Loras College, Debuque, Iowa
Award focus: Interfaith
Award focus: Interfaith
- School motto: Pro Deo et Patria – “For God and Country.”
- Total Enrollment: 1,570
- Number of students volunteering: 1,137
- Number of community service hours 2012-13: 81,667
- Key Service Areas: Interfaith Service, Economic Opportunity, Healthy Futures
Our Unique Approach to Community Service
Community service is woven into the Loras College academic experience, as it strives to create active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers, and responsible contributors. Through the “Launch into Loras” orientation and the first-year fall “Modes of Inquiry” seminar course, students are immersed in service projects in the Dubuque community from the moment they step onto campus.
The Loras College service learning program began in 2006 and has gained steady momentum in the campus community by building strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations, Iowa Campus Compact and national service programs. The College strengthened its Interfaith Community Service efforts in 2012 with designated Campus Ministry staff. The 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that Loras students reported higher participation rates in service than students at peer institutions and since then, Loras College has been recognized for its community service, with distinction, on the President’s Honor Roll since 2009. Today 72% of Loras College students participate in community service activities.
- Children of Abraham: Loras College students, faculty and staff participate in and lead “Children of Abraham” discussions. Community members from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith traditions gather to engage in dialogue around various themes throughout the academic year.
- Serving those with disabilities: Loras College’s student-led “DuBuddies” group strives to empower youth transitioning out of the K-12 education system and adults with disabilities to build networks within their community. As evidenced by the comments of one buddy, “I feel included in Loras and I can talk to my DuBuddies about anything… I feel happy to be friends with my buddies."
- Duhawk Dance Marathon: Student leaders of Duhawk Dance Marathon serve year-round with the understanding that health challenges faced by children and families served through the Children’s Miracle Network do not go away during the summer or breaks. Sheila Baldwin, assistant vice president of development for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital states, “Loras College students have made an indelible mark on our pediatric patients and their families, raising over $777,000 over eight years for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. The Duhawk Dance Marathon is the number one-ranked marathon in the entire country for fundraising per student enrolled.”
Loras College looks forward to continuing its work expanding upon partnerships with national service programs and non-profit organizations to build capacity to recruit and manage volunteers, and to measure their impact on communities. These efforts create experiences that educate Loras College students to become responsible contributors to society in the future.