DUBUQUE, Iowa— Loras College will hold its 178th Commencement at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 in the Rock Bowl Stadium on its campus, 1450 Alta Vista St. A Baccalaureate Mass will be held at 10 a.m. the same day off campus at the Church of the Nativity, 1225 Alta Vista St.
“It’s always enormously heartwarming to see our students reach this life-changing milestone.” Jim Collins, president of Loras, said. “But this is only the beginning of their life’s journey. Thankfully, their love of Loras has provided us the privilege to witness their steadfast commitment to improving their lives and the world around them.”
This year, Loras will bestow 370 degrees: 351 Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees, 13 Master of Business Administration degrees and five Master of Arts degrees and one Associate of Arts degree.
In addition, Nicholas J. Schrup III will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Schrup, president of American Trust and Savings Bank and ATBancorp, the holding company for American Trust, earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Golden State University.
The Schrup family has long been very supportive of Loras College through establishment of scholarships. Schrup has been a member of its Board of Regents and Executive Committee.
Albert Ruffalo, a 1969 graduate of Loras College and executive chairman of Ruffalo Noel Levitz, will deliver the keynote address for the commencement.
Under Ruffalo’s guidance, Ruffalo Noel Levitz now serves more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and nonprofit clients throughout the globe. Though he sold RuffaloCODY to McLeodUSA in 1996, Ruffalo repurchased the company in 2001. Under his direction, it grew more than 250 percent between 2006 and 2012, and, in 2013, Ruffalo stepped into the role of executive chairman. In 2014, RuffaloCODY merged with Noel-Levitz to become Ruffalo Noel Levitz. It’s now one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation—as well as one of the largest employers in Cedar Rapids.
Ruffalo serves as a Regent Emeritus of Loras College and serves on the following boards: Mercy Medical Center, Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters, University of Iowa Education Advisory Board, Bankers Trust, Higher Learning Technology, and Converge Consulting.
The first-generation college graduate also holds a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Iowa and got his professional start as a teacher and assistant principal.
Additionally, he has served as marketing manager for National Oats Company in Cedar Rapids, and administrator for Cedar Rapids Community Schools.
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.