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Biondi Portrait Unveiled at SLUMA Event

Lawrence Biondi, S.J. with artist Patricia Watwood

SLU President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J., and artist Patricia Watwood unveil a portrait of Biondi at an event at SLUMA April 27. SLU Photo

Approximately 200 invited guests attended the unveiling of a portrait of Saint Louis University President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J., on April 27 at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.

Artist Patricia Watwood painted the portrait. Kenneth Smith, M.D., former SLU medical school faculty member initated the project. Several donors, including Smith, funded the painting.

Current SLU President Fred Pestello, Ph.D., reminded attendees of how Biondi reshaped the campus in his 26 years as president.

“He sought to make SLU more than a collection of buildings.  He made it a home — a home for students from all over the world,” Pestello said.

SLU Board of Trustees Chairman Joe Conran and former trustee Al Littiken also spoke about Biondi’s passion and love of the University.

“It is that passion that makes his work a vocation and drives him to accomplish such difficult–and sometimes thankless achievements,” Littiken said. “Most of all it is that passion he has instilled in all who have worked with him.  His love for Saint Louis University and for all of us is Father’s true legacy.”

Biondi, who is continuing to support SLU in a part-time role in fundraising and international student recruitment, said he was honored by the painting but reminded attendees that his achievements would not have been possible without the great work of SLU faculty and staff.  Biondi said he believes many great things lie ahead for SLU.

The portrait will permanently reside at SLUMA, which Biondi established during his tenure as University president.

Lawrence Biondi, S.J. and guests

Guests celebrate the unveiling of  the portrait of Lawrence Biondi, S.J.  The portrait, which will hang permanently at SLUMA, was commissioned and funded by former SLU faculty member Kenneth Smith, M.D., and other donors to honor Biondi's leadership and contributions to the University. SLU Photo