Loyola University Chicago gets $100 million to support students of color — the largest donation in school history

John and Kathy Schreiber, philanthropists who have been huge Loyola donors, gave the money to fully cover scholarships, housing and support services for underrepresented students.

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Loyola University Chicago is getting $100 million to support diverse students.

Loyola University Chicago is getting $100 million to support diverse students.

Sun-Times file photo

Loyola University Chicago on Thursday announced the single-largest donation in the school’s 152-year history, a $100 million gift dedicated to supporting students from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.

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John and Kathy Schreiber, philanthropists who have been huge Loyola donors, gave the money to cover scholarships, housing and support services for aspiring students who are “historically underrepresented in higher education,” according to a news release from the school.

With the Schreibers’ help, the school aims to create a $500 million portion of the university’s endowment to make the resources permanent and fully fund hundreds of students a year “for generations to come,” according to the school.

“Students with talent, grit, and promising leadership potential are, far too often, left out of life-changing scholarship opportunities and services due to circumstances beyond their control,” Jo Ann Rooney, Loyola’s president, said in a statement. “At Loyola Chicago, our Jesuit, Catholic mission is to seek out and support anyone who is traditionally underserved and embrace those willing to work hard and thrive.”

A graduate of Loyola’s 1968 class, John Schreiber went on to build up the real estate business at Blackstone, a New York-based firm with nearly $900 billion in assets under its management.

He has served on the school’s board of trustees since 2014, and the building that houses Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business was named for him and his wife after they gave $10 million to help construct it in 2013. Just two years later, the couple gave $6 million more to support Loyola’s Arrupe College, an associate’s degree program that allows students to graduate with little-to-no-debt and move onto four-year schools or jump into the workforce.

John Schreiber said he views his latest investment as “the centerpiece of an upcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign that we hope will raise $1 billion for this and other university priorities.”

“I’ve long been inspired by the pursuit of excellence grounded in a Jesuit, Catholic mission that I’ve seen at Loyola,” he said in a statement. “Kathy and I felt called to help level the playing field for students who face far higher barriers to opportunities and to give these students access to an education at Loyola that provides limitless possibilities for their futures.”

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