Is it True That Loyola is Named After Four Birds?

We’re not sure how the avian rumor started, but we couldn’t find any connections. Takashi Hososhima // Flickr

This question was asked 10 times, so even though we have no clue where this idea came from, we at The PHOENIX aim to please and are going to answer it.

Since we hadn’t heard anything about birds, we asked around to see if anyone else had an idea.

“I have never heard anything about that story, but I can say that it’s hilarious,” said junior Tom Dyke, a previous tour guide and orientation leader.

Everyone we asked seemed to have a similar reaction to Dyke.

So to answer the question: no, Loyola is not named after four birds.

The university was originally founded in 1870 as St. Ignatius College in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In 1909, the name was changed to Loyola University.

Loyola takes its name from Iñigo Lopez de Oñaz y Loyola, or St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, according to A Biography of St. Ignatius Loyola: The Founder of the Jesuits by the Rev. George Traub, S.J., and Debra Mooney. Ignatius was born in the Castle Loyola, located in the Basque Country of northeastern Spain.

The name “Loyola” is believed to be derived from the Spanish “Lobo-y-olla,” which means “wolf and kettle.”  There is an image of the wolf and kettle carved in stone on the castle, which, as legend goes, represents the story of the Loyola family who prepared enough food for themselves and for the wolves.

So no birds.

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