Saint Louis University

Francis Slay, Lawrence Biondi and Otis Williams.
From left are Francis Slay, mayor of the City of St. Louis; Lawrence Biondi, S.J., president emeritus of Saint Louis University; and Otis Williams, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corporation. Submitted photo

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J., has received the 2013 Mayor's Award in recognition of his impact on economic development in the city of St. Louis. 

St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, a SLU alumnus, presented the award Oct. 4 during an annual luncheon that also recognized a number of leading businesses and development projects.

SLU's president from 1987-2013, Biondi led the transformation of the University's main campus and has been widely credited for his significant role in the redevelopment of the surrounding midtown area.

In August 2013, Biondi extended SLU's reach into downtown St. Louis with the opening of Scott Hall, the new home of the University's School of Law. The move has been heralded by civic leaders and developers alike.

The University has had a major impact on the region's economy during Biondi's tenure as well. An independent study conducted last year found that SLU generated $715.5 million in economic impact and supported more than 6,800 jobs throughout the region during 2011 alone.

Biondi's many previous honors include the prestigious St. Louis Award (2001), the Leon R. Strauss Urban Pioneer Award (2001) and the St. Louis Citizen of the Year Award (2005).

The City of St. Louis Business Celebration Luncheon began in 2002 as a way to thank the business community for its commitment to the city and to growing the region. Approximately 1,000 guests attended this year's event, which was held at the Renaissance Grand Hotel.