Every day I am proud to be a part of Loyola. This is true because of what I know about our university – its warmth and depth; its innumerable opportunities for growth; its commitment to justice and change and the exploration of human potential. And it’s also true for the things I do not know but discover serendipitously in the simple routine of attending a quarterly meeting.
One delightful surprise came in the form of a presentation I attended by Dr. Bob Thomas and two of his students from a journalism class that took a trip to Belize. These two extremely adventurous students, Lauren Nevarro and Allison Baznick, perfectly personify The World is our Blackboard. They, and those like them, are the reason we began using the phrase in the first place to summarize what we do here. The World is our Blackboard was not an abstraction that we hoped would morph into a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Rather, we observed who we are and crafted a phrase that we thought captured it.
With the likes of Allison and Lauren and others telling their story in this beautiful piece in New Orleans’ hometown newspaper, The Times Picayune, it’s clear – again – that we are who we thought we were. Although the article was published 16 months ago, it is clear that the experience is still very powerful for them. I know you’ll enjoy reading about their expedition.
More good news: this experience of travelling to Belize, inundating oneself with the local culture, and finding oneself transformed happens to dozens of students several times a year at Loyola. One tremendous example of this is the Belize Summer Camp offered by our Office of Mission and Ministry.
I’m grateful that I’ve learned about Lauren and Allison’s adventure and cannot wait for the next Loyola surprise to remind me of our dynamism, our infectious search for uncommon academic opportunities, and persistence in reminding our members to embrace the transformative wonder of personal growth.