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Student’s Research Helps Her Connect to the LMU Campus


When junior Casey Linsey first saw a wedding at Sacred Heart Chapel a year ago, she took it as a sign. “I’m a wedding fanatic,” she said. “After seeing that wedding, I knew I wanted to research the history of the chapel.”  Her fascination took form as a research paper, “Religion Becoming: Loyola University’s Sacred Heart Chapel and Mary’s Hour,” which earned an honorable mention in the 2009 Undergraduate Research Award contest sponsored by the Von der Ahe library.

Linsey had always assumed that the chapel was one of the first buildings on campus, but found that it took almost 40 years for the “focal point” of LMU to begin construction.

“Faith is an integral aspect of the university,” she said. “The building of Sacred Heart Chapel exemplified the university’s physical, financial, and spiritual evolution that has continued to grow.”

To illustrate this point, Linsey chronicled the evolution of Mary's Hour, a day of prayer started by Loyola students on the Westchester campus' Sunken Gardens to honor the Mother of God and pray for world peace. The event grew so large that it was moved to the Hollywood Bowl and eventually the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

“Mary’s Hour offered the Loyola community, as well as Los Angeles, the opportunity to practice their faith in the form of group prayer,” she said. “I was surprised by how devoted the students of the era were to making Mary's Hour a success year after year.”

Linsey said her research has made her even more proud to be a student at LMU. “Researching the university I attend was great. I feel more connected and I got to understand the history of the place I love.” 

The research award contest recognizes LMU undergraduate students who make the best use of resources and services of the Von der Ahe Library. To be considered for the award, students had to submit a research project or paper, an essay explaining the student’s research process, a bibliography and a letter of nomination from a faculty member.

For more information about the Von der Ahe Library Undergraduate Research Awards, please click here