DUBUQUE, Iowa – Jim Collins, president of Loras College, announced that an anonymous donor has offered a $250,000 challenge gift in honor of the Rev. Msgr. James Barta, a 1952 alumnus, and his commitment to service, community, church and Loras. The Monsignor Barta Challenge will match dollar for dollar every new or increased gift received this fiscal over last (fiscal year runs June 1 – May 31).
“The matched amount will be used to honor Monsignor Barta and his commitment to assisting students who have demonstrated a disposition for serving community and church prior to attending and while attending Loras,” Collins said. “Thanks to our generous benefactor, gifts now can have double the impact on our students.”
All donations go toward the Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign goal of $100 million. Launched Oct. 10, 2013, it’s the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s 177-year history.
Barta began teaching at Loras College in 1961 as an assistant professor in the psychology department. He was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and to professor in 1974. While continuing to teach, Barta was named academic dean in 1977 and became the President of Loras College in 1987. In 1994, the Archbishop appointed Barta regional vicar for the Archdiocese of Dubuque and he was named vicar general in 1999. He has since retired the position of vicar general and serves as vice chancellor on the Loras College Board of Regents.
In addition to raising funds to support student aid, the Inspiring Lives & Leadership campaign seeks to fund student and faculty programs, the endowment and capital improvements. As of Jan. 31, the campaign has raised more than $97 million through 21,566 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college who have given cash gifts, made pledges or documented a planned gift.
The campaign continues to make significant impacts on Loras College students, faculty and staff.
- Establishing more than 121 new scholarship funds, helping to make a college education possible for students with financial need.
- Paid internships for more than 400 students.
- Supports the Legacy Symposium, the annual, daylong event that showcases scholarly work of faculty and students.
- Created new endowed funds, including the MBA Founding Director Chair and the Andrew P. Studdert Chair of Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership.
- Established the Loras College Poll. The faculty-student surveys have garnered media attention from the Wall Street Journal and CNN to Real Clear Politics to the Washington Post.
- Supports the Center for Business Analytics, the MBA in business analytics and the business analytics certificate program.
- Funds the Global Scholars Program, offering Chinese language classes, cultural programming and study abroad courses in China.
- Funded renovations to Keane Hall to house the Loras College Center for Business Analytics and improved faculty offices and classrooms.
- Sponsors choral ensemble performances at Carnegie Hall, the Iowa Music Educators’ Association Conference and Mysteries of Christmas in addition to student retreats and music ministry stipends.
- Funds various sustainability initiatives.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.