Loyola University Chicago

The President’s Medallion

Alessandra Menendez

PHOTO: Heather Eidson At Madonna della Strada, Alessandra V. Menendez signs a prayer book for her husband's father, who passed away 10 years ago. “For our faith to be real, it has to be a lived experience,” she says.

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Alessandra V. Menendez

Alessandra V. Menendez already had decades of experience in volunteering, ministry, and business when she arrived at Loyola.

As she works toward the completion of her master’s degree at Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, Menendez has gained an even deeper understanding of her faith and commitment to service.

Menendez has held positions in business, marketing, banking, and consulting, while also serving in pastoral ministry as a volunteer and leader in her church community. In her service, she also aimed to inspire others in her perseverance toward a life of service and spiritual and community growth—including her own children.

“For me,” she says, “it has become a legacy to our own children, who have been involved in our volunteer work and have seen first-hand what it means to try to live the gospel.”

In her volunteer work, Menendez says she has especially focused on sharing God’s love with people on the edges of society. Her time at Loyola has inspired in her an even deeper compassion for others.

“It is not for me to judge anyone, but to stand next to my brothers and sisters and love them—the way God loves me in all my sinfulness.

“For our faith to be real, it has to be a lived experience. Faith is not about doctrines and dogmas, but rather about my own Christian response to God’s call in times of discrimination, hatred, violence and all kinds of poverty. If all this theology does not translate into compassion for the other, if it does not allow me to enter into the truth of Christ; then I have wasted a wonderful education and opportunity.”

President’s Ball

On Friday, November 3, Loyola University Chicago celebrated the accomplishments of the 2017 President’s Medallion recipients. See photos from the annual ceremony and semi-formal event at Regents Hall and the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. Photo Gallery