Loyola University Chicago

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Toward A Greater Good

 

In my monthly newsletter, I share notes, links, and items of interest with the Rambler community. As always, I am grateful for all you do and welcome your ideas and feedback.

 

It has been a busy fall semester with the start of classes and many activities across our campuses. Now, suddenly, midterms are upon us! I hope you all are having a productive semester and are finding time to take care of yourselves and those around you.

The new semester marks some exciting new beginnings for Loyola University Chicago. The Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health welcomed its first students and staged a picnic at the Health Sciences Campus, and the Institute of Environmental Sustainability kicked off its Master’s in Environmental Science and Sustainability at the Lake Shore Campus with an impressive cohort that includes scientists and professionals. These programs respond to the growing demand for well-educated professionals in these fields and reflect Loyola’s commitment to educating those who will help heal people and the planet.

At the Water Tower Campus, the inaugural Baumhart Scholars MBA launched at the Quinlan School of Business. The class includes 11 rising Chicago business and civic leaders committed to creating a lasting impact on the communities around them and represent some of Chicago's most respected companies, including Morningstar and Northern Trust and social sector institutions such as The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Skills for Chicagoland's Future. Based on this and other innovative work, Loyola is one of 67 institutions and individuals globally to be recognized by the #MillionsofChangemakers 2019 campaign. The campaign is a global call for commitments from colleges, universities, and higher education innovators to activate and support socially responsible business and nonprofit leaders.

On September 16, Loyola staged the largest and most successful single fundraising event in its history. The 2019 Founders’ Dinner attracted more than 800 people for a celebration of Arrupe College and raised more than $2.5 million to fund scholarships and wraparound services at Arrupe, including scholarships for Arrupe graduates with an interest in pursuing their bachelor’s degree.

It was a pleasure to see and talk with so many faculty from around the University at Faculty Convocation last month. It was an occasion to recognize outstanding teachers and researchers and a moment to pause in appreciation for the breadth and depth of our faculty—the heart and soul of Loyola. It was also a chance to reflect on where we are going as a University as we head into a year in which we celebrate Loyola’s 150th anniversary and begin our next strategic planning process.   We also used the day to host a picnic on the Lake Shore Campus for faculty from the Parkinson School, which has programs at the Lake Shore and Health Sciences campuses.

We have mentioned that, as part of our 150th Anniversary, Loyola has been chosen as the partner university to the Opus Prize. We will select and host the 2020 Opus Prize, which awards $1 million to an entrepreneurial, faith-based organization alleviating human suffering somewhere in the world. Students are central to the selection process. Loyola extends the life-changing opportunity for six students to serve as 2020 Opus Prize Student Scholars. Loyola students will join faculty and members of the Opus Foundation board on site visits in spring 2020 to observe and engage thoughtfully with the finalists and their organizations.

The School of Law reunion in late September honored four faculty and alumni for their service to the world and to the school. On September 27, we marked the 25th anniversary of the Women and Leadership Archives, which was founded in 1994 to care for the records and legacy of Mundelein College. Over the past 25 years, the WLA has expanded its scope to include papers of women leaders and women’s organizations. 

Our Provost Search committee had a productive summer and fall and conducted preliminary interviews with a number of candidates in recent days.  The position has attracted promising candidates from around the country, and the committee will work to narrow the field in the next few weeks. Looking ahead, we will announce more soon regarding our University-wide strategic planning process to develop Plan 2025, the next strategic plan for Loyola. At Faculty Convocation, I asked the faculty, indeed our whole community, to become involved in setting the direction for the next five years and our University’s trajectory for its next 150 years. Your wisdom, experience, and insights will help guide the University into an exciting future.

Last week marked the launch of our planning conversations with a keynote from the inspiring Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III, PhD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on the opportunities and challenges facing American higher education. The provost, vice presidents, deans and other academic leaders joined me for a planning retreat over the summer where the deans shared their vision and aspirations for their schools, creating a bold framework that encourages ambitious new ways of thinking about our mission. We have already committed to implementing the priorities emerging from the Examen process and will embrace the Universal Apostolic Preferences that call us to walk with the poor and marginalized, focus on student formation, care for our common home, and rely on collective discernment to guide our decision-making. With new leadership in Advancement and engaged support across the University, we will build a culture of alumni engagement and create a long-term plan for increased fundraising and philanthropic investments that support our strategic goals.

Through service, scholarly work, and human solidarity, we will continue to accompany the poor, the sick, migrants and refugees, and work toward greater equity and social justice grounded in faith. Thanks to your diligent work across all of our campuses, we look forward this fall to the first comprehensive report of the many ways we live our mission by being an anchor of civic engagement and economic impact for Chicago and the region.

In our Jesuit mission, we are called to address the profound needs of the world. We respond to that calling by educating new generations to lead extraordinary lives. Thank you for what you do each and every day.