What a great week this is for New Orleans!
If you have turned on the television, odds are you have seen our city showcased on the news, Sportscenter, the NFL network, and so on. It is so much fun to be part of the city hosting a Super Bowl; and this is our record-tying tenth time. The city looks amazing, especially downtown, the French Quarter, and Uptown, which is where Loyola is, about 4 miles from the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
As we consider the great universities of this country, how many of them benefit so profoundly from their locations? How many of them are so lucky to be positioned in such a culturally rich, creative, festive, and soulful city as this one? Not many, I suspect. So, we at Loyola University New Orleans feel incredibly blessed to have this location, right in the middle of America’s most distinctive city.
I loved what Jabari Greer, NFL cornerback and occasional newspaper columnist, wrote about New Orleans in this piece for the Times Picayune. You can read it here, but don’t do what I did and read it on an empty stomach. At least I have near-immediate access to the food he is telling us about. You, living perhaps in a place a few hundred miles away or more, have to wait to partake.
As a New Orleans native, I love hearing the media talk of New Orleans as being as important to this game this week as the teams are. That’s quite a compliment and, certainly, this is how we see your Loyola education unfolding. New Orleans and your experience here are inextricably linked. They cannot be separated. We have the best food, music, culture, great employment opportunities, burgeoning technology and film industries (we’ve been called Silicon South and Hollywood South, respectively), and great park spaces to study, learn, and refresh your mind and spirit.
There is a growing intellectual tradition borne from this city’s identity. The Center for the Study of New Orleans, housed right here at Loyola, offers an example of this nexus – city and school – you select when you choose to be a part of our community.
I invite you to learn more about Loyola and New Orleans, two partners indelibly bound in these extraordinary times.