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A Word from the New Director of the JFRC

A Word from the New Director of the JFRC

August 3, 2021

Welcome to the John Felice Rome Center, the global center of Loyola University Chicago in Europe. It is late summer in a hot and humid Rome, a symphony of green parrots has replaced the sound of students, the trees in the grove are raging with olives, and our splendid new chapel shines in the Roman sunlight. However, this small piece of paradise on Via Massimi will begin to flourish once again when the doors reopen on September 16 and we welcome eighty-six American and international students for what our founder would often say will be “the greatest semester of their lives.”

As I settle into my new role as Director, I am humbled by the extraordinary achievements of John Felice and I am inspired by the ambitious goals of Loyola University’s forthcoming strategic plan in global engagement. In Chicago and Rome, the University is positioning itself to work harder and become more sophisticated in educating today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders to tackle urgent social problems. Moving forward, the JFRC expansion will build beyond bricks and mortar to include the development of more interdisciplinary courses informed by fieldwork in the Mediterranean region. In the weeks and months to come I look forward to sharing with you more about how we intend to deepen our already rich tradition in the Liberal Arts to expand our outreach to those on the margins and better care for our common home.

This is a homecoming of sorts for me, since I previously served at the JFRC. My energy is now focused on ensuring a safe return to operations for our incoming students, engaging them in the world class curriculum informed by our Jesuit tradition, and preparing them to lead extraordinary lives. I am indebted to faculty and staff on both sides of the pond for the tremendous amount of work that has taken place prior to my arrival, allowing us to reopen the campus in Fall 2021, and as we prepare to welcome an even larger cohort of students in Spring 2022 … in the 60th anniversary year of our foundation.

Grazie a tutti!

Todd W. Waller, EdD

Director, John Felice Rome Center