LORAS COLLEGE CELEBRATES 175 YEARS
This year my alma mater, Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, celebrates its 175th birthday. While this may seem “young” compared to east coast schools, it’s still a very significant benchmark and makes Loras one of the oldest colleges west of the Mississippi.
The Rock Bowl Stadium.
Founded in 1839 by Bishop Mathias Loras as St. Raphael Seminary, the school’s intent was to train young men for the priesthood, as well as to educate members of the surrounding community. Over the years the college would undergo several name changes (Saint Raphael's Seminary, Mount St. Bernard's College and Seminary, St. Joseph's College, Dubuque College, and Columbia College) before settling on Loras College on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.
Keane Hall was my home during my Freshman and Sophomore years.
Beckman Hall is where I lived during my Junior and Senior years.
Hoffman Hall is the oldest building on campus.
I grew up twenty-five miles west of Dubuque so Loras was always on my radar. In addition, I have uncles and cousins who have graduated from there meaning there was also a family connection. So when it came time for me to choose a college, Loras just seemed to be the natural choice.
Located on one of the highest hills in Dubuque, Loras College offers some of the most spectacular views of the city, and its sixty-five acre campus also sits in the midst of some the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods. The campus is filled with so many iconic buildings and images - Hoffman Hall, the oldest building on campus, with its impressive bell tower; Keane Hall which sits atop the hill and stands guard over the lower campus; and the stoic statue of Bishop Mathias Loras which blesses the college and the city.
Bishop Mathias Loras.
Christ The King Chapel.
There are so many fond memories for me as I watch Loras celebrate this benchmark. The college has changed a lot since my time there in the early 1980’s, but the campus still evokes the same memories, emotions, and warm feelings for me. Loras College will always have a special place in my heart.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LORAS COLLEGE!!!
HERE'S TO ANOTHER 175 YEARS!!!
(All photos courtesy of my friend Laurie Weber Helling.)