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Why I Give: The Dowlings

During his time at Loyola, Kieran developed his core sense of purpose in a career, which is to serve others. He and Stephanie give at the leadership level to provide current and future Loyola students the chance to find their purpose in life. Their gift directly impacts the cross-country team, which is how they met each other and the friends they still have today. The bonds they created with coaches, faculty, and classmates are what made the couple’s time at Loyola so valuable and have given meaning to their life beyond college.

Stephanie Gibney Dowling, 2012, B.A. English, minor Secondary Education

Director of Admissions, Academy of the Holy Angels, Demarest, NJ


Q. Why is giving to Loyola important to you?Kieran and Stehpanie Dowling

A. Loyola gave me more than I could ever ask for in a college: confidence, a broader perspective on life and the world, lasting friendships, a top-notch education, my spouse, beautiful memories, and so much more. I want every student who walks on campus to feel the things that I felt and to have the opportunities I had. I hope that our gift can provide current and future Loyola students the chance to find their purpose in life.

Q. Who was your favorite professor?

A. I had many amazing professors who left a lasting impression on me, but the one who comes to mind first is Dr. Paul Lukacs. I took his class Literary Criticism and Theory my sophomore year, and I’ll never forget the first day of class. He “warned” his students that the course was not for everyone, that it would be incredibly challenging, unique, and unlike most literature classes. I knew he would be an exceptional teacher and help me reach my goals. Dr. Lukacs had a way of making such complex topics accessible and meaningful for all of his students.

Q. What is your favorite memory from your time at Loyola?

A. I’d have to say move-in day freshman year. I arrived before my roommate, we were placed in the same room by our coach and had only exchanged a few messages ahead of move in day. I saw Emily about to enter the building. I knew exactly who she was and despite our nerves, we immediately dropped our belongings and embraced as if we’d known each other our whole lives. Emily is our daughter’s Godmother and although she lives in London, she’s the first person I call when I have exciting news to share or need an ear to listen.

Kieran Dowling, 2011, B.A. Political Science 

Litigation Attorney, Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C., Scotch Plains, NJ 


Q. How did your Loyola experience impact you personally and professionally? Kieran and Stephanie Dowling with their children

A. On a personal level, I developed my core sense of purpose in a career, which is to serve others.  Loyola encouraged me to be an active member of my community and assist within the City of Baltimore. I had the opportunity to tutor inner city middle school students once a week and volunteer at local shelters. I also traveled to Mexicali, Mexico as part of Loyola’s PMEX team. I remember leaving Mexico with a renewed sense of clarity; that whatever profession I chose, I needed to be directly helping those who were facing tragedy or adversity.  Loyola provided the opportunities and lit the spark. 

Q. What is your favorite memory from your time at Loyola?  

A. The first time I saw my nameplate on the Loyola Cross Country locker room, having no idea what incredible journey awaited me. In those four years, my teammates became best friends. Twelve years on, I talk to several of them on a weekly basis. 

Q. What is your favorite location on campus?  

A. For four years, the Alumni Chapel was a place to find peace. It was a place of comfort.  In 2014, Stephanie and I traveled to Baltimore to visit friends. We stopped by Loyola to reminisce.  The engagement ring was burning a hole in my pocket, and I needed to find the right spot to propose.  Halfway to the bookstore, I realized the Alumni Chapel was the perfect place, and I proposed to her there.  The Alumni Chapel is the bedrock of Loyola and the values our school imparts on its students.


The generous support of The Dowling family and all of our donors continues to make a Loyola education possible and prepares our students for lives of meaningful professional service and leadership. Make a gift to Loyola University today!