On Wednesday, September 12, 2007, I chose to attend the State of the College Address which was delivered by Father Linnane in the Alumni Memorial Chapel. He mainly focused his speech around Loyola College’s mission as a Catholic university to continue to enforce the Jesuit values among all aspects of the school and the surrounding community. He spoke about last year’s success in regards to the college’s diversity expansion, community service involvement, and the improvement in financial aid resources. The progress of the school’s facilities, diversity levels and intellectual stimulation was proudly expressed within the speech. It is evident that Loyola College has put a great deal of effort into molding the university into a community that students, alumni and faculty members can have pride in.
Before the address even began, I noticed that I was one of few students attended the event. The audience consisted of mostly faculty and alumni. The woman who was seated next to me seemed appreciative of my attendance at the address and hoped that I would take part in more service events throughout the year. I think faculty and administrators love to see younger students in the audience because it shows a sense of educational and intellectual curiosity toward their college values. Hearing Father Linnane’s speech firmly strengthened my belief that Loyola truly wants their students to get involved in any way possible and make a difference in the world around them. Father Linnane hopes the students of Loyola College will carry a sense of meaning, purpose and human responsibility that its education has bestowed upon us during our time here. I found his confidence in the Jesuit values to be very fascinating and powerful.
The importance of Jesuit values and tradition were presented in a clear manner, ultimately reminding me of the significance of the customs presented in Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider. Since the establishment of Loyola College as a university, the Jesuits have aimed toward many specific goals when incorporating essential values into the Jesuit education. The Jesuits belief of educating a person as a whole and to one’s full potential has continued to exist and remain as a strong principle of Loyola. In Whale Rider, the influence of the Maori traditions plays an imperative role in Kahu’s story. The Maori beliefs and tradition have existed for centuries, which have shown to be as strong and as valuable as the ones the Jesuits have established at Loyola.