Gifts from PALIG and an anonymous donor totaling $1 million jumpstart renovation of Loyola’s Student Success Center; build-out slated to begin fall 2017
(NEW ORLEANS – Jan. 25, 2017) Loyola University New Orleans is pleased to announce that Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) and an anonymous donor have made generous philanthropic gifts to Loyola totaling $1 million. These gifts add to the total of Loyola’s ongoing Faith in the Future campaign which is already the most successful campaign in university history, with $65.3 million raised toward a goal of $100 million. The gifts will be used to renovate existing space on Loyola’s campus in order to create the new Pan-American Life Student Success Center at Loyola University New Orleans.
Construction of the Student Success Center, which is expected to begin as early as fall 2017, will bring together multiple services in one central location, where dedicated staff provide nationally recognized best practices in services supporting all student success. The proposed $1.6 million renovation will unite disability support services currently offered in other parts of campus. It will also provide much needed structural updates and improvements to the existing student support space; significantly modernize and expand learning space; and triple the current capacity for shared tutoring and study group spaces.
Architectural renderings show that the existing Student Success Center, located in Bobet Hall, will through this project receive: new offices for 10 staff members, open tutoring space, computer workstations, meeting/study rooms and new main doors. Moreover, the Office of Disability Services will receive significant enhancements, including improved testing space that will provide a better learning and testing environment for students who require academic accommodations.
“Pan-American Life is especially proud to partner with Loyola on the Student Success Center, which will give students access to all the resources they need to make the most of their continued education,” said José S. Suquet, Pan-American Life’s Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. “Investing in education helps us build stronger communities, shape future leaders across different disciplines and create a talent pool that positively impacts local businesses. The partnership between PALIG and Loyola is a great example of that, as evidenced by the fact that we have 15 Loyola graduates working in our New Orleans office today.”
The mission of Loyola’s Student Success Center is to help undergraduates meet personal, academic, and professional goals, both while they are at Loyola and in the future, by offering tools, resources and support that help ensure graduation. The Student Success Center centralizes academic support services and disability support services, so that students can come to a single site for: tutoring, staff advising, private resting, academic accommodations, retention services, writing improvement skills, mentoring, academic recovery, achievement-related seminars, and visual academic resources. The Student Success Center was also designed with the goal of nurturing a holistic culture of self-efficacy and a sense of empowerment, administrators said.
“Student retention through graduation is a key part of Transforming Loyola 2020, Loyola University New Orleans’s strategic plan,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Chris Wiseman. “We are proud to partner with leadership donors such as Pan-American Life Insurance Group in making this new Student Success Center facility a reality. Even as we plan for construction, we continue to work with other donors to complete the funding of this innovative project.”
During the 2015-2016 academic year, students made approximately 4,000 visits to the Student Success Center at Loyola, in addition to 1,000 individual tutoring sessions and nearly 400 organized class-based study groups. The Student Success Center also sponsored or co-sponsored nearly 50 workshops, serving 200 attendees, on a variety of topics, including: procrastination and time management, citation styles, memory and study habits, financial aid literacy, and anxiety management.
The Student Success Center at Loyola is a growing resource for the greater Loyola community—helping faculty and staff with the research and resources to support 21st century learners, Wiseman said. The staff is available to help professors design assignments, schedule class visits, meet with individual classes, or create topic-specific workshops and talks. Testing accommodations for students also assist the professors by providing professional test supervision without the need for professors to administer a given exam multiple times. On average, the Center receives between 150 and 175 staff visits each semester.
“The new Pan-American Life Student Success Center at Loyola University New Orleans brings together in one location all the services here on campus that help to ensure student success, before and upon graduation,” said university president, the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J. “We are so grateful for the generous gifts that are helping to ensure that our students have all the resources, tools and support they need to carry them through their higher education experience from the day they arrive through graduation.”