Skip navigation

IONA College Logo | Go to Home Page

Loftus Dinner

Held annually during Heritage Week, the Loftus Dinner features the presentation of the Br. Arthur Austin Loftus Award to an outstanding Christian Brother. Long-serving faculty, administrators, and staff-members are also honored. Those who have worked at the College for 50 years receive the Facere et Docere Award; for 40 years, the Pro Multis Anni Award; for 30 years, the Bene Merenti Award; and for 20 years, the Pro Operis Award. The Loftus Dinner and Loftus Award are named after Br. Arthur Austin Loftus, CFC (1904 - 1979). Br. Loftus was an extraordinary teacher, leader, and Brother who served as the College's second President, Provincial of the Congregation, and Superior General of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, the first non-Irish-born Brother elected to that post.  

2019 Br. Arthur A. Loftus Award Honoree

Raymond J. Vercruysse, CFC, Ed.D., '77
Province Leadership Team, Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America
Member of Iona College Board of Trustees

Growing up on a farm outside of Rochester, N.Y., as the oldest of four children, Raymond Vercruysse was determined to convince his dad that he could earn the tuition to Bishop Kearney High School through his weekend and summer work on the farm. Convince him he did, showing at a young age the potent seeds of a lifetime of passionate, commitment to Catholic education and the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice. At Kearney, he first met the Christian Brothers and his vocation was fostered through his deep admiration for their teaching and faith-filled example. Joining the Christian Brothers at age 18, Br. Raymond was sent for studies at Iona College, in 1973, where he decided to major in economics and carry a double minor in math and religions, two subject matters he taught in his many years of teaching at Power Memorial, Bergen Catholic, and All Hallows.

He earned a MS in Guidance and Counseling at the Catholic University of America and, for four years, he was the congregation vocation director prior to his being appointed the principal and then president of his alma mater, Bishop Kearney, where he proudly served for nine years. Following this tenure at Kearney, Br. Raymond moved to the west coast to pursue his doctorate in Catholic educational leadership and then to serve for five years as the director of the Institute of Catholic Education Leadership at the University of San Francisco. These years brought Br. Raymond ample opportunity for fruitful engagement with Catholic educators throughout the country. Since this time, he has served as a consultant to many boards of directors and religious communities seeking to maintain the Catholic character of their institutions. In his consulting work with Catholic educators, he has utilized extensively insights drawn from his doctoral dissertation on the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice, as articulated in the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education. Sr. Ona Bessette, a member of the Province leadership team of the Congregation of Notre Dame, describes Br. Raymond as follows: “Br. Ray embodies the essential elements of a Edmund Rice Christian Brother education in all that he does. He empowers others to share in the mission of education and promotes a world where the poor and marginalized are raised up and their lives proclaim the power of the Gospel.”

In this spirit of Blessed Edmund, Br. Raymond has served faithfully the Iona College Board of Trustees since 2005, serving on the Mission and Student Life as well Academic subcommittees. In 2008, he was elected to the leadership team of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, a position in which he oversees the Office of Educational Service for North American Province and works tirelessly to foster the charism of Edmund Rice and Catholic identity of the schools throughout North America.

Past Recipients of the Br. Arthur A. Loftus Award:

  • 2018: Br. Kevin Cawley, CFC, Ph.D.
  • 2017: Br. Joseph Gerard Morgan, Ph.D. ’75
  • 2016: Br. Henry Dillemuth
  • 2015: Br. Eugene O’Brien, Ph.D.
  • 2014: Br. Joseph A. Cussen, '57
  • 2013: Br. Harry Dunkak, Ph.D., '51
  • 2012: Br. J. Kevin Devlin, Ed.D., '61
  • 2011: Br. James A. Liguori, Ed.D., '65
  • 2010: Br. Robert Novak, Ph.D., '72
  • 2009: Br. Kenneth Chapman, '56
  • 2008: The International Christian Brothers, accepted by Br. Alfred Banda
  • 2007: Br. Jack Mostyn
  • 2006: The Iona Community of Brothers, accepted by Br. Joseph Morgan, Ph.D., '75
  • 2005: Br. Brian Walsh
  • 2004: Br. Charles B. Quinn
  • 2003: The Bicentenary of the Congregation of Christian Brothers (1802 - 2002)