After Loyola’s historic tournament run is over, the schools’ advancement office will be focused on keeping the momentum going. The Ramblers’ success has created quite a buzz at the office responsible for alumni relations.
Damon Cates, senior vice president for advancement, said he’s been inundated with phone calls and emails from Loyola’s alumni who are asking what they can give in the wake of Loyola’s first Elite Eight appearance since 1963.
“People have said … how can we help the university?” Cates said. “[They’ve been] raising their hands to pitch in.”
Cates said the Ramblers’ miraculous March Madness victories has brought outside attention to a school whose alumni he believes were already engaged with the university across social media. He said the March Madness attention has made outsiders notice Loyola’s unique identity.
Now, Cates said, they’re trying to turn that engagement into an occasion for giving.
“It just gives [alumni] another venue to share what has always been true about Loyola,” Cates said.
Loyola’s website’s homepage has seen a 300 percent increase in traffic, with big spikes during the most recent games, Cates said.
Cates said going forward, the Advancement Office will be looking at ways to turn this reinvigorated Rambler enthusiasm into donations for Loyola’s various programs, not limited to athletics. The PHOENIX has previously reported that alumni giving had come from a small 6 percent of alumni in the past few years, with an endowment of $750 million.
Recently, Loyola received a notable $10 million donation from Jennifer Pritzker to benefit military ROTC students. Additionally, the $18.5 million construction of a new athletic practice facility on campus for the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams will be funded mostly by a donation from Al Norville.
“Our job in the advancement world is to continue this,” Cates said.