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Coordinates: 42°30′10″N 90°40′53″W / 42.502805°N 90.681401°W / 42.502805; -90.681401

Loras College
Motto Pro Deo Et Patria
(For God and Country)
Established 1839
Type Private University
Endowment US $25.8 million (2006) NACUBO
President James E. Collins
Staff 172
Students 1,683 ([1])
Undergraduates 1,500
Postgraduates 250
Location Dubuque, Iowa, USA
42.502592, -90.680984
Campus Urban
Colors Gold and Purple
Nickname Duhawks
Mascot Dewey the Duhawk
Affiliations Roman Catholic Church
Keane Hall at Loras College

Loras College is a four-year Catholic university located in Dubuque, Iowa, with a general attendance of approximately 1,700 students. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It is one of four four-year post-secondary institutions in the City of Dubuque, and is one of three Catholic colleges in the Archdiocese of Dubuque.



Loras College, a liberal arts college, was founded in 1839 by the Most Rev. Mathias Loras, first bishop of Dubuque, who established Saint Raphael's Seminary to educate young men for the priesthood with the expressed intention of also providing an opportunity for higher education to the citizens of the area. The College has functioned under several names (Saint Raphael's Seminary, Mount St. Bernard's College and Seminary, St. Joseph's College, Dubuque College, and Columbia College), finally adopting its present name during its centennial in 1939. That same year, the national Catholic honor society, Delta Epsilon Sigma was founded at the college, by Father Fitzgerald. From the time of its founding, the college has devoted its faculty and facilities to an undergraduate program; it conferred the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

In 1963, when the The Catholic University of America decided to discontinue its branch program of graduate study on the Loras campus, Loras College, realizing the growing need to the locale for study beyond the baccalaureate degree, initiated its Graduate Division offering the Master of Arts degree in some fields.

The College became coeducational in the fall of 1971. In 1973, the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees were introduced. The Division of Community Education was initiated in 1975.

Both the Undergraduate College and the Graduate Division of Loras College are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The teacher education program, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education. The undergraduate teacher education program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The American Chemical Society has approved the undergraduate chemistry program. Loras College is also approved by the Association of American Universities and New York Board of Regents. The Council of Social Work Education has accredited the social work major at the baccalaureate level.


The Rock Bowl (September, 2004)

Loras’ athletic teams are known as the Duhawks, a name bestowed upon the football team by a Detroit Free Press scribe in 1924. The school fields 21 men’s and women’s varsity teams in the NCAA Division III. They are a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Loras’ colors are Royal Purple and Gold, colors exemplified by the home football uniform of purple jerseys, gold pants and gold helmets with purple face masks.


Loras sits on a 65-acre (260,000 m2) campus located atop several hills in Dubuque. The grounds are bounded by Loras Boulevard on the south, Kirkwood Street on the north, Henion Street on the east, and Alta Vista Street on the west. The campus is surrounded by residential neighborhoods on all sides, some of which are among the most historic in the city. The college consists of 23 buildings, 2 athletic fields, a stadium, and 5 tennis courts. Because of its high location, several of the buildings provide excellent views of Downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi River.

Some of the more notable buildings include:

The Loras Athletic and Wellness Center (November, 2007)
  • Athletic Wellness Center: Built in 2007-2008, the athletic wellness center provides a home to the men's and women's basketball teams as well as the women's volleyball team. In addition, a cardio-vascular center, upgraded weight room and training room, as well as state-of-the-art locker rooms makes the 'AWC' a great improvement from "The Fieldhouse."
Keane Hall, as seen from Wahlert Hall
The Academic Resource Center
  • Academic Resource Center: Among Loras' newest buildings, the Academic Resource Center is home to the campus' main library, including some 355,000 items. The building also includes the bookstore and some academic uses.
The ACC, as seen from Loras Blvd (Lower Campus), with the power plant in the foreground
  • Alumni Campus Center: At the center of campus, the Alumni Campus Center is a multi-function building, and includes the student union, dining hall, and meeting rooms.
  • Christ the King Chapel: The main chapel on campus, at which is held daily Mass, Thursday night Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Reconciliation, and Mass Sunday night with student lectors, cantors, musicians, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, greeters, acolytes, and sacristans. The building connects to Keane Hall via a bridge between the two buildings.
Hoffman Hall, as seen from Cox Street
  • Hoffmann Hall: Hoffmann Hall is Loras' oldest building, established in 1909. It includes a tall clock tower, and houses various academic uses, along with an auditorium.
Beckman Hall, a residence hall, on the left and Hoffmann Hall on the right, as seen from the Alumni Campus Center before the construction of the AWC in 2007-2008
  • Keane Hall: Keane Hall is the most visible building on campus, sitting at the peak of one of the highest hills in the city. Designed by celebrated architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, the building is multi-use, and includes administrative offices, academics, and faculty offices.
  • The Visitation: The Visitation is a former convent that now houses the school's classes in art and music. Gallagher Hall is where most recitals take place, and the building houses an art museum and practice space for musicians. It also is a residence hall, the south side for girls, the north for males.


The college has been expanded in recent years starting with the Alumni Campus Center in 1992 and added a new library in 2001. This new Academic Resource Center contains a collection of approximately of 355,000 items and 11,000 magazine subscriptions. In addition to its broad general collection, the library contains a rich heritage in its special collections of rare books, as well as the photographs and manuscripts in the Center for Dubuque History located in the library. The library is also an official document depository for both the United States government and the state of Iowa. The old library, Wahlert Memorial Library, was recently remodeled into classroom space.

The first Saint Raphael's Cathedral building in Dubuque, which was used from 1833 to 1861. The building attached to the rear of the Cathedral was the Bishop's residence, and the first home of what today is called Loras College.

Loras has also begun to make significant improvements to the athletic facilities on campus. As part of its $20 million "For the Glory" fundraising campaign, the college renovated its Rock Bowl Stadium in 2005. In addition to the construction of new and expanded seating and the installation of artificial turf, the field was re-dedicated in honor of a legendary Loras coach, Bob Bierie. The complex is now known as the "Bob Bierie Field at the Rock Bowl." Currently, Loras is building a new athletic/wellness facility on the south side of Coyne Field at Cox and West 17th Streets. The $16 million, 75,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) building will house locker rooms, a 2-level fitness center, and athletic training facilities in addition to a multipurpose arena. The building will likely open in November 2007.


A notable graduate of Loras College was Father Aloysius Schmitt. He was one of those killed on board the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Other notable graduates of Loras College include: Clarence Enzler (class of 1931), Author of several religious books, including a Stations of the Cross book entitled "Everyone's Way of the Cross"

  • Raymond Roseliep (class of 1939), American poet famous for haiku.
  • John Joseph Paul (class of 1939), Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse.
  • David Rabe (class of 1962), playwright and screenwriter.
  • Greg Gumbel (class of 1967), CBS sportscaster.
  • Bill Bolster (class of 1967), retired CEO of CNBC International.
  • Dennis Schmitz, contemporary American poet.
  • James V Ball, (class of 1958), retired, well known attorney Memphis, TN, Loras College HOF 2002.
  • Thomas Tauke ( class of 1972), US congressman from Iowa, 1979-1991
  • Al Ruffalo (class of 1969), CEO of RuffaloCODY
  • Edward Grace, Special Agent in Charge - Training and Inspection, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002 Clark R. Bavin Law Enforcement Award winner.
  • Michael M. Mihm (class of 1964), US District Court Judge for the Central District of Illinois.

Although not a graduate, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Red Faber attended Loras in 1909. Faber set a college record by striking out 24 St. Ambrose batters in a 1909 game before moving on to a 20-year Major League career with the Chicago White Sox. Faber-Clark Field on Loras’ lower campus bears his name today. Film actor Don Ameche was known to have attended during the 1920s. Although not frequently mentioned due to his controversial religious ideas later in life, Creation Spirituality founder Matthew Fox attended Loras in 1958. He was eventually ordained as a priest but then silenced (forbidden to teach theology) by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) of the Holy See in 1988. Another controversial graduate is William Schnoebelen, who obtained a degree in music and education from Loras in 1971. Schnoebelen went on to found With One Accord Ministry, an orginazation which strongly denounces Catholicism and Catholic teachings (among other things).

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