In his annual State of the University address Nov. 3, President Brian F. Linnane, S.J., applauded the Loyola University Maryland community for continuing to make strides toward excellence despite ongoing financial challenges facing the University, the nation, and the world.
“Difficult times call upon each of us to exercise creativity, to look at challenges in new ways, to recognize the connections and relationships that can help us reach our goals,” said Fr. Linnane. “And now that we have uncovered these new talents and strengths, we are in a far better position to face our future—whatever opportunities and challenges it brings—than we would be otherwise.”
Fr. Linnane highlighted Loyola’s “extraordinary achievements and milestones” and impressive growth over the past year, which included the formation of three new academic programs across a wide range of disciplines: a master’s degree in theological studies, a graduate certificate in cybersecurity, and a minor in forensic studies.
The address also noted that Loyola’s growth and appeal is reflected in the undergraduate class of 2015. More than 12,000 prospective students applied and 1,071 enrolled, both the highest figures in Loyola’s 159-year history. A record one in five students comes from a minority or multicultural background, and geographic diversity continues to expand as Texas and Florida now appear among Loyola’s top 10 feeder states. The number of students transferring into Loyola is also on the rise.
In addition to highlighting faculty and student milestones including the University’s third consecutive Fulbright grant and a Maryland Race to the Top award secured by members of Loyola’s School of Education faculty, Fr. Linnane also noted the impact philanthropic giving has had on the University’s success—and the growing role it will play in the future.
A generous donation from Mrs. Mary Mangione made it possible for the Loyola/Notre Dame Library to add a Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible. A $1 million gift from the estate of late Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig, brother of Rev. Frank Haig, S.J., professor emeritus of physics at Loyola, will establish the Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Endowment Fund for Science, Faith, and Culture. Most notably, he referenced a recent $5.2 million gift from Ed Hanway, a member of the University’s class of 1974 and current chair of its Board of Trustees, and his wife, Ellen. It is the largest outright gift from an individual in Loyola’s history.
“It’s difficult to overstate the magnitude of this gift,” said Fr. Linnane. He added that the money will support a number of key University initiatives tied to its strategic plan, including its global studies program, York Road Initiative, and living-learning communities for first-year students, as well as create a new, endowed, full-tuition scholarship.
Fr. Linnane closed his remarks by asking the Loyola community to find inspiration in the Hanways’ generosity as the University continues to pursue and meet the objectives defined in its strategic plan, which is now entering its fourth year. He urged students, faculty, and staff to serve as constant advocates for Loyola in an effort to make the University’s ambitious vision a reality.
“At its heart, our strategic plan, the vision that’s guided our work for the past three years, asks for more,” Fr. Linnane said. “It’s not enough for Loyola to be a good university or even a great one. Loyola, we believe, will be the finest university of its kind in the country."
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