Majority of Loyola Buildings Named After White Men

Zack Miller | The PhoenixMost campus buildings are named after donors and Jesuits.

Only two Loyola buildings have been confirmed to be named after a person of color on Loyola’s Lake Shore (LSC) and Water Tower (WTC) Campuses, according to recent research conducted by The Phoenix.    

The two buildings are the Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Annex and Seattle Hall. Ralph Arnold, a Black, gay man from Chicago, taught at Loyola from 1972-2000 and served as the chairman of Loyola’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts. Seattle Hall is named after the city that originates from Chief Seattle, a member of the Suquamish and Duwamish Tribes. 

Meanwhile, over a majority of Loyola’s 61 buildings are suspected to be named after men of European descent.  

This last year has brought a wave of criticism over certain building names and statues, especially on college campuses. College students are criticizing their universities over the character of building namesakes and pressuring them to remove the names. Clemson University renamed the Calhoun Honors College, which was named after John C. Calhoun, a slave-owner, and Princeton University removed Woodrow Wilson’s name from multiple buildings due to his racist views and policies.

As Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate protests have become more common in the past year, Loyola has been criticized for its lack of inclusion and diversity in spaces on campus. 

Loyola spokesperson Anna Shymanski Zach didn’t respond to questions regarding renaming buildings or plans to move toward more inclusive building names in the future.

Ashley Howdeshell, the assistant university archivist, spoke to The Phoenix about the history and names of certain campus buildings. She confirmed and contributed to some of the research compiled by reporters. 

Over the past 151 years, Loyola has repeatedly honored specific groups of individuals by naming campus buildings after them. 

The Phoenix breaks down the demographics of who Loyola buildings are named after. 

Jesuit Priests and Missionaries

Henry J. Dumbach, S.J., (above) was president of Loyola from 1900-1908. Dumbach Hall, a building on Lake Shore Campus, was named after him.
Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago

Loyola’s Jesuit background is clearly reflected through the building names on campus. At least 15 buildings on LSC and WTC are named after Jesuit priests and missionaries. Of the 15 Jesuits, all are white men.

Dumbach Hall is a classroom building on LSC named after Henry J. Dumbach S.J., who purchased the land which would later become the Lake Shore Campus. Francis Hall, a dorm that opened in 2020 at LSC, is named after Pope Francis, an Argentine of Italian ancestry.

Even the Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts — which was once part of the all-girls Mundelein College that was absorbed by Loyola in 1991 — is named after a man, the late Chicago Cardinal Gregory Mundelein.

Donors and Alumni

Donor Relations, the office in charge of receiving and recognizing the gifts from donors, works with the university president and the vice president for advancement to make decisions regarding building name recognition. If wider consideration is necessary, other notable administrators, such as the school director of development or the Provost and Dean’s Office, will be included in the decision, according to the University’s Naming Gift Policy

“We periodically update this policy and continue to use it as our guide in naming decisions,” Shymanski Zach told The Phoenix. 

Out of the 61 buildings on LSC and WTC, 12 are named after significant Loyola donors — many alumni and a majority white men and women.

The Alfie Norville Practice Facility, opened in 2019, is the most recent building named after a donor. Allan Norville is a 1959 graduate from Loyola and donated a majority of the $18.5 million for the facility, named after his late wife, Alfena Norville. 

The Alfie Norville Practice Facility (above) was named after Alfena Norville, the late wife of notable Loyola donor Allan Norville.
Zack Miller | The Phoenix

Lewis Towers at WTC, which houses administrative offices for the school, is named for Frank J. Lewis. Lewis bought the towers and gifted them to Loyola in 1945, The Phoenix reported.

Other influential donors include Philip H. Corboy, a 1949 graduate of the Loyola Law School who made a private donation to the School of Law in 2009, amounting to the largest donation in the school’s history. The exact amount wasn’t disclosed, but it’s confirmed to be more than $5 million.

In 2004, The Michael R. and Marilyn Quinlan Life Sciences and Education Research Center was opened on LSC with the help of a $13 million donation from the Quinlans. 

Michael Quinlan, who received his bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees from Loyola, went from working in the McDonald’s mailroom to pay for his schooling to later becoming the McDonald’s chairman and CEO in 1987, according to Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business website. The website also notes that Quinlan “spearheaded the construction of the Ronald McDonald House” and later served on Loyola’s Board of Trustees.  

Other Colleges

While walking by residence halls on campus, students may notice many are named after other Jesuit colleges. 

Marquette Hall, Marquette South Hall and Seattle Hall — all residence halls on LSC — share names with Jesuit universities in Milwaukee and Seattle, respectively. 

The Marquette Halls’ name comes from Rev. Jacques Marquette, a 17th Century French missionary, while Seattle is named after Chief Seattle.

Arnold J. Damen, S.J., (above) was the first president of the university in 1870. The Damen Student Center, one of largest buildings on Lake Shore Campus, was named in his memory.
Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago

The pattern of being named after Jesuit Universities is shared by 12 other buildings. 

Loyola Presidents 

In addition to notable priests, missionaries, donors and alumni, some Loyola presidents are among the group of individuals with buildings named after them on campus. 

Arnold J. Damen S.J. — who became the first president of the university in 1870 — is joined by former President Henry J. Dumbach S.J. (1900-1908), former President Alexander Burrowes S.J. (1908-1912), former President James F. Maguire S.J. (1955-1970) and former President Raymond C. Baumhart S.J. (1970-1993) in having buildings in their honor today, according to Loyola’s list of Presidents.  

Alexander Burrowes, S.J., (above) is another former Loyola president with a building named after him.
Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago.

These five white, Jesuit men are an accurate representation of Loyola’s presidential history. The other remaining 18 former presidents have all been white Jesuit priests as well, according to Loyola’s list of Presidents. Current President Jo Ann Rooney is the first president who is both a woman and layperson — a non-ordained member of the church. 

Excluded Buildings

Of the 61 buildings, five buildings were excluded from these categories. They include the Flex Lab, the Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Madonna della Strada Chapel and the Information Commons. These buildings aren’t named after any individuals. 

The Madonna della Strada, meaning “Our Lady of the Way” in Italian, refers to a specific painting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The original image was an object of devotion that inspired St. Ignatius of Loyola when he was a street preacher, according to the university’s website.

The Information Commons (above) was built with a $10 million donation from Richard J. Klarchek, whose name was stripped from the building in 2018.
Zack Miller | The Phoenix

The Information Commons was originally named after Richard J. Klarchek, a $10 million donor who was the president of Capital First Realty Inc. However, the university stripped its association from Klarchek back in 2018 after the two parties came to a mutual decision to terminate their agreement, according to The Phoenix.

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