At the State of the College Address on Wednesday afternoon in the Alumni Memorial Chapel, Father Linnane explained the well being of Loyola College, and expressed his gratitude to the faculty, alumni, and students that the college is living out its Jesuit mission. He spent a quality amount of time discussing the key factors, which would help make Loyola College the leading Catholic University in the nation. These aspects include a strong Jesuit influence, academic excellence, a diverse community, community engagement, and an increase in money. Father Linnane made it clear that there is much to be proud of at Loyola College, and he hopes that as a whole we can keep advancing the Jesuit mission.
Father Linnane expressed his happiness towards the success of the 2006-2007 school year, which was The Year of The City. He was amazed at the reaction and help he received to live up to that title. Specifically, the partnership between Loyola and St. Mary’s made an enduring mark, with over forty students helping out each week. He has high hopes that this number will grow over the 2007-2008 school year. Being present at the State of the College Address showed me the great lengths that Loyola contributes to the city of Baltimore. Through the Jesuit mission I believe that the Loyola College community can not only better itself, but also it’s surroundings.
In class we discussed the major themes of the book, The Whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera. One of the main topics of the book was the joining of the new and the old. For example, Kahu was the new, significant addition to the Maori people, and her great grandfather, Koro Apirana, was trying to preserve the old traditions; thus not accepting and overlooking her because she was a female. This came to mind because in Father Linnane’s address he spoke about the campus construction, such as the new East Hall Residence, the Loyola Notre Dame Library, and the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility. These projects, although some are not completed, bring new characteristics to the Loyola campus. However, we do not ignore the old buildings because there are new ones. Instead, the new and old buildings of the campus come together and make it beautiful. At the end of The Whale Rider, Koro Apirana, who represents the old, finds love for Kahu, and the new and old become one for the Maori people.
Tradition is another key ingredient from The Whale Rider, that relates to Father Linnane’s address. Just as Koro Apirana strives to hold on to the founding Maori traditions, Loyola College too holds on to its Jesuit traditions. Both allow new additions to be made, yet deep down the traditions are always concrete, and being built upon.
God should be in all things, is a prominent message that Father Linnane wants the Loyola community to understand. Not only does it go along with the strong Jesuit traditions, but also it plays a role in our studies, and activities around campus. He specified that Loyola is proud of its Jesuit values, and feels that with involvement of the faculty and students the tradition can grow stronger.
I appreciated Father Linnane’s speech, and the new knowledge I obtained from it that I was unaware of before. I hope that with the help of the Loyola College community the high goals Father Linnane set for this school year can be accomplished, and in doing so the Jesuit values can play a vital role.