Arrupe College Recognitions
Arrupe celebrates Chicago’s talent
This December, drivers on the Kennedy Expressway may notice something new during their commute. Among the snarled traffic and Bucktown neighborhood landmarks, a new mural stands apart, recognizing Chicago and the immense impact its residents make every day.
Wintrust began spotlighting nonprofits and community groups in 2013 when it started renting the Mural Building. In the last several months, they've installed artwork celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial, Special Olympics Chicago, and the Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity. The new mural for Arrupe College, which was mounted late November, highlights some of Chicago's iconic spots and educational resources, including the Field Museum, the Art Institute, and the John Hancock Center (a neighbor to Loyola's Water Tower Campus).
While the first panel reads "From every neighborhood," the second brings the point home: "Chicago has talent." The piece embraces the people and skills found in all of the city's neighborhoods. It's a statement that parallels Arrupe College's mission. As an institution, Loyola University Chicago's Arrupe College offers students from across Chicago the opportunity to develop their talents while earning their associate's degrees. The program is designed to be affordable, setting historically underrepresented students on the path to a four-year degree. And, it's making an impact: While nationally, only 5 percent of full-time community college students graduate in two years—at Arrupe, 45 percent of students earn their associate's degree and 87 percent of alumni are pursing a bachelor's degree.
The mural's third panel echoes the centuries-old charge from St. Ignatius, "Go forth and set the world on fire," words that continue to inspire the Loyola community. Out of respect for the city's infamous history with "Great Fire," the text simply reads "Go forth, Chicago"—calling all Chicagoans, particularly those who have benefitted from a Jesuit education, to go do good in the world.
Taking that sentiment to heart, most of Arrupe's students are the first in their family to pursue a degree in higher education, and many plan to give back to their communities after graduation.
"Arrupe has been my college education; but for my family, it is their future," said Isabel Hernandez (AA '18), now a junior at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. "This degree is not just for me, it's for us. I am the first to have a college degree."