Loras College has received a fully intact hippopotamus skull as a generous donation from Dr. Richard Callahan (’63). The skull, taken in late May 1986 from Zambia, contains all its ivory teeth and is on display in the St. Joseph Hall of Science.
“I believe Loras to be one of the greatest Catholic colleges in the nation, and I am proud to call myself a graduate of this institution,” said Callahan, on why he donated the piece.
The hippo was estimated at 2.5 tons and came from the back waters of the Munyamadzi River in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. The skull was given as a donation by Callahan in memory of his years of studying biology at the college.
“The skull will fit in well with some of the other mounted African animals and horns we have on display in the Science Building. We thank Dr. Callahan for his generous donation,” said Dr. Tom Davis, Loras professor of biology.
Callahan graduated from Loras in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to graduate from the Loyola University Dental School and the Loyola School of Orthodontics in 1969 and served as a clinical instructor for seven years. Callahan has his own orthodontic practice and has lived and worked in Downers Grove, Ill. for over 30 years. Callahan’s brother, Peter, graduated from Loras in 1964 and his son, Rick, earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Loras in 2005.