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Liz Riggs

College Counselor
Where are you joining us from? Maybe add a little bit about your time at Loyola before. 
I am in my 6th year at Loyola Academy. I originally started here as a school counselor/college advisor from 2001–2006 and then returned to sub for a maternity leave position in 2018. I'm so happy to be back at LA!

What do you like to do in your spare time?  
I like to wake up really early every morning so that I can take our dogs for a walk to the lake and sometimes catch a glimpse of the sunrise. I also enjoy working on projects around our house and volunteering at our parish and with a couple of organizations, which focus on mental health awareness and cultivating human care and connection. Lastly, I love hanging out with my family and friends (I’ve known my core group of friends since kindergarten at St. Ignatius Grammar School!). 

Any fun facts students might not know about you?
When I was in grad school at Loyola University Chicago, I worked in the Athletics Department. During one holiday break, I was asked at the very last minute to serve as LU Wolf at one of the men's basketball games because the regular mascot went home for the break. I never really appreciated all that goes into being a mascot until I found myself inside the wolf suit, which was about 120 degrees and 300% humidity! Quite frankly, the costume smelled like it hadn't been washed since they won the NCAA Championship...in 1963. In addition, adhering to the Golden Rule of Mascots–"You cannot talk when in costume"–proved to be very difficult for me. Not only did I have to remain completely silent when a group of 10-year-old boys started body-slamming me, I also wasn't able to say "Hi!" to my 80-year-old grandma who only came to the game to see me as LU. As it turned out, I'm definitely not mascot material, but it was still a fun opportunity and, of course, I was able to see Sr. Jean!

Favorite Loyola memory?
Over the years, there have been so many favorite memories with students, colleagues and LIFE (I went into labor TWO times in this building!).

One of my most favorite recent memories was when I came back to LA to meet one of the therapy dogs a few summers ago. I had not been back in the building since I left in 2006, and I was so nervous and worried that people would wonder who I was, why I was there, etc. However, when I walked through the main entrance, I was greeted by Ms. Shoular at the front desk–her entire face lit up when she saw me and she welcomed me back with open arms. There is nothing better than being remembered and coming back “home." 

What is your best advice to Ramblers?
I’d like to pass along some of the best advice I’ve ever received...

It was a couple of days after my mom passed away, and I was sitting in my childhood home writing her eulogy, which I had to deliver in just a few hours. I was frantically jotting down a bunch of thoughts in one of her old notebooks when the enormity of the loss really hit me, and I completely broke down. When I finally composed myself, I turned the page of the notebook to continue writing, and the next page was dog-eared. I lifted the flap and it revealed a short quote she had written. It said, "Everything you need to know is already inside of you." These words gave me strength and comfort when I needed it most.

Ramblers, during your years at LA, you will be surrounded by so many people who want to encourage, challenge and empower you on so many different levels. We are all in your lives for a reason—to help you unlock everything that is already inside of you. I hope you find strength in that, too.
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