Take Giving Back to Heart

Loras faculty and students benefit when alumni remain engaged in academic programs. This is especially true when they help with everything from fundraising to recruitment.

In the chemistry and biochemistry programs, one way alumni are staying connected is through a board of visitors. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Board of Visitors (BOV) is the brainchild of Dan Bowen, Ph.D. (’90), recently named a Scientist Fellow for Honeywell in Kansas City, Missouri. The BOV has been meeting for six years and has helped purchase much-needed equipment, made in-kind donations, supported student travel to national meetings, and raised nearly $80,000 to start the Ken Kraus Summer Research Fund to support summer student research opportunities.

For Dan, supporting the programs in which he studied began as a way to show gratitude to Loras for all that the College has given him. “Seven or eight years ago, I was reflecting on how I needed to ‘give back’ in a more concrete way than I had been. I felt blessed in many ways, including being married to a delightful person, my best friend and the love of my life, Lisa (Schmitt) Bowen (‘90), and having a great job and career as a chemist, first for Goodyear (1995 – 2003) and then for Honeywell (2003 – present),” he said. “I was able to trace many of those blessings back to Loras College and my wonderful experience there. I wanted to ‘give back,’ but I also wanted the effort to be directed toward what I cared most about at Loras, which for me is the chemistry and biochemistry programs and the professors who had taken such great care in educating me.”

A board of visitors is a group of like-minded alumni who gather annually to support a specific program. Since launching the BOV, which meets on Friday of Homecoming weekend, the group has grown to 17 members, many of whom attend every year. “For me it is, and continues to be, another amazing Loras experience,” Dan said. “Loras is worth the effort.”

David Speckhard, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, is appreciative of the commitment and passion the BOV members bring to the programs. “The BOV has done amazing things to promote chemistry and biochemistry. They have been very, very, generous both with funds and their time.”

For information, call Josh Boots (’04), associate vice president for institutional advancement, at 563.588.7329, or email him at joshua.boots@loras.edu.