Why Loyola is Welcoming Elizabeth Smart to Campus

Guest blogger Julie Jensen, Class of 2020, shares her thoughts on the upcoming 2017 Sister Cleophas Costello Lecture. Julie is a double major in Elementary Education and Spanish. She is quite an active student as an Evergreen, sophomore co-chair for Relay for Life, and co-president of the newly formed School of Education student club, Teacher’s Lounge. Julie also works as an Office Assistant in the Study and in the Education Dean’s Office.

This year’s Sister Cleophas Costello lecture is being presented in partnership with the Mount Saint Agnes Alumnae Association and Loyola’s School of Education. The lecture features Elizabeth Smart.

Now, what do any of those names mean?

Until 1971 Loyola was an all-men’s college. At that point Loyola joined together with Mount Saint Agnes College for women and became the coeducational Jesuit institution we know today. The late Sister Mary Cleophas Costello, RSM, was the last president of Mount Saint Agnes College, but she was not just that. As a woman, as a future educator and just as a person, Sister Cleophas embodies many of the traits that I hope to one day attain. This woman was remarkable, she had a lifelong will to learn, an admirable character, worked towards enlightening others in thought and endeavored to strengthen justice and humanity.

When the two colleges came together, many of the values that Sister Cleophas held true came with her and are still represented in many of Loyola’s core values. These values and characteristics are what guided our committee as we began the selection process of choosing someone to speak at the lecture honoring her name, which was not an easy process. Countless hours and meetings with students, Mount Saint Agnes alumnae, Dean Smith’s office, and Alumni Relations have gone into selecting a speaker for this event. Women such as Misty Copeland, Melinda Gates, and America Ferrara were all noted as women who uphold the attributes we looked for. However, Elizabeth Smart stood out undeniably to all for this year’s event.

Elizabeth Smart is an American child safety activist, specifically for children and families who have suffered from abduction, as she herself was a victim. On June 5, 2002, she was taken from her family’s home and kept as a prisoner until March 12, 2003. Through her experiences, she has founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to work as an advocate for change related to child abduction programs and legislation, such as the AMBER alert system. Her work impacts all people; whether a parent, a child, a grandparent, or anyone who cares for someone else.

Which is why we hope you can join us in welcoming her to our campus, on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in McGuire Hall, to celebrate the wonderful women leaders that came before us here at Loyola and Mount Saint Agnes—as well as encourage the ones who are emerging today and every day in the world around us.

Across our campus we are welcoming her in various ways as well. The Loyola Women’s Center will be holding a book club to read the Elizabeth Smart Story, an autobiographical text about the adverse conditions she has faced. The bookstore is lining their shelves in preparation with that same book.

We invite you to visit our website, Facebook, and Instagram for more information on the event. If you are on the Evergreen campus, please check out the bookstore or stop by the Women’s Center. Don’t forget to use our hashtag #cleophas2017 if you’re bringing us to social media! Complimentary tickets are available to all members of the Loyola community and are being held at the Box Office in the Boulder Atrium for you to pick up. Your family and friends can purchase tickets too!

For more information, visit the 2017 Sister Cleophas Costello Lecture website: Overcoming Adversity featuring Elizabeth Smart.


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