12 reasons why Loyola’s Commencement is better than Preakness

By the Loyola magazine staff  |  Photos by Nick Alexopulos, '03 (unless otherwise noted)

The Preakness Stakes is far and away the most popular event in the Baltimore area every year. Nothing else comes close. But we know the hottest ticket in town every third Saturday of May isn’t at Pimlico, but in the stands at the Baltimore Arena.

So break out your blanket of Black-Eyed Susans and get ready for the 12 reasons why Loyola’s Commencement is the true second jewel of the Triple Crown.

12. You should see the hats.

11. And down the stretch they come! It has taken four years for these graduates to strut across the stage. What could be more thrilling?

10. Preakness is over in two minutes.

Photo from Flickr Commons | Jay Baker

Commencement? You’re looking at 200 minutes or more, depending on the number of graduates with long last names.

9. Our crowds cheer louder than a Preakness infield—even though they’re told to hold their applause until the end.

8. Contrary to what you might have heard, the crowd of Preakness patrons is not the epicenter of spring fashion.

Our students are dressed in all the appropriate attire. They’re so confident, in fact, that they’re willing to cover up their pastel Oxfords and preppy prints with a boring gown for half the day.

Left photo from Flickr Commons | Jessica Quirk, right photo from Flickr Commons | Kent Wang

Left photo from Flickr Commons | Jessica Quirk, right photo from Flickr Commons | Kent Wang

7. Loyola welcomes important and inspirational public figures to address our students and mark this momentous occasion.

2013 commencement speaker Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president & CEO of Catholic Relief Services (left); 2010 speaker Harry K. Thomas, Jr., career member of the Senior Foreign Service and former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines (right).

2013 commencement speaker Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president & CEO of Catholic Relief Services (left); 2010 speaker Harry K. Thomas, Jr., career member of the Senior Foreign Service and former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines (right).

The Preakness welcomes equally important public figures, but they only get to address the horses. (In fairness, the Governor does get interviewed on national television during the trophy presentation.)

Photo courtesy of the Office of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley

6. Loyola’s ROI is not a gamble.

Photo from Flickr Commons | Stacey Huggins

5. You can’t wear the Preakness trophy.

4. Fact: Greyhounds are faster than horses.

Photo from Flickr Commons | Harley Marlow

3. Our graduates think the blimp is for them.

And why wouldn’t they?

The home stretch at Pimlico, complete with inconspicuous blimp.

2. We don’t need an official flower.

But if we chose one, we’d make sure it bloomed in Maryland before July. (That Black-Eyed Susan blanket draped over the winning horse is made of Viking daisies. True story.)

Photo from Flickr Commons | Jay Baker

1. Everyone is a winner. And they’ll have the diplomas to prove it.

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