Loyolan Centennial Helps Connect History and Legacy of LMU

Jennifer Woo ‘25 currently serves as the managing editor for The Los Angeles Loyolan and has been working there since her first year at LMU. Along with four other students, Chris Benis and Olivia Palombo, Kylie Clifton, and Catherine Galanti, Woo had the chance to interview past alumni editors in chief to share their experiences during their time at The Loyolan and beyond the bluff after they graduated.

Jennifer Woo ‘25
Major: Economics
Hometown: Garden Grove, California

Image3 214x300 - Loyolan Centennial Helps Connect History and Legacy of LMUInterviewing alumni and working on the centennial project has helped Woo feel a lot more connected to the LMU community because she had the chance to speak with alums who had been here in the 1970s, someone who was here when Hank Gathers passed away, and a more recent editor in chief who is a graduating senior. “There’s so much LMU history that I got to learn about in a more in-depth way through this process and hearing first-hand accounts of the experiences from people who were students as these things were happening,” said Woo. “It’s made my experience as a student more special because I now better understand the legacy of the work we do each week at The Loyolan and it’s been inspiring to see what these alumni have accomplished since leaving LMU.”

Two of Woo’s favorite profiles that she got to write were, about Liz Amend Henderson ’73, who was the first Loyolan female editor in chief after the merger between Loyola University and Marymount College, and Alyssa Story ’23, who is a current student and graduating senior, who has already accomplished a lot during her time at LMU.

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The Loyolan staff, circa 1973.

“Liz was here at LMU during a very challenging time, the merger of Loyola and Marymount had just occurred and the Vietnam War was going on,” said Woo. “I’ve always been interested in the 1970s as an era of history and this allowed me the opportunity to really learn about things I’ve read in history books and heard about at LMU from the first-person lens of a student who was my age and experienced them. She was our first female editor in chief and as a female in a current leadership position at The Loyolan, it was touching to interview Liz and share her story. She set such a strong example of what it means to be a woman in a leadership position.”

In the story, Woo wrote, “The 1970s were about much more than peace, love and flower power. America found itself in the midst of the Vietnam War, civil unrest and a devastating military draft. Meanwhile on the bluff, Loyola University and Marymount College merged to become Loyola Marymount University as we know it today. Through all of this change and uncertainty, Elisabeth “Liz” Henderson Amend (’73) opened a new door of opportunities for women on campus by serving as The Loyolan’s first female editor in chief.” Read the full story here.

As the last editor in chief before the centennial project, Story also hired Woo to work in the newsroom last year. “I had the chance to work with her when she was editor in chief and I was an intern, so at the time I didn’t get to know her very much as a person,” said Woo. “So, this experience offered the opportunity to get to know her in a new way. She shared a lot about her experience being editor in chief during COVID-19, why she loves journalism, and some of the challenges she faced when she worked in the newsroom during time as editor in chief was fascinating.”

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For Woo, this centennial experience helped her connect to our Ignatian values at LMU. “Listening to each of these alums reflect on their college experiences and their careers since then has helped me reflect on my college experience so far,” said Woo. “It’s helped me start to look at my journey and what I want it to look like for the next two years and for me this process of being introspective is very natural, but this project helped give me an outside perspective. It helped me think about what I would want to share if someone were to interview me in the future about my time at LMU and what would be the things I would say I’m most proud of.”