Loyola College in Maryland

Special to SunSpot

Loyola College, which celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2002, is the second oldest chartered college in Baltimore. While the school welcomes students,faculty and staff from all religious backgrounds, Loyola's Jesuit identity sets it apart from Maryland's other schools. TheBaltimore college boasts a distinguished tradition: It is the ninth oldest American Jesuit institution of higher learning and the first college in the United States to bear the name of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1540.

An order of the Roman Catholic Church, Jesuits commit themselves to vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The Jesuits are known for theirdedication to social causes such as addressing problems of racial injustice and civil rights. The school seal includes the insignia "A.M.D.G.," initials representing the Jesuit motto, "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam" or "For the Greater Glory of God." In "The Principles of a Jesuit Education," Loyola Theology professor Rev. Joseph Rossi writes "Peacefully, amicably, non-violently, with intelligence and faith, with respect and with conviction, we can -- we must -- encourage and heal through Christ, through Jesuit education."

While an emphasis on ethics and values is a key part of Jesuit education, the ultimate objective is to produce well-rounded students, with abroad range of knowledge and interest in a variety of subjects. Loyola'sdedication to these principles is evident in the core curriculum, which requires undergraduates to take courses in English, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, fine arts, foreign language, mathematics, science and social sciences.

The benefits of a Loyola education are not exclusive to Catholics, Christians or people of faith. As theology professor Rev. Angela Christman says, "Loyola properly has a distinctly Roman Catholic theological perspective. However, it is also a place where all Christians, as well as people of other faiths and non-believers, can, and should, discuss fundamental theological issues with integrity and mutual respect." Ideally, whether the students are practicing or not, a Jesuit education seeks to improve the world by cultivating compassionate, educated adults.

Before settling at its spacious Evergreen Campus in North Baltimore in 1922, Loyola was located downtown. Established in 1852 in a modest Holliday Street house, the college moved to a large building in Mount Vernon three years later, where it remained for nearly 70 years. Although its Evergreen Campus has existed for close to 100 years, Loyola continues to build and improve itsfacilities at a heroic pace. The campus has undergone such significant physical transformation in recent years that an alumnus from a generation ago might not be able to recognize certain aspects anymore.

Recent campus construction projects include The Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J., School of Business and Management building, a 50,000-square-foot classroom and office building which opened in January 2000 and the renovation of the Andrew White Student Center, complete with ATMs, a cyber cafe, post office, bookstore and the Boulder Garden Cafe. Where the Boumi Temple once stood, a quarter-mile north of the campus gates, Loyola has built the Fitness and Aquatic Center, an athletic facility on Charles Street with Olympic-sized swimming pools where the swimming and diving teams compete. With nearly three-quarters of Loyola's undergraduates electing to live on campus, the college has expanded residence life facilities by acquiring and converting area buildings (such as Wynnewood Towers and Guilford Towers on Cold Spring Lane) into dorms.

For more than 100 years a Loyola education was exclusive to men. That changed in 1971 when the school merged with Mount Saint Agnes College. Today, Loyola has a 57 percent female majority.

In 1980, Loyola established itsseparate business school -- the Rev. Joseph A.Sellinger, Jr., School of Business and Management -- tomeet the demands of its growing undergraduate and graduate business programs (Loyola is the only private institution in the state of Maryland with a nationally accredited business school). Loyola's business programs remain internationally renowned,offering a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and business administration with concentrations in accounting, business economics, finance, general business, international business,management, management information systems and marketing. Graduate degrees include a Master of Business Administration, the pioneering Master ofScience in Finance and the ExecutiveMBA programs.

When Loyola students want to take a break from their studies, they have plenty of campus activities from which to choose. Special interest and academic clubs include the anime club, GLADD -- Girls LearningAbout Double-Dutch & Dance, an environmental groupcalled Roots & Shoots, Toastmasters International -- aclub dedicated to "Communication Skills," the young investor's club, advertising club, theology club and Amnesty International. Out-of-towners are introduced to Baltimore attractions through a program called "Best of Baltimore," a seriesof cultural outings to such local institutions asOriole Park at Camden Yards for an Orioles game, for NFLaction, for Shakespeare and the for opera or a touring musical. Many older Loyolastudents frequent the local barscene, with weekly Thursday and Friday nightgatherings at a gauntlet of Govans barsincluding .

Although it has changed dramatically over the years, Loyola College maintains the core values of a Jesuit institution while continuing to redefine its role within modern academia.

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