As a parent of a Loras College graduate, I believe that the Loras Board of Regents should reconsider their decision to keep the college name.
Bishop Mathias Loras enslaved a woman for 16 years from 1836 to 1852. Loras President Jim Collins wrote to the college community today that the Board of Regents believes that “the educational experience beloved by our alumni, students, and faculty is not defined by the man,” and, therefore, the college will retain its name.
The college name honors the man. Its continued use would always honor the man. The man’s despicable actions should not be honored.
The Board of Regents plans to start a scholarship in 2021 honoring the victim, Marie Louise. How do you honor a victim when the college is still named after her perpetrator?
A quick search shows me that Loras College has functioned under six other names since its founding in 1839. What this tells me is that the college mission is not defined by the college name. The mission is bigger than the college’s name. The Board of Regents did the right thing in removing the Loras statue from campus. The next step is removing the Loras name.