Ignite a Brighter World

August 30, 2023

Dear LMU Community,

Welcome back! As we embark on this fresh academic year, I share reflections on recent and upcoming milestones made possible through our collaboration, innovation, and commitment to excellence. 

Many of you are new to this journey. Thank you for sharing your talents with us and for choosing to ignite a brighter world with LMU. We welcome our new faculty and staff, new leadership in ASLMU and GSLMU, faculty and staff senators, and senior leaders. I am thrilled to welcome the most diverse and academically qualified entering classes in LMU’s history. Each of you occupies a distinct standing in our LMU Lion family and our evolving LMU story.

We are unique in the higher education landscape because we are beneficiaries of a beautiful partnership that formed in 1973 with the merger of Loyola University and Marymount College. In celebration of this 50th anniversary, I interviewed Rev. Bob Caro, S.J., Sister Mary Genino, R.S.H.M., and Sister Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J., to discuss this union and how the distinct charisms, histories, and educational philosophies of our sponsoring orders came together. This “On Location: Merger Edition” conversation is testament to the eloquence and insights of these three LMU legends. I invite you to celebrate this milestone year through various anniversary events and activities, including what I anticipate to be a stellar production by the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination (ACTI) in early December.

Our merger set the stage for our enduring commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, values essential to our mission and enshrined in our strategic plan, fundraising priorities, and visibility initiatives. In my message about the Supreme Court’s rulings on higher education admissions, I stated that DEI is neither partisan nor political and will remain at the forefront of our work together, where we attract students, scholars, artists, and educators who contribute to the global community in ways profound.  

We recently completed the most successful fundraising year in our history, raising a record $71.8 million from more than 8,000 donors in FY23, bettering the previous record, which we set in 2018. This success impels student inclusivity, access, and creativity: over the past three years, we have created 201 new scholarships supported by $93 million raised for student financial aid. We will be back on the road this semester for our multi-city Beyond the Bluff series to engage alumni, parents, donors, and friends to support our comprehensive campaign, academic programs, and strategic plan initiatives. If you know Lions or Lion family members in D.C., NYC, Boston, the OC, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle, please ask them to join us—we are beyond excited to engage them.

We are on a roll: We also celebrate one of our most successful years for faculty grants and awards: $14.5 million was raised in externally sponsored projects, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. Our faculty’s exceptional scholarship and teaching shape the minds of future leaders and are the foundation upon which our reputation and successes are built. Bravo! These accomplishments are companions to the transformational work of our Student Affairs and Campus Ministry colleagues.  

Speaking of reputation and success, we have taken bold measures to raise the value of an LMU degree. You are about to see more as we seek to elevate your accomplishments like never before and ensure that LMU is visible and known across the globe. I invite you to join our Ignite a Brighter World campaign, a celebration of everything LMU. For the fall, we are promoting our pride on our campuses. Come spring, we will activate LMU’s reputation externally with campaigns and partnerships that will reach throughout the L.A. region and beyond.

LMU has always been about striving towards a brighter future. Let’s make that future with love and joy, and with excitement, and let’s ignite that brighter world together. I look forward to seeing each of you soon, including in the stands and on the fields, as we cheer on our Lion student-athletes!

With gratitude and hope, and a resounding Go Lions!

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.