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The Impact of Philanthropy

Dr. Rooney addressed the scope of Loyola's service in the world with civic leaders, Loyola School of Medicine donors, faculty and students at the 68th Annual Stritch Award Dinner November 17, 2018.

Good evening and welcome. I am honored to gather together with you tonight. It is an evening to celebrate and be inspired by the stories of scholarship and service that touch and improve so many lives. 

On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees of Loyola University Chicago, I extend profound gratitude to Marianne Vivirito and the incredible Mullins Family for their leadership of this evening’s event. In a special way, I want to offer a sincere thank you and special recognition to the Mullins Family, who have supported Loyola University and the Stritch School of Medicine for decades.

It is also appropriate for us to take a moment and show our appreciation for the late John and Joan Mullins. For many years, they consistently supported Loyola University and funded the creation and completion of all the banners for recipients of the Sword of Loyola, the highest honor bestowed by Loyola University Chicago. These banners stand as a wonderful and lasting tribute to all of the recipients of the sword, and we remember John and Joan in a special way as we view them and think of our honorees.

Tonight, we come together to honor and celebrate two outstanding physicians and teachers who exemplify our Jesuit mission and call to be of service to and for others. Congratulations to Dr. Kathy Albain (receiving the Stritch Medal) and Dr. Eva Bading (receiving the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - Award). Thank you, as well, to all of our Junior Service League members and their families. The service work each of you has done and the support of your families has touched so many lives in lasting ways

Finally, thank you also to members of our Loyola University Chicago Team particularly: Dr. Margaret Callahan, Provost of the Health Science Division and Interim Provost, Chief Academic Officer Lakeside and Dr. Steve Goldstein, Dean of the Stritch School of Medicine. Both of you provide inspiration and leadership for our students, faculty and staff and support their academic, clinical and research work through your passion for and commitment to healthcare.

All of you, and so many others in this room, exemplify the leadership of service that we celebrate this evening.

There is no question that at Loyola University, we consider Chicagoland and its neighborhoods our home.  At the heart of our university’s Jesuit mission is a deep commitment to service. Bringing those together means that from Rogers Park to the Loop, in Maywood and on the south and west sides, Loyola students and faculty from all disciplines work together with citizens, our neighbors, to help meet basic, critical needs--safe shelter and stable food sources, education that is enriching and equitable, sustainability work that extends life expectancy, health care to close the disparity gap, and faith that does justice. As the city and our university have become global in scale and outreach, Loyola’s commitment to social, economic and environmental justice has expanded and taken the form of partnerships with people and communities around the globe.

We are called, we are challenged, to make a difference as “persons for and with others,” to use what we learn to serve one another.  Love of our neighbor is the goal of our education. Service is a path we take from being educated to being truly loving. This personal commitment to the well-being of others is a hallmark of the Stritch School of Medicine and of all of Loyola University Chicago.

For nearly 150 years, Loyola University Chicago has educated Chicagoans from all neighborhoods, from all backgrounds. We were founded as a college for first-generation students—the children of immigrants and the working class.  The Stritch School of Medicine remains the only Catholic medical school in Illinois.  Today more than ever, it is critically important that we educate physicians from all communities and backgrounds. We make a special effort to reach out to first-generation students and to others traditionally underserved by higher education to provide opportunity for an education that will not only help them make a living but will help them fashion a full and vibrant life.  Empowering our young people with the ethic of service is critical on this path. Securing resources for scholarships so that all talented students receive these opportunities is essential. 

In supporting the work we celebrate tonight, in providing funds for scholarships for our future physician leaders, you help bring life to our mission and keep it strong and vibrant for the future. You not only provide financial support for students to access a great education, you actually empower them to go forward, healing and serving others in our neighborhoods and in communities all around the world.

That is powerful philanthropy; this is life-changing philanthropy; this is visionary philanthropy.  For all of this, we are immensely grateful.