On September 15th, I attended an event about the marketing of Loyola College. The one hour presentation was brief but efficiently demonstrated how various people and age groups view different aspects of Loyola. It seems that all individuals who were interviewed chose the term “well rounded” to describe the type of students that emerge from Loyola College. Throughout the presentation we were shown many graphs that illustrated responses of current students, prospective students, faculty and staff, and alumni. All of these groups thought that it was very important to offer opportunities to become well rounded individuals and that Loyola’s offerings are one of the many things that set it apart from other colleges. Simpson Scarborough, the company hired to help with the marketing of Loyola and help develop its brand wants to help us show how important the education of the whole person and community service are to Loyola.
These aspects of Loyola are very clearly related to Jesuit education. The goals we follow at a Jesuit school are not only to graduate with good grades and the potential for a good job, but also we are expected to learn attentiveness to others, use reason and intellect to discover truth, determine what is the right course of action, be flexible and pragmatic in problem solving, have strong ambition and a desire to find God working in all things (A Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education). These large expectations of us may seem like a lot, but they are all part of helping us, as students to grown into well rounded and strongly developed individuals. During the presentation we discussed what makes a person well rounded and how you can tell if a person is well rounded or not.
After much discussion we came to the conclusion that being well rounded does not necessarily mean that an individual can get perfect grades, be the captain of their sports team, play an instrument, do community service of all sorts, and still be a social butterfly. Although those things are obviously very important, there is something else that makes a person well rounded. To be well rounded an individual needs to be able to relate to all people and needs to be able to handle many types of situations and experiences. The experiences we are offered and/or required to fulfill here at Loyola help us to become that type of individual. From community service and service learning, to study abroad and internships, it is almost impossible to graduate from Loyola College without being exposed to incredible new experiences. Here, we are put outside of our comfort zones and we are pushed to figure out how to become comfortable in these situations.
It’s very easy to determine if someone if well rounded or not. You simply have to watch their interactions with their environment and others in various situations. Reactions, realizations, and habits of an individual depict who they are and how well rounded they truly are. One part of being well rounded is also a desire to know more and to help others.
This is very closely related to a value that sets Loyola apart from other colleges, community service. The majority of people interviewed felt that Loyola has a very strong compulsion to community service and a huge majority of students actually participate in community service. Not only does this add to the ideas previously mentioned, about being outside of your comfort zone or learning from new experiences, but also demonstrates a huge part of Jesuit education. Jesuits believe in education the whole person for the good of others. We are expected to grow in to well rounded people who take our knowledge and experiences and help others who are in need. The education we experience is very much based on helping others and learning what we can do to help or organize ways to motivate, feed, or even save those in need. In Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Slam, Dunk, and Hook,” we read about an individual having incredibly strong passion for a game. Here at Loyola we are encouraged to experience that type of passion for education, service, and internal growth, thanks to our Jesuit format of education.