10 reasons to love Loyola

There are many, many reasons to love being a student at Loyola. Some might seem silly (condiments you can only get from Loyola Dining Services) compared to others (personal growth opportunities I’ve discovered during my time here)... but that’s only until you experience them for yourself.

I am confident at least a few will strike a chord with every Greyhound.

A bee on yellow and orange flowers, with a Loyola banner in the background

Without further ado, here are 10 reasons—in no particular order—why I love Loyola University Maryland.

Illustration of green bullhorn One

Greyhound spirit

They say the greyhound has the largest heart of any dog. Anyone who spends a day on our campus will see why this perfectly describes Loyola Hounds. Passionate people are a staple at Loyola. Rounding up a group to cheer for a team, rally behind a cause, participate in an event—whether it’s a soccer game, working to alleviate hunger, Relay For Life, or a concert on the Quad—is at the center of life at Loyola.

What’s more, the community here feels like just that: a community. If people don’t know your name (and it’s only a matter of time), they recognize your face. They say hello. They inquire about your classes, your opinions, your plans for the weekend. People here care.

Students cheering with mouths open at lacrosse game Student raising arm and dancing at Loyolapalooza Long haired student about to get hair cut at Relay for Life
Two

The sense of Jesuit tradition

The Jesuit standard of education on a collegiate level is world-renowned and provides students with knowledge as well as thought-provoking ideas and approaches to studies—and to life. The Jesuits encourage progress while maintaining a sense of strong tradition.

What’s more, Loyola’s aim to create men and women for and with others is woven into everything we do here, from the classroom to the sports field to special interest clubs to internships. And who doesn’t aspire to be just that?

Students sitting around a table talking Student smiling at Activities Fair signing a form
Illustration of yellow candles Three

Hopkins Court Mass

The best way to end your week and start the next one is with Hopkins Court Mass, celebrated by Father Rossi in Hopkins Court Lounge. This is an intimate, laid-back, come-as-you-are service that takes place at 10 p.m. on Sunday evenings. The homilies always have a message that relates to college life, current events, and a global perspective. The music is always moving. And for an hour, you feel part of something bigger than yourself. Even if you don’t consider yourself a religious person, I highly recommend checking out Hopkins Mass. You may be surprised by what you take away from it.

Student looking at candles in darkened room with altar at front
An illustration of colorful rowhomes Four

Charming neighborhoods

When I chose to come to Loyola, I wasn’t aware how much Baltimore would impact my experience. Now I can’t imagine going to school in any other city. Baltimore is part of Loyola just as Loyola is part of Baltimore, and exploring this city has been one of my favorite aspects of my college experience. 

My favorite area is Hampden, a gold mine of local culture, fun, food, free festivals, antiques, and thrift stores. It’s the place to go for incredible coffee, ice cream, and Mexican food. It’s where you’ll want to shop for birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends who aren’t familiar with Baltimore, because it has so many cool little storefronts. Best of all, it’s walking distance from campus, so no need to worry about transportation. Go for breakfast and stay to study the afternoon away in a coffee shop, or browse one-of-a-kind artwork for your room.

P.S. Besides Hampden, Baltimore is full of quirky neighborhoods to discover.

Chesapeake ship on harbor next to aquarium Students posing at Miracle on 34th Street Lights
Five

Our campus community

The Loyola community is made up of professors, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, Jesuits, staff, and neighbors who each have their own story—and who contribute to a diverse, vibrant, special place.

Professor speaking with students on the quad

I encourage everyone to take advantage of listening to and sharing your own stories with these incredible people. The smiles from the Boulder Café staff brighten your day, especially during those tougher weeks in the semester, when you are overwhelmed by exams or responsibilities. They serve you lunch with a side of encouragement every single day. The groundskeepers are so friendly, and they find time to say good morning even as they work tirelessly to keep campus clean, landscaped, and decorated for holidays and special events. The women who work at Starbucks know your name and your coffee order, and will always wish you a good day. It’s this warm community feeling that is contagious and makes Loyola feel like home.

Illustration of tulips Six

Sherwood Gardens

Sherwood Gardens is a public garden less than a mile from Loyola’s campus. Filled with dozens of varieties of tulips, planted and cared for by the people who live in the neighborhood, it is an incredibly beautiful, almost surreal place. Sherwood Gardens is the perfect setting for a run or a game of Frisbee. It’s just as nice for a fresh-air study session, so pack some snacks, a blanket, and your books, and walk through the Guilford neighborhood until you stumble upon this living rainbow.

Red tulips and visitors at Sherwood Gardens
Illustration of chipotle mayo Seven

The Chipotle mayo

Loyola’s Chipotle mayo was among the things I missed most when I was studying abroad in Belgium. I am serious. Nothing is better than just the right amount of Chipotle mayo on your favorite sandwich, on chicken, on anything. As a condiment, as a dipyou decide. Once you indulge, you’ll wonder how you’ve been managing without it as an option all these years.

Eight

The FAC

Loyola’s Fitness & Aquatic Center is easily one of the best university fitness centers in the country. Better yet, membership is included in the price of tuition. (I don’t know what I’ll do after I graduate and need to find a new gym!) There really is something for everyone at the FAC. From group fitness classes to cardio machines and free weights... from swimming to tackling the giant rock wall... you will find a way to work up a sweat. Plus you’re bound to bump into friends or classmates, which is a nice incentive to go—and a great reason to start a pickup game.

Student climbing on rock wall Student using punching bag
Illustration of the letters W.L.O.Y. Nine

WLOY

Loyola’s on-campus radio station plays the best hits in alternative music all day, every day with the coolest DJs around (including your roommates, classmates, and teammates from your intramural softball team).

They have giveaways for concert tickets, new music releases and swag, and they sponsor events on campus and around Baltimore, including bringing live shows to campus. Discover new music, tune in to their programs and listen live.

Performer on stage at concert
Ten

A culture of service

There is truly no feeling like giving your time, your talent, and your resources to those who need it most. The people you meet through these experiences (including fellow Loyola students and faculty!) will change your life. The Center for Community Service and Justice provides the most unique and rewarding service opportunities for Loyola students, and in a variety of forms. It’s easy to get involved and make a difference, as well as make connections, with different populations in the Baltimore community—as well as around the country and the world.

Student raking in vacant grassy lot Students on canoe scooping water pollution Students carrying garbage can in alley

I am grateful service is a key facet to my experience here, something Loyola students shouldn’t take for granted. It’s these experiences that have changed and challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect, that I will carry with me just as I will everything I’ve learned in the classroom here, to my career, and to my life beyond Loyola.

Catherine Downey holds both her Bachelor and Master of Arts in Communication from Loyola University Maryland. At Loyola, Katie was involved with service through the Center for Community Service and Justice partnerships with Acts4Youth and CARES, Loyola’s Relay For Life, and GreyComm Studios. Today Katie works as deputy digital director in Senator Bernie Sanders’ Office in Washington, D.C.

Design and illustrations by Christina Damon, ’19. Originally from Baltimore, Christina is a communication major specializing in digital media with a minor in film studies. She serves as president of the Short Film Club and as a resident advisor. Christina also works at the rock wall at the FAC.