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$8 Million Bequest Supports Student Scholarships

The bequest honors the legacy of DePaul alumna and Board of Trustees Chair Lorraine “Lori” Holland

Lorraine “Lori” Holland stands with her arms crossed against a wall.
Lorraine “Lori” Holland (BUS ’84) was a first-generation college graduate who rose to become managing director of investment management firm Neuberger Berman and served as chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees. Her husband, Robert A. Holland, made an $8 million gift in her honor. (DePaul University/Kathy Hillegonds)
Robert A. Holland has made an $8 million gift to DePaul University to support student scholarships. The bequest honors the legacy of his late wife, Lorraine “Lori” Holland (BUS ’84), a first-generation college graduate who rose to become managing director of investment management firm Neuberger Berman and serve as chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees.

The contribution will be divided between two funds: the John and Regina Letsos Endowed Scholarship and the Lorraine L. Holland Memorial Endowed Scholarship. The Letsos scholarship, created by the Hollands in 2015 and named for Lori Holland’s parents, is designed to benefit finance students. The memorial scholarship, named in Lori Holland’s honor, was created in 2021 by the DePaul Board of Trustees as a tribute to Lori, who passed away suddenly in 2020. Both funds provide scholarships to students who are in good academic standing and have financial need.

“Lori strongly believed in the transformative power of higher education, and selflessly volunteered her leadership service to help our students achieve their academic ambitions,” said DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban. “I can think of no greater legacy than this generous gift, which provides critical support for academic careers during such challenging times and for years to come. I am extremely grateful to Bob for carrying on Lori’s unwavering commitment to DePaul’s Vincentian, Catholic and urban mission.”

Lori Holland began her service to DePaul as a member of the Finance Advisory Board, where she served from 2002 to 2020. She also served as a non-trustee member of the Board’s investment committee from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, she joined the Board of Trustees, where she served as a member of the audit, investment, mission and executive compensation committees. In 2017, Lori Holland began her tenure as chair of the Board’s finance committee and vice chair of the Board. She assumed the role of Board chair on July 1, 2020. That same year, she served on the committee for Now We Must: The Campaign for DePaul’s Students, to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 1985, Lori Holland made her first gift to DePaul, one year after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance. The Hollands have contributed generously to various funds over the years, including the Fund for DePaul, the Fund for Finance, the Finance Advisory Board Endowed Scholarship and the Dennis H. Holtschneider Chair in Vincentian Studies. In creating the Letsos Endowed Scholarship, she said, “My parents never had the opportunity to go to college. But they sacrificed a lot to send me to an excellent Catholic high school and always encouraged our education. They would be proud of this gift, and honored.”

Supporting students as they pursue higher education resonates powerfully for Robert “Bob” Holland. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he received his master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy from the University of Illinois-Chicago before beginning his academic career at Hofstra University.

“Scholarships are vital to ensure the success of DePaul’s students, who often are the first in their families to attend college,” said Bob Holland. “I’m proud to help provide these resources in honor of Lori, who treasured DePaul’s profound impact on her life and never stopped giving back to help others benefit likewise.”

Bob Holland, a longtime collector of rare maps, also served for years as the president of the Chicago Map Society, the oldest such organization in North America, and currently sits on its board of directors. He is also a vice chair on the board of Chicago’s Newberry Library and the author of Chicago in Maps, an illustrated cartographic history of Chicago from 1612 to 2002.

“The path the Hollands have charted on behalf of DePaul provides a map of support and service that inspires others,” said Daniel J. Allen, DePaul’s senior vice president of advancement and external relations.

“Lori often said DePaul students don’t just talk about changing the world—they take action through community service, social advocacy and creative problem-solving,” said Allen. “Lori also took action throughout her life to make sure our students could do just that, and Bob is continuing their extraordinary, shared commitment.”

Gerald Beeson (BUS ’94), chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees and chief operating officer of Chicago-based Citadel LLC, also witnessed the pride that Lori Holland took in helping students succeed and fueling DePaul’s Vincentian mission to extend that support.

“Lori felt blessed to be surrounded by individuals who shared her passion to support DePaul’s students,” said Beeson. “As a fellow business school alumnus and scholarship recipient, I know the importance of Lori’s dedicated service. On behalf of all who volunteered with Lori at the university, we are all blessed to have known her and are inspired by the example she and her husband, Bob, have set for us all.”


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