Hounds Are All around: Alumni form chapters in Chicago and New Jersey
March 30, 2012
Loyola alumni in the Windy City and the central part of the Garden State have a new way to stay connected to their alma mater—through Loyola’s two newest regional alumni chapters.
The new chapters stem not from University-driven expansion plans, but from the grassroots efforts of alumni in those areas who embraced the idea of holding Loyola events there, developed 15-member boards committed to the chapters’ growth, and sought official recognition from the Loyola University Maryland Alumni Association.
“When we add a new chapter, it starts off extremely organic,” said Brian Oakes, ′99, MBA Fellows ′10, director of alumni relations. The new chapters in Chicago and Central New Jersey join chapters in New England, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland.
The Cleveland chapter was started by a group of enthusiastic alumni who now hold a variety of local events—from cornhole tournaments to gatherings at Lake Erie Monsters games. Chicago alumni started expressing interest in a chapter after the office of alumni relations planned a few events there when the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president, was attending conferences in the area. Oakes was approached by two sets of alumni in Central New Jersey who had the idea to start a chapter in their area at the same time. They started conversations which led to the chapter’s founding.
Each regional chapter organizes social, professional, spiritual, and service-oriented events and holds an annual presidential reception featuring a visit with Fr. Linnane. This spring, for the first time, alumni in areas with regional chapters are calling to congratulate admitted students.
Chapter expansion is unlikely to stop with these new additions. In March Fr. Linnane visited California, speaking at events in Los Angeles and San Francisco—a city where alumni are starting to work toward creating a chapter. “And Southeastern Florida might be next,” Oakes said.
Although the areas where alumni are eager to come together might be somewhat surprising to Oakes, the growing interest in regional activities is not. “I think it reflects Loyola’s growing reputation that even as our alumni are returning to their hometowns or heading to new cities, they want to stay connected to our alma mater,” he said.
For more information on Loyola’s regional chapters, click here. To learn more about starting a chapter in your area, call the office of alumni relations at 410-617-2475.