Loyola University’s Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt got some Chicago hardware with her name on it for her 103rd birthday.
School, city and state leaders celebrated Sunday with the Catholic nun who became something of a folk hero as chaplain for the Loyola men’s basketball team that reached the NCAA Final Four in 2018.
A highlight was the renaming in her honor of the Chicago train station plaza at the Loyola campus. Students and visitors will pass by a large sign marking it as “Home of the World Famous Sister Jean!”
Loyola officials praised Sister Jean, who was dressed in school colors of maroon and gold, as a mentor to generations of students.
When asked what she’s looking forward to in the upcoming school year, Sister Jean’s answer was simple: “Just being with the students. I just love being at Loyola.”
She called the plaza dedication “very special” and gave her secrets to longevity: “I eat well. I pray well — I hope I pray well — and I sleep well.”