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Father Biondi: Milestones and Honors

Father Biondi standing at a lectern at his Portrait Unveiling

Father Lawrence Biondi at the unveiling of his portrait at Saint Louis University.

Over the course of his presidency, Fr. Lawrence Biondi led a transformation of the Saint Louis University campuses in St. Louis and in Madrid, Spain.

Those transformations took many forms but were most apparent to alumni and those outside of SLU in the physical reshaping of the campuses – changing SLU from a primarily commuter school to contained campuses that house thousands of undergraduate students on what has been referred to on many occasions as one of the most beautiful urban campuses in the United States.

During his presidency, Fr. Biondi received dozens of honors, many of them for SLU’s leadership in advancing the St. Louis region and its commitment to service in the Jesuit tradition.

Milestones During Fr. Biondi's Tenure 

  • Investment of more than $1 billion in academics and campus buildings and infrastructure.
  • More than doubling the size and number of SLU-owned buildings from 62 to 139, including:
    • $82 million Doisy Research Center in 2007
    • $81 million Chaifetz Arena in 2008
    • $19 million addition to SLU’s Madrid campus in 2013
    • $33 million renovation of Scott Hall in downtown St. Louis, new home of SLU’s law school in 2013
  • Co-founding of Casa de Salud in 2010.
  • Other significant construction projects including: the major expansion of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, McDonnell Douglas Hall, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, Doisy College of Health Sciences, Renovation of Pius XII Library, Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), Marvin and Harlene Wool Center, Center for Advanced Dental Education, Busch Student Center, Center for Global Citizenship, Hotel Ignacio, Salus Center and Water Tower Inn, Medical Center Stadium, Medical Center Student Union, and the Vandeventer-Laclede Intramural Field.
  • Expansion of SLU-owned acres in Midtown St. Louis  from 113 in FY 1987 to 286 in FY 2013.
  • Successful completion of three comprehensive fundraising campaigns, which together totaled more than $600 million.
  • Growth of the University’s endowment from $93 million in 1987 to more than $1 billion in 2013.
  • Increase of net assets from $534 million in FY 1987 to $1.5 billion in FY 2013.
  • Dramatic increase in the number of new freshmen students, from 660 in 1987 to 1,618 in 2013.
  • Increase in the size of the SLU faculty by 180 percent, from 1,132 to 3,177.
  • Sale of Saint Louis University Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation for $300 million in 1998.
  • Increase in the number of students living on campus from 1,712 in FY 1987 to 3,820 in FY 2013.
  • Increase of the average ACT scores of entering freshmen from 22.7 in FY 1987 to 27.8 in FY 2013.

View the dramatic changes that were made to SLU's physical campuses between 1987 and 2013.

Father Biondi: Awards and Honors, 1992-2015

Year Notes


  • Outstanding Public Interest Award, Missouri Public Interest Research Group (MOPIRG), St. Louis


  •  Lucchese Del Mondo Award, Government of Lucca Province Italy
  • Man of the Year, The Women’s Commission of Saint Louis University


  • Faith in Action Award, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri
  • Knight of the Holy Sepulcher, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Academy of Missouri Squires, Appointed by the Governor, Columbia, Missouri


  • Presidents’ Founders Award, Division I Conference USA Athletic Commission
  • Brotherhood Sisterhood Award, The National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis


  • Goldstein/Fleishman Geriatric Excellence Award, Jewish Center for Aged
  • St. Louis Ambassador of the Year Award, St. Louis Ambassadors


  • Tree of Life Award, Jewish National Fund of America
  • Man of the Year Award, The Italian Club of St. Louis
  • Equality Award, Human Rights Campaign, St. Louis
  • House of Peace Award, Friedens House, St. Louis
  • The Spirit of St. Louis Award, Matthew-Dickey Boys’ Club
  • The Italian Civic Heritage Award for Spiritual and Academic University Leadership, The Mazzini-Verdi Italian Club of St. Louis


  • Community Leadership Award, St. Louis American Bar Association Foundation


  • St. Louis Citizen of the Century, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Humanitarian Award, Arthritis Foundation – Eastern Missouri Chapter


  • St. Louis Civic Leadership Award, City of St. Louis
  • Leon R. Strauss Urban Pioneer Award, The St. Louis Ambassadors
  • Chief Executive Leadership Award, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) MO State Legislature


  • The Grand Order of De. Filippo Mazzei Civis Illustrious Americanism Award, UNICO National, Miami, FL
  • The Right Balance, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Board of Directors Leadership Award


  • Mary Bruemmer Award, Saint Louis University Student Government Association


  • Mayor John H. Poelker Award, Coro Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Community Service Award, Vashon/JeffVanderLou Initiative, St. Louis, Missouri
  • The Modern Patriot Award, The St. Louis Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution of USA
  • St. Louis Citizen of the Year, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Diversity Excellence and Advocacy Award, St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers
  • Listed as a Top-10 Legend, St. Louis Business Journal


  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Diversity, Missouri Kansas Construction Contractors (MOKAN), St. Louis, Missouri
  • Excellence in the Field of Education Award, St. Ignatius College Preparatory School, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cedars Award, St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri


  • Princeton University Award for Service to the community, Princeton Club of St. Louis


  • Listed in the Most Influential St. Louisans: Educators, St. Louis Business Journal


  • John D. Levy Human Relations Award, St. Louis American Jewish Committee
  • Listed in the Most Influential St. Louisans, St. Louis Business Journal


  • Listed in the Top-10 Most Dynamic People in St. Louis, The Ladue News
  • Civic Award of the Year, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • The Excellence Award for Leadership, SLU Alumni Club of Thailand


  • Mayor’s Civic Award, Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
  • President Emeritus, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Trustee Emeritus, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri


  • Casa de Salud Award, St. Louis, Missouri