Loyola celebrates the life of long-time administrator Mark Broderick
Mark Broderick, who will be remembered for his sense of humor, care for students, and the way in which he lived out Jesuit ideals, passed away on Jan. 23, 2022. The retired director of student activities was 64.
Broderick, who started working at Loyola in 1986, was promoted to director of student activities in 1988, a role he served in for 28 years before retiring from Loyola in 2016.
“Mark’s 30-year career at Loyola had such an impact on so many of us. If we just said that Mark was the director of student activities, that would not explain the gravitas and the impact that he had in his career here. He was one of the largest forces on campus,” said Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola. “Mark spoke not only about higher education and Jesuit higher education, but about how these institutions are really important, and we need to make sure that they thrive. In plain English, he articulated the value of Jesuit education in the world.”
As director of student activities, Broderick oversaw the institution of many traditions at Loyola, including the signature spring event that would become Loyolapalooza. He mentored and advised generations of students and colleagues over the years.
The first time Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., visited Broderick’s office as a student, Kelly said, “Sorry to interrupt,” as he walked through the door.
“He cut me off and said, ‘You’re not interrupting. You’re a student. I’m here for you,’” recalled Kelly, a member of the Class of 1994 and Loyola’s vice president and special assistant to the president. “That was my very first interaction with him. Mark always said to me, ‘Being here for students is my job.’”
As a student leader, Kelly had the chance to work with Broderick on bringing student ideas to life.
“He never got in the way of anything we (the students) wanted to do. He would give us advice, but it was really up to the students to make it happen,” Kelly said. “Mark always gave us the chance to do things on our own. And he was the epitome of demonstrating how to live out Jesuit values.”
Broderick, who enjoyed golfing, was the head coach for the Loyola Greyhounds golf team from 1997-2000. The Greyhounds won the 1998 MAAC Championship by 12 strokes under his leadership as head coach.
When Sara Scalzo, director of student engagement, started at Loyola in 2001, she met Broderick. He became a professional mentor to her.
“Mark made you feel special. He made you feel important and valued. I appreciated that he always spoke his mind—always,” she said. “He was also willing to go to bat for any student who had a worthy cause.”
In addition to his enthusiasm for sweater vests and a sense of humor that often left his colleagues in tears, Broderick will be remembered well for serving as an advocate for students.
“Over the years, I have met with many alumni, and many of them recounted Mark and his tough love—but always love—and that Mark didn’t only gravitate toward the best-behaved,” Sawyer said. “Mark saw the good in all of our students, even those who were struggling to stay between the lines. In fact, I think maybe he liked that they needed his guidance and direction. He has a huge legacy, the number of students that he impacted directly.”
Brilliant, witty, and generous with his time and concern for others, Broderick had a photographic memory, which served him well on trivia nights.
“He was a mentor to thousands of students and inspired many of them to go into higher education,” said Joan Flynn, associate vice president for external affairs and emergency management. “With students, he never told them what to do. He really felt they needed to be supported, but they needed to be allowed to fail, and that you learn from failure the way you learn from success.”
Flynn recalled that, as Broderick’s career continued, people would ask him whether he wanted to try something new. “He would say, ‘I’m doing exactly what I want to do,’” she said. “For Mark, that was the best job he could have. He was doing the job that he loved.”
“He was a generous colleague and a wonderful friend,” she said. “He lived out our Jesuit ideals, and he truly embodied a servant leader. And he loved his family. He found such joy in his grandchildren.”
Broderick is survived by his wife, Mary Jo, their children, Christian, Margaret, who graduated from Loyola in 2012, and Emily, and their families.
As a student at the University of Scranton, where Broderick met his wife, Mary Jo, Broderick was a resident assistant. After graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, cum laude, Broderick completed post-bachelor’s coursework in law and higher education administration at St. Louis University, where he worked for five years prior to joining the Loyola community.
Even after illness forced him to retire, Broderick maintained his sense of humor and positive outlook.
“I’ve never seen him have a bad day,” Sawyer said. “He found humor in almost everything. He personified what it means to be a person for others.”
One year the theme for a senior countdown event in Reitz Arena was superheroes and villains, and Scalzo and Broderick were both there. One of the seniors had decided to dress up as Scalzo for her superhero costume. Broderick thought the student’s choice was so flattering, but Scalzo thought it was really funny.
“From that day on, he started calling me a hero,” she said.
When she and Broderick saw each other in person for what would be the last time last fall, Broderick said, “Sara, you’re always going to be my hero.”
“Mark,” she replied, “you’ve always been mine.”
Loyola celebrated the 5 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 23, in Alumni Memorial Chapel for Mark Broderick and his family.
Feb. 12, 2022 at noon
Alumni Memorial Chapel
Loyola's Evergreen Campus
Seating is limited, so please register to attend through this form. The Mass will also be broadcast via this livestream link.