Loras Hosts Ceremonies to
Dedicate Keane Hall, Rock Bowl Updates

Loras Hosts Ceremonies to Dedicate Keane Hall, Rock Bowl Updates

Father Bill Joensen blesses the new entryway of Keane Hall.

Loras College hosted ceremonies to celebrate the official ribbon cutting and dedication of both the newly renovated Keane Hall and the Finnegan Family Track, located inside the Rock Bowl Stadium.

President Jim Collins (’84) hosted a gathering for Loras students, faculty and staff, as well as community members inside the entryway of Keane Hall for an official ribbon cutting and blessing.

Chaired by Bill Glynn (’68) and Mark McCarville (’68), the Class of 1968 raised $500,000 in celebration of their 50th reunion and provided critical support for Keane Hall. The project was completed in March of 2019 and features a comprehensive remodel of the entryway, first floor and upgrades to the second floor. In addition, a new elevator was installed, making Keane Hall accessible.

“The renovation of the entryway is an important and critical next step in the overall renovation of Keane Hall,” Collins shared. “Keane Hall serves as the first and last impression visitors have of Loras. We want Keane Hall to provide a wide array of student learning and student service enhancements that better permit the building to become the ‘Old Main’ that so many other campuses highlight.”

Keane Hall was originally built in 1913 as Loras Hall and included a combination of classrooms, offices, 156 rooms for students, and a study and bedroom for faculty.  It also included a chapel, bowling alley, gymnasium, and recreation room in the basement. In 1939, it was renamed Keane Hall after two former Archbishops of Dubuque and chancellors of the college – Most Rev. John Joseph Keane and Most Rev. James John Keane.

In May 2005, the building ceased being a dormitory for the first time in 90 years and, in 2017, completed a full renovation of the third floor to serve as the home of the new Francis J. Noonan School of Business.

The new entryway is not the end of the updates of the 105-year-old campus icon. Plans are in the works to renovate the fourth and fifth floors.  The updated fourth floor will look similar to the third floor, with new offices and classrooms, while the fifth will be home to the President’s Office, as well as accommodations for visitors to campus.

Following the service at Keane Hall, the focus shifted to the Rock Bowl for the dedication of the Finnegan Family Track. Paul and Mary Finnegan committed to a matching gift in December of 2017, contributing $250,000 to the overall Rock Bowl renovation project, specifically for a brand new competition track surface. As the parents of a former cross country and track & field student-athlete, Alex Finnegan (’14),  Paul and Mary know the importance of a quality facility and know the benefit it can have to the entire campus community.

“The stadium is a central part to Loras life, and it played an important role in our son’s experience at Loras,” Mary shared.

“Finnegan Family Track” has been imprinted on the east end of the Rock Bowl, directly behind the end zone to recognize the financial support and contributions from the Finnegan family.The next phase of the Rock Bowl renovation project includes the replacement of the existing scoreboard with a state-of-the-art video board and landscape enhancements to the limestone walls. College administrators expect the project to be completed by August 2019.

Track 2019 Dedication
Finnegan Family Track Dedication. From left to right: Director of Athletics Denise Udelhofen (‘90), President Jim Collins (’84), Alex Finnegan (’14), Mary Finnegan, and Paul Finnegan.