Behind every story of Rambler triumph and transformation, there is another story about the Loyola community members who help make that transformation possible.
This is the story of one of those community members: John D. Norcross ’54 (RIP)—a man of great faith and devotion to the Catholic Church who believed deeply in the transformative power of a Jesuit education at Loyola Academy.
During his lifetime, John generously supported the development of our Munz Campus in Glenview, the Robert P. Perkaus III ’77 Memorial Scholarship Endowment and our Annual Giving Program. A member of the Loyola Academy swimming and diving and water polo teams during his Rambler days, this former aquatic athlete was also one of the first benefactors to invest in our Second Century Campaign Pool Initiative.
“John gave back to Loyola Academy every year of his professional life—and he visited our Wilmette campus often to celebrate and support our Rambler athletes and our Jesuit educational mission,” recalls Loyola Academy Principal Gifts Officer Les Seitzinger ’88. “He had a genuine love for Loyola and a genuine appreciation for those who were working together to enhance the lives of our students. Whenever he attended a football or basketball game, or our annual season-kickoff football luncheon, he would say to us, 'Thanks for all that you do for our students.'"
After attending Loyola Academy at Dumbach Hall on Loyola University's lakefront campus, John majored in economics at Stanford University and then earned this law degree at Northwestern University. During his Rambler years, John had formed some lasting friendships with Loyola classmates. One of those friends was Michael E. Crane ’54, who later became John’s business partner when the two Loyola alumni founded Crane and Norcross, a Chicago-based firm specializing in property tax law.
After John passed away in November 2014, Loyola received word that this loyal alumnus had engaged in a final act of generosity by leaving a multimillion-dollar estate gift to Loyola Academy in his will.
“We are humbled by the trust that John Norcross has placed in us with this extraordinary gift, which is the largest philanthropic commitment in the history of Loyola Academy,” says Loyola Academy President Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ. “To honor John’s love of Loyola aquatics and his passion for the performing arts, which he supported throughout his life, his gift will be used to help fund our Pool and Theater Initiatives. John’s legacy will live on at Loyola Academy as his generosity revitalizes our Wilmette campus and brings new opportunities for faith, scholarship, service and leadership to 2,000 young people each year.”
Please view our March edition of the campaign newsletter, Become More, for additional stories.