Loyola Magazine

Care for the whole person

Messina’s Jesuit spirit inspires parents of 2001 graduate to give $500,000 to living learning program

At 27, Mark Baiada was looking to start his own business—and help others along the way. He came across the idea of home health care and founded what would become BAYADA Home Health Care.

Today, as the business celebrates 40 years, BAYADA Home Health Care has 23,000 employees working in 280 locations, including in India.

“Our vision is to be the world’s most compassionate and trusted health care professionals,” said Baiada. “The home health care field is always growing. I hope nobody ever needs us, but if they do, I hope we’re here to help.”

Now Baiada and his wife, Ann, are giving back to Loyola through a $500,000 gift to Messina, the University’s distinctive living learning program.

Messina, which Loyola launched in the fall of 2013, is designed to give students a foundation that sets them on a journey of self-discovery through college, while also preparing them for the lifelong journey ahead. Through Messina, students take a course in the fall and a course in the spring that are in different disciplines but interconnected. The program also introduces students to the campus community and Baltimore, while ensuring students are well-supported academically, socially, and spiritually.

The Baiadas’ gift will help the University secure a prestigious $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will be fully awarded when Loyola raises $1.5 million. At this point, Loyola has raised $1.1 million toward the matching funds.

The parents of five children, including Janice Baiada Lovequist, ’01, the Baiadas have a deep appreciation for Jesuit education and the Loyola experience.

“The Ignatian spirit, the passion of St. Ignatius, is palpable at Loyola,” said Baiada, noting that he and his wife are products of Catholic education. “I love the philosophy of creating men and women for others, embracing intellectual curiosity, and doing things with passion.”

The Baiadas appreciate that Messina is enhancing the experience Janice and son-in-law Brian, who graduated from Loyola in 2002, benefited from as students.

“With Messina, Loyola is trying to make that Jesuit education a little deeper,” Baiada said. “Janice was there the first year that they had the one-credit course to help students connect to Baltimore—and to connect the Jesuit spirit to Loyola’s quality liberal arts education. At Loyola you’re not learning skills; you’re learning judgment and perspective.”

Before Janice started at Loyola, she graduated from a Quaker high school. Baiada was struck by the approaches of the two different schools.

“Both are values-based institutions,” he said. “The Quakers see the light in everybody. The Jesuits say a flame ought to become a fire.”

Janice, who majored in business and went on to become a graphic designer, now works for BAYADA Home Health Care, where she focuses on strengthening the business’s commitment to its mission. The Baiadas’ children and nine grandchildren have all settled not far from the family business in Moorestown, N.J.

“Our intent with giving to Messina was to support and honor the program—and hopefully inspire others to give,” Baiada said. “Messina is starting to engage young people. Other universities offer a curriculum of courses. Loyola has a different approach. They are trying to engage and transform young minds so they can become productive citizens.”