Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

August 31, 2021 - Welcome Back, Ramblers!

August 31, 2021

Dear Loyolans,

If you could bottle the excitement of our return to campus this year in one event, it might be the Cheer Tunnel at New Student Convocation on the Lake Shore Campus. Our community turns out in maroon and gold, pompoms and noisemakers in hand, to provide a rousing welcome to our newest Ramblers—this year, the largest and most diverse class in University history. There was extra joy and poignancy in Friday’s celebration as our community came together in person once again to focus on our reason for being—our students.

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, there is a greater meaning to being back on campus and creating a sense of community that goes beyond school spirit. This was reflected in the discussion of social justice and The Loyola Project, which was part of convocation and the official start of our new students’ experience. This fall, in addition to classes, activities, and athletics, we look forward to the continued celebration of Loyola University Chicago’s 150th anniversary, community collaboration around a new strategic plan, and events marking The Ignatian Year, the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’s conversion.

I want to take note of the arrival this Friday on the Lake Shore Campus of the stunning Angels Unawares sculpture, on tour from the Catholic University of America. The work embodies Catholic teachings on immigration and the importance of welcoming the stranger. Angels Unawares will be commemorated as part of a special Mass presided by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich on Saturday, September 11 at Loyola’s Madonna della Strada Chapel. More details will be shared with the community soon.

After the past 18 months, we do not take our ability to be together for granted. Our full return to campus offers traditional and additional ways to connect, study, heal, and learn. As part of our commitment to cura personalis, we will care for each other, practice some new protocols, and model behaviors to keep each other and our communities safe.

This is an exciting moment. We are doing what Loyola has proudly done for 150 years: welcoming students from many backgrounds to our classrooms and accompanying them on their academic journey.

It is time to get that journey started. Welcome, Ramblers. Welcome back!


Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD