Accelerating Excellence: The Campaign for Saint Louis University

Accelerating Excellence: The Campaign for Saint Louis University


There are a few things in life that I
appreciate more than sitting down with a student and helping them dream about
what their lives can be. What are those deepest desires that you
have and how do they intersect with the needs of the world? It’s that intersection that I think is so crucial to what we do here. We generate knowledge. We educate. We form
young men and women to go out and be great citizens, to be accomplished people
and to give back. There’s a special feeling and community on this campus that grows out of our Catholic and Jesuit nature and that community is
important. We have a long tradition of being deeply involved: advancing
knowledge, transmitting knowledge, applying knowledge and doing service. And
we’re proud of that. We’re proud to be the second oldest Jesuit institution. We’re proud to be 200 years old. We’re proud of our history. But what we’re most
excited about is what comes next and what’s ahead. This is a phenomenal
University. It’s a phenomenal school. It shaped my life as a person, and I feel
very indebted to the school because of that. I have a mission, a personal mission,
to make Saint Louis University known across the world as an outstanding
University. The future of Saint Louis University is actually to continue the mission started by Father Biondi. He was about increasing excellence. Beautifying things on the outside, eventually it will become and affect the inside. And I think that’s where we are now. We have an amazingly beautiful campus, and I want to
see that continue on into the intellectual and academic side of the
University. We’re always struggling to provide great
spaces for student project groups to have workshop space and all the tools
that they need to build things. This kind of investment in facilities to do
research, facilities for students to have amazing labs, and these new types of
teaching facilities. It does take time to make those changes and investment, but
it’s completely worth it. We do a lot of things here that separate
us from everybody else. The connection between faculty, staff to
the student or student-athlete. A lot of people like talk about family.
I see Saint Louis University as a community, as a whole, as a family like
I’ve never experienced. The environment, the energy, the atmosphere really means a
lot, I think, not just to our university, not just to our basketball program, but to
the city of St. Louis. It means a lot not only to me but to someone else that
supports us as well. It’s on us to continue to strive forward and do whatever we can to make this place even greater than what it already is. We are a large and complex university in
terms of what we offer. On the one hand, we must provide everything that our
students, our faculty, and our staff need to do well.
On the other hand, we have to keep this as affordable as possible so that those
who are interested in this sort of education, and will best contribute to
society afterwards, have the opportunity to come here, study, and be successful. And
that requires money. What we will be able to do with this campaign is strengthen it by making the investments to further propel our institution forward in the
eyes of the nation and the world. When we ask our students why they’re still at SLU when they’re junior and seniors, they’re here because of our mission and
because of our values. And I think that that speaks really highly to what
happens while you’re on campus. That something about what we do at SLU has our graduates leaving, you know, knowing that they can positively impact the
world and leaving with a vision of how they can impact the world with the
Jesuit mission and values right behind them. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for today, and I really believe that Saint
Louis University does that. The doors opened up for me. Opportunities opened up
for me that I would have never had, and and to be able to look at that diploma
hanging on the wall from a distinguished university like this, I walk very very
proud that I’m a part of this institution. It’s very important that SLU is staying ahead of the curve, making all these improvements, especially in the past year,
really revamping not only supplies and the equipment and the facilities, but
also revamping their curriculum. Ultimately what I learn might actually
help me save someone in the future, and I think that’s a really big deal. I think we’re in a unique situation to not only thrive, but to accelerate our excellence. I think it’s important that we do that in athletics. It’s important we do that
in business. It’s important we do that in research. It’s important that we attract
and retain the best professors that differentiate us from other universities
and elevate us to the top ten across multiple programs. I like to win, and I like the
institutions that I support to win and to be the best in the world of their
kind. And the city of St. Louis is blessed with a number of institutions
that are among the best in the world. St. Louis U belongs in that company. We need philanthropy to help us with that. We need philanthropy to help us with our priorities in health care, in business, in athletics, in student
scholarships, and in support for faculty excellence. $500 million is a big
goal for us. This campaign is a stretch for us. So we’re asking our supporters to
stretch with us, and we’re seeing they’re excited about what we say we want to do.
And they’re stepping up. If we’re going to be the institution we aspire to be, we need that support.

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