Loyola names new President, Jo Ann Rooney

Media Contact:
Steve Christensen
Director of Communication

Loyola University Chicago Welcomes 24th President
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, Named First Lay Leader
in Loyola’s History

CHICAGO, May 23, 2016—Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, has been elected by the Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees as the University’s 24th president and its first lay leader. Dr. Rooney was approved by the Board on Thursday, May 19, and officially introduced to the campus community today.

On August 1, 2016, Dr. Rooney will assume the role of president with an appointment that runs through 2021. She will succeed John P. Pelissero, PhD, who has served as interim president since July 2015, when long-serving president Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., stepped down and transitioned to the role of chancellor.

Today’s announcement concludes a thorough, nine-month search for the University’s next leader, which was led by Robert L. Parkinson Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and a two-time Loyola alumnus.

“Dr. Rooney is a lifelong educator with an impressive and diverse array of experiences that will enable her to build on the University’s tremendous success of the last decade,” said Parkinson. “The outstanding leadership skills she gained from her roles in education, public service, and health care will position Loyola well to address today’s emerging higher education challenges. Most importantly, her values and faith are fully aligned with our Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity.”

This new appointment expands Dr. Rooney’s leadership in higher education, as she has served as the president of both Spalding University—a private, Catholic, doctoral-level university in Louisville, Kentucky—and Mount Ida College, a baccalaureate-level college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in Newton, Massachusetts. She has also spent more than 12 years in the classroom connecting with students and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

During her eight-year tenure at Spalding, Dr. Rooney led an impressive turnaround of an institution facing severe challenges. Leveraging her strong business, finance, and operational experience—and engaging support from the internal university community, the Archdiocese of Louisville, local business and community leaders, and alumni—she was able to stabilize the university and set it on a course of continued growth, allowing it to thrive to this day. 

In July 2010, Dr. Rooney was appointed president of Mount Ida College. After only months in the position, she was called by the Obama Administration to serve her country—a life-changing event that led her on an unexpected career path as the nominee for principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness in the U.S. Department of Defense. She was confirmed for the position by the U.S. Senate in May 2011.

Within the U.S. Department of Defense, Dr. Rooney served as senior advisor to the under secretary of defense comptroller, principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. As senior advisor to the secretary of defense, she managed a broad portfolio encompassing recruitment, career development, health care, readiness, pay, and benefits for service members and their families. She had direct responsibility for more than 30,000 employees and a budget of more than $70 billion, and served as a senior spokesperson for defense-wide issues.

In 2012, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta awarded Dr. Rooney the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the highest award given to a civilian by the secretary of defense. In September 2013, she was again called to serve by the Obama Administration and asked to accept the nomination for under secretary of the Navy, the second-highest position in the department. Twice she was voted out of committee favorably, but requested her nomination be withdrawn after inactivity by the U.S. Senate.

“I have been blessed throughout my career with amazing experiences that have shaped and influenced me in numerous ways, but my passion is, and has always been, education,” said Dr. Rooney. “Education is life changing. It is the foundation for deep personal development, strong community engagement, inclusiveness, and positive, sustainable growth. Today, higher education is at a crossroads, and I am fully committed to making decisions that will allow us to thrive as an institution and community leader. During the search process, I was struck by the dedication and commitment exhibited by representatives of the faculty, students, staff, academic leadership, Jesuits, and board members. That commitment, and Loyola’s strong mission, drew me here.”

An 11-member Presidential Search Committee, with the assistance of search consultant firm Isaacson, Miller, led a process that included on-campus listening sessions, the development of a detailed leadership profile, and an intense screening and interview process that featured numerous qualified candidates.

“As the leader of one of the premier Jesuit, Catholic institutions in this country—and Loyola’s first lay president—Dr. Rooney has the full support of the Society of Jesus in this important mission,” said Very Rev. Brian G. Paulson, S.J., provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. “Dr. Rooney is an accomplished leader and administrator with a passion for educational excellence and access. She is a woman of deep faith and strong character, and she has demonstrated her service to the Catholic Church.”

In addition to her partnership with the Society of Jesus, Dr. Rooney will work closely with the Archdiocese of Chicago and Archbishop Blase J. Cupich.

“Loyola has a rich history and well-deserved strong reputation in Chicago as this great city’s Jesuit, Catholic university. I am confident it will continue to play an important role in the region’s health through its educational philosophy rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and its vigorous advocacy for social justice that is inclusive of all people,” said Archbishop Cupich. “I have met Dr. Rooney and am impressed by her diversity of experience and public service. Her background and commitment to the faith have prepared her well to lead a complex organization like Loyola, and I look forward to working with her.”

Dr. Rooney holds a Bachelor of Science with a finance concentration from Boston University School of Management, a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, a Master of Laws in taxation from Boston University School of Law, and a Doctor of Education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Other affiliations include various positions in the legal and business sectors. She is a member of the American Bar Association and three state bar associations and has served as a board member with a variety of civic and corporate organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Catholic Education Foundation, and as vice chair of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare (a Catholic Health Initiatives organization) in Louisville, Kentucky. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees for Regis University, a Jesuit institution located in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Rooney joins Loyola from Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, where she is managing director with responsibility for developing strategies to advance Huron Healthcare’s Federal Government Healthcare Sector consulting practice.

For more information on Dr. Rooney and the presidential search process, visit LUC.edu/presidentialsearch.

Construction begins for new Hampton Inn in Rogers Park

Hampton 1

Loyola University Chicago and Atira Hotels hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today, October 9th, to celebrate the construction of the new Hampton Inn Chicago North/Loyola Station in Rogers Park. The unique development partnership includes Atira Hotels serving as developer and owner of the hotel, while more than 9,500 square feet of retail space at the street level will be owned and managed by the University’s Lakeside Management group.

Located less than one block from the Chicago Transit Authority’s Loyola Red Line station, the Hampton Inn Chicago North/Loyola Station will be one of the most significant and recognized lakefront hotels north of Belmont Avenue. It will offer 145 guest rooms, along with a fitness center and rooftop terrace. The sixth floor will provide guests beautiful views of Lake Michigan and Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.. The hotel is estimated to have a completion date of Fall 2016 and will be a great asset to the Rogers Park and Loyola communities.

New Loyola Business School opens this Fall

We are so excited about the grand opening of The John and Kathy Schreiber Center, the new home of The Quinlan School of Business. Opening this fall, the Schreiber center boasts innovative design and cutting edge technology with sustainability in mind. The new Loyola building is located on the Water Tower campus, on the corner of State and Pearson Streets — right in the heart of bustling Chicago. A generous gift from John and Kathy Schreiber, this building hopes to transform the way education is delivered. Mr. Schreiber graduated from Loyola University Chicago’s undergraduate business school in 1968, and the gift is dedicated to F. Virgil Boyd and Raymond C. Baumhart, S.J., both of whom provided inspiration and shaped his undergrad career. In addition, the Quinlan School of Business is ranked Number 1 for its undergraduate business program, and Number 3 for its part time MBA program in Chicago by U.S. News & World Report.

Upon entering the 10 story facility, guests will find the Great Stairs, located at the base of the Schreiber Center. These stairs feature bleacher-like seating to facilitate meet ups, a studying space, or a spot for presentations. The 4th and 6th floors contain state of the art classrooms and breakout rooms, which are naturally lit due to the system of atria that also harness natural ventilation throughout the building. The Great Hall, located on the top floors, will serve as Loyola’s newest premier event space downtown. As a 2600 square foot multipurpose room, it will host events for Quinlan and the Chicago business community. Finally, at the top floor, Schreiber Center visitors will find the Board Room, an elegant space enhanced with cityscape views.

The grand opening is September 15, 2015. For more information click here.

Article by Emily Butterfield, Marketing Intern at Loyola University Chicago Conference Services

Spice up your Summer!

After a cold and bitter winter in the city, Chicagoans welcome summer with open arms. Sunny skies and warm air envelop the city and its inhabitants alongside a bright blue lakefront. Chicago comes alive during this time of the year, and there are always a plethora of events to prevent any hint of boredom. Ranging from farmers markets to festivals and other unique events, here are a couple activities to keep you entertained during your free time this summer.

  • Farmers markets:

There are a wide range of farmers markets in Chicago all over the city. Right here on our Lake Shore campus we have Loyola’s farmers market taking place every Monday from 3 pm to 7 pm until mid-September. Abound with nutritious locally grown and produced foods, Loyola’s farmers market strives to make it accessible for everyone with affordable prices.


If you’re looking for something a little (a lot, actually) bigger, check out the Daley Plaza farmers market. In the heart of the city, stalls outline the plaza surrounding the fountain in the middle. It is the longest running farmers market in Chicago and farms from all over the Midwest come to share fresh produce, baked goods, honey, and other treats. Open from 7am to 3pm every Thursday, it’s a must visit!
Check out all of these Farmers Markets in Chicago. 

  • Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago is an iconic festival, which Grant Park has been hosting since the 1980s. Deemed as “Chicago’s gigantic civic picnic” by the Chicago Tribune, Grant Park holds 60 vendors, a variety of food trucks, and several pop up restaurants. Invigorating all of your senses, this festival will not disappoint.  It is open from July 8th to the 12th, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit tasteofchicago.us for a complete list of vendors and more information!

The 33rd annual Taste of Chicago opened on Wednesday and will run for five days. The food fest will now feature food trucks for the first time, along with dozens of restaurants that serve a diverse variety of food.  July 10, 2013. | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

  • Square Roots Festival

The Square Roots Festival is a unique festival with a ton of personality, featuring music and dance performances with a variety of genres from around the world. For those 21 and over, the craft beer selection is extensive, and the food quality is notably impressive. If you’re looking for a something a little different than your typical summer festival, be sure to head to Lincoln Square (Lincoln Avenue, in between Montrose and Wilson) from July 10th to the 12th. You can visit www.squareroots.org for more info.

For a list of all 2015 festivals taking place in and around the city visit http://chicago.metromix.com/stories/3713-chicago-2015-festival-guide

There you have it! These are just a few of many events occurring this summer in Chicago. In addition to these events, every week there are FREE events taking place in Millennium Park like Downtown Sound, where a different band plays every Monday and Thursday, and Millennium Park Summer Film Series, which plays a different classic movie every Tuesday at 6:30pm. Take advantage of your summer in the city and be sure to attend one, if not all, of these exciting events and activities!

For a complete guide of events taking place in Chicago this July be sure to check out http://www.timeout.com/chicago/events-calendar/july-events-calendar

Written by Emily Butterfield, Conference Services Marketing Intern

Loyola brings Sustainable Cooking to the Local Community

Loyola University Chicago’s Retreat and Ecology Campus to Host Summer Cooking Classes and New Teen Culinary Camp Campus Brings Sustainable Cooking to the Local Community

CHICAGO, June 1, 2015 – Loyola University Chicago’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois will offer a series of summer cooking classes starting Saturday, June 13.

Classes will be taught by Loyola’s executive chef and former restaurateur John Schnupp in the state-of-the-art Duchossois Food Systems Lab and Kitchen. Classes are designed to be hands-on, and attendees participate in each step of the cooking process to ensure techniques can be mastered at home.

photo 15

Topics will include:

  • The Taste of the Islands
  • Food and Wine Pairing: Old World vs. New World
  • American Regional BBQ
  • Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner: Montinore Estate Organic Wines
  • Sushi 101
  • Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner: An Evening Under the Stars in the Garden
  • Mastering Gluten Free Cooking: Delicious and Economical Everyday-Food
  • Food and Wine Pairing: Earth’s Flavors Reimagined
  • From Sea to Table: Exploring the World of Seafood
  • Food and Wine Pairing: The Wines of Bordeaux

Classes are open to the public and run through Saturday, October 17.

Additionally, Loyola will host two teen culinary camps. Students ages 12-18 will be taught basic and professional cooking skills such as stir frying, pan searing, and grilling, as well as food safety, nutrition, and menu-planning. Advanced students may enroll in the second session, where they will plan, prepare, and execute a three-course lunch menu. Session 1 is July 13-15, and Session II is July 27-29.

For pricing and registration, visit LUC.edu/cookingclasses.

– Written by Kristin Trehearne Lane, Communication Specialist, Loyola University Chicago