teams honored were men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field and softball. Men’s basketball and softball were one of two Horizon League teams recognized in their respective sport. Men’s cross country, men’s indoor track and field and men’s outdoor track and field were the only Horizon League teams in their respective sport to be hailed with a Public Recognition Award.

Each year the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multi-year APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance.

Multi-year APRs for all Division I sports teams, including the teams receiving public recognition, will be announced at a later date. That announcement also will include immediate and historical penalties for low-performing teams. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.

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