Why We Should Appreciate Our Jesuit Education


Let’s face it–every student knows the mass popularity of large research universities across America. Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Cornell and Stanford are just a few of the many names gracing the Princeton Review’s list of Top Colleges and Universities yearly. Students love hearing about the core curriculum (or lack thereof) that these universities offer and the amazing research facilities with world renowned faculty. Loyola University, as much as we love our beautiful Evergreen campus, is not one of the top 100 universities ranked in America, but does this really mean we should value our education here less.

When Loyola told our parents that we would become well-rounded students, the institution wasn’t kidding. Our extensive core forces us to take classes and explore subjects that we probably would not have even considered before tackling our core requirements. While this may seem boring and pointless to some, a core can actually help you find your educational path and help you understand more about your world.

One of Loyola’s core values is the concept of cura personalis, a Latin phrase meaning “care of the whole person”.Caring for the mind, the sole and the body serves paramount in the philosophy of the community–students are encouraged to get exercise, attend events on campus put on for students on the weekends and take an interest in exploring all disciplines. Becoming a well-rounded student is considered healthy for the mind, so Loyola emphasizes the importance of a core and use it to help students navigate the paths to their future.

Take me, for example. I was pretty sure I wanted to be a business major when I came to Loyola. After taking some business classes and finding out that I definitely wasn’t cut out for the discipline, I discovered a love of the humanities after taking a few required classes my first year. I can imagine that realization would have taken much longer and have been so much harder if I didn’thave the core here at Loyola.

The core also provides students with a great deal of valuable skills. When applying for a job or an internship, those writing core classes you took in your first year are going to come in handy. Every philosophy essay you read helps you train your brain to analyze and think thoroughly, a skill which excites potential employers and deans. The core, whether any student wants to believe it or not, serves its students immensely as the future comes full speed.

Another asset that sets Loyola apart is its integration of values into all aspects of university life. The Loyola community not only believes in transforming its students into good students, but is also committed to transforming them into good people. Loyola encourages its students to partake in social justice and inclusivity, to get involved in creating the institution they want to go to. Resident Assistants throw barbecues for students among the dorms and almost every department advertises social justice and cultural events for students to attend (which are popular among students of all years).

Loyola’s various programs, namely Messina and the Evergreen Staff, are available to guide students through their first year and provide leadership to students in the coming years. Loyola provides free peer tutoring and you can spot the President, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, speaking to students in line for Starbucks and waving as he passes by on his morning runs. Loyola is a community which enriches its students and teaches them not to be good at things, but to be good themselves. Students discuss topics of diversity in their classes, they learn to be respectful debaters and they learn how to make a difference for the greater good by making a difference at their school through active participation in clubs and service.

Sure, research universities may have state-of-the-art facilities and might frequently be featured in the news. Sure, most of the faculty at these universities have their own Wikipedia pages. The large, highly ranked universities may grace the cover of Forbes magazine frequently, but through its emphasis on the value of a well-rounded and morally driven education, the Evergreen campus holds its own against the likes of Yale. Between the core values and the diverse education each and every student receives, Loyola proves that the Princeton Review’s Top 100 has nothing on a Jesuit education.