About > Mission & Message
Mission & Message
Arrupe College is a two-year college of Loyola University Chicago that continues the Jesuit tradition of offering a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse population, many of whom are the first in their family to pursue higher education.
Using an innovative model that ensures affordability while providing care for the whole person—intellectually, morally, and spiritually—Arrupe prepares its graduates to continue on to a bachelor’s program or move into meaningful employment. Heeding the call of its namesake, renowned Jesuit leader Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the college inspires its students to strive for excellence, work for justice, and become “persons for others.”
Message from the Dean and Executive Director
November 20, 2019
Dear Friends of Arrupe College,
As I approach my sixth Thanksgiving at Arrupe, I find myself feeling deep gratitude. I am grateful to Loyola University Chicago for imagining a college like Arrupe and for inviting me to lead it. I am grateful to Arrupe’s advisory board of directors who have provided me with good counsel and our college with generous support. I am grateful to my colleagues, whose commitment is humbling and transformative. I am grateful to our students and our graduates, whose experience and insight have influenced Arrupe’s trajectory and informed a national conversation about higher education and inclusion. I am grateful for my Jesuit brothers, in Chicago and across the country, whose prayers and companionship have encouraged me in my work. I am also grateful for you, and for the ways you support our desire to make Jesuit higher education affordable, accessible, and achievable at Arrupe.
In 2014, my Jesuit provincial superior in New York assigned me to start Arrupe as the College’s founding dean and executive director—I am very grateful for that, as well. For over five years, my colleagues and I have enrolled five classes, graduated three classes, and learned so much about how to deliver high quality higher education at an affordable cost as we accompanied our students. Our retention and completion rates far exceed national averages for two-year colleges, and our graduates are enrolling in and graduating from four-year universities in record numbers. The success of the model, we contend, has the potential to disrupt higher education.
Almost immediately after I arrived at Loyola University Chicago to launch Arrupe, I began receiving inquiries from other Jesuit and Catholic universities about how to replicate it. One of the first inquiries came from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN. St. Thomas’s Doherty Family College, based on the Arrupe model, has enjoyed great success and graduated its first class last spring. Interest in replication grows. In the past few weeks, I have visited three campuses to discuss our model with presidents and provosts and participated in substantive conversations about replication with leaders from several universities.
I have also been speaking with my provincial, Fr. John Cecero, S.J., about Arrupe and about the experiences of first generation, Pell eligible students who are often underrepresented in Jesuit and Catholic higher ed institutions. After prayer, discernment, and discussion, I am happy to announce that my provincial has assigned me to design and start a network of Arrupe model colleges, offering consulting and support to other universities desiring to implement our model on their campuses. Fr. Mike Sheeran, S.J., the president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), and Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), enthusiastically support the Arrupe model and my assignment, as does Fr. Tim Kesicki, S.J, the president of the Jesuit Conference of the USA and Canada.
This new assignment means a relocation for me to New York City, where I will begin full time on the creation of a network after Arrupe’s graduation in August 2020. Until then, I look forward to continuing my work in Chicago as dean of Arrupe.
Creating a culture of belonging at Arrupe has been central to our college’s success. Our students and my colleagues are masterful at building community that fosters belonging. While I will very much miss the community in Maguire Hall at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus, where Arrupe is located, I know where I belong—assisting other colleges and universities in creating opportunities for talented and deserving students to benefit from and contribute to higher education.
I will end as I began, with one more thank you to the faculty, staff, and students at Arrupe, who inspire me daily. You will inspire the creation of more Arrupe Colleges.
God’s blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving,
Steve Katsouros, S.J.
Founding Dean and Executive Director
Loyola University Chicago