Endowed chairs are vital to the livelihood of Loras College. Not only does the position embody one of the highest honors the College can bestow upon a faculty member, it ensures that we attract and retain world-class professors by providing dedicated resources and instruction opportunities. In turn, endowed chairs provide immeasurable benefit to our students, giving them the opportunity to learn alongside and be mentored by some of the most talented professionals in the world.

A core component of the Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign is to establish and continue to develop faculty chairs, such as the Andrew P. Studdert Endowed Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership. Created through a generous $1-million gift to the campaign from Loras College Regent Emeritus Andrew Studdert and his wife Mary Pat, the chair enhances the educational experience of students and raises awareness about the significance of ethical conduct in business and the critical need for competent leaders in crisis situations.

“Our solid emphasis on ethics is important to both our undergraduate and graduate students as the ethical dimensions of this evolving area are mostly uncharted and ethically murky,” said Inaugural Chair Roman Ciapalo, Loras College professor of philosophy. “Moral dilemmas arise in every vocation; it is vitally important to know how to conduct oneself ethically in such contexts.”

Annual events funded by the establishment of the Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership include classroom visits by business leaders, roundtable discussions connecting students and business leaders, public lectures by notable scholars and an Executive-In-Residence program.


The first Executive in Residence is Andrew, given his nationally recognized acumen in workplace safety and crisis leadership. A Loras College honorary doctorate recipient, Andrew is deeply respected for executive leadership through crisis situations, most notably during his tenure as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of UAL Corporation and its subsidiary, United Airlines, surrounding the hijacking events of September 11, 2001.

“In my experience as chair thus far, I’ve gained a greater understanding of and sensitivity to the nature of leadership, the relationship between being ethical and being a genuine leader and the unique features of those leaders who are able to perform well in crisis situations,” said Ciapalo. “Whatever I learn from my work as chair will be directly invested in, and applied to, furthering the education of our students.”

“The significance of endowed chairs is threefold: they bear lasting and meaningful witness to the generosity and foresight of their donors, while enhancing the prestige of the college, and ultimately, and most importantly, bringing students into more personal and direct contact with important areas of both practical and theoretical knowledge.”

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