Message from the Acting President: Living out Jesuit values

By Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.

When our president, the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., asked me to serve as acting president during his sabbatical this fall semester, I knew I would be taking on additional responsibilities. What I hadn’t considered, and what has been such a wonderful discovery, was that I would have the opportunity to meet and reconnect with so many of our alumni.

As I speak with them, I often find myself considering how our graduates are living out the very Jesuit values our academic community tries to ignite in them during their time on campus. Whether they graduated recently or decades ago, our alumni share similar values—a commitment to serve others beyond themselves, a desire to live with integrity, and a dedication to the Jesuit sense of magis, by striving to become more, to contribute more. They are ethical leaders, putting the extraordinary and distinctive Loyola education into action—and they make every member of our community proud to be associated with this university.

Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to meet John Sippel, Jr., ’92. John is an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working as a federal prosecutor in the violent crime unit. His job is a challenging one, and even frustrating at times. In his work, he continues to pursue excellence and reflects on all he learned at Loyola.

“What we do requires us to have a sense of social responsibility and fairness, and to look at the big picture and to be reasonable,” he says. “My Jesuit education has really taught me to step back and think about the impact of what I’m doing. I turn to that education every day.”

Today we are fighting battles against terrorism, poverty, intolerance, and racial injustice. We are working toward equality and inclusivity, giving voice to the voiceless, and creating a more peaceful, more sustainable, more just world.

Sometimes, as John Sippel says, we may feel we are emptying the ocean one bucket at a time.

In this moment, more than ever, our Jesuit values and the education we offer to our students are not only relevant, but essential.

On behalf of the Loyola University Maryland community, I send our warmest wishes for a wonderful 2016.

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