CHICAGO (CBS) –– Much of the nation is learning about Loyola University for the first time, thanks to its Final Four basketball team.

However, the school has been around for nearly 150 years, and its students and professors are proud of what goes on in the classroom, CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.

Baylee Corona is from beautiful Laguna Beach, Calif.

“Well, my family was a little sad, I wasn’t staying home,” the Loyola student admitted.

How in the world did a young woman from Southern California end up here?

“I love the people,” Corona said. “The city’s really cool. And I love the campus.”

The Loyola campus, just beyond busy Sheridan Road in Rogers Park, is an oasis—lush, with a blend of old and new buildings, along the lakefront.

Miguel Luis Molina and other students praise Loyola’s small class sizes and the attention, they say, they get here. The also like the downtown campus.

“I’ve never been a class with over 30 people. Which has been really nice and very personal.”

Even though, with 16,000 students, Loyola is the largest Jesuit college in the country.

“Loyola’s all about educating the whole person,” said Luis Molina.  “All different disciplines to give us a well-rounded personality.”

There are 80 undergrad majors and medical and law schools. Much more than basketball, but that team’s success doesn’t hurt, says Dean Of Admissions, Erin Moriarty.

“Academically, we’re an incredible institution,” she said.

High school student Nick Sima visited campus with his parent on Wednesday.

So has the basketball success made the schools even more attractive?

“Oh definitely. Definitely. It bumped up a couple spots after that,” Sima said.

Loyola has lots of prominent graduates: Bob Newhart, former White House chief of staff William Daley, Father Michael Pfleger and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan just to name a few.