|Born||August 21, 1919|
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Jean Dolores Schmidt BVM (born August 21, 1919), popularly known as Sister Jean, is a chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers men's basketball team and a religious sister of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Sister Jean was born on August 21, 1919 in San Francisco, California, and raised in the Eureka Valley neighborhood. She first considered becoming a nun while she was in third grade. As a student at St. Paul's High School, she played on the girls basketball team. After graduating from high school in 1937, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Iowa. In 1941, by then a sister, she returned to teach in California. Sister Jean completed her B.A. at Mount St. Mary's College (now Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles in 1949 and M.A. at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) in 1961.
Sister Jean moved from California to teach at Mundelein College in Chicago in 1961. During the mid-1960s, she was active in the civil rights movement. She was hired by Loyola in 1991 when Mundelein was merged into Loyola. She has worked as the team chaplain for Loyola University Chicago since 1994. In 2016, she was presented with an honorary doctorate from Loyola. Providing a mix of spiritual and scouting support, Schmidt inspired her own bobblehead doll in 2011 and was honored with a "Sister Jean Day" on December 1, 2012.
Sister Jean gained overnight publicity beyond the Loyola community after Loyola–Chicago's upset of Miami in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Her fame continued to grow after the team upset Tennessee in the round of 32, sending Loyola to their first Sweet 16 appearance in 33 years. The 98 year old nun quickly became a star in the tournament; her bobblehead sold for more than $300 on eBay. Loyola ultimately advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1963, but they were defeated by Michigan in the semifinal game. Sister Jean maintains an office in the student center on campus and lives in a freshman dorm, offering advice to those who visit her.
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