Toledo Talk

Lourdes College Transitions to Lourdes University

Admittedly I am a biased observer, as I have taught part-time at Lourdes for five years, but I was surprised at the rather tepid media coverage of the transformation of Lourdes College to Lourdes University. 13ABC had a short piece in their "People and Places," while the Blade had a somewhat lengthier article that quickly moved off the main page in favor of other college stories at BGSU and UT (both related to move-in day).

The only substantial coverage came from the Toledo Free Press, which was the only media outlet to recognize how much work went into the transition and which devoted the front page of the website to this major event. Unlike the Blade, which somewhat dismissively focused on this as a marketing ploy, the Free Press article explored the significant changes and growth that have occurred at Lourdes in the past decade.

Anyway, again acknowledging my institutional loyalty, I am surprised that an organization that has been so successful in recent years gets so little media coverage on a historic occasion like this. UT gets tons of publicity for even the smallest bit of news, but when Lourdes has some news worth reporting, most of the local media yawns. Perhaps there will be more coverage tonight, since the convocation happened earlier today. Certainly the presence at the convocation of local politicians like Marcy Kaptur might get the media to pay a bit more attention.

Go Gray Wolves!

lourdes university

created by historymike on Aug 19, 2011 at 08:11:29 pm     Education     Comments: 26

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As an alum and current grad student, it is a little sad to see such little attention given to Lourdes. The TFP article is a good one. Lourdes is maybe the best kept secret in the area.

posted by JoeyGee on Aug 19, 2011 at 08:44:11 pm     #   1 person liked this

I've been living in Sylvania for 6 years and pass by the campus almost every day. Its amazing how Lourdes has changed in that (relatively) short time.

As a side note, my kids frequently walk over to Lourdes for school field trips - they have some great programs available for elementary school children, which I'm sure provide good hands on experience for students in the university's education program as well.

posted by mom2 on Aug 19, 2011 at 08:56:00 pm     #  

My cousin teaches there. If I remember correctly didn't it used to be an all girls school??

posted by lfrost2125 on Aug 19, 2011 at 09:14:29 pm     #  

Yes, it was an all-girls school, but not for too long. When I was an undergrad from 2001-2005, it was heavily female, and it was one of the few times in my life I got to be a minority : )

Now it is starting to even up.

http://www.lourdes.edu/AboutLourdes/HistoryoftheCollege.aspx

posted by JoeyGee on Aug 20, 2011 at 10:32:48 am     #  

I'm sure my ignorance is showing, but are religion classes required? I only hear good things about Lourdes, whatever the institutional designation.

posted by holland on Aug 20, 2011 at 12:29:37 pm     #  

Holland, I believe that most undergraduate programs have a Theological Studies course or two as part of the General Education requirements. (Most religious affiliated colleges do, I suspect.)

However, its my understanding that they offer a variety of courses on that topic...several of which deal with the historical aspects of religion, and which even cover non-Catholic faiths. So, I'd hope that a potential student wouldn't keep from considering Lourdes, because they felt that they'd be pressured into accepting Catholic teachings. It is my understanding (from knowing people who have attended Lourdes) that the classes discuss and are respectful of a variety of viewpoints.

Here are a few of the course titles from the Lourdes catalog:

Great Religions of the East
History of Christianity: Origins to the Renaissance
History of Christianity: Reformation to the Present

Of course, there are also classes that cover Catholic teachings, but it appears that there are enough elective options that no student would be required to enroll in one.

posted by mom2 on Aug 20, 2011 at 01:08:22 pm     #  

P.S. I think that the Theological Studies courses are comparable to general education requirements in Humanities at other institutions. As opposed to being something else required of students on top of the typical gen ed requirements.

posted by mom2 on Aug 20, 2011 at 01:11:46 pm     #  

Thanks mom2. On of my retirement goals is to take class in Comparative Religion.

posted by holland on Aug 20, 2011 at 04:59:10 pm     #  

I am an '02 grad of Lourdes College. I honestly don't understand why the big push to get sports, dorms, become a 'university' etc. I went to Lourdes because it had it's own little quiet corner in the world of post-high school education and I loved everything about it. I think they have destroyed that special place and have succumb to the pressure of bigger is better that all the other colleges have given in to. I still love my alma mater...but am not happy about the changes that have taken place in the last nine years.

posted by ShonuffisDead on Aug 20, 2011 at 10:04:10 pm     #  

posted by wolfman on Aug 20, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm     #  

Shonuffis Dead:

A few thoughts:

1. Lourdes added dorms for the simple reason that students who want to attend but live far away were being lost to other colleges and universities that had this traditional amenity.

2. The master plan is to reach 3,000 students. I don't think anyone at Lourdes has delusions of turning the place into a mega-monstrosity like a Big Ten school. If you left in 2002, when growth was already occurring, then the difference is 600 to 800 more students. This is hardly "destroying" Lourdes, but simply making Lourdes available to more students. Also: have you seen the newer facilities? Can you really say that Mother Adelaide Hall (one of the older classroom buildings) is superior to MacAlear and Delp Halls (the newest classroom buildings that opened a few years ago)? "Older" does not necessarily mean "better."

3. Offering athletic programs is simply another way to attract and retain students. There are few successful colleges that do not offer some sort of athletic program these days. Also, properly managed student athletic programs can enhance the undergraduate experience, and they increase long-term loyalty to the school. No one is suggesting that Lourdes field an expensive NCAA football program; the entry into sports has been modest and it reflects the school's smaller size.

4. Becoming a university (as opposed to remaining a college) simply reflects the fact that Lourdes has developed a number of graduate programs, and that there is significant research occurring at the university. If anything, the transition to Lourdes University helps you in terms of present and future employment: your degree received a subtle (but significant) boost in the marketplace, as universities are perceived to be more prestigious than colleges.

5. Lourdes is still a special place. Class sizes remain small, which is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching there. At UT I have taught classes as large as 250 students, while at Lourdes I have never seen a class go higher than 30 students, and most are around 15-18 students. Sometimes I have classes of 8-10 students, which is almost impossible at a large university. This summer I had a class run with just four students, which had to cost the university money, but the college kept it rather than inconvenience the students. At a bigger school this small enrollment class would have been cut rather than lose money by running it. Lourdes offers more support services than any other college I have taught at, and a walk down a hall on any given day inevitably results in seeing people I know. At a larger university like UT or BGSU, I might not see anyone I know on a trek across campus.

I humbly recommend that you go back to your alma mater and take a fresh look. It might not be the same as back in your years, but a dining hall and dorms add to the Lourdes experience.

posted by historymike on Aug 21, 2011 at 07:44:22 am     #   1 person liked this

Nick Wohlfarth made the Lourdes poster? hahahah

posted by BusterBluth on Aug 21, 2011 at 04:42:48 pm     #  

has orange always been lourdes color? these ads feel like major BGSU rips

posted by upso on Aug 21, 2011 at 10:55:32 pm     #  

Also a alumnus of Lourdes. I like the direction the school is headed. It will make our degrees look even better.

Orange has always been Lourdes color.

posted by slowsol on Aug 22, 2011 at 07:57:24 am     #  

Don't like the kid with the open mouth pointing or the young lady shot. As for the layout itself...same as just about every other school.

posted by Molsonator on Aug 22, 2011 at 08:58:35 am     #  

I just watched a Lourdes "College" commercial on A and E Network. Somebody better tell their marketing dcepartment they changed their name. They better also talk to them about demographics, as DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER probably is not their demo.

posted by Molsonator on Aug 31, 2011 at 08:13:37 am     #  

It's certainly on the marketing dept. for not updating currently airing commercials, but the placement in "Dog" was probably not their decision.

They probably bought an ROS ("run of schedule") package from Buckeye, where Buckeye guarantees them so many airings per day across a range of their channels...but Lourdes doesn't get to choose what specific programs the commercials air within. It's a much cheaper deal than a specific schedule in specific shows, but this is the downside...your spot might not reach your intended audience.

posted by oldhometown on Aug 31, 2011 at 08:32:29 am     #  

Yep - working on a media buy as we speak. A & E is a good network that skews female which my guess is their demo. Just cracked me up during dog. So the wrong commercial at the wrong time.

posted by Molsonator on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:13:40 pm     #  

If only they could get him to do a testimonial for LU:

"Go with Christ, brah. Lourdes University".

posted by oldhometown on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:43:11 pm     #  

Historymike,

What significant research is happening at Lourdes? Any idea how much external funding they are awarded annually?

posted by Spaceace on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:48:30 pm     #  

eeek. what happened?

posted by Molsonator on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:56:49 pm     #  

Spaceace:

I have not seen a published total of the annual grants that Lourdes has received. I know that the nursing program won $2 million in competitive grants this summer, securing all seven of the seven grants they applied for. I suspect that at the very least Lourdes must be landing somewhere in the $2-$3 million in grants, but this is little more than a semi-educated guess.

There have also been some significant recent donations from a variety of hospitals toward the new nurse anaesthesia graduate program at Lourdes.

As far as research: the university as we speak is compiling an archive of books, articles, and other significant research that faculty members have completed in the past three years, and I heard a figure of three dozen recent faculty books mentioned at a meeting as a current total (don't quote me on this - it was second-hand info). I have been an adjunct at Lourdes for the past five years, a large chunk of which was as I finished my dissertation, so it is just in the past year that I have had time to start paying more attention to details beyond my classrooms. I know that the two full-time faculty in my department have quite a few books and articles between them, and there is quite a bit of space in the university magazines and press releases dedicated to significant research.

posted by historymike on Aug 31, 2011 at 02:44:50 pm     #  

Historymike, Now that they have sports, do they have an athletic director and if so do you know his name?

posted by Molsonator on Aug 31, 2011 at 02:51:58 pm     #  

Molsonator posted at 02:51:58 PM on Aug 31, 2011:

Historymike, Now that they have sports, do they have an athletic director and if so do you know his name?

http://www.lourdesathletics.com/staff.aspx?

posted by slowsol on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:30:12 pm     #  

Thanks slowsol - I should have thought to look there. Interesting that they did not use a local web designer. Site seems simple enough. It is a nice site though.

posted by Molsonator on Aug 31, 2011 at 04:33:27 pm     #  

Student... loan... bubble. Must... expand

posted by JJFad on Aug 31, 2011 at 04:43:27 pm     #