The Maroon

Opinion: Every student should leave their mark on Loyola

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Aaron Wiseman, Political Science senior, [email protected]

On the way to class, I often glance down at the bricks outside the library labeled with the 10 ideals of a Jesuit education, given by the classes of 2002 and 2003.

These ideals resonate with me and give me a larger meaning as to why Loyola has provided such an amazing impact on my life.

The ideal that always stands out to me first is “appreciation of all things both great and small.” Loyola is such a vibrant and dynamic community of people because of its diversity. Going to school with people who may not look like you or think like you is truly how we learn something from one another.

Another ideal which is practiced holistically at Loyola is “critical thinking and effective communication.” Although we live in cynical times, the people I have met at Loyola give me confidence in the future.

Certainly, discussing politics can often be controversial; however, in all of my political science classes, my classmates exhibit a keen sense of decency.

What fosters this decorum is a genuine sense that, despite disagreement, your intellectual foes are really your best friends. They are the ones who make your arguments stronger by competition and further refine your thinking.

Underlying this as a framework is a respect of dissent while remaining civil, not toxic. I have learned more from my classmates that I differ from politically than those who I agree with.

Lastly, “pursuit of excellence” has influenced me to strive to become a better person intellectually, morally and spiritually.

Sophomore year, in my policy research class, my former adviser and professor told us to “work hard and be resilient.” I think if you do those two things everyday, excellence will follow in whichever path you choose for yourself.

Loyola has challenged me to think critically about where I’m headed, where I’ve been and how the medium of an education can be used to develop cura personalis — “the whole person.”

​I am thankful for the professors, friends and classmates I’ve met here, who have taught me indispensable lessons and helped me throughout my four year journey during college.

One of the most perceptive adages I’ve ever heard is from my dad, who told me to always leave your mark on a place so it is better than when you left it. As graduating seniors, I think it is important to leave our school better than we found it.

I invite every senior to leave their mark on Loyola, and to donate to the senior class gift. I hope that decades from now, young students can look around campus and be reassured of the meaning of their time here.

I know that as an alumnus, I will be forever grateful to Loyola for developing in me the ideals of a Jesuit education and preparing me to make an optimistic difference in the world.

I wish my fellow members of the class of 2017 the best, and to never forget our time here.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Opinion: Every student should leave their mark on Loyola