March 18, 2014


Many Voices: Jake Barnett, a senior business student and member of the men's basketball team, reflects on the true value of his legacy at SLU.

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How many of us want to leave a great legacy? We want to be remembered by our peers as an individual dedicated to excellence. I consistently find myself thinking about the legacy I want to leave behind. Let me be honest for a second and say that as a student and a basketball player at a prestigious university, it often becomes really easy to make everything about me. Sometimes I walk around campus and puff myself up. I say to myself, "Jake, you a great student, an even better ball player, with a beautiful fiancée." I know this might sound a little self-centered, but I want to be honest.

Many people who read the above statement might think there is nothing wrong with this type of thinking. In a world where we are taught to market ourselves and exude confidence, this type of mindset seems to fall right in line.

Let me be honest in saying that one of my favorite parts of attending Saint Louis University has been having a crucifix in each of my classrooms. On days where my ego has been overinflated like a basketball, seeing this image of a true legacy when I walk into a classroom allows me to be constantly reminded that I live for something bigger than myself. I am no longer called to lead a legacy that points back to me, but one that points to a God who loved me enough to send his son to die for me.

SLU's mission is "the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity." I think that as I have pursued this truth, I have come to the conclusion that my legacy is not about me. Saint Louis University challenges us to remember that our legacy is actually bigger than ourselves. I think Saint Louis University calls us to a mission in which we must:

Point people back to a God who loves us, even when we are at our worst.
Love fervently because we were first loved by God.
Sacrifice our agendas daily, because God first sacrificed his son.

What a great mission I have as a student-athlete at Saint Louis lead a life that never points back to my own accomplishments, but rather to a God who is already accomplished and deserves the "greater glory."

- Jake Barnett, John Cook School of Business

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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