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Service Day 2021: Students Lend a Helping Hand at Greenwood Cemetery


On April 10, the Chaifetz School’s Service Leadership Program hosted a day of organizing and volunteering at Historic Greenwood Cemetery. Previously, Service Day has only been open to students of the Chaifetz School of Business, but this year, all interested SLU students, faculty and staff were invited to participate. 

Greenwood Cemetery, located in Hillsdale, Mo., is the first non-denominational commercial cemetery for African Americans in the St. Louis area. The cemetery is the resting place of a number of Black post-Civil War veterans and was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Two SLU students shovel dirt outdoors as part of a Service Day activity.

Students assisted with general maintenance at Greenwood Cemetery in Hillsdale, Mo. Photo by Savannah Nichols.

Chaifetz School junior Lance Hussey is part of the Service Leadership Program and was one of the day’s leading organizers. The organizers had planned to hold Service Day at Greenwood Cemetery in April 2020, he said, but had to adjust when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He was grateful they had the extra time to plan, though, because this time around, more of the student body was invited to participate. He’s grateful for the work they were able to accomplish and the insight students received from the Service Leadership Program.

Hussey said that most of the work they did was maintenance: laying gravel, filling holes, clearing overgrowth, picking up trash and general cleaning. The day’s organizers gathered at 8 a.m. and finished the day at 4 p.m. Volunteers contributed in three-hour shifts throughout the day, the staggered groups a health precaution to limit interpersonal contact during the ongoing pandemic.

“It was rainy all day, but everyone stayed really energized and eager to work,” Hussey said. “I really admired that about the SLU students helping out.”