100-year series has star- studded lineup
CENTENNIAL: Loyola will host a wide array of guests
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 14:10
An archbishop, a jazz band and a political consultant walk into Roussel Hall.
There’s no punch line — they’re here to celebrate Loyola’s one-hundredth birthday at the Presidential Centennial Guest Series.
Since the kick off of the Centennial Series last month, Loyola is expecting a diverse array of speakers throughout the year.
According to Meredith Hartley, the university’s director of public affairs, the purpose of the series is to “celebrate Loyola’s centennial while providing thought-provoking commentary and lively entertainment by a host of acclaimed guest speakers, authors and artists.”
The speakers for the series were hand-selected by the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., president of the university. Wildes was assisted in developing the series by James Carville and Mary Matalin, a New Orleanian couple infamous for their careers as political commentators and consultants.
“As a Catholic university in the city, all the speakers are applicable to the Loyola community,” Wildes said. “Our guests help explain who we are.”
Hartley believes the diversity of the series will be beneficial to Loyola students. “I think this guest series offers something for everyone,” Hartley said. “The series will benefit the Loyola community by bringing fresh perspectives on topics surrounding Catholicism, politics, higher education and intellectualism.”
The Centennial Series kicked off last month with a lecture from the Most Rev. Gregory Aymond, archbishop of New Orleans, who, along with a panel of esteemed guests, provided a commentary on what it means to get a Catholic education today.
According to student government vice president and music industry junior Michael Falotico, archbishop Aymond’s lecture offered a unique opportunity.
“It wasn’t like a boring seminar or lecture, it was an interesting conversation,” Falotio said. “All four people on the panel had a different perspective on what it means to get a Catholic education, so I thought that was really cool.”
The next speaker in the series will be Wynston Marsalis, a nationally acclaimed jazz musician. After a performance by Marsalis and his jazz quartet, he will lead a master class for Loyola students.
“Wynston Marsalis brings a completely different element to the series this month. His music has expanded the vocabulary of Jazz and he has created a body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers,” Hartley said.
The series will include visits from ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts, who will be “fascinating to hear in February, especially following the presidential election,” according to Hartley.
Several priests will be featured in the series, including Rev. James Heft, S.M., president of the Institute of Catholic Studies at USC, Jesuits Michael Garanzini, S.J., the president of Loyola University Chicago and James Martin, S.J., associate editor of America magazine.
The last speaker in the series, Nicholas Carr, who will speak in April, is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times bestselling author. “Carr will discuss how our growing dependence on the Internet is influencing the way our minds work, encouraging superficial skimming at the expense of deep conceptual thinking,” Hartley said. According to Falotico, the variety of topics that the lecturers will bring will be highly beneficial to students.
Falotico recommends that students go to at least one of the speakers that spark their interest.
“Based on the first speaker, I’d definitely recommend that students go to the series. It’s going to be interesting to see what wealth of information these next speakers will provide,” Falotico said.
Shannon Donaldson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org