Loyola Magazine

Sunny with a Chance of Shakespeare

Loyola’s Kelly Family Outdoor Classroom Provides Natural Inspiration
A group of students sitting on benches outdoors on a bright and sunny day watching a lecture
Photo of the Kelly Family Outdoor Classroom by Howard Korn

For generations, faculty have moved classes outside on sunny fall and spring days, leaving many students and alumni with cherished memories of gathering outside for class.

With Loyola’s small class size, faculty can easily relocate groups of students to the steps of Alumni Memorial Chapel or the shade of the giant oaks and maples on the Quad. Class discussions often take on new energy and draw inspiration from these idyllic settings.

Loyola’s Jesuit, liberal arts education embraces reflecting, being open to new perspectives, and finding God in all things, including in the natural world. The Kelly Family Outdoor Classroom, named for Gregory P. Kelly, ’87, and Denise McBride Kelly, ’87, debuted in fall 2021 with the opening of the Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning, offering the University’s first formal space to engage intellectually outdoors.

Featuring bench seating, a slate chalkboard, acoustic design, and native trees and lush landscaping as its frame, the outdoor classroom has already become a beloved and well-utilized feature of the Evergreen campus.

The Fernandez Center, which looks out over Cold Spring Lane, further offers an open, inviting entrance to the University—with the Kelly Family Outdoor Classroom connecting Loyola’s Academic Quadrangle to our neighborhood and the greater City of Baltimore, welcoming visitors and neighbors to Loyola.

The earth has music for those who listen.

—William Shakespeare