Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

2022 Aggiornamento Award

Award Recipient - Dr. Yolande Wersching

IPS Aggiornamento Award / 2022

Many of us saw with pride that last month Forbes listed Loyola in the top ten of America’s best workplaces for women for the first time, and it was the only educational institution to receive such an honor. This is only possible because of the pioneering work of women, and especially women of color, like Yolande, because that assuredly was not the case when she arrived here as a reserves and reference librarian in 1971. After serving a variety of posts and roles in technical services, cataloguing interlibrary loans, bibliographical projects, and inter-departmental liaison work; she went on to complete her doctoral degree, focusing her studies on Comparative and International Education at Loyola in 1985. It is also worth noting that prior to completing her studies at Loyola, she completed her studies at Mount Carmel College and Central College in Bangalore, India and then Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest. After a few stints in an interim leadership position, she has been the permanent Head of Lewis Library since 1998, and the chief bibliographer and liaison to the Institute of Pastoral Studies for that same long stretch of time.

In those decades, she has come to be a cherished colleague, indispensable mentor, and beloved friend to countless waves of IPS faculty, staff, students, and alumni. I have been lucky enough to count myself among them since 2015. A small sign in the Lewis Library reads “Students and Faculty are not an interruption, they are our reason for being here.” No truer statement could summarize and capture Yolande’s life at Loyola, and that is to be interpreted in a broad and inclusive way.

She is an esteemed and precious asset to our campus, and our Institute so we are incredibly honored to be able to present her with this Aggiornamento Award recognizing fifty years, typifying a life of service “with and for others."

- Excerpts of remarks by Dr. Mike Canaris, IPS Associate Professor