If you look at Loyola’s website or see a Loyola ad or receive a printed Loyola brochure, you will likely see this phrase, The Loyola Experience.
In truth, I think it is a pretty common phrase that prospective students hear from one university to another—particularly during the admission process—the (fill in the university here) Experience.
Well, if it is so common, why do we use it at Loyola? What does it really mean?
Years ago, we looked at our history as a university as well as the Ignatian belief that education should prepare leaders to better serve their communities. Jesuit colleges and universities were established in proximity to the city to ‘lend an ear to the discussion and needs of the community so students would know how they could best make the city stronger and a better place’ given his or her unique gifts, talents, skills, and interests.
And for all of us at Loyola, our mission is just that—to ensure that students have a Loyola Experience that equips them to leave the world better than they found it and, just as importantly, to add value to the lives and experiences of others.
It doesn’t happen overnight. There is no prescribed formula that tells you that if you just follow these steps, the Experience will occur. The Loyola Experience is designed to empower you to establish goals, map out a plan, critically think about who you are and what you want, and shape your individual and professional journey. It is deeply personal and yet, your Loyola Experience will connect you with thousands of other students and alumni around the world.
Your Loyola Experience is about the adult you will become and how society will view you and your contributions. Your Loyola Experience is the foundation for the rest of your life. In short, the Loyola Experience is what you want it to be.
I think most of our students ‘get it.’ They seek out resources on campus and dive into conversations with others. They take an active role in clubs and organizations and typically have multiple internships and research opportunities. The Loyola Experience that is alive today is quite different than the Loyola of years past. Our community has been fortunate to build on its strengths and provide more and more opportunities for those who have yet to start their experience. Every class seems to make it better for the next.
Our students really do seek out the magis—striving for more—and they leave Loyola better than they found it.