The National Football League (NFL) 2023-24 regular season started on Thursday, but one franchise kicked off festivities a day early with a new partner off the field
The National Football League (NFL) 2023-24 regular season started on Thursday, but the LA Rams kicked off festivities a day early with a new partner off the field.
Two-time Super Bowl champions and local favorites, the LA Rams, announced Wednesday that Loyola Marymount University is now the “official higher education partner” of the organization. Students at LMU’s Westchester campus flocked to the weekly “Wellness Wednesday” event for the announcement, taking part in the blue-and-gold get-together.
The football club and university will be working together in a multi-year partnership, beginning with the 2023-24 academic year at LMU. As part of the initiative, LMU students will gain access to tailored mentorship, hands-on internship and career opportunities with the Rams, which LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. said will increase the “door-opening power” of a LMU degree.
“This will be a semester like no other, and our partnership makes this year yet extraordinary,” Snyder said during the announcement event. “Together we embark on a journey that bridges tradition and innovation, wisdom and ambition, ready to ignite a brighter world.”
The LMU tradition has immensely impacted the LA Rams’ legacy, as legendary LMU quarterback Don Klosterman served as the team’s general manager in the 1970s, helping guide the squad to eight straight winning seasons from 1973-1980, including a Super Bowl appearance in the 1979 campaign.
Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff recounted that history while looking ahead to new opportunities.
“We are thrilled to welcome LMU to the Rams family and are proud to bring football back to campus,” Demoff said. “With our stadium a few miles from campus, our deep roots in Los Angeles, and our shared commitment to our city, this is a perfect partnership. We are looking forward to building together impactful programs that will benefit both members of the LMU community as well as our players, coaches and staff.”
LA Rams players and staff will benefit from innovative educational programs offered by LMU, covering areas like fiscal management, real estate and entrepreneurship. In return, the organization will be providing the university with case study access for sports and entertainment courses, in addition to the mentorship and internship programs.
“As we merge the rigor of academia with that of the gridiron, we empower our students to grow, learn, and compete as champions,” Snyder said. “Joining forces with the Rams, a team and organization that exemplifies on-field prowess and off-field astuteness, solidifies our collective experience.”
The football squad showed off its on-field accomplishments at the “Wellness Wednesday” event, displaying its two Lombardi trophies from the 1999 and 2021 championship seasons. The photo opportunity with the trophies was augmented by appearances from Rams mascot Rampage and Rams cheerleaders, with Rampage performing a traditional “jersey swap” with LMU mascot Iggy the Lion.’’
Events between LMU and the Rams will not end with Wednesday’s event, as the Rams’ 2023 schedule includes “LMU Day at the Rams” when the team faces the Cleveland Browns at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 3. During the gameday, LMU will have space at the stadium for fans to interact with, and LMU content will be visible on SoFi’s stadium-wide “Infinity Screen.” Discounted tickets for the contest will be available to both LMU students and alumni.
A total of 15 NFL players have stepped onto the field from LMU, as the Lions produced several standouts of the 1950s. Aside from Klosterman, the 26th pick in the 1952 draft, the university was the starting point for three-time Associated Press first team All-Pro defensive end Gene Brito and Pro Bowl defensive back Bob Boyd.