“Grains of Sand”

Members of the Loyola community share what Jesuit education means to them

By Michelle Betton, '05

Whenever I think of my Loyola education, the first thing that comes to mind is AMDG, ad majorem Dei gloriam, “for the greater glory of God.”

The Jesuit motto was one of the first things I learned on the Evergreen campus, and it has stuck with me ever since. It is such a simple, yet profound statement about how our actions can impact the world and how we can think about our place in it.

A Loyola education gave me and my friends a broader view, a world view. The Jesuit tradition teaches students how to be citizens of the world. Through a well-rounded education, students learn about the people and places around them, how we are all connected, and that we can change the world for the better if we choose to.

Sometimes in life, we can each feel like a grain of sand—small, insignificant, easily forgotten if misplaced. But each grain of sand makes up the beach. With the movement of each grain, the beach changes. Everything is important, everything is sacred, and each action, however small, can change the world around it. If enough grains of sand move, that change could turn into something big.

It is this education that set me on my current path, working to address poverty and inequality around the world. I champion critical causes because I feel that every person deserves the same advantages that we at Loyola had the opportunity to experience and because God calls us to value and cherish all of His people. I am making my small change by working for others, and I hope that in conjunction with all those working around the world, we will effect major change that will eliminate inequality and poverty wherever it is found.

My education at Loyola has been a grounding and inspirational force in my life. It showed me that I could balance life with service to others, that I could do what I love (writing) and help others through it. But most importantly, Loyola taught me how to think about others, how to think about myself, and that using my talents for a greater good is one of the greatest gifts I could give.

I truly feel blessed to have attended Loyola. I couldn’t be prouder to be Jesuit-educated.

Michelle Betton is a 2005 graduate of Loyola University Maryland who works as a communications specialist for Discovery Learning Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to use the power of media to transform and improve lives in the developing world.

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