When Fr. John Early, S.J., founded Loyola, he could never have known all that the University could become. That first spark has truly set the world on fire in the contributions Loyola alumni, students and faculty make every day.
Members of the John Early Society, the giving association bearing his name, are proud benefactors of the school and the generosity of its members signifies an important sense of loyalty and commitment to the University. As Loyola proceeds towards its goal of becoming the leading Catholic, comprehensive university in the nation, the University faces additional financial challenges that cannot be met by tuition alone. Gifts made by leadership donors through the John Early Society help the University continue to recruit distinguished faculty, develop innovative curricula, and make the benefits of a university education affordable for qualified students.
Whether as a John Early Society Founder with a gift of $1,000 or as a John Early Society Benefactor with a gift of $25,000, John Early Society donors make a difference in the lives of Loyola University Maryland students.
Sixty years have passed since Jim Garland, ’53, graduated from Loyola, but he still feels a connection to his alma mater. “I’ve never stopped being a part of Loyola,” says Garland, who attended Loyola on a full scholarship. He recalls being president of the student body and learning from “great, great professors.” And he looks back on his friendships after graduation as he got to know the late former Loyola presidents Rev. Joseph Sellinger, S.J., and Rev. Harold Ridley, S.J. “After graduation, it was a continuation rather than a break-off and a reunification. There are several hundred of us who have never ceased to be Loyola people.” He stayed connected as he married his wife, Patricia, and served as a trial lawyer in Baltimore for 50 years and counting. The Garlands are proud to give to Loyola as members of the John Early Society. “Why do I give back? Well, I can’t think of one reason, but I feel I owe Loyola not just for the free ride that I got, but for the associations, the friendships with great people, and for all the good things that I had at Loyola.”
As head coach of the women’s basketball team, Joe Logan, ’96, enjoys taking recruits to the Ridley Athletic Complex. “When we get up into the suite and they can see the city, they just say, ‘Wow.’ It’s a really good bird’s eye view of Baltimore.” In his ninth season as head coach, Logan has watched the University grow. And, as a member of the John Early Society, he is proud to know that his gifts are making a difference. “I want to be a part of the University on an even deeper level, and I understand how gifts help the University,” said Logan, whose wife, Susan Bryce Logan, graduated from Loyola in 1998. “From the outside it may appear that Loyola doesn’t need anything, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my undergraduate experience. It’s good to give back to your school. I get to see firsthand where those philanthropic efforts go. You see it, and you want to be even more a part of it.”
After Ashley Bergmann graduated from Loyola with an accounting degree, she started working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she had interned as a student. She also began a two-year term on the University’s Board of Trustees, where she gained a new appreciation for the importance of giving to her alma mater. “It made me aware of the importance of being philanthropic and the need to give back to the University which has allowed me to do so much,” said Bergmann, a John Early Society member who lives and works in Manhattan, N.Y. “Even when we are young alumni, our donations to Loyola make an impact and a difference for future students. To look back and see how your education helped you get to where you are today—especially with the core values that are instilled in you while on campus—it's important to give back so other students can have similar experiences going forward.”
When John Cochran, ’73, was a Loyola student in the early ’70s, he paid for his college education stocking produce for 30 hours a week at the A&P Supermarket. “I was able to work my way through school,” he says. “I look at the cost of education today at Loyola and I want to create the opportunity that I had for other young people.” Now a Loyola trustee, Cochran and his wife, his grade school sweetheart, donate as members of the John Early Society—for 28 years, generously contributing to the Cochran Family Scholarship. “My wife, Pat, and I believe strongly in Loyola and in Jesuit education,” says the father of three—including Kate, ’00—and grandfather of four.