Category: Reimagine

Damen Student Center

Damen Student Center

If you haven’t heard, Loyola’s new student union (the Damen Student Center) is opening up this April. Although construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the interior building, I had the opportunity to tour the facility last week. It’s a truly incredible space. Our current student union (CSFU) has served it purpose on campus for some time, but the new student union blows what we have now out of the water. The space is going to be a beautiful focal point of campus, featuring a new theater space, a sports lounge and two new dining opportunities. Since I’m a VIP and a pretty cool guy, I took a bunch of pictures to show off. They’re below with explanations of what you’re seeing.

The North Entrance of the Union
The View Inside After Entering From North Entrance
The Main Social Space
A Finer Look At The Union’s Glass Ceiling
Southern Entrance

The student center sits flush with the Gentile Center. This arch way serves as the southern entrance.

The Space Between Halas and The Damen Student Center

This big glass wall in between our student gym, Halas, and the student center is going to house the university’s two story rock wall. Pretty exciting.

The New Theater Space. Seats 100-Something People
View From 2nd Floor Windows Facing North West
The Student Center Is Pretty Close To The El, But Is Pretty Quiet.

Ireland's Sports Lounge

The photo above is a view of Ireland’s Sports Lounge (named after the 1963 Men’s b-ball head coach George Ireland). It’s a space for students to gather for various events. The space will be open for students to use on their own daily (they’ll be pool tables to use), but will occasionally host sports-center viewing events.

TV Space

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but those rectangles in the wall are going to house TVs. They’ll be a couple of this stations in the basement of the student union. The TVs will have satellite, but students will also be able to rent video game consoles from the front desk to play at these stations.

The New Dinning Hall

Above is a photos of the new dining hall in the student center. It’ll replace Lake Shore Dining (RIP). It’s a beautiful space that is located on the first floor. The photos below are of the dinning area that face towards Sheridan Rd and the Loyola El stop.

The Eating Area of The New Dining Hall
Another View of The Dining Space

There you have it. A small preview of what students will get to use come April. That’s all you get to see for now. I can’t wait until students (current/prospective) get to check it out for themselves!

Looking Forward To Spring

Looking Forward To Spring

Well, it’s been a minute since I last wrote. This has been due in large part to what admission counselors call “reading season.” This is the time of year we read the numerous applications that students filled out in the Fall. Much like the “holiday season,” this time of year is stressful, fun, busy and rewarding. I can’t count how many applications I’ve read, but I’m through the busiest part.

With the Fall over and Winter on it’s way out, there are some excited things happening at Loyola this Spring.

Since reading season is just about over, our office is finalizing our plans for Loyola Weekend. Loyola Weekend is our annual Spring open house and one of the best chances for admitted to students to check out the University before May 1 (the deposit deadline). We’ll have a great deal going on the weekend of April 6th: tours of campus, tours of residence halls, a mini department fair and a student organization showcase. Use the Loyola Weekend link above to check your customized schedule.

When (or if) you attend Loyola Weekend you’ll get to see our new student union! The student union, or the Damen Student Center, will be complete April 1st and pretty beautiful. Our office is getting a preview tour of the space next week. I’m very excited to see what exactly the student union is going to house and the physical space. It’ll be a big upgrade from what I had available as a student. I plan on taking a number of photos and maybe some videos to post after we return.

Each Spring also welcomes Loyola’s annual concert/comedian pairing known as Colossus. During this Friday and Saturday in March Loyola traditionally brings a band and comedian to preform, on campus, for students. We’ve had some great acts preform over the last couple of years (Jim Gaffigan, Donald Glover, Flo-Rida and The Black Eyed Peas to name a few), but I’m pretty pumped for who’s preforming this year: Karmin/Matt Nathanson and Aziz Ansari! I’ve been the last couple of years and I think I’ll make it out again in March. Tickets for the show are sold together for $7 and separately for $5, what a steal!

If these three events weren’t enough to get you excited about Spring, the clocks are going to spring forward soon! That means another hour of glorious day light is on the way. Which means, Summer is approaching.

Check back Tuesday for my photos of the new student center!


1963 NCAA Champions

1963 NCAA Champions

This is one of our newest additions to the Rambler Row in the Norville Center.

It stands about 3 feet tall and sits at about the midway point in Rambler Row but it is actually much different than the original.

This is the NCAA Nations Championship trophy, but if you look closely it is actually only partially the original piece. The  original was damaged by some poor handling by the university in the 90s.

This past summer is was rectified and saved. The Athletic Department has rebuilt it and put it up for display so that this University can be proud of our history and look forward to the days to come.

Game of Change

Game of Change

While I usually talk about what is going on at Loyola and ways of improving your Loyola experience, this time I would like to address a more important topic. Loyola prides itself on diversity and in 1963 we proved to the world that we live up to our words.

50 years ago Loyola University became the first team to start 4 African-Americans on its starting line up for NCAA Men’s Basketball, many people had problems with the act but few responded.

The team started the year ranked 3rd in the nation and went on to remain undefeated at home and made it to the NCAA Tournament. It was what happened here that has forever changed the sport of basketball.

The Ramblers started their push with a record setting victory over Tennessee Tech winning 111-42 in the first round of the tournament. This still remains the largest margin of victory in any NCAA D1 game.

They then were scheduled to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Sweet Sixteen. Due to the fact that we had African-American starters the Governor of Mississippi bared the team from leaving the state and refused to allow them to play us. After much debate the team was snuck out of the state to play and Loyola eventually ended up winning what is now know as the Game of Change.

That year not only did our Loyola Ramblers changed basketball and we must thank the Bulldogs for helping us in our endeavor of changing the game but we went on to win the National Championship and showed the world what it means to be Rambler Proud.

Being the 50th Anniversary of that year this year has much in store with a fully rebuilt team and program ready to strike at the Nation once again.

The View from My Office

The View from My Office

I wanted to share the view from my office with you today. Take a look:

The view from the 11th floor of Mundelein Center. Click to enlarge.

This view actually means a lot to me.

First, it is a sign of the parallel between how far I have come and how far Loyola has come since I arrived here. It has actually been pretty fun to watch this school grow alongside me. Despite the annoyance that construction brings, it is pretty exciting to watch and it feels good to know that something better is always on its way.

When I was a Freshman, that green lawn (which is our East Quad between the Information Commons and Dumbach Hall) was a hole in the ground. The year before I got here the IC had just opened for the first year and the year I arrived they were re-doing the roads, sidewalks, and lawn around it. In the picture you can see a construction crane. They’re working on finishing up Cuneo Hall, which is standing on the stump of old Damen Hall. Loyola has grown a lot.

I remember looking out onto this view from my old boss’ old office. I was a Freshman and he was the Operations Manager of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. During the year I set up chairs and stands for ensembles and helped my boss with events. I finished my first year of college with a 4.0, a lot better than the GPA I had in high school. Now I have a new boss (Scott Heston, who rocks), a new office, a new set of jobs (Event Manager, Jr. Marketing Specialist, Blogger, and Media Analyst) and I’ll be graduating this May. I’ve grown a lot, too.

I like looking out on the lawn during a sunny day and seeing everybody looking so small in our beautiful campus in the city. Being so far above things and seeing this view is a great de-stresser. It helps keep things in perspective. I can see so many little people bustling about their daily lives. From eye level it feels as if you are in your own little world down there. But from up here I can see them next to the lake and with Chicago all around. It helps put things into context. The world is a lot bigger than your problems, and you’ve got plenty of places to go- plenty of things to do- that you haven’t yet.

When I leave work I’ll be back down there among them and on my way to class. I’m no different, but at least I am lucky enough to enjoy view from my office for a little while.

Mundelein Auditorium Construction

Mundelein Auditorium Construction

Typically I do not have much to complain about, but the writing of this blog was timed just after a phone call from the head of Housekeeping at Loyola.

He needs legs to support some platforms that he is setting up in the Information Commons. He called me to ask if I knew where they were, since he and I both do a lot of work with those platforms and legs.

Here is a look into how this phone call came to be:

Until recently all the extra equipment for events has been stored in the backstage area of Mundelein Auditorium, where I work and where the Department of Fine and Performing Arts holds its large ensemble rehearsals. This all changed when the construction crews that are doing the “ReImagine” campaign needed to use the backstage area to work on ceiling above the auditorium for some Mundelein renovations.

Everything has been moved to various locations- locations about which I have not been informed. Now I have to send out requests every time I need to have another platform or some legs or railings or anything else I may need that used to be easily accessible for classes backstage. In addition, there is a fake wall up where the curtain to the backstage area used to be, and the side entrances remain locked except for hardhat access.

From what I understand- which admittedly is not much- the Facilities department seems to be in charge of relocating and storing this equipment. But problems arise because departments are not used to having to collaborate so much just go get simple tasks done.

Facilities knows where things are, but when I make requests they dispatch the Grounds crew to move them. Grounds crew’s job isn’t to keep track of everything, so they often do not know where things are- and I do not have the contact information for anybody on Grounds crew.

Housekeeping does a lot of the physical setups for events around campus, but they do not get informed when Facilities directs Grounds to move equipment.

So this resulted in me having to talk to Housekeeping in the middle of my mid-afternoon nap(!) explaining that I do not know where the legs are, and I do not know who he can turn to for answers. I feel bad, but I guess problems like this are what happen when you have such massive construction plans.

Supposedly this will all be over in 1 semester. When I graduate.

I know, my life is hard.

Still, I am tempered by the fact that I enjoy frequent use of the Information Commons that was constructed through the inconvenience of those who came before me. I guess we all have sacrifices to make. I hope he gets his legs.

Loyola U(new)versity

Loyola U(new)versity

If you have had the opportunity to walk around Loyola recently, you may notice a few things that stand out from the traditional college campus.  That is because Loyola is not your common college campus.

Aside from being just miles north of one of the biggest cities in the United States, Loyola proudly boasts a split campus format that allows for the best of both worlds; a downtown campus for business, communication, and social work students to get valuable experience working in an urban environment and a northern campus to provide science, language, math and various other students the resources they need to complete their major.

Also occupying the northern campus are cranes, cement trucks and men in hardhats.

That is because Loyola is in the midst of a drastic multi-million dollar make-over.  Beginning with Norville Athletic Center, a state-of-the-art training facility for Loyola athletes, Loyola will continue to create and construct multiple venues for students.  Next on the illustrious to-do list is the Cuneo, a learning hall for students.  With its completion due by the end of second semester 2011, Halas will begin its face-lift.  Halas, the current student exercise facility and gym will be replaced by Halas 2.0, complete with new exercise equipment, pool and rock wall for the more daring of Ramblers.

In addition to the construction of Halas, a new student union will be build right next door.  This student union will replace and out-do the current CFSU (located on the ground level of the historic Mertz dorm).  In addition to Halas, residence halls Rockhurst and Holy Cross (my home) will be torn down at the end of summer to be made into new residence halls.

Understandably, Loyola looks like a Caterpillar parking lot a times, but only because our gracious benefactors wanted to give back to the school that served them.  For those feeling like the Water Tower Campus is getting the short end of the deal, no worries because soon construction will begin on a new business school.
Loyola will be a neat place to be over the course of the next few years.  For current students like me, we will only have the honor of using a few of the many new buildings going up, but even now I feel spoiled.  If you haven’t seen Loyola recently, then you haven’t seen Loyola U(new)versity, and if you can’t wait to check it out in person, here is an overhead diagram of the changes you will see.