Loyola is where Jesuit social justice meets New Orleans creativity.
As always, we begin with our Jesuit mission and find new ways to translate that mission into the language of this generation of students. We teach courage and commitment; we give students the tools to change the world. We also steep them in the creativity of this extraordinary city, the driving innovation, the ability to look beyond convention and conformity. And in the overlap of courage and creativity, we find the very best way to teach. We give students permission to experiment, to fail, and thus to learn, over and over again.
Because of our Jesuit identity, Loyola attracts students who are brave, and we push them to be ever more daring. We teach them to question assumptions, whether in science or criminal justice, to think about the broader implications of technology and economic structures. Never satisfied to merely memorize doctrine, our students challenge the way things have always been and dream of more.
Students in this generation want to change the world
– not just to volunteer and be personally virtuous, but to fight for justice. We need to help them understand that there is nothing more Jesuit than that.
We want students to choose a place that will help them become the person they want to be, rather than opting for more superficial measures of status. We want students who seek diversity – of thought and background, of experience and perception, of race and religion, color and creed. We want to make them ever more courageous. By encouraging and supporting them, by making Loyola feel like home to students who come from every background, we achieve cura personalis, educating the mind, heart and spirit.
We are proudly one of 170 Jesuit universities around the world and one of 28 in the United States, but we are the only Loyola New Orleans. The driving creativity of this city fuels our innovation. It attracts students who want to find their own voices, and demands only that they be themselves. Loyola gives those students the tools, the knowledge, discipline, and hard work to be the finest version of themselves.
Because of New Orleans, Loyola understands that innovation requires risk-taking and a little bit of adventure.
We know that inspiration comes through creativity and playfulness. And that those who changed the course of the future with their inventions were the ones willing to be mocked for the absurdity of their ideas. But New Orleans teaches us to embrace absurdity. We know that we learn much more when we dare to try.
That creativity infuses everything that we do. We revel in music, communications, design, creative writing, and art. But innovation also drives our approach to the sciences by giving us permission to experiment. It fuels our entrepreneurial spirit in business and our focus on the creative industries, and it helps us reimagine the world of nursing. It allows us to make connections and arguments that others cannot see in law and criminal justice and the humanities.
Pope Francis recently urged a group of young Jesuits to engage in courageous creativity, because the greatest learning exists in the overlap of courage and creativity. We do not just teach students doctrine, we give them permission to innovate, to ask the questions no one else has asked. We encourage them to be willing to make mistakes, to come up with crazy theories that may be entirely wrong, or that just might shake the world’s understanding of itself.
This vision frames the strategic plan. It is how we stand out in the marketplace of students. It both describes us and establishes the direction in which we want to grow.