Since his inauguration in 1987, Lawrence Biondi, S.J., has led the University through a remarkable era of transformation and progress. He has worked tirelessly to recruit the finest students, to increase the University's academic reputation, to establish SLU as a major research center, to modernize the campus and to help revitalize SLU's Midtown neighborhood.
Biondi's contributions to SLU and the St. Louis Metropolitan Region have been widely heralded. Among his many honors and accolades, he has earned the prestigious St. Louis Award, the Leon R. Strauss Urban Pioneer Award and the John D. Levy Human Relations Award. He also was named St. Louis' "Citizen of the Year" in 2005.
At the national level, Biondi has received the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
A comparison between the academic year before Biondi became president (1986-1987) and now reveals a number of significant advancements for the University, including:
- The size of the student body has grown from 9,869 to 13,981.
- The average ACT score of incoming freshmen has gone up five points from 22.7 to 27.2.
- SLU's Midtown campus has more than doubled in size, from 113 acres with 62 buildings to 268 acres with 131 buildings.
- The University's endowment has grown from $93 million to nearly $853 million, ranking it among the largest for all Jesuit institutions.
- Annual research funding has grown from $8.9 million to $51 million.
- SLU began the 2012-2013 academic year by welcoming one of the biggest and brightest freshman classes in history, drawing new students from all over the United States and from around the world.
- The University is currently developing a donated building in downtown St. Louis into a state-of-the-art facility for its School of Law — a move that is being lauded by city and civic leaders.
- And SLU recently completed renovations to its Pius XII Memorial Library, while work is under way to transform a historic gymnasium into a welcoming Center for Global Citizenship.