Multiple DCHS Students Honored with Spirit of the Billiken Awards
Brittany Balzano (Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy), Sarah Bowen (Health Sciences and Informatics), Audrey Hunter (Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy) and Rachel Scott were honored with Spirit of the Billiken Awards during a ceremony at DuBourg Hall on March 4.
The Spirit of the Billiken Award was created years ago by the Saint Louis University Office of Alumni Engagement. In honor of the university being founded in 1818, the office annually recognizes 18 senior students who are committed to being proud and dedicated alumni of Saint Louis University. The honorees represent what it means to be a Billiken by excelling in academics, leadership, community service, commitment to Saint Louis University and dedication to living the university’s mission after graduation. Recipients had to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply. After applying, select candidates go through an interview process and, from there, a committee determines the 18 winners.
This award is one that many students, such as Brittany Balzano, have been striving to achieve for years.
“I have wanted to apply for this award since I was a freshman; when I first heard about the award, all I wanted to do was to strive to be eligible to apply when I was a senior,” Balzano said. “I was honored to be one of the 18 students to be awarded with such an honor…To know that, after a long application and interview process, individuals saw the spirit of the billiken in me is a feeling I will cherish forever.”
The Spirit of the Billiken Award is one of the most prestigious awards at the university, and that fact was not lost on recipients such as Audrey Hunter and Rachel Scott.
“It has been an incredible honor to receive this award,” Hunter said. “It has been so fun to represent Saint Louis University and our department.”
“I know that so many worthy senior students applied for the award, so I was honored to have been among those selected,” Scott said. “It was a great feeling to know that the hard work I have put into SLU over the past four years was recognized in such a big way.”
If there is one thing that can be said about the billiken, it is that it is an incredibly unique creature. As recipient Sarah Bowen elaborates, that uniqueness does not stop with the mascot, but is spread throughout the university.
“Saint Louis University is as unique as the mascot that represents it,” Bowen said. “To me, being a Billiken means learning to think and live outside the box. It means pushing yourself to be the best that you can be and never being afraid to ask for help along the way.”