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Gifts in Action: Dominique Merritt’s Story

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Scholarships are an immediate and tangible result of gifts from Loyola’s many supporters to Access to Excellence: The Campaign for Scholarships. A major priority of the campaign, scholarship assistance, has enabled thousands of students to spend more time on their studies and less time worrying about how to pay for their education. Loyola alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents, and students are responsible for this much-needed and much-appreciated support.

New alumnus Dominique Merritt (BA ’10) is a typical graduate of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies—meaning that he’s anything but typical.

The Baltimore native took some time off after high school before deciding to continue his education. “I had to choose a school that would allow me to attend full time, while also working full time—in addition to being affordable,” he says. By receiving the Loretta M. Schmidt Scholarship and eight other scholarships during his time at Loyola, he was able to balance school work with his job as a Human Resource Consultant.

Merritt, who received a degree in management with a concentration in psychology, was originally interested in a career in human resources. “But after taking Dr. Dina Berger’s Introduction to International Studies course, my perspective and plans completely changed. Now I want to look at things from a global perspective.” Merritt’s studies also inspired him to join the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which brings international leaders together to discuss issues affecting the world. During Merritt’s time at Loyola, he volunteered for the SCPS, helping out with new student orientation and open houses, and he is an active member in its honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda. In January, 2011, Merritt plans to attend graduate school in London to study international affairs. “I eventually want to teach business or international affairs on the university level. My interest has been piqued at Loyola, and I want to continue learning about the world.”

The scholarship was named for Loretta M. Schmidt, who was devoted to adults in education at Loyola and established a scholarship to “ensure the perpetuity and continued financial support of women and men students … to complete their undergraduate education.”