President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., called for a campuswide commitment to diversity at Loyola Marymount University in his first convocation speech, recognizing the university’s strengths in this area, but saying that we must do more.
That charge comes from the magis, the Latin word for “more” or “better,” which has long been used by the Society of Jesus, one of LMU’s founding orders, to suggest that simply doing good is not good enough.
“We all know that our campus always, in part, will be a reflection of our wider society,” Snyder said. “But we determine what that ‘in part’ means, and what it doesn’t mean.”
Snyder cautioned against using narrow definitions of diversity and inclusion, noting that to simply list attributes a university seeks among its student body and faculty composition, and then to check off those boxes, is to engage in a sophistic exercise that fails to grasp the full reality of what diversity can mean.
“Our diversity means that each member of our community is poised to assure that all capacities of our wider human kind are not only present in our community, but that every individual and every affiliated group have a viable vibrancy in the discourse of teaching, learning, scholarship, administration, behavior, celebration, and thereby effect, on our evolving world,” Snyder said.
While diversity was the main subject of Snyder’s address, he spent the first part of his speech singling out teams of faculty and staff for their recent successes, such as raising funds to make an LMU education accessible to more students, and improving recruitment efforts to bring in a record crop of applications for freshman admission.
Snyder became LMU’s 16th president last year. This was his first convocation speech, an annual tradition at the campus.
The full address can seen here: