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Loyola students donate permanent YOLO sign to replace LOYOLA letters on university’s front lawn

Loyola press release - April 1, 2014

Download a high-resolution image of the YOLO sign

The Loyola University New Orleans senior class has donated a permanent YOLO sign to replace the large concrete LOYOLA letters displayed on the university’s lawn fronting historic St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The new sign was officially unveiled today.

The student-led senior class gift committee got the idea after unknown persons stole the L-O-Y-O letters from the sign during Mardi Gras last month, which led many to believe the thieves wanted to reorganize the letters to spell YOLO. The popular acronym stands for “You Only Live Once,” but the senior class gift aims to embrace the idea of “You Only Loyola Once.”

“For us, ‘You Only Loyola Once’ refers to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities students receive as a part of their Jesuit education here,” said M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs and associate provost. “The YOLO sign gives new life to Loyola’s front lawn and will surely become a popular photo spot in Uptown New Orleans both for students and tourists alike.”

In total, the senior class donated $2,014 to make the YOLO sign a reality. The four, two-foot high white concrete letters still conform to the traditional typeface and aesthetic of the original Loyola sign, but the new Y-O-L-O letters are reinforced with titanium to prevent any future attempts to steal the letters. The senior class gift also funded 13 security cameras, which are mounted in undisclosed locations in the surrounding area. The cameras offer multiple views of the new YOLO sign, providing added protection from future vandalism or theft. The video feed from the security cameras is streamed directly to the Loyola University Police Department.

University officials believe the new sign will help to combat future acts of vandalism. “The entire university community is looking forward to the reinforced design of the new sign and its new security features. I can say that our dedicated staff of maintenance workers is especially happy about the new sign as they had to repair and replace stolen letters to the old LOYOLA sign several times a year,” said Jay Calamia, vice president for finance and administration.

Past senior class gifts are also visible on Loyola’s campus, including:

  • A sculpture of a New Orleans streetcar, which was a gift from the Class of 2008. Displayed near Bobet Hall, this gift celebrates the return of Loyola's students and the streetcar to New Orleans.
  • An all-weather French Quarter Howard Clock, donated by the Class of 2007. The functional art piece also illuminates at night.
  • The Jesuit Ideals Walkway, a joint gift by the Class of 2002 and the Class of 2003, reminds all who walk the campus of the Jesuit ideals of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the Greater Glory of God): Contemplation in Action, Academic Excellence, Educating the Whole Person, Care of the Person, Faith and Justice, Women and Men for Others, Interreligious Understanding, and Community in Diversity.

For media interviews or high-resolution photos, please contact Mikel Pak, Loyola associate director of public affairs. Please note, this is an April Fools' Day joke. We hope you enjoyed the humor. Remember, You Only Loyola Once. More about Loyola's exciting and very real Senior Class Gift program is available online.