2024 Spring Highlights

January 12, 2024

Dear LMU Community,

Happy New Year! I hope each of you had a pleasant break. I had the opportunity to reflect a lot on where I and we are, and how lucky I am to be at our university—one I always admired from afar, and one from and of which I continue to learn. I do so with joy and am blessed to do all possible to bring us further in our ambitions.

Which leads us to next generations of community: With enthusiasm, I welcome new transfer and spring-start students, as well as our returning students, faculty, and staff back to our campuses. I continue to be grateful for how our community consistently supports one another as we seek to ignite a brighter world. Indeed, when we embrace mutual understanding and authentic care for each other, we can–and we will!–navigate any moment while staying true to the values that define us.

As I shared in my convocation address and message affirming our inclusive care, LMU’s commitment to the dignity of all individuals remains steadfast; we reject all expressions of discrimination, violence, and racism. I reaffirm that we reject the presence of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia at LMU. As we approach a polarizing election season, we remain devoted to the values of free speech, academic freedom, and inclusive excellence—with cura personalis as our North Star.

Recent Highlights

  • In case you missed the news late last semester, Provost Poon announced that Professor of Law, J. Rex Dibble Fellow Brietta Clark has been appointed our next Fritz B. Burns Dean of LMU Loyola Law School.
  • We are also actively pursuing the multiyear compensation initiative I announced last December to invest millions of dollars to raise faculty and staff salaries over the next several years. I join EVPs Poon and Rae in thanking colleagues who are serving on the LMU Compensation Committee and its three subcommittees. I look forward to their recommendations.
  • Last year’s Supreme Court rulings on admission will not impede our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Maureen Weatherall expressed in her op-ed to the Loyolan last November, we will continue our work, in accordance with the law, to build a university where admission, hiring, programming, and every corner of our operations is managed with DEI at the forefront. No matter the recent calls to question initiatives like ours, I am firm in recognizing, knowing, and sharing that our approach is one that will lead to greater quality and greater excellence.

LMU Aligned with Laudato Si’ Action Platform

In the spirit of being for and with our global community, I am delighted to announce that LMU has joined the Laudato Si' Action Platform. Our commitment to this platform is a landmark step toward ecological conversion, as outlined in Pope Francis’ encyclical and reiterated recently in an apostolic exhortation. I have entrusted the CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice with convening conversations to develop our institutional action plan, which will propel LMU toward a path of yet more sustainable practices and environmental justice over the next seven years. The CSJ Center will launch the platform during its annual symposium from Jan. 29 - Feb. 1.

Continued Fundraising Momentum

Following LMU’s most successful fundraising year in history, we continue raising funds in the quiet phase of our comprehensive campaign, now at more than $334 million, and we are excited to engage our alumni, parents, donors, and friends further through six new regional chapters. These will strengthen connections, foster networking, and provide meaningful avenues for service in San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York City. And we will be back on the road this semester for our multi-city Beyond the Bluff tour. If you know Lions or Lion family members in Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix, please alert them that we will be comin’ to town!

Igniting Our Reach and Impact

Elevating the value of an LMU degree requires showcasing the accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni to ensure that LMU is visible and known across the globe. Our Ignite a Brighter World campaign celebrates everything LMU, and this spring, we will continue activating LMU’s reputation externally with campaigns and partnerships that will reach national audiences.

Event Highlights

In 2024, we have copious opportunities for growth, dialogue, and friendship inspired by our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount mission. Yesterday, we welcomed back Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. with the legendary LeVar Burton as part of our Global Conversations series. And we have more to come (for a complete list of offerings, please see our LMU community calendar):

  • On Tuesday, Jan. 16, in St. Robert’s Auditorium, Campus Ministry and Ethnic and Intercultural Services host the annual prayer service, celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and honoring community activists and alumni—this year, LMU Trustee, the Honorable Judge Irma Brown ’70, J.D., ’73, and P ’10; and Ambassador J. Steven Rhodes '73.
  • Faculty Pub Night continues throughout the semester, showcasing visionary faculty scholarship. The first presentation of the year, on Jan. 23, features Dan Selmi, the Fritz B. Burns Professor of Real Property Law Emeritus at LMU Loyola Law School, discussing his recent publication, “Dawn at Mineral King Valley.”
  • LMU Day of Giving is Feb. 13, engaging our Lion community worldwide to support the people and programs for which they are most passionate.
  • On March 20, Provost Poon will share his 2024 convocation address in the Featherston Life Sciences Building Auditorium. An invitation is forthcoming.
  • Another perennial favorite is our Mary Milligan, R.S.H.M. Lecture in Spirituality. This year’s discussion, on March 21, will feature LMU Trustee and Professor Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J., who will explore the transformative power of the spiritual identity for 13th century Franciscan Theologians.
  • Ignite Lion Pride with our basketball teams in Gersten Pavilion and cheer on the Lions as they prepare for the WCC tournament in Las Vegas (learn more: MBB | WBB). Our other spring sports are gearing up for other successful seasons in the coming days and weeks. Let’s support our Lions; you can plan and follow the action here: LMU Athletics. Go Lions!

Let us progress together in unity and purpose as we endeavor to make a lasting impact within our LMU family and the larger global community. Our collective efforts, driven by our resilience, our care for one another, and our relentless commitment to academic excellence enable us to ignite that brighter world. And that we will.

With gratitude and joy, and with hope,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.