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Loyola celebrates Class of 2017 at 165th Commencement Exercises

| By Rita Buettner
Video by Chris Singlemann

More than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees at Loyola University Maryland’s 165th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore.

The Commencement address at this year’s ceremony was delivered by Jesuit priest and bestselling author, Rev. James Martin, S.J. Fr. Martin is the editor of the national Catholic magazine, America, and provides commentary on issues of religion, spirituality, and social justice in many national media outlets.

“Your deepest desires are God’s desires for you. That’s how God calls you,” Fr. Martin told the Class of 2017. “Speaking to you through your desires—what moves you, what attracts you, what you’re interested in, what, as the Jesuit Pedro Arrupe said, ‘gets you up in the morning’—is God’s main way of calling you. So try not to listen to people who tell you that it’s all about money, or success, or impressing people. I’ve been there, and it’s a total dead end. The better path is the one that encourages you to listen to where God speaks to you.”

Alden Bauman, ’17, was chosen as the graduating student who delivered the Commencement address.

“We can let our Loyola education simply be a line on a resume, or we can go forth acting consciously and deliberately for those whom we are bound to witness as victimized, marginalized, or suffering from injustice,” said Bauman, who was, by coincidence, awarded the Whelan Medal as the student with the highest grade point average. “I ask you all today to wake up tomorrow and each day thereafter, prepared to make a difference in something greater than ourselves.”

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola, encouraged the students to consider how they can use their education to impact the world.

“Perhaps more than ever before, we need leaders who are Jesuit educated, leaders who have critical thinking skills, a strong sense of ethics, a willingness to serve, and an ability to see beyond themselves to their community’s interests,” said Fr. Linnane said. “We need leaders who understand discernment. We need leaders with a sense of temperance and compassion. You are those leaders. You may not even realize yet how fully your Jesuit liberal arts education has prepared you to make a difference in the world—but it has.”

Also at the ceremony the Esperanza Center received the Milch Award; Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., executive vice president of Loyola, received the John Henry Newman Medal; Michael Cataneo, ’61, received the President’s Medal; and Daniel Rizzo, ’99, received the Carroll Medal.

As Fr. Martin closed his remarks, he said, “You deserve to be happy. Why? Not only because you are beloved children of God. But because today, on top of that, you are something really, really special: Loyola graduates. Thank you very much, and, as Jesus Christ himself said, “Go Greyhounds!”

Reflections, memories, and plans for the future from some members of the Class of 2017 are available at graduatinggreyhounds.tumblr.com.

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