April 27, 2018 — Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago has received a $1.5 million gift from the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation in support of diversity and student success programming.
Arrupe College is a two-year associate’s degree program for motivated students with limited financial resources and an interest in attending a four-year institution after graduation. This generous gift will enable the college to fund three positions: an Assistant Dean for Student Success and two full-time faculty members, all of whom will support the Black Men for Success Program (BMS).
BMS aims to holistically address the challenge of student retention among African-American male students by providing academic support, social-emotional mentorship, and career counseling for those students. Launched in the fall of 2017, the program cultivates academic and personal excellence amongst African-American males at Arrupe College in an intergenerational safe space.
Grounded by intersectional cultural histories and values, BMS members foster educational development, professional engagement, and black male identities. Through mentorship, reflection, scholarship, and community engagement, BMS enables Arrupe’s black male leaders to hone their abilities and chart scholastic and professional courses at Arrupe and beyond. BMS participation includes bi-monthly meetings, academic coaches, and a mentorship program. Mentors are all African-American male professionals, who are either external volunteers working in various industries or students from Loyola’s School of Law.
This grant, which will also fund speakers, conferences, and events for BMS, will be administered over a three-year period, ending in June 2021.
“Arrupe’s strategic goal to recruit and retain African American male students aligns with the McCormick Foundation’s efforts to facilitate opportunities for the underserved black population of Chicago,” said Fr. Steve Katsouros, SJ, dean and executive director of Arrupe College. “This is another game changer brought to us by McCormick, whose first gift to us for $1 million in 2015 encouraged others to invest in our startup college. All of us at Arrupe are extremely grateful to McCormick.”
That transformational initial gift in 2015 helped fund operating expenses and provided scholarships for 29 McCormick Foundation Scholars.
“We are proud to support the launch and growth of such an innovative model to make college accessible, affordable, and successful for these amazing young people,” said David Hiller, President and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. [Source: Loyola University Chicago]