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Jorge Rivera

Adam Patricoski
29 September 2015
Connecting to Loyola
In my connecting to Loyola assignment, I interviewed my philosophy professor, Dr.
Thomas Wren. He has taught at Loyola University since 1966 and has received his masters
degrees at Loyola. There wasnt really a particular reason why I chose him for my interview,
except that he said that he has been in Loyola for several years. So, I would imagine that he
would have a good grasp of the Loyola mission. I started the interview by asking what caused
him to teach at Loyola and what he likes about it. His first immediate response was the location
the university was in; that the city of Chicago has a rich diversity of different cultures. The
university has a huge collection/melting pot of ideas and perspectives. There is no problems with
this diversity; it is encouraged with open arms. We then dwelled into the religion part of Loyola.
He started by talking about the Catholic and Jesuit history of the university. He explained that
throughout time the university really opened up to non-Catholics and eased the pressure on them.
He believes that he and other university staff try to encourage religiosity without any hidden
agenda. As a professor, he also emphasizes social responsible and justice. One thing towards the
end of the interview he told a story that occurred close to when he started teaching. He was
talking about Loyola students protesting during the Vietnam War. He also talked about protests
about the Kent State shootings. He thought the student involvement was absolutely remarkable
and he saw the Loyola mission in action. After that, he began to talk about the first day of class.

He focused on the Loyola mission and the connection it has to the class; then again the class is
called Loyola's Mission: The Philosophical Vision. Basically how the class is supposed to
introduce transfer students to the Loyola vision and mission. He then talked about some points
about the mission and put a philosophical spin to it by showing how the class can make you think
about the mission. He emphasized that you do not necessarily have to look at the mission in a
religion standpoint. There are many ways you can interpret the mission whether you are religious
or not. I went to the next topic and asked what he thought about Loyola education and the way of
teaching. He responded that teaching students about different subjects really makes them well
rounded. Its important to be knowledgeable in many different area instead of just focusing on
one. He emphasized the importance of it by relating it to finding a job. An employer would rather
have someone who it more well-rounded. He wants students to really apply what they learn to
the real world. I then asked him whether he sees the mission being playing out today. He
responded yes and said that there are many student organizations that have events of serving the
community and having a sense of acceptance and understanding. He sees it in the interactions
between students and the staff. There is a sense of whatever background you have, you will be
treated with respect. You never really feel unwanted at Loyola. After the interview, I have a more
understanding of the Loyola mission because I heard it through another person perspective. So
far, everyone that I have heard about the mission has the same basic understandings of it, but the
way they see it or approach it may be different. It just depends on the type of person you are and
how you want to interpret it. How I see it, the university promotes cultural understanding and
social justice. Emphasizing on using what you learn to make the world a better place; that is a
mission worth standing by.