Month: November 2016

Christmas at LUC

Christmas at LUC


There are endless ways to enjoy the holidays on campus and around Chicago! Grabs your coats, scarves and gloves and join us the Loyola alumni, staff, and students in some holiday fun!

Damen Student Center tree lighting
Dec. 1, 5 p.m.
Start the Christmas season at Loyola with the annual tree lighting celebration in the Damen Student Center.

Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays through Dec. 16
Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics during Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. This festive series is part concert, part sing-along at the world-famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” 201 E. Randolph St.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Dec. 2-4, 9-23, 26-31; Jan. 1
Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for a fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday activities throughout the grounds. 2200 N. Stockton Drive.

Polar Palooza
Dec. 3, 12 – 8 p.m.
Dec. 4, 12 – 6 p.m.

Polar Palooza, the annual two-day outdoor winter festival for Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods, is back and co-hosted by Loyola University Chicago, the Rogers Park Business Alliance, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, and Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward. Enjoy food from local restaurants, live music, synthetic skating, a meet-and-greet with Santa, and—on Sunday—a visit from a live reindeer. New attractions this year include a beer garden, holiday movies at The New 400 Movie Theater, and a merry-go-round. 6601 N. Sheridan Road.

Loyola Gives
Operated in conjunction with the Catholic Charities: Sponsor-A-Family program, Loyola Gives sponsors families by raising funds and purchasing needed items and gifts for the holidays.
• Gift drop-off
Water Tower Campus: Dec. 6., Baumhart Hall, Terry Student Center Lobby
Health Sciences Campus: Dec. 7., Cuneo Center, Room 270
Lake Shore Campus: Dec. 8., Damen Student Center, Atrium

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 8, 5:15 – 6 p.m.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day for those who follow the Catholic tradition. Come celebrate Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel.

Dec. 8, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Joyola! returns this season for a grandiose evening of holiday celebration showcasing a mix of sacred and secular works. The night will feature performances by the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Women’s Chorus, University Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. Mundelein Center. 1020 W. Sheridan Road.

Desserts in December
Dec. 9, 5 – 7 p.m.
Need a break from studying or just a few sweets in your life? Students, faculty, and staff are invited to Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs’s annual event for holiday treats. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room.

Advent Vespers
Dec. 10, 5 p.m.
Join Mundelein alumnae and friends to celebrate this Advent-Christmas season. We will begin the evening with our tradition of Advent Vespers followed by a reception, and then we will enjoy Lessons and Carols, the Christmas mystery presented in song and scripture. Piper Hall.

Lessons and Carols
Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
Loyola’s most popular holiday event returns. In the tradition of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, the world-renowned Christmas Eve worship service at King’s College Chapel, this service features a series of lessons juxtaposed with liturgical music performed by the University’s choral ensembles. Madonna della Strada Chapel.

Finals Breakfast
Dec. 13, 9 p.m.
This free late-night breakfast for students is a Finals Week tradition at Loyola. Finals Breakfast provides students a chance to take a study break, refuel, and catch up with friends before the last stretch of exams. Faculty and staff serve students meals to provide support and boost morale during this stressful time of the semester. Gentile Arena.

Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 17, 9 a.m.
Hosted by GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade), this event features a morning of crafts and activities to celebrate the holidays. A continental breakfast will be provided and Santa will be ready for pictures. Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Family Matters of Rogers Park. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room.

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Through Dec. 24
Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. The unique shopping experience—paired with traditional German food, drinks, and entertainment—makes the market a must-see for the holidays. 50 W. Washington St.

Winter WonderFest
Through Jan. 8
For the 16th year in a row, families from near and far will flock to Navy Pier and bask in seasonal bliss without bundling up. The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest returns with more than 24 rides and attractions and 170,000 square feet of indoor entertainment for all ages. 600 E. Grand Ave.

Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Through Jan. 8
This holiday staple at the Museum of Science and Industry features international Christmas decorations—and even indoor “snow.” Guests can celebrate festive traditions from around the globe with a forest of beautifully adorned trees, each one decorated by local volunteers from Chicago’s diverse communities. 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
Through Jan. 8
Tis the season to celebrate everyone’s favorite “Peanuts” pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St.

Ice skating at Millennium Park
Through March 5
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park kicks off the winter season with skating and special programming. Admission is free and open to the public, with skate rentals available for $12. Michigan Avenue between Washington Street and Madison Street.

The Finish Line is Within Sight

The Finish Line is Within Sight

Business people cross the finish line

It was only a couple of days ago that I was able to enjoy my Thanksgiving break and not have to worry so much about schoolwork. Once I came back to school, I realized that finals were closer than I had expected. At this point in the semester, there are only two full weeks of school left which is the equivalent of 10 days. With that in mind, the finish line to ending the semester is so close!

At the same time, it is very critical that you do not slack off in these last few days. Around this time, most professors will have several things due for instance, papers, presentations, projects, quizzes, and unit exams. When you are like me and take 18 (or more) credits worth of classes, people better start calling you a warrior.


Things to keep in mind/start doing:

  1. Do ANYTHING you can NOW. If you are a procrastinator, this message should be a valuable and handy tip. For those who do not procrastinate, this is a helpful message so you can relax later on and not have to be so stressed. With today being Wednesday, there is only 7 days left of the semester, it is best to use up all the free time you have to dedicate to your studies or obligated errands. Time is of the essence!
  2. Make a DAILY checklist. Many people underestimate the power of writing things down vs. memorizing things to do. Checklists help you stay very organized and forces you to finish specific things ON TIME. Without checklists, you may want to procrastinate, which is a no-no. Having daily checklists help you to think within a day’s time frame instead of view the week broadly. Plus, for me, it is quite satisfying to physically check off boxes and have a good feeling of accomplishment!
  3. COFFEE might be your new best friend. As we near finals week, there will definitely be a lot of assignments due and exams to study for. Coffee, if it is your preference, will provide you with an extra boost of energy and motivation to study more and focus.
  4. CHRISTMAS SPIRIT officially comes AFTER finals week.  Unfortunately, this year we end the semester closer to Christmas than we normally tend to. However, that does not mean that you should direct your (full or partial) attention and focus away from your studies and schoolwork. This may affect you from boosting that B+ to an A… scenarios like this, people tend to regret not putting enough effort into their studying as they should have. If anything, go all out for New Years and celebrate hard; look forward to that holiday more than Christmas.
  5. If you are CONFUSED about anything, ASK. Asking does not hurt anyone. You will gain clarity on a certain topic and have more confidence when you are asked that topic on an exam.

I understand that these things are leaning toward the more extreme and more self-disciplined methods to preparing for finals week, but nevertheless, they are ways to help you maintain or rise academically, which is the reason we go to school. We want to succeed, so we study for our classes by doing well on our exams and classwork. These all stem down to the basic essentials of how to study effectively and wisely.


Staying Cool and Collected: A How-To Guide for Finals Week

Staying Cool and Collected: A How-To Guide for Finals Week

Finals are right around the corner, and with that a number of papers, presentations, and other course work are coming up out of nowhere. If this is your first semester at college, or if you’re just looking for some activities to keep yourself from going crazy with all the studying and work, there’s plenty of things around Loyola and throughout the city that definitely can be therapeutic for everyone at Loyola.

With finals, Loyola specifically has plenty of resources for our students to help them including tutoring for our students, with almost every class you might need help in, whether it be helping understand the material gone over in class, or bumping up that grade from a B+ to an A (x). Located in the IC, is also the Writing Center, aimed to improve all writing abilities, no matter if it’s your first semester, or your 8th semester (x).

There’s also plenty of other activities around campus, as well as around Chicago to help destress if you need to get your mind off of studying. During Finals Week, finals breakfast is a well-known tradition for our Loyola students. Held in the Gentile Arena in the evening, our students can get a variety of things such as breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, fresh fruit, tater tots, bacon, as well as so many other things, entirely FREE! Those interested should definitely keep their eye out for an email on it.

This weekend (Dec 3rd and 4th) from 12PM to 7PM both days is Polar Palooza. The admission fee is $5 per person and $10 per family. At the event there will be food from local restaurants, live music, synthetic skating, meeting Santa, gift shopping with local artisans, ice sculpting, family friendly activities, and a visit from a LIVE reindeer on Sunday! The event is held at 6100 N Sheridan (One block south of Granville).

If that’s not your crowd, there’s also the Lincoln Park ZooLights with the entirety of Lincoln Park beautifully lit up for the holiday season. Dates still available to attend in Dec are 2–4, 9–23, 26–31 starting at 4:25PM, and if you’ll be in Chicago for New Years, their final day is January 1, 2017, 4:30–9PM. This event is entirely free for all participants.

Loyola’s Celebrities: Sister Jean and Tivo

Loyola’s Celebrities: Sister Jean and Tivo

When you ask a Loyola student of what is iconic of our campus, many students will respond with Sister Jean or Tivo. Both are friendly, approachable, and know how to make your day so much better! During my freshman year, I was introduced to both of them. And, like so many other students, I felt sense of belonging and genuine compassion from each of them.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt BVM: At least two to three times a week, I see Sister Jean smiling and walking around campus greeting students. I am fortunate to have been able to talk to her on many occasions whether it be for very casual greetings and conversations or just a wave of acknowledgment. At 96 years old, she helps bring life to the campus by connecting with students and has an active role with campus life. For example, Sister Jean is the chaplain for the men’s basketball team and is also a chaplain/resident for Regis Residence Hall. During the basketball game, she is an active participant and is easy to spot, sporting her personalized Nike tennis shoes. However, her most important role is to bring the Rambler family together whether in times of fun/celebration or hardship. Weekly, she holds a prayer group at her apartment, bringing students together and reaching out to students. Wherever Sister Jean is on campus, she is highly valued here at Loyola!

Tivo: Tivo is black lab that serves Loyola students as their therapy dog on campus. He resides in Loyola’s Wellness Center but is always found walking about campus or lounging in the Damen Student Center. Wherever he goes, students follow for a chance to pet him as their problems seem to wash away with every stroke of his fur. Did I also mention that he also loves to lick your hands? Many students who miss their pets at home are able to rent Tivo out for an hour (from the Wellness Center) and have the opportunity to play games and interact with him. Like Sister Jean, you can even find Tivo at the basketball games supporting our Ramblers. If you ever want to know where he is on certain days, be sure to follow him on Twitter!

Tivo and Sister Jean

Where’d the Semester Go?

Where’d the Semester Go?


Thanksgiving break already? This semester seems like it’s breezed on by, with only a couple weeks left in the semester. (And a couple papers that I still haven’t started.) Realizing how quickly everything has flashed before my eyes gives me a great chance to finally reflect on this past semester.

As a sophomore, I feel much more confident in thinking that I can handle the different aspects of college life, especially time management for a person such as myself. Still living on campus, and living with three other really great guys, that alone has helped improve my experience here at Loyola. From being able to cook meals with said roommates, to making random desserts such as brownies and cookies, to just being able to amass huge amounts of leftovers from all of the great Chicago restaurants, the sense of community hasn’t dissipated in the slightest for me. Including our neighbors, as well as our variety of friends from the others floors, as well as Campus Towers, just across the street.

This year I’ve also had the pleasure and honor of working as a student ambassador, seeing such a large amount of potential students interested in Loyola. That experience has allowed me to reflect on everything that I’ve done around campus, from the classes I’ve taken and how hard our professors work, to every social event I’ve seen happening, and been a part of. I feel more proud to be a Rambler, once I think about how welcoming and open-minded Loyola is as a Jesuit Catholic institution.

Speaking of our professors, this year since I’ve gotten even further in my studies, I’ve been able to witness first-hand how dedicated our professors are; not just to their area of study, but also to their students. Consistently being open and as kind as they can be, they’ve helped make Loyola a great learning environment. One of my most recent encounters has been with my History professor, Professor Donoghue. His class that I’m taking focuses on Pirates and Sailors in the Atlantic in Caribbean. However, because I’m a massive history nerd and like to reenact in my spare time, I was curious to see if he had any resources for me to help one of my historical kits (French and Indian War, for those who’re wondering). And despite the topic having nothing to do with our class much at all, he was still able to not only suggest where to start looking, but also referred me to an old Grad student of his, who had done the very reenactment in depth. Such an occurrence isn’t uncommon here, where our professors try their hardest to ensure their students successful, and yearn to see them following their passions.

Community is very prevalent here, which is why I’m definitely proud to call myself a Rambler. I’m not even halfway done with my adventure here, but with everything LUC does to make sure everyone feels safe and welcome, I want to continue to grow and develop as a scholar, as well as an individual, at a place that tries its best that I can do that on a professional level.

So since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I just want to say I’m definitely thankful I can be a part of a University that wants to see the world as a better place for all people, and take the initiative to do that.

With the Swipe of a Ventra Card

With the Swipe of a Ventra Card

Chicago is often seen as a city of diverse and unique neighborhoods, this is an understatement. Each of these neighborhoods are homes to different cultures, identities, and backgrounds that all make Chicago the city it is. One of the greatest perks of being a Loyola student is the Ventra card. This blue card, that is the size of a credit card with your photo and name, will allow a student to use any CTA “L” train line or bus throughout Chicago just by swiping your card. This opportunity allows students to further explore their Chicago classroom. Here is a link to see the “L” map:

Here are some places that you can explore all on the Red Line (from South to North):

  • Chinatown: With both food and culture, Chinatown is the place to have a true culinary/cultural experience that is a feast for the eyes. Starting in Chinatown square, the signs of the zodiac flank you and a cultural performance is usually put on the stage for both locals and tourists. Numerous restaurants and Chinese bakeries are very popular. These restaurants all serve authentic and traditional Chinese fare all for a good deal! In addition, the town has its own public library with books both in Mandarin and in English to accommodate its residents.
  • Chicago and State: This stop is famous for both being the location of Loyola’s Water Tower Campus but also for the home of the Magnificent Mile, the Champs-Elysees of Chicago. Here, all  name brands (domestic and international) are found on this “mile” strip. Here, renowned restaurants, dessert shops, and cafes line the street as shoppers go about the stores. This place is both popular with tourists and Chicago residents. The Mile is an easy five minute walk from Water Tower Campus and is only two blocks away from the Corboy Law Center.
  • Lincoln Park: Lincoln Park is an area of Chicago that is the home for many young professionals and many recent graduates. This neighborhood has many restaurants, boutiques, and places for people to hang out. It is also the home of DePaul university (just off the Fullerton stop). In addition, Lincoln Park Zoo is popular attraction for many families. This zoo is one the last free public zoos in the country and is both known for its menagerie of animals as well as its annual Zoo Lights that come up during the holiday season.
  • Lakeview: Lakeview is a general area that encompasses the neighborhoods of Wrigleyville, Boystown, and New Town. Wrigleyville is famous for being the home of the Chicago Cubs at the Wrigley Field. In addition, this stop has numerous restaurants and places for friends to hang out after a Cubs game, like the World Series! The Boystown neighborhood has one of the largest LGBT populations in the country as this was the first recognized LGBT village in the country. This area is known for both its annual Pride Parade during the summer and having cafes, bookstores, and like Lincoln Park sweet boutiques and shops.
  • Argyle: Just a few stops before the Loyola stop, Argyle is also known as “Little Vietnam” that is popular with both pho and bahn mi sandwiches that are tasty and hearty. Like Chinatown, the food is of good quality and price and is definitely worth trying. One of the best places is a Chinese BBQ place that specializes with roast meats especially roast duck. This is one of the best places I have tried!


Ramblers Tie With Harvard for Top Mark in the Nation at 99%!

Ramblers Tie With Harvard for Top Mark in the Nation at 99%!



What an honor that Loyola University Chicago was one of only two NCAA Division I institutions to have a 99% Graduation Success Rate (GSR) according to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)! The 99% GSR tied with Harvard University for being highest in the country.


Nine of Loyola’s 11 programs recorded a perfect score of 100 in the latest GSR report. Women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country/track and field, women’s soccer and softball all scored 100.


How awesome is it that the Men’s volleyball team had a perfect score of 100 and also at the same time competitively won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2014 and 2015!



Developed to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes, the NCAA Graduation Success Rate takes into account transfers, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport. Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing students who leave in good academic standing. Outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution’s GSR cohort.

The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2006-09. The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshman class of 1995.


Lets give a shout out to our Ramblers!

Hotspots Around Loyola

Hotspots Around Loyola



As this blog is primarily directed toward new, perspective students, it is possible that some of you have not visited our Lakeshore Campus yet or are not familiar with the area yet. Even if you took a tour of our campus, there are some things not mentioned on the tour regarding popular spots.

Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus is quite large in size and we are very fortunate to take up a lot of the space right next to the lake. Since Loyola has a long history, with renovations and construction dating back to the early 1900s in this area, there are a lot of interesting facts about the buildings and general location too. (If you have been following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you may have seen some of these facts on #throwbackthursday).



  1. Front of Madonna Della Strada (facing the lake). Not only are the views of the lake are spectacular and you can hear the organ, but there is a specific location in the middle of this area that is regarded as the “whispering zone.” When you stand in the middle and face the lake, you or softly talk and you’ll hear your voice whisper back to you. The sounds of your voice bounce back at you, from the lake. It’s quite fun and interesting! Every time I see people do it for the first time, they always are so surprised! Try it sometime! 🙂                                                                             Bourque-0004
  2.  Outside Palm Court (4th floor Mundelien). Here, you are on a balcony overseeing the majority of campus with the view of the lake in the background. Needless to say, this place is quite beautiful- Palm Court can be used for wedding spaces, so you can imagine how nice this place looks already.                                                                                                                                             reception
  3. East Quad (sometimes West Quad too). This place is usually calm, but when there is a need, people can come together here for various reasons such as protest or to support a cause. You can imagine the type of energy that can happen here when students come together.                    150605_Under_the_Stars_09-1000x667
  4. Atrium Area (located in the Damen Student Center). Everyday, there is always high energy here. Student organizations can set up tables to fund-raise, different offices can promote their services here, etc. St. Baldricks Head Shaving event is done here too as well as the ice skating rink  and placement of Loyola’s Christmas tree.                                                                                       23205904380_93bc13d2ce_m
  5. Convocation Doors. Besides the fancy intricate designs on this door, it is famously known for its purposes for when freshmen symbolically enter in and seniors walk out. Along with this tradition, students are given convocation keys. It is pretty meaningful and cool!                                        29254054015_72b530c6d2
Chicago Eats: Portillo’s

Chicago Eats: Portillo’s

Whether you enjoy Italian beef, hot dogs, or burgers; Chicago’s famous Portillo’s is the fast food restaurant for you. The restaurant is the prime example of Chicago culture from the presentation of the food to the ambience of the restaurant. Here are a few tips on what to order (and look like a local while doing so):

  1. The Chicago Hot Dog: This Chicago staple seems to have everything in it. On a poppy seed hot dog bun, the weiner is dressed up with tangy French mustard, chilled relish, sweet chopped onions, plump sliced red tomatoes, a pickle (that happens to be kosher), and a blend of peppers. This is truly a mouthful! Just a tip on the hot dog: DO NOT PUT KETCHUP ON YOUR HOT DOG! When in Chicago, do as the Chicagoan does. It is considered a grave sin to put ketchup on your dog and you will immediately be labeled as a tourist and not a true foodie. Regardless, this is a must eat. Having French fries or onion rings is always a nice addition to compliment this meal.
  2. Italian Beef: Just like the signature hot dog, Italian beef is equally popular in Portillo’s. Here are the two most popular ways to eat this treat. Some people enjoy eating the beef and cheddar croissant which is beefy, cheesy goodness! All packed onto a flaky French croissant. Then, there is the “combo”.  On a French roll, the combo is the best of both worlds: a juicy bratwurst and of course, Italian beef. This is also available with the sandwich dipped in its own sauce. Regardless, be sure to try the sandwich with either sweet peppers or spicier giadiniera peppers. I would highly recommend either of these!
  3. Chocolate Cake Shake: This decadent dessert seems to be the college student’s invention. As the name implies, a piece of chocolate cake is shoved in a blender with both milk and vanilla ice cream. I find this dessert to be a good way to “wash down” the greasy yet tasty food. In order to successfully consume this shake, it is more useful to have a spoon handy, as it practically impossible to use a straw.


Want a Break From Classes? Time to Get in the Christmas Spirit!

Want a Break From Classes? Time to Get in the Christmas Spirit!

If you’re anything like me and you’re stressing about class registration and exams, you’re looking for a break to not think about classes at all. Chicago has that fix for everyone before–and after–Thanksgiving Break: Christkindlmarket! Running every day from this weekend, November 18th, to December 24th.

The Christkindlmarket has been a Chicago tradition since 1996, with its design inspired by the 16th century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. Boasting both local and international German vendors, besides trinkets, Christmas ornaments, and wooden clocks, it’s a hotbed of traditional German culture, food, and spirits.

With choirs singing Christmas songs as well as a traditional German brass band (depending on which day you attend), there’s never a gloomy day, even when the polar vortex rolls through. If food is what you’re looking through, there’s a number of European sweets, chocolates, and pastries, famed gingerbread (which is easily one of my favorites), to Bratwurst, soft pretzels, potato pancakes, crepes, and sauerkraut. Hot chocolate, cider, and beer (If you’re 21+), flows from every food vendor like a waterfall.

With admission being free, it’s great for college students, and definitely where every Chicagoan can come together and celebrate holiday cheer, no matter who they are.

If you’re looking for Christmas cheer and a good time with a couple friends (or a special someone), it can easily be a great place to spend a couple hours browsing all the shops, snacking on a brat-burger, and making some great memories.

Christkindlmarket runs every day from Nov. 18th to Dec. 24th, on the Daley Plaza (Exit at State/Lake on the Red Line, walk south to Washington St., then walk west (headed away from Macy’s), and you’ll run into it in just a couple blocks!) The market opens daily at 11 am, closes at 8 pm Sunday-Thursday, then at 9 pm Friday and Saturday. See you there!