Loyola Magazine

Generational gift to benefit Loyola students

The Cohill family gift will support future Greyhounds
Donald and Lora Nelle Cohill smiling and posing for a photograph

It was World War II, and Lora Nelle Dooley and Donald E. Cohill, ’50, were both stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, when they met. She was a nurse in the Navy, and he was a pharmacist’s mate. They started dating and continued the relationship even when Lora Nelle was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida.

When the war ended, they married and moved to Baltimore, where they rented an apartment on a shoestring budget. Don used the G.I. Bill to enroll as a student at Loyola, where he majored in chemistry. He and Lora Nelle went on to have six children: Donna, Michael, Edward, Bartley, Bridget, and Kathleen.

Michael and Edward both graduated from Loyola, in 1972 and 1974 respectively. Then Michael’s two daughters, Maureen Cohill Hussey, ’97, and Megan M. Cohill, ’98, also chose Loyola for their college educations.

With three generations connected to the University, the family’s love for Loyola runs deep.

“My father was very proud of Loyola and very proud of his degree from Loyola. He had five siblings, and he was the only one who went to college. I remember being in family gatherings of the Cohills, and they always called him ‘Big Shot,’” said Michael Cohill, who earned his B.S. in Biology, married his wife in Alumni Memorial Chapel, and went on to have a career in hospital administration. “He knew several of the Jesuits who were at Loyola and kept in touch with them.”

Although they were living in Columbus, Ohio, the Cohills built a home in Ocean Pines, Maryland, for the family to enjoy during the summers. When Don retired from his career with Merck, he and his wife moved there permanently.

Upon Don’s death in 2000, recognizing the impact Loyola had had on their family, Lora Nelle and the family created the Donald E. Cohill Commuter Scholarship Fund to benefit future Loyola students. Subsequently, Lora Nelle established a trust bequeathing the Ocean Pines home to Loyola but permitting the children to continue to use the house.

After several years and more wonderful memories, their children decided to accelerate the sale and add the proceeds—about $300,000—to the scholarship fund.

“My father felt a close emotional connection to Loyola and supported Loyola throughout his life,” Michael says.

This gift comes on behalf of the whole family—three generations of Greyhounds—and will have an impact on future Greyhounds for years to come.