Inspiring Lives & Leadership



Loras College





The Loras College chemistry board of visitors is in the process of raising funds for the "Ken Kraus Chemistry and Biochemistry Summer Research Fund." The scholarship, the total amount of which is projected to be raised by May 2019, will help deserving students further their chemistry and biochemistry knowledge through summer research programs. The chemistry board of visitors unanimously agreed that Ken Kraus, Ph.D. ('57), professor emeritus of chemistry, deserved to be honored with the naming of this fund.

After graduating from Loras, Kraus went on to receive his Ph.D. at the University of California — Berkeley in 1960. Immediately after receiving the degree, however, Kraus wasted no time in returning to his alma mater. He remained at Loras College for the next four decades, assuming several different roles from professor to academic dean to acting president before he retired in 1999.

On hearing of the research fund being established in his honor, Kraus reflected, "Loras has always meant for me a wonderful opportunity. First my parents gave me an opportunity to attend Loras, then my Loras chemistry professors encouraged me to pursue an advanced degree. The undergraduate and graduate education became the basis for my career and life as a chemistry professor and administrator, ideal careers for me. Then Loras gave me the opportunity to have a career at the College, and that meant I would have exceptional students who would hopefully go on to benefit many others. The naming of this award is an honor, of course, but also very humbling as I was always part of a team in whatever I accomplished. If this is in any way beneficial to current and future students it is well worth it, and I am grateful to those who support these efforts."

Thus far, 27 individuals have donated a total of $51,850 in cash and pledges. Ted, M.D. ('72) and Dianne Haas recently made a $25,000 commitment to the research fund as part of their overall campaign commitment. Ted hopes his gifts will inspire others to participate in this project. The board will unveil a matching gift opportunity as part of this project in fall 2014.

"Professor Ken Kraus is an icon of service and dedication to all of Loras, but more importantly to us, he occupies a very special place in the hearts of all Loras chemistry and biochemistry program alumni. Not only did Ken personally teach organic chemistry to most of the board members, but he continues to be an inspiration to us and all of our efforts. As Loras' chemistry and biochemistry program moves into the future by supporting the chemistry research of summer students, the Loras chemistry and biochemistry program board of visitors could not think of a more appropriate person to name its flagship fund after," said Daniel Bowen, Ph.D. ('90), a board of visitors member.

Once the Summer Research Fund has accumulated one year's interest, applications will be made available to students. The minimum award, given to a deserving junior or senior science major, is $3,000 in order to pay the student's summer stipend. Currently, the board of visitors is also raising funds to annually make an award until the interest on the summer research fund has accumulated. To date, five donors have raised $5,650 to make this interim award possible. Members of the Chemistry Board of Visitors are Daniel Bowen III, Ph.D. ('90), William Feld, Ph.D. ('66), David Feller, Ph.D. ('72), Thomas Gawne ('94), Timothy Keiderling, Ph.D. ('69), William LeClair ('80), Ryan McClellan, Pharm.D. ('00), Joe Plamondon, Ph.D. ('63), Nicholas Stanek, M.D. ('84), Eric Strathman ('88), David Vanderah, Ph.D. ('68), Francis "Fritz" Schmitz, Ph.D. ('58), Marla Kilburg ('90), Kathy Schott ('89), Theodore Haas, M.D. ('72), Jerry Thoma ('69).

Gifts toward the Ken Kraus Chemistry and Biochemistry Summer Research Fund and BOV Award will be counted toward the campaign goal. Anyone interested in donating may contact Josh Boots ('04), senior development officer, at 563.588.7329 or by emailing



After decades of practice, the Loras College choirs, led by Bruce Kotowich, D.M.A., associate professor of music, have made it to the apex of their choral experience. The choirs will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall. On June 3, current and alumni choir members will take the Perlemen Stage in the Stern Auditorium. The Duhawks will likely make a splash in the Big Apple with their signature purple-and-gold sound.

"I am very excited to have such a wonderful opportunity to sing in Carnegie Hall this summer," choir member Anne Spoden ('15) responded when asked how she felt about traveling to New York. "It's every musician's dream to perform on a big stage, and I am so grateful that I get to sing with my music family. I am counting down the days until we leave!"

"This experience will add a tangible memory to my Loras experience and really showcase how amazing our small, inclusive Duhawk community is," Sam Whan ('16) said about the opportunity. "For me, that is worth more than any money or prize I could receive. Being able to share a memory with the people I love so much and make beautiful music at Carnegie is almost too much to comprehend!"

The trip will cost each student $1,800. Loras is seeking financial support to allow as many students as possible to participate. This is not only an incredible performance opportunity for the students, it's also a chance to showcase Loras College on a national stage. The College also is offering the opportunity for choir alumni to perform alongside the students. Anyone interested in providing financial assistance may contact Mark Brewer, director of the annual fund, at 563.588.4985 or To perform with or watch the choir at their Carnegie debut, please contact Dr. Kotowich at 563.557.4096 or


Kevin KochIn the era of the "upgrade", it's difficult to find anything that can survive people's short attention spans or the latest Apple innovation. Luckily for Loras College, the service of Kevin Koch, Ph.D. ('81), has traversed decades. Over the course of his 30 years at the College, Koch has reaffirmed in his students, colleagues and humanity, that values such as loyalty and dedication are not the zeitgeists of a former generation.

Koch has been the language and literature department/division chair since 1992, and a professor of English since 1983. Koch is also a respected author in the literary nonfiction genre with three books published, the latest in 2010, The Driftless Land: Spirit of Place in the Upper Mississippi Valley.

In the last year, Koch has increased his support to Loras College by contributing to the Inspiring Lives and Leadership: The Loras Legacy campaign.

"Dianne and I donated to the campaign so that future students may continue discovering new worlds through Loras College," explained when asked why he and his wife Dianne (Noonan) Koch ('81) chose to make their donation.

"Loras College has played a central role in my life. In my undergraduate years, Loras opened up a world of ideas I never knew existed. In my faculty years, Loras has continued fostering my growth, encouraging me to develop courses I never would have anticipated when I first began teaching and supporting my work as a nature writer."

Koch went on to say that Loras is a place founded on relationships. He and Dianne met as undergraduates. His son, Paul Koch ('09) and daughter-in-law, Emily (Thornton) Koch ('09), also share a Duhawk background. As evidenced by the Kochs' story, it is clear the College provides more than higher education. Rather, it is a community whose roots reach so deep, and student pride runs so strong, that Loras is not simply a college, it is a legacy.

14,634 Donors


Loras Legacy Symposium
Loras College, Alumni Campus Center
April 30, 2014

175TH Anniversary Pilgrimage to France
with Fr. Joensen& President Collins
May 29 - June 8, 2014

Loras Network of Chicago Spring Reception
Chicago, IL
May 1, 2014

Loras Choir Performs in Carnegie Hall
New York, NY
June 4, 2014

For additionalinformation, please contact Ms. Marcia Bierman at 563.588.7240 or


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