Yesterday, my daughter and I went to Loyola University of Chicago to check it out. I had signed up for a two hour tour, trying to make good use of the Martin Luther King holiday. Too bad that I did not read carefully... it turns out that I booked the tour for Tuesday. The University was closed, it was cold, snowy, and buildings were locked.
Well, we were there, and the beautiful facility for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability was right in front of us, so we went to take a closer look. One of the math professors welcomed us in, apologized for the admissions office not being open, and we got to see where future environmentalists learn their craft at Loyola.
Loyola takes sustainability seriously, and their program permeates the entire University. The building is designed not only for research, but to be a model of sustainable practices in an institutional facility. Loyola incorporates sustainability throughout the curriculum, invites all community members to find their niche in sustainability practices, and sees their mission as an issue of social justice. Their mission resonates with my high school junior, who sees the great urgency of slowing down, stopping, and reversing the harm that human presence imposes on our planet.
Loyola’s Sustainability MissionSustainability at Loyola is driven by our Jesuit tradition of social justice, our service to humanity, and our role as an institution of higher education. It is embodied in an educational experience for our students and activities that seek to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We are committed to an inclusive process considering social, economic and environmental impacts and exemplified in a transformative education for our students.
This was a successful visit. My daughter reviewed materials from the website about campus dorms, the art studios, and the environmental studies program. She experienced first hand the university's commitment to the mission, evidenced in the amazing facility that we were able to enter. We experienced the friendliness of the faculty, students, and staff whom we briefly encountered as they scurried in and out of the buildings. We saw the beautiful setting on the lakefront, and saw the Red Line CTA train rumble by. She can see herself living on the campus and learning in this community.
We will go back for an official tour, and to meet people in the various academic departments. But we are glad that we went, and saw, and admired the great things that Loyola offers to future environmentalists.
Shepherding our children to adulthood demands our love, our attention, and our acceptance of who they are.