MILWAUKEE – This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled an officially licensed, limited-edition bobblehead featuring Loyola University Chicago’s Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM. The bobbleheads, which are being produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, are officially licensed by Loyola University Chicago and are being produced in conjunction with the Loyola University Chicago’s Athletic Department.
This marks the third bobblehead of Sister Jean, the 101-year-old chaplain for Loyola’s Men’s Basketball team. In 2018, Sister Jean was thrust into the national spotlight when the Ramblers advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. The 2018 bobblehead, which recently sold out, was the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s best seller of all time until it was surpassed in April 2020 by a bobblehead of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The bobblehead features Sister Jean in her wheelchair wearing a maroon and gold Loyola letter jacket. Each bobblehead will be individually numbered and they are only available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The bobbleheads are $25 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order and are expected to ship in July. A portion of the sales of Sister Jean’s bobblehead benefit Sister Jean’s religious order, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as Loyola University’s Athletic Department.
“I am truly honored that the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is creating another Sister Jean bobblehead,” said Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM. “This has been a unique and unforgettable season for Loyola’s Men’s Basketball, both on and off the court, and we are excited to go and dance at March Madness in Indianapolis. I am excited to watch my beloved Ramblers in-person in Indy on Friday, March 19. May this March Madness provide our country with great joy and may our Ramblers and other basketball athletes experience the thrill of the game during this tournament.”
On March 7, Loyola became the fourth team to punch its ticket to the 2021 NCAA Tournament with a 75-65 victory over Drake in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference tourney in St. Louis. This marks Loyola’s first NCAA Tournament since its run to the Final Four in 2018 as a No. 11 seed. In a Cinderella performance in 2018, the Ramblers knocked off Miami (Fla.), 64-62, and Tennessee, 63-62, to advance to the Sweet 16. They then toppled Nevada, 69-68, and Kansas State, 78-62, to move on to the Final Four. In the national semifinals, Loyola’s magical run finally ended with a 69-57 loss to Michigan.
Sister Jean became an instant celebrity after Loyola’s first-round victory over Miami. Her fame continued to grow with each upset victory and the then-98-year-old nun became the star of the tournament as the Ramblers reached the Final Four for the first time since 1963. Due to her popularity, her original bobblehead sold for more than $300 on eBay leading to the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum producing her second bobblehead which became available following Loyola’s two upset wins during the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament. Within 48 hours, that bobblehead became the Hall of Fame and Museum’s best-selling bobblehead ever.
After his team’s victory over Drake in the MVC tourney title game this year, Loyola coach Porter Moser said that Sister Jean had been calling the team with pre-game prayers. Unable to travel to the 2020-2021 games because of COVID-19 restrictions, she admitted it was difficult to be apart from the Ramblers during the regular season but she remained in contact with phone calls, emails and Zoom meetings.
“Once again, Sister Jean and Loyola University Chicago have returned to the public eye with another run to the NCAA Tournament,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “We are thrilled to be working with the University so that more fans across the country can have a Sister Jean bobblehead. Everyone needs some of Sister Jean’s positive attitude and great spirit in their lives, and this bobblehead will be a great way to have that!”