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A Loyola Legacy

Three generations of the Simms family are proud Loyola grads
The Simms family (Tyler, Ed, and Louise) pose in front of the Loyola seal

Family has been the cornerstone of Louise Anderson Simms’s life. The Pikesville, Md., resident enrolled in night school at Loyola once her older son, Stuart, finished high school, and her son Edward, who was seven years younger, was a bit more self-sufficient.

College fell into place for her then, she said. “I was ready for that college experience,” remembered Louise, ’65, M.Ed. ’78.

Loyola is a quality institution. My mom said, ‘Take advantage of what’s before you,’ and I gave that same advice to my son.

She gives her husband of 68 years, Clarence, credit for fully supporting her in her educational goals. Packing up to go to evening classes after a full day of taking care of her home and family was challenging.

When she graduated with a degree in English, Louise had tears in her eyes—“celebration of a job completed,” she said. She went on to teach middle and high school English, while also earning another degree from Loyola, her master’s in education. Retired now for 20 years, Louise still keeps in touch with some of her former students, some of whom have landed as far away as Britain.

Her younger son, Ed, started college elsewhere and then told his parents he needed to take some time off from school to find himself. “You can start looking at Loyola,” said Louise, who didn't want her son to fall behind in his educational path.

Ed Simms, ’80, recalled with a laugh that the main advice his mother gave him for Loyola was, “Do your work.” He double majored in English and political science and now works as a team leader for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

“My parents impressed upon us that the key to a good life is a college education,” Ed said.

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During his time at Loyola, he also worked several jobs and devoted his extracurricular time to photography, processing black and white film in an on-campus lab. Today he lives about seven blocks from the Loyola campus. Loyola strengthened the expectation for excellence that Ed learned at home.

“Loyola is a quality institution,” he said—so much so that he encouraged his son, Tyler, ’19, to consider it as well. “My mom said, ‘Take advantage of what’s before you,’ and I gave that same advice to my son.”

Tyler and his grandmother, Louise, have had a special connection since the very beginning. Louise’s first year of retirement coincided with the year Tyler was born.

“I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to babysit him so much,” she said.

Tyler affirms that his grandmother is an amazing woman. Like his dad, Tyler began his college career at another school in another state, but found it wasn’t the right fit. Ed Simms brought up Loyola. Tyler talked with professors in the engineering program, and he got the sense Loyola could offer him the well-rounded education he was looking for.

Loyola encouraged me to explore.

Coming in as a transfer student, he didn’t think he’d have the ability to form strong bonds with his classmates, but he was pleasantly surprised to forge friendships after all.

“My engineering classmates and club ice hockey teammates were so accepting,” he said. He also developed meaningful bonds with Robert Bailey, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, and Robert Pond, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of engineering.

Today Tyler works for an energy consulting firm in Charlottesville, Va., where he interned for three summers previously. He’s close to his family and friends back home and returns to visit the Baltimore area as often as he can.

Both he and his dad emphasize their family’s values of education, not giving up, and working toward a goal—values they learned from the woman they both admire and speak highly of. “I’m so happy for him. Loyola really was a good choice,” Louise said. For all of them.