Loyola University Chicago President Michael Garanzini, S.J., issued a letter Wednesday summarizing the 2011-12 school year, highlighting increases in enrollment, new construction projects and alumni contributions.
Here is the letter:
Dear Loyola Community,
With the conclusion of the 2011–2012 academic year, I want to thank all faculty and staff members for their hard work and dedication, which led to a very productive and successful year for our University and students. On Friday, June 1, the University’s Board of Trustees gathered at the Lake Shore Campus for their quarterly meeting to discuss numerous University-related issues and updates. I wanted to share some highlights from that meeting, as well as an update on other work and programs taking place this summer:
- Commencement—This spring we graduated more than 4,700 students, and about 4,200 of those graduates participated in Commencement ceremonies on the Lake Shore Campus in May. Over 20,000 family and friends visited the campus as part of this year’s Commencement activities.
- Cuneo Hall—On May 31, the University’s Board of Trustees gathered in the newly completed Cuneo Hall, on the Lake Shore Campus, and participated in a blessing of the building and then a special dinner celebration honoring the building’s namesakes, John and Herta Cuneo. Cuneo Hall is already getting much use as the home of Orientation, which started June 7.
- Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business—As many of you know, the University received a generous $40M gift from alumnus Michael R. Quinlan (PhB ’67, MBA ’70) to the business school. At the June 1 meeting, the Board officially recognized the gift and approved the University’s plan to rename the business school the Michael R. Quinlan School of Business. You can read more about the gift and naming here. We announced this gift at the annual Founders’ Dinner, which was held in the Gentile Arena on Saturday, June 2. More than 800 alumni and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of fellow alumni, as well as the service of staff members like William Sherry, superintendent of facilities at Loyola, and this year’s Dux Mirabilis awardee.
- Operating and Capital Budget Approval for FY 2013—The Board approved the University’s budget for fiscal year 2013. As in past years, the University remains disciplined in our spending policies and continued healthy enrollments should bode well for positive results in the new fiscal year.
- Red Line Construction—Work will begin this month on an approximately $15M project to renovate the Loyola CTA station and build an open public plaza at its entrance, which will create an inviting front door to the Lake Shore Campus. This complex project involves close coordination between Loyola and the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration.At the board meeting, the trustees unanimously approved a new mixed-use building to be built immediately north of the CTA plaza. The new four-floor building will include a handful of new retail tenants on the first floor, with 41 one-bedroom rental apartments above that will be marketed primarily to Loyola students. You can view the project renderings here.
- Campus Projects—In Maywood, the new Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing/Center for Collaborative Learning will open in August. On the Lake Shore Campus, the last phase of the six-plus year Mundelein Center construction project is nearing completion, and we will re-open the building this fall. The Madonna della Strada Chapel garden will also be finished in time for the return of students to campus. The two new Lake Shore Campus residence halls, DiNobili Hall and San Francisco Hall, are well underway and are on target to open to students in fall 2013 and the Arnold J. Damen Student Center will open next spring, in April 2013.
- Enrollment and First-Year Student Convocation—Our fall enrollment is strong and we will welcome 2,100 freshman students this August. Nearly 20,000 freshmen applied to Loyola for the fall, an increase of 11 percent over 2011. Applications for graduate and professional programs are up by about 13 percent as well. First-Year Student Convocation will feature Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother, and will take place on Friday, August 24, at 4 p.m. in the Gentile Arena.
- Presidential Assessment—At my request, the Board conducted and completed a presidential performance assessment process, which was designed and implemented by an Association of Governing Boards’ consultant. The assessment process highlighted how our faculty, staff, and administration have together strengthened our academic and co-curricular programs and the experience of all our students. I am encouraged by the positive feedback of our trustees and all that we have accomplished. At the same time, we remain committed to addressing issues impacting Loyola and higher education institutions nationally—perhaps most significantly, reductions in state and federal higher education budgets, which directly impact the ability of students to finance their educations. This assessment process provided a unique opportunity for the Board to reflect on its own work in an effort to further enhance its oversight of, and engagement in, strategic issues facing Loyola. At the conclusion of this assessment process, the Board appointed me to a five-year renewable term, beginning with the 2012–13 academic year.
Thank you for your continued commitment to Loyola this past academic year. I hope that your summer is a relaxing and rejuvenating one in the company of family and friends.