President’s Message: Deepening Loyola’s Commitment to Baltimore

By Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.  |  Photo by Larry Canner

Light City-3-29-16_079You don’t need to live in Baltimore for long to feel at home in and fall in love with this city, which is so full of culture, character, and cuisine.

Because cultural events in Baltimore are so affordable and accessible, many of our students take advantage of all the city offers—and I see them discovering those offerings quickly as first-year students participating in Messina, our distinctive living learning program.

Like all urban areas, however, Baltimore has its challenges. The unrest of April 2015 served as an important wake-up call not just for the Baltimore community, but particularly for us at Loyola to consider what more we can do as the Jesuit, Catholic university anchored in this historic city.

Without question, people in every corner of the world are our neighbors, and we are challenged to be the Good Samaritan to everyone. But we do not exist merely as individuals. And we cannot exist separately from our community. Loyola is not just located in the city of Baltimore; we are a part of Baltimore and a committed member of this city. We must always, always remember to reach out to and collaborate with those who are closest to us, our neighbors and fellow community members.

Baltimore’s challenges are our challenges as a university. For us to see to it that Loyola University Maryland becomes all we know it can be, we must help shine a light on the best characteristics of Baltimore: the people, the history, the culture, and the bright future this city holds. We must also help solve the challenges our city faces.

Today at Loyola as we ask ourselves how we can more fully commit ourselves to this city that has so much to offer, I have asked Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., executive vice president, to spearhead our work in engaging more deeply with our mission. In this role, she is translating that engagement into action, including leading our efforts to redouble our investment in our city. We are also altering priorities to enhance our neighborhoods and strengthen our community—putting our mission into action with greater impact through our $100 million Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign.

As we work continuously to deepen our focus on being an active, contributing member of our community, it is gratifying that I continue to encounter so many of our alumni and other friends of the University who are passionately invested in Baltimore and in ensuring that its future is an even brighter one.

Those who know Baltimore and all this community offers can understand their dedication to and belief in this city. As a university community, we are proud to be partnering with them and so many others in this worthy endeavor.

“Act as if everything depended on you,” St. Ignatius is quoted as saying. “Trust as if everything depended on God.”

We invite you to join us on this journey.

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