Letter to the LMU Community: Welcome Back - Spring 2020

January 21, 2020

Dear LMU Community:

Happy 2020, and welcome back to campus.

With each new semester, we usher in change and embrace opportunities for personal enrichment, community development, and growth. Living as Lions means learning anew at every turn and being open to experiences that broaden our minds and deepen our compassion. I am proud of our campus community for your successes in emboldening our university as we seek to create the world we want to live in.

The Great Debate

Last month our LMU community united to transform our campus into a world-class venue for the final DNC Democratic Presidential Debate of 2019. We showcased to the world the university, our academic excellence, and our commitment to freedom of expression, vigorous dialogue, and the democratic process. You helped us tell our LMU story with positivity, purpose, and impact. Led by MarComm, this inspiring team effort was made possible by the passionate work of our Administration Division, Athletics, and each division, college, and school. I am grateful to and proud of the entire campus community for coming together with determination and grace.  To relive the magic, visit our debate homepage, where you can find debate-related content, including video commentary, student voices, and insightful conversations from “Off Press,” the podcast of LMU Magazine.

Ongoing Engagement

With primary season in full swing, our LMU community is harnessing the energy from the debate as we continue to participate in our democracy by serving as a Los Angeles County early digital voting center for the primary and general elections. Our faculty’s expertise on issues pivotal to the 2020 Presidential Election helps ensure that voters are informed and empowered. In its landmark centennial year, LMU Loyola Law School remains a font of election-related commentary and action. Student Affairs continues to do their part to make voting a seamless experience for all LMU students. The TurboVote application provides students, faculty, and staff with information they need to vote in every election.

Our commitment to student engagement reaches beyond the voting booth. Student Affairs refreshed the student engagement platform LEO with more functionality and tools that facilitate action and purpose through opportunities for service and volunteerism, mindfulness and spirituality, health, wellness, events (including voter registration, powered by TurboVote!), and lifelong learning.

Speaking of refreshed platforms, this Thursday, Jan. 23, we will relaunch our Webby-award winning LMU.edu. The 2020 web design includes enhancements that elevate our academic programs and faculty, highlight athletics, and facilitate the application process — all in a cleaner, brighter, and more dynamic visual design showcasing digital media that bring our new visual identity to life.

Strategically Planning for Our Future

In my 2019 convocation address, I announced a new strategic planning process. I am happy to share that, thanks to your participation and the leadership of our steering committee and guidance of Chair John Parrish, special assistant to the president and professor of political science, we are off to a terrific start. I look forward to your continued engagement in initiatives that help us zero in on our highest priority strategic issues. One such activity is Discernment Day on April 17, when we will use Ignatian tools to engage the entire community in reflecting on strategic directions for the future. More information concerning how you can take part in Discernment Day will be distributed to the LMU community in a future edition of LMU This Week.

Upcoming Activities

Each semester we offer activities to stimulate your mind and nourish your spirit. I hope each of you will take time out of your busy schedules to enjoy and learn from your colleagues, professors, friends, and mentors.

  • Join students, faculty, and staff this Thursday, Jan. 23 in St. Robert’s Auditorium, as Mission and Ministry and Black Student Services host the annual prayer breakfast, commemorating the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are thrilled to welcome the Honorable Maxine Waters, representing the 43rd Congressional District, as keynote speaker.
  • The 21st annual LMU Children's Concerts on Jan. 26, sponsored by LMU Music's Sinatra Opera Workshop, features music by Beethoven, Poulenc, Duarte and LMU faculty composer Ryan Dorin, performed by the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company in collaboration with LMU music students and faculty members Tania Fleischer and Ken Aiso.
  • Also on Jan. 30, the William H. Hannon Library’s spring 2020 Archives and Special Collections student designed and curated exhibition, "Promoting Social Justice? Using Public History to Complicate the University's Narrative," invites the community to reflect on how historical narratives shape understandings of identity and the present.
  • During Feb. 3-6, the C.S.J. Center for Reconciliation and Justice will host their annual symposium. This year’s event, “21st Century Technology: Creative Possibilities and Ethical Conundrums,” includes sessions that explore issues of technology and ethics (including one by yours truly on emerging sound technology and its creative possibilities).
  • The School of Education and Career and Professional Development invite students to join the 2nd Annual SOE EdConnect on Feb. 4 to learn about the ways they can navigate the field of education with their degree.
  • Engage in open dialogue and compassionate listening at one of our First Amendment Week events. This year’s featured speaker, activist and TV personality Monica Lewinsky, will reflect on the theme Reclaiming Our Stories” on Feb. 19.

This is a sampling of what we have to offer thanks to our talented students, faculty, and staff. Continue to check LMU This Week for new events and community updates.

Together, through our scholarship, our exchanges in the classroom, library, office, courts and dorms; through our work in the community, our purposeful creations; and in our daily intentions we seek to promote justice while emphasizing the education of the whole person and care for one another. I am hopeful for our future, knowing that each of you plays a role in making it better. Go Lions!

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.