Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President


Loyola's Distinctive Light

March 27, 2018

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

As Catholics and Christians worldwide begin our celebration of Holy Week and Easter, we enter a period of deep reflection on mortality and spiritual anguish that culminates in a renewal of life and hope. Christ’s ultimate victory over suffering and death inspires faith and constancy, along with a commitment to doing good for others in a fractured world.

This year, the start of Passover coincides with Good Friday. Our Jewish community commemorates the passage of the Hebrews, whom God has claimed as his people, from slavery to freedom. In the Jesuit tradition, we join in celebrating God’s desire for human freedom so that we might follow our respective paths to contribute to God’s work in the world.

These foundational stories of faith, redemption, and reconciliation from different religious traditions teach us to engage in the hard work for social justice even when the challenges seem daunting. At Loyola, we strive deeply every day to manifest a community of academic freedom, compassion, civil discourse, peace, and forgiveness. We are reminded that through the darkest times, if we keep faith in our mission to serve others, and if we create and model the community that is needed in the world, we can serve a greater good. We keep faith in each other’s good intentions, even—and especially—when we doubt or disagree.

We can carry the transformative spirit of these holy days into our daily work as students, teachers, and staff. Our Jesuit tradition encourages us to continually reflect and act on how we can best embody our mission every day, in our classrooms and laboratories, on our campuses, in our residence halls and communities.

As the week unfolds, Loyola’s maroon and gold light up Chicago’s skyline. It has been an incredible journey as our Ramblers advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This team—and Sister Jean—have captured the attention and the hearts of the nation. They have united Loyolans on campus and around the world. They have united the city, which has embraced them as Chicago’s team.

We could not be more excited and thankful. We could not be more proud of how these student-athletes and their coaches are representing Loyola. In their selfless and acclaimed teamwork, they epitomize synergy within diversity. Their hard work and discipline model Ignatian aspiration and improvement. They illustrate in their own unique way what a commitment to inclusion, communication, and engagement looks like and how our differences can serve as our most powerful strengths. They radiate good will and reflect Loyola’s distinctive light into the world.

I wish you blessings of the season, a Happy Easter, and a Happy Passover. Across every tradition, I wish you and yours peace, health, and renewal. Thank you for your remarkable work on behalf of our students and in support of our mission.

I am deeply grateful for all you do to make Loyola shine. Go Ramblers!


Dr. Jo Ann Rooney
President, Loyola University Chicago