The Loyola community marked the official transition to Loyola University Maryland at a convocation in the campus's Reitz Arena on Friday, Sept. 25. The ceremony also marked the renaming of the College of Arts and Sciences as "Loyola College."
"The essential point is that what we celebrate today is a genesis, not a terminus. We celebrate the beginning of a voyage," Fr. Linnane said. "Pray that the road is long and full of adventure and full of learning and that the summer mornings are many."
In addition to Fr. Linnane's remarks, the event featured a keynote address by Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia, Ph.D. DeGioia and His Excellency Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of Baltimore received Doctor of Humane Letters degrees, honoris causa-the first degrees awarded by Loyola University Maryland.
In accepting the degree, DiGioia said he was humbled to be honored with Archbishop O'Brien, especially because O'Brien is the successor of Georgetown's founder, John Carroll, as archbishop of Baltimore.
"What our two universities share and what distinguishes us in the context of higher education is a tradition. It's a tradition with its roots in the experience of a man convalescing in a room in Spain," said DiGioia, reflecting on the history of the Society of Jesus and its founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, for whom Loyola University Maryland is named. "We are heirs to what may be the most extraordinary tradition of education the world has ever seen."
DiGioia praised Loyola for the social justice work the University and its students do in the greater community.
"I have no doubt that by undertaking this important transition today, Loyola University Maryland will be better able, better charged to undertake this challenge," he said. "This community has done truly great things throughout its history, but I know your past accomplishments only hint at your future achievements."
The convocation also featured the unveiling of key elements of the new Loyola University Maryland branding strategy in a video presentation titled "Strong Truths Well Lived," and the transformed Loyola Web site, which launched during the ceremony. The new branding strategy is the result of two years of extensive research and creative development.
Fr. Linnane explored the importance of identifying the institution as a university, delivering a call to action to the assembly, which included parents on campus for Family Weekend.
"Today, we recommit ourselves to the education of the whole person. We recommit ourselves to the highest standards of academic excellence and academic integrity. We recommit ourselves to our Catholic belief in the complementarity of faith and reason. We recommit ourselves to rejecting the ethical neutrality that leaves evil unopposed and our conscience in a slumber. And we recommit ourselves to social justice. We will lift up those who have been left out," Fr. Linnane said. "As a university, our reach will be greater. Our influence will be wider. Our impact will be stronger. And we will become, in time, our nation's leading Catholic comprehensive university."
The festivities will continue Saturday, Sept. 26, with a reception, live music, and fireworks display on the Quad. That event begins at 8 p.m. and continues until 9:30 p.m. The Executive Committee of Loyola's Board of Trustees first announced the decision to change the University's designation in August 2008. The specific name "Loyola University Maryland" was chosen to reaffirm the University's enduring connection to its home state, as well as to underscore the distinctions between this university and the other "Loyola Universities" in Louisiana, Illinois, and California.
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