Andrea Ganier
Class of 2006
Andrea Ganier, right, class of 2006
Andrea Ganier, right, class of 2006

Sometimes I joke that it took me 15 years to graduate from Loyola University New Orleans. I started classes in 1991 when a family friend recommended the Loyola Preparatory Ballet Program. I graduated with a B.A. in 2006 alongside the last group of students to celebrate on Marquette Hall's front lawn.

Though I had always promised myself I would leave New Orleans for college, I could not escape the fact that Loyola University had everything I wanted.

Loyola was not my only choice but it was undoubtedly the best.

As Loyola prepares to celebrate its centential, I am overcome with gratitude for the people of Loyola who have contributed to the person I am.

  • I'm grateful for Gayle Parmelee and Laura Zambrano whose love and dedication formed me into a company-ready dancer.
  • I'm grateful for Cathy Simoneaux and her staff who prepared the scholarship and financial aid package that helped me get four years for the
    price of one.
  • I'm grateful to former College of Arts and Sciences Dean, Thomas Smith, who granted me a leave of absence so I could dance with the Nashville Ballet (led by alumnus Paul Vasterling).
  • I'm grateful to my faculty advisor, Dr. Larry Lorenz, who may not have understood why I studied communications, ballet and graphic design (instead of graduating early), but who never discouraged me.
  • I'm grateful to university photographer, Harold Baquet, who will not let me forget that I used to jump like I could fly.
  • I'm grateful for Dr. Cathy Rogers who took a chance in letting me on her 2005 Bateman team and who helped prepare me for my chosen profession.
  • I'm grateful for Terrell Fisher and the webteam who welcomed me as a part of the Marketing Department.

The institution has been more than just a red brick backdrop for years as a ballet student, undergraduate, and young professional. In a very literal way, to describe what Loyola means to me is to tell my life story. I live my life indebted to so many at Loyola and I hope that they are proud to point to me and say, "We educated THIS whole person."