President Wildes updates faculty and staff during spring convocation


University President, Kevin Wildes addressing faculty and staff in Nunemaker Hall on Friday, January 13, 2017

Lily Cummings

The Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., university president, touched on the university’s devotion to service in the past year, updates on financial campaigns and the responsibilities the university has for its students and future during the President’s Convocation last Friday.

After confirming that Loyola students have participated in nearly 15,000 hours of service learning in the past year, Wildes announced that Loyola was included on the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal honor colleges and universities can receive for community service, civic engagement and service-learning.

“Being selected for this group is not only a national recognition for us, but it is also an affirmation that we are living out a part of our mission,” Wildes said.

Wildes went on to talk about Loyola’s financial situation saying that faculty and staff working together to increase reductions, savings and additional revenues has been successful. He said that the university is on track to reach their goal by 2018 and that the board will continue to look for ways to strengthen the foundation for the future.

“I am happy to report that we have closed the gap on financial equilibrium and have found 20 million dollars of the 25 million dollar challenge we faced a year ago,” Wildes said.

Provost Mark Manganaro honored faculty and staff members at the convocation several awards including the 2016 Dux Academicus Award, which is one of the highest awards to be given in Loyola’s academia.

This year’s recipient was Leslie G. Parr, the A. Louis Read Distinguished Professor in Communication. She is the 39th person to receive this honor.

“”I am pleased and proud to have been selected for this award,” Parr said. “It is a great and unexpected honor.”

Wildes and Parr both mentioned in their speeches the university’s role to encourage students to have discerning minds and to think critically about what is true or fake news.

IMG_1721 color.jpg
Dr. Leslie Parr giving a speech after receiving the Dux Academics Award at the the President’s Convocation on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

“This is important for us and our students so that they may become better citizens,” Wildes said.

Near the end of the convocation, Wildes thanked John Sebastian, vice president for Mission and Ministry, for his 13 years of service and wished Sebastian well in his new position at Loyola Marymount. He also thanked the Rev. Ted Dziak, S.J., for resuming his position so that the university remains focused.

Wildes concluded the session by thanking Anthony Decuir, dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts, who announced his retirement last semester.