August 24, 2020
Greetings and Welcome to the School of Social Work in a new academic year!
We are blessed that you decided to pursue your education and training with us at Loyola University Chicago during this time of disruption in almost all facets of our lives. It has been a time of fear, hurt, ambiguity, disappointment, sadness, and so many other emotions that we go to sleep with and wake up to for many months now. You are not in this alone. Your entire academic family is with you in this journey and will be ever present as we all learn to navigate these extraordinary times.
The immense pain and suffering from the dual pandemics of racism and covid19 has torn through the fragile fabric of hope and the tranquility of “happiness”, exposing the ugliness of hate that often underlies this Nation in not so subtle ways. I am cautiously optimistic that our society will be reincarnated to recognize & value the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, so that everyone fathoms that Black Lives Matter.
You are a part of the “People’s Profession”. Social Work, a profession that touches the hearts and minds of millions of disenfranchised, voiceless, and the powerless to enable them to find hope, comfort, and a pathway to a fulfilling life. We call you one of our own in this collective fight for justice & peace.
You are a part of Chicago’s Jesuit, Catholic University. A place where your participation in a transformational educational environment leads you unconditionally to be a “person for others”. An education that lets you explore your passion, engage in difficult conversations respectfully, transactionally learn/teach from every interaction and help you blossom further into a person of impeccable character, full of hope, care, and kindness in all that you do for the rest of your life and career.
You are a part of a Social Work program that is steeped in tradition and that has stood steadfast in history for its commitment to our students & community. In 2021, we celebrate 100 years of MSW accreditation at the School. I can only speculate that during the early days of recovery from the Spanish flu pandemic (circa 1918), our colleagues and students of those yester years were as committed to our profession, people, & communities as we are now. Today, we continue on in our journey of professional service to others.
While we await an reinvigorated normalcy to embrace us in a few months, I leave you with a prayer:
Good and Gracious God, we thank you for your goodness to us and the blessings you provide for us each day. We know that your heart breaks with each act of senseless violence and injustice suffered by our brothers and sisters in our country and all over the world. We believe the tragic killings, shootings in our cities, war and displacement of people, racism and disrespect for all creation are not the way you want your people to behave.
Keep us from being pre-occupied with our own wants at the expense of justice and the common good. Make us people of peace. Help our nation to value peace and dialogue in our dealing with other people and nations. Help us to have compassion for all who suffer persecution and injustice. Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn.
– Shared by a friend of mine
I wish you a blessed, fruitful, and powerful year ahead. My dedicated faculty, staff, and I are here for you as you discern your own path for the common good.
Goutham M. Menon, Ph.D., MA. MBA.
School of Social Work
Office of the Dean
Maguire Hall 5th Floor – Water Tower Campus
1 E. Pearson, Chicago 60611
P: 312-915-6551 | Email: SSWDeanLUC@luc.edu