President’s Message: Baltimore is our home
July 5, 2015
Ten years ago when I became president of Loyola, I moved to Baltimore, and this campus and this city became my home. It’s always been a source of joy to me that our students are able to immerse themselves in this city. They can root for—or against—major league sports teams, make trips to the symphony, experience a vibrant theater scene, and visit two internationally known art galleries. Our faculty has an opportunity to integrate the valuable experiences this culturally rich, historic, and beautiful city offers into our curriculum—particularly through Messina, our distinctive living learning program for first-year students.
Of course, as we all know, there is a more complete and complicated picture of Baltimore. Earlier this spring events in the city came as an important reminder of the division and issues Baltimore faces. At our Jesuit, Catholic institution, we speak about cultivating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Baltimore offers our students—and campus community, myself included—ways to expand that 360-degree education. Our students can stretch their minds and bodies and also grow in spirit, serving the disadvantaged, becoming a voice for the voiceless, and taking an active role in fostering justice.
As a campus with a mission rooted in faith, we have compelling reasons to care about this community. Our concern for Baltimore, and our reasons for investing in it, however, can also be quite simply understood: This city is our home. Baltimore has its challenges, as do cities throughout the country, but Loyola is a proud and committed member of this community.
On July 1, I begin a six-month sabbatical from my presidential responsibilities to reflect, rejuvenate, and reengage with my academic discipline of moral theology. Susan Donovan, Ph.D., executive vice president, will serve as acting president in my absence. I plan to travel for part of my sabbatical leave, but I will be in Baltimore to welcome our new and returning students in August—and I will return to my presidential duties in time to welcome students back for the spring semester. Wherever I travel, Baltimore and Loyola are my home, and I will look forward to my return.
Whether you consider Baltimore your home or you have made your home elsewhere, I hope you will always see Loyola University Maryland as a warm and welcoming place.