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Innovation at Loyola University Maryland

Celebrating a campus-wide movement surrounding innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking

Maybe you’ve visited Loyola University Maryland’s transformative new Fernandez Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning on campus or read about our student entrepreneurs launching businesses and startup companies—or heard that we hosted a global conference on entrepreneurship.

These initiatives are all part of Loyola’s active engagement in a movement focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking.

Innovation at Loyola is deeply connected to the University’s Jesuit mission and core values, as its liberal arts approach provides the perfect foundation to teach critical thinking, effective communication, examining challenges and issues from diverse perspectives, and creative problem solving.

The University’s increasing focus on nurturing student entrepreneurs is garnering national recognition: Loyola is ranked No. 4 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Most Innovative Schools for 2023—marking the fourth year in a row Loyola has been included in the top 12 of this list.

Loyola further benefits from its location. Business Insider has recognized Baltimore as a top 20 U.S. city to start a business.

In short, Loyola is preparing students with the tools and practice to rise to the challenge, confront society’s most pressing issues, and succeed in our diverse and ever-changing world. These students leave Loyola more than ready to think innovatively and consider diverse perspectives and solutions... they are Loyola Ready.

Learn about seven ways this spirit of innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurism is alive and well on the Evergreen campus in Baltimore—and consider how you might get involved.

7 ways Loyola is an innovation hub

Photo showing the glass facade of the new Fernandez Center, attached to the former Beatty Hall
A hub for big ideas

The Fernandez Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning

In August 2021, Loyola completed its most important large-scale academic renovation on its main campus in 10 years—and it’s all focused on innovation and collaboration, as its name would suggest.

The dynamic, state-of-the-art Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning is designed to help students create, learn, collaborate, and engage with their academics, their professors, guest speakers, and one another—and propel their careers forward—and features active learning classrooms, an Idea Lab, a brand-new Career Center, innovative faculty spaces, and more.

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An international forum for thought leaders in innovation

Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference

Loyola co-hosted the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) conference with University of Baltimore in October 2021, bringing hundreds of innovative leaders from around the world to the city. The host universities were selected through a competitive bidding process based on accomplishments and a commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship in Baltimore. GCEC addresses emerging topics for the nation’s university-based entrepreneurship programs, and the conference featured GCEC members’ success stories in entrepreneurship and innovation in the pursuit of revitalization.

Student writing on a sticky note on a corkboard; the Baltimore Inner Harbor; a group of students in matching t-shirts
A center dedicated to supporting student and Baltimore innovation

Nick and Susie Simon Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

In 2018 Loyola launched the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CI&E)—now named the Nick and Susie Simon Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship—to nurture student innovators and make an impact in the Baltimore community through education, hands-on experiences, creative experimentation, and launching startups. The mission of the Simon Center is to engage Loyola in innovation and entrepreneurship and to cultivate ties with Baltimore’s burgeoning startup community.

The Simon Center supports and fosters students, faculty, and underserved community entrepreneurs in starting, scaling, and growing their own businesses and social ventures. Examples of the many opportunities the dynamic duo behind the Simon Center have launched include the Loyola Angels Fund program, the Baltipreneurs Accelerator, a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship that includes this design thinking course, along with myriad ways student entrepreneurs can flex their innovative muscles—and engagement opportunities for the Loyola and greater Baltimore communities as well.

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Curriculum designed by expert faculty with industry experience

An entrepreneur in residence

In November 2018, Bill Romani, Ph.D., was named the Simon Center's entrepreneur in residence. Romani manages the interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum at Loyola—including curricular and co-curricular programming in innovation, design thinking, and funding, as well as opportunities for mentorship, internships, and pitch competitions—as well as a forthcoming undergraduate major in innovation. Romani also teaches courses in the Sellinger School of Business.

Michael Tangrea portrait photo
Faculty scholars dedicated to research

An endowed professorship in innovation

Michael Tangrea, Ph.D., '96—Loyola’s first endowed professor in innovation in the division of natural and applied sciences—is supporting the University’s efforts to expand research in biohealth and to promote economic and entrepreneurial success in the state of Maryland. Among other responsibilities, Tangrea is working to help launch the BioNavigators program, which will connect undergraduate students with biotechnology and biohealth career opportunities.

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Student opportunities for global collaboration

University Innovation Fellows program

Every year Loyola students have the chance to apply for University Innovation Fellows, an international training and development program through Stanford University. The program enables Loyola students the chance to brainstorm and create with other students from around the world. Meet a recent class of innovation fellows and consider applying this spring for next year.

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Greyhound startups

Student entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of entrepreneurism at Loyola. Whether they are developing an app to connect students with real-world experiences or running their own businesses or working as the marketing and brand development team for other startups, Loyola students continue to impress and make an impact on the world—beyond their academics and other campus involvement.

As academic and programmatic opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship continue to complement, enrich, and enhance our exceptional Jesuit, liberal arts education, Greyhounds will graduate Loyola Ready for whatever comes next.