Loyola University Maryland

First-Year Programs

Messina Themes

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Each Messina course pairing is keyed towards an interdisciplinary theme that will allow students to make connections across the two courses and through our course enrichment sessions. We invite you to explore the different options.  Incoming students should indicate at least five course pairings of interest when they submit their first-year program preferences. 

The Visionary

Galileo, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, Steve Jobs, Ignatius Loyola. Visionaries imagine what does not yet exist, but might—someday. They often suffer hardship, criticism, and ridicule as others fail to share their visions. What drives the visionary? Necessity, ego, faith, justice, the vision itself? How does the world come to recognize the visionary and eventually come to share in that vision? This theme explores the individuals who have transformed the world with their imagination, courage, and insight.

See "The Visionary" course pairings >> 

Self and Other

How do our relationships with others shape us? What circles of belonging do we draw around ourselves (self, family, school, parish, race or ethnicity, nation), and how do these influence who we are? Where do the circles end and why, and what is our connection and obligation to those outside of them? How do our encounters with others, both near and far, historical and fictional, help us better to understand not just what is different from us, but who we are and might become? Students enrolled in Self and Other course pairings will explore how we imagine the other, and how those imaginings shape our willingness to learn from, sympathize with, and open ourselves to the other.

See "Self and Other" course pairings >> 

Stories We Tell

It has been said that the destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. Why do we tell stories? For entertainment, certainly.  To move, to persuade; to shape belief, to inspire action. We use stories to explain ourselves to others, to make sense of our history and our experience. Ultimately, we use them to organize our world. This theme explores the power of the stories we tell.

See "Stories We Tell" course pairings >>