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Loyola Ramblers, Sister Jean Honored At Illinois State Capitol

Jaclyn Driscoll
NPR Illinois
Governor Rauner poses with members of the Loyola men's basketball team, Coach Porter Moser, and Sister Jean.

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers busted a lot of brackets and captured a lot of hearts when the men’s basketball team, as an 11 seed, made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. For their accomplishments, they were honored at the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday.

But this Cinderella team that went 32-6, eventually losing to Michigan in the semifinals, wasn’t the only story fans were watching. Sister Jean Delores-Schmit, the 98-year-old team chaplain, earned fandom by praying for Loyola and their opponents before each game -- a tradition she continued at the Illinois Statehouse on Wednesday when she opened legislative session with a prayer.

“May all that is done this day and every day be done for your honor and glory," she prayed. "Amen. And go Ramblers.”

Coach Porter Moser was also recognized and spoke on the House floor. He boasted of the team's accomplishments on and off the court.   

Credit Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois
NPR Illinois
Coach Porter Moser addresses members of the House. House Speaker Michael Madigan listens behind the podium.

"At Loyola, we are tied with Harvard for the number one graduation rate in the country academically in the athletic department," said Moser. "I can see Sister right now clenching her fists because I said that one time and she corrected me. She said, 'No, Porter. Harvard’s tied with us.'"

Several lawmakers displayed Rambler signs and donned maroon and gold scarves to show their support. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, Democrats from Chicago, both received their law degrees from Loyola University. 

Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.
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