As this was not my first time attending a speech given by Father Linnane, I am continually impressed by his words and delivery. Father Linnane addressed staff, faculty, and students in the alumni memorial chapel in regards to the achievements of Loyola College this past school year as well as future goals that he intends to fulfill by the end of this school year.
Among the topics he discussed, he continued to emphasize the Jesuit aspect to the community of Loyola. He explained that the college is living out our mission as a Jesuit university and that there is “much to proud of.” As he continued to speak about the Catholic nature of Loyola College, I found his statements quite forceful and inspiring. Father Linnane said that Loyola is a Catholic university only in so far as it is a true university. He added that we have the ability to find God in all things. These statements are very bold as well as very true to the heart. I firmly believe that the fact that Loyola is a religiously oriented school forms it in every aspect of the college community. I find this especially notable in the number of students that participate in community service and volunteer work throughout Loyola.
Father Linnane took great pride in announcing the growing statistics from the past school year to now, with the class of 2011. The new class, with nine hundred and ninety students, is the largest class to date. Father Linnane included that Loyola is intently striving to increase the diversity on campus now with a higher percentage of students of color. You could tell in his deliverance that this is an important goal for him, personally, as well as the college’s new division of enrollment management.
In regards to Loyola’s interaction with the surrounding city of Baltimore, Father Linnane referred back to last school year’s “Year of the City”. Year of the city was integrated into classrooms throughout the campus last year, as I experienced in my effective writing class.
Another goal of our school, that I had been unaware of until now, was that we are currently seeking to become the leading Catholic college in the nation. To achieve this title, Father Linnane described the numerous steps we must take as a community; this included tasks such as engaging the entire community, faculty, staff, students, as well as putting an emphasis on academic excellence. Also, Loyola will seek in civic and community engagement by increasing security on York Road while interacting as neighbors as it so closely borders our campus.
In addition to the Jesuit and Catholic values that Loyola has to offer and will continue to prosper from, Father Linnane took great pride in presenting us with details about the current construction taking place throughout the campus. He depicted the progress being made, specifically with the new athletic field. The finance behind construction raised the subject of the importance of donations, and he informed us that a personal donation of five million dollars has been made in aid to the new field, only upon the request that the stadium is named after the late President, Father Ridley. I found this especially heartwarming because I knew Father Ridley as a child when two of my siblings attended Loyola, and our family had formed a close relationship with him.
I, as always, greatly enjoyed Father Linnane’s address and definitely learned new information about Loyola, our college community, and Jesuit values, which I would have otherwise never known.