Pat Pisairik

Loras College to honor former professor during blood drive April 10

Loras community hopes to reach 67 pints for each year of his life

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College and its DuHealth Club will honor a longtime professor during a Red Cross Blood Drive from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10 inside the Alumni Campus Center. Students, faculty and staff hope to reach 67 pints of blood to commemorate each year of his life.

Pat Pisarik was in his 25th year of teaching at Loras when he died in October. He began teaching at Loras in 1983 and taught many courses. His passion, however, was journalism and moderating The Lorian college newspaper.

“He was absolutely a teacher at heart,” said Craig Schaefer, director of media studies and a friend of Pisarik. “He cared about the personal development of his students.”

The Pisarik family recently asked Loras if it could help remember Pisarik through a blood drive so the entire campus community could celebrate the soft-spoken teacher.

“Pat was such a great supporter of community, faith, family and friends,” Krista Belanger, assistant professor of public relations, said. “It’s a truly meaningful request and one which we will make every effort to achieve.”

Pisarik posthumously received the 2018 John Eighmey Service Award in February, which is the Iowa College Media Association’s most distinguished honor in February. The award is given annually to recognize an individual whose efforts have been instrumental in advancing the quality of media education in Iowa. Schaefer presented the award to Pisarik’s family, including wife Leann and three of his four children.

The ICMA also renamed its Student Journalist of the Year Award scholarship the Pat Pisarik Journalist of the Year Award in his honor. Pisarik was one of the co-founders of the ICMA, a former president and was always on its board.

During National Volunteer Month in April, the Red Cross celebrates the millions of volunteers who help fulfill its lifesaving mission and invites others to get involved. Last year, about 2.7 million people donated blood or platelets through the Red Cross. Red Cross depends on volunteer donors to help ensure blood products are available at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide.

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.

Visit, call (563) 588-7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege to learn more.

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