A beautiful journey

A goodbye letter to Loyola University Maryland

By Joseph Dwyer, '17

Dear Loyola,

I stepped onto your campus four years ago with similar feelings to the ones I had today leaving you: excitement, anxiety, tears, and wonder. I was curious about the life and times that I would experience as a member of your community.

To be quite honest, I was not even sure I would remain after my first two years there. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did not leave.

I remember falling asleep in a twin bed the night before moving into college in a hotel near the Inner Harbor, my parents in the next bed over. I thought about my high school experience, and how it was hard to top the brotherhood I had come across. And again, little did I know all of my expectations of college and Baltimore as a community, and the kind of the person I wanted to be.

Through my years with you, I learned a lot about myself both as an individual and as a global citizen.

I learned that with all of the great work that goes into earning an academic degree, it is just as vital to live, learn, and love the people that join you on the journey.

I witnessed my community react to the challenges that arose in the spring of 2015 as, like the world around me, I too was trying to piece myself together.

As I found myself undergoing my own personal growth and journey, it was as if the world was directly reflecting all of the same challenges and questions I had about myself and my place in it. It’s unbelievable, the feeling of being challenged in every notion of your being.

Loyola, on my first day with you as a student, I was given sage advice by a middle-aged priest I had never met: To squeeze a sponge dry, to get every drop that I can out of you so that when I departed as a graduate, I could drive off to my next adventure with no regrets and a mind and heart full of lasting memories.

Thankfully, my friends—whom I am humbled to now call my family—were able to help me through every step of this beautiful journey.

It’s weird how things come full circle, as I write to you one last time for a while, crammed again in a hotel room, with my entire family getting ready to leave for Boston. So I’ll leave you with one last thing…

I heard on the radio today, “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” I know, it’s a really cheesy 80s song about God knows who and God knows what. But I think I finally get what she was singing about.

I’m surely thankful now that I was able to make a little bit of Heaven here, with a few angels beside me all along.

To my Evergreens, my SGA friends, my classmates, my ALANA pals, my McCauley crew, and most importantly, the ABZ Society, thanks for all the memories. I am surely looking forward to many more.

Thanks to you, Loyola, for the best four years so far. And more importantly, here’s to many more.


Joey Dwyer, Class of 2017

Joey Dwyer poses with Astrid Schmidt-King, Ph.D., his favorite professor from the Sellinger School of Business, after Loyola’s Commencement Exercises on May 20, 2017.

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  • Posted by Astrid Schmidt-King | May 23, 2017

    What a privilege and pleasure to be your professor, Joey. You certainly have squeezed the sponge dry — now go set the world on fire! I look forward to supporting you and cheering you on during this next chapter.

  • Posted by Scott Sax | May 23, 2017

    Great letter Joey! You are an inspiration. It was a pleasure working with you in Messina. Good luck with everything and leaving behind a great legacy here!

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