Lewis University honored Lowell Stahl at the 13th annual Signum Fidei Celebration on Saturday, September 10 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago. The event was attended by approximately 500 guests, netted nearly $200,000 in scholarship funding for the Lewis Mission Fund, and provided an elegant venue to announce the successful completion of the University's $30 million Campaign for Lewis University: Touching Hearts & Minds. The words Signum Fidei, meaning "Sign of Faith," are a symbol of the commitment to the Catholic and Lasallian spirit that provides vision and purpose for Lewis University, and the Signum Fidei Award honors an outstanding individual who represents that spirit through their contributions to society and the university.
Lowell Stahl has a long and accomplished career in real estate and finance and has been a very faithful and generous friend to Lewis University. A member of the Lewis University Board of Trustees and alumnus of Saint Patrick Academy (now Saint Patrick High School) in Chicago, he has been a consistent benefactor to Lasallian education. His generosity has impacted many through scholarships, programs and facilities such as The Stahl Center for Entrepreneurship and Real Estate at Lewis University and the Stahl Family Theatre and the Lowell I. Stahl Cultural Centre at Saint Patrick. After graduation from high school in 1952, Stahl worked at various jobs and entrepreneurial ventures before beginning his real estate and insurance career at Schmidt Real Estate, where he quickly achieved a high level of success, purchasing the company by the late 1950's. In 1974, he opened the first Century 21 franchise in the Chicago area, pioneering the concept of real estate franchising in northern Illinois. He served as President and Chairman of the Chicago Real Estate Board and District Vice President for the Illinois Association of Realtors and was identified by the Chicago Real Estate Board as one of the 25 most prominent real estate professionals in Chicago history. He sold his Century 21 interests in 1995 and became majority shareholder and Chairman of Labe Federal Bank, where he brought his innovative business practices to the evolving financial industry. Under his leadership, Labe Bank registered significant growth and success over the years, which led to its sale in 2005. Stahl is now a partner in PFS Group, a real estate financing company, and has served as a member of the Lewis University Board of Trustees since 2008.
In addition to a ceremony and video tribute honoring Stahl, the elegant evening sponsored by the Lewis University Board of Trustees included a silent auction, gourmet dinner, entertainment by the Lewis University Jazz Combo, live auction and raffles. Well-known Chicago area meteorologist Rick DiMaio, a Lewis University Instructor of Aviation Meterology, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President, stated: "As our major annual benefit event for scholarship support, the Signum Fidei Celebration was our most successful ever and provided a splendid opportunity to focus on the quality of Lewis programs and our Catholic and Lasallian mission."
Trustees and Campaign Co-Chairs Edward Prodehl and Dennis Tonelli announced the results of the Campaign for Lewis University, a six-year initiative focused on raising funds for scholarships and facilities at Lewis. They announced final campaign results of $31, 018,872 raised, exceeding the goal announced two years ago at the 2009 Signum Fidei Celebration. A video presentation reviewed the transformative developments at Lewis University made possible through funding from the Campaign, including more than 70 new endowed and annual scholarships, the James A. LaGrippe Pastoral Center & Victoria LaGrippe Meditation Garden, the Professor Donald L. and Suellen K. Cordano Heritage Circle and Founder's Garden, the John & Jeannette D'Arcy & Family Great Room, the Lewis Family Room, Time Plaza, The Colonel Stephen S. and Lyla Doherty Center for Aviation and Health Research, enhancements to the Sancta Alberta Chapel, The Lowell Stahl Center for Entrepreneurship and Real Estate, renovation of the College of Nursing and Health Professions facility, a new Science Center, phase one of the Oremus Fine Arts Center expansion and renovation, Fitzpatrick House improvements and the Chicago Aviation Education Partnership.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.