Arrupe College's Celebrates First Graduating Class

By Lucas Sharma SJ

Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago held a commencement and celebration for the first graduating class of the college. Opened in 2015, Arrupe College is the first Jesuit college to offer associates degrees to students who otherwise probably could not afford college. Even more remarkable, while on average only 5% of community college attendees nationwide finish an AA in two years, Arrupe College has a 51% graduation rate for this first class. The college is equipped with social and academic services the help ensure students have the academic success they may not have at another two year school.

Eric Immel SJ, Assistant Dean for Student Success, described the experience of commencement in a recent The Jesuit Post article:

But, I’ve seen enough to know that what unfolded this past Saturday was something singular – a moment that stood in defiance of the narratives about who can succeed in college and who has the capacity to shift the course of their own reality. A moment during which I felt as if the whole world had been changed for the better. Mortarboards bedazzled with messages of sacrifice and hope. Scores of people who had never seen a college graduation before. Young adults who have faced tremendous challenges and thrived anyway.

With support from generous donors like John and Kathy Schreiber, Arrupe College is able to ensure that students can attend Arrupe College, receive a Jesuit education, and take that to another four year school – without the large sums of debt that usually accompany college education. This is especially important to many of students who come from lower socioeconomic or undocumented families.

Stephen Katsouros SJ, Dean and Executive Director, recently published the book Come to Believe: How the Jesuits are Reinventing Education (Again), published by Orbis Press. This book documents how the college came to exist and a reflection on the first year of the college.

Please visit Arrupe College’s website for more information or to make a contribution to the work of the college.

The cover picture is featured courtesy of Loyola University Chicago