Loyola University Chicago

The President’s Medallion

Hank Lyon

PHOTO: Natalie Battaglia Seminarian Hank Lyon believes every class can be an enriching experience. “Even a class that you dread,” he says, “has something to offer that will make you a more well-rounded person, such as patience, humility, or listening skills.”

St. Joseph Seminary

Hank Lyon

Hank Lyon has managed to pack a lot into his two years at Loyola.

Lyon, who transferred here as a junior, is a resident assistant and mentor at the seminary; a producer for “The Good Word” monthly radio show; and an active volunteer in several organizations, both on campus and across Chicago. He also worked for several months as a server during weekend Masses at the city’s famed Holy Name Cathedral.

Here, he talks about his favorite class, what he learned from Mother Teresa, and why he’ll miss studying at the Information Commons.

What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
Last year I took an ancient philosophy class—my first philosophy class at Loyola—and it was a lot of fun. We met in a smaller room in Dumbach Hall, which provided for a more intimate setting, complete with a fireplace and blackboard. And for the whole hour we would have lively discussions concerning a plethora of philosophers. It was a really cool experience for me.

Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
I transferred here from a big state school, where most of the classes were in large lecture halls, so I didn’t know my professors there very well. But since coming to Loyola, where the classes are much smaller, I’ve certainly had some inspiring professors. One that comes to mind right away is Alberto Bertozzi. Not only is he a great philosophy teacher, but he’s also helped me improve as a writer, which is an invaluable skill to have.

Tell us about your volunteer/service work and what it means to you.
As a seminarian I’m asked to be involved in different ministries. Last year, I was trained as a minister of care and would go every week to a nursing home to visit with residents and offer Holy Communion. Instead of just philosophizing about life and humanity I was given the opportunity to encounter people, be with them, and in simple ways love them. It was always the highlight of my week.

Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their education?
You have to dive right into what you’re passionate about. If you’re not passionate about what you’re studying, then consider switching majors. That’s what I did. And every class—even a class that you dread—has something to offer that will make you a more well-rounded person, such as patience, humility, or listening skills. If you can succeed in mastering the little things, then you can manage the bigger ones ahead. I learned that from Mother Teresa.

Any spots on campus or in Chicago that you’ll miss?
The third floor of the Information Commons looking out onto Lake Michigan. You can’t beat that. It’s been my favorite spot to think, study, daydream, and enjoy the beauty of creation. It’s one of the many blessings I thank Loyola for.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
My goodness 10 years from now—it’s strange enough to think that 10 years ago I was only 11 years old. Well, God willing, I hope to be a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago serving people and bringing them closer to Jesus Christ.