The recipient shall be a person whose character, philosophy and contribution has enriched the heritage of Canada and humanity.
In 1961, the Loyola Alumni Association and the administration of Loyola College, one of Concordia's founding institutions, agreed to create the Loyola Medal "as a permanent tribute to outstanding leadership and achievement on the Canadian scene."
The first medal was awarded in 1963 to General Georges P. Vanier, former governor general of Canada and Loyola alumnus.
In 1989, it was agreed that the Loyola Medal would be established as an award by Concordia University and given every two years to an outstanding individual who meets the specified criteria:
Recipients shall be outstanding citizens as evidenced by their character and life philosophy and who have made a significant contribution to Canada. They shall embody the ideals and spirit which characterized Loyola College.
Recipients will be individuals whose receipt of the award will bring prestige to both the Concordia and Loyola names.