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Billiken Bulletin Newsletter

April Billiken Bulletin

Greetings, Billiken families! We realize the semester is quickly winding down. In this edition of the Bulletin, we wanted to share the impact of Saint Louis University on faculty, staff, students, service and community. We hope to help you better understand the mission of SLU and planned priorities in the future.

A Message from Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello, Ph.D.

Where else might you have physicians advancing transplant medicine alongside graduate students launching a cricket tournament? Scholars and incarcerated persons engaging together in philosophical inquiry? An expert in manufacturing embarking on a career change to teach in public schools and a Jesuit priest studying international humanitarian law?

Of course, I’m not talking about just any university. The profiles in this year’s President’s Report highlight only a few of the remarkable faculty, staff, students and alumni at Saint Louis University.

Committed to our Catholic, Jesuit mission for more than 200 years, SLU continues to thrive. Our total enrollment has grown to its largest number in history. Our research profile is on the rise, with funding nearly doubling in the last seven years. We are an ever more global community, with record enrollment on our degree-granting campus in Madrid and a vibrant community of international students in St. Louis.

The numbers are impressive, but in the tradition of Jesuit education, we are called to behold the dignity and nurture the unique potential of each person on our campus and beyond. We are committed to pursuing truth in service to a higher purpose so that we might contribute to the greater good.

I have the gift of hearing the stories of the SLU community every day. I can attest that each person who joins the SLU community – all of our more than 15,000 students, 4,000 employees and 137,000 alumni – brings their distinctive experiences, aspirations and drive to make a positive difference.

The impact is extraordinary.

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Read the President’s Report 

Knieba Jones-JohnsonProfile Spotlight

Knieba Jones-Johnson

President Pestello also profiled 10 faculty members, staff, students, and alumni who are making an impact at SLU.

One of those is Knieba Jones-Johnson, the director of the Counseling Center at SLU. We encourage you to read her profile to learn more about the countless ways SLU is advancing knowledge and transforming lives.

Read Knieba's Story

Legacy of Visionary Leadership

SLU President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., Announces Plans to Step Down in 2025

After a decade of transformative leadership, Saint Louis University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., announced on Thursday, March 21, that he has decided to step down at the end of June 2025. The announcement comes on the 10th anniversary of his introduction as SLU’s 33rd president in 2014. The Board of Trustees will immediately launch a search for the next president of Saint Louis University. Chairman Joseph Conran will chair a 13-member search committee, alongside six trustees, representatives from the faculty, staff, and student populations, and two members of the Society of Jesus.

SGA Launches Student Experience and Belonging Task Force

From the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement newsletter, DICE Digest.
2023-24 SGA Exec BoardMembers of SGA's Exec Board leadership team

This group, composed of undergraduate and graduate students from varying majors, backgrounds and experiences, will enhance and promote a positive and inclusive environment for all students on campus. 

This task force will address and improve various aspects of the overall student experience and sense of belonging on campus by identifying and addressing challenges that students face, and by advocating for inclusivity. The task force will collaborate with Allison Brewer, DICE's assistant vice president of strategic initiatives, the Belonging at SLU Committee, and Victoria Martin, Ed.D., student development’s assistant vice president for first-year experience and students in transitions, to create and implement measures to support students. 

Learn More About SGA

SLU’s Ignatian Service Program

Students Can Earn CORE Theology Credits While Engaging in Service

Here's a unique opportunity for your student to earn theology credits while making a real difference. In the Ignatian Service Program, SLU students engage with under-resourced schools in St. Louis, providing essential support and mentorship to children in grades 1-8 through exciting after-school initiatives. 

By participating, your student fulfills crucial CORE theology and service requirements, cultivates leadership skills, and deepens their spiritual understanding. Encourage your student to seize this chance to be a catalyst for positive change while enhancing their academic journey. 

Registration for the fall semester opens this month. To participate, they must register for SERV 1000 or SERV 3000.  For further details, contact or call 314-977-1912.

Learn More About the Center for Ignatian Service

BPFA Trivia Night/Silent Auction

Test your knowledge of iconic movies, music and pop culture from the 80s and 90s, and win fantastic prizes while sipping on the signature favorite cocktail! Gather your friends, former team and let’s see who reigns supreme in this blast from the past! Billiken parent and family association trivia will be held on April 13, 2024, doors open at 6 PM, the event will go till 10 PM. Sponsored by Saint Louis universities office of parent and family engagement. Information about the trivia night is framed with various images from signature levents and movies and music from the 1980s and 1990s, including The MTV logo, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze from dirty dancing, airplane, cassette tapes, Rubiks cube, Walkman, the red stapler from office space, E. T., A dancing California raisin, Erkel from family matters, Edward Scissorhands, Al, the moth from silence of the lambs, Neo from the matrix, Forrest Gump, Blues brothers, Jurassic Park, Whitney Houston, Rose and jack from the titanic, a Furby doll, Smurfette, the baby from the cover of the biggie smalls album, a Bop it toy and a Tamagotchi.The BPFA Trivia Night/Silent Auction is quickly approaching! The event will be held on April 13.  To participate in-person or virtually, your team must register by April 5.   

Register Your Team

Billiken Families can start bidding on silent auction donations the week of April 8, 2024. You can view items by:

  • Visit; OR
  • Text BPFA2024 to 76278; reply to the text message you receive with your first & last name; reply to the text message with your email address; click on the blue link you receive to access the event site

We also have volunteer opportunities! Plus, volunteers will receive a special “thank you” gift. If you have additional questions, please email

Volunteer to Help With Trivia Night

This year's proceeds will raise money to assist the Billiken Parent and Family Association in its initiatives to support mental health and well-being, food security and fostering a welcoming environment for all students.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Billiken families, if you are interested in volunteering for SLU, we would love to have you! Several volunteer opportunities exist during the summer at SLU 101 and Fall Welcome. This is your opportunity to welcome our incoming students and family members to the SLU family. If you are interested, please use the Volunteer Interest Form, or use this link to find out more about what it means to be a BPFA volunteer. 

Local families, as well as families who live out of state, are all welcome! Below are just some of the benefits of volunteering at these events.

  • Meet and fellowship with other families and students
  • Support student initiatives and success at SLU
  • Meet and network with campus administrators, faculty and the campus community
  • It requires minimal commitment and training. We are flexible and can work with your schedule.

If you have further questions on how to get involved, contact us at

Help SLU Parents Support SLU Students

A transformational college experience is a collaborative effort, and parents and families play a critical role in supporting students at SLU. Thanks to a generous gift from Mark and Alecia Kwapiszeski, your gifts will be matched to three student-specific funds, up to $10,000, through June 30, 2024:

  • The Billiken Bounty Food Pantry was created by students in 2018 to help combat food insecurity on campus. Contributions make a variety of healthy groceries and toiletries available to students when they need them most.
  • The Health Promotion and Education Fund supports programs that tackle all aspects of stress reduction and wellness, including Mental Health First Aid training and items such as nap pods/massage chairs that help students unwind and recharge.
  • Billikens’ First Chapter provides holistic support for students beginning their college careers at SLU with useful time-management and goal-setting skills. Gifts to this fund bolster programming and make a selection of textbooks available for popular first-year courses.

When Billiken parents and families support SLU, we facilitate success and ensure our students’ lives in college and beyond are the best they can possibly be.

Donate Today

Get to Know SLU’s Unique Terminology

Billiken families, we recognize there are common terms used on SLU’s campus that could be unfamiliar to you or your student in a campus environment. There is a glossary of terms available to assist in understanding common terminology and how it’s applied not only at SLU but in higher education.


The Center for Global Citizenship aims to promote collaboration across the University to educate and engage the SLU community in global awareness, responsibility and participation. The CGC is located on the West Pine Mall and can be recognized by the international flags displayed on its exterior.Billiken in front of the Center for Global Citizenship

Learn More Common SLU Terms

Did You Know?

Beauty shot of DuBourg HallArchitectural plans for DuBourg Hall had to be sent to Rome for final approval (as was required in the 1880s). The Vatican caught a major design flaw: there were no bathrooms!

Important Calendar Dates

  • April 1: No Classes, Easter Break

  • April 7-13: Atlas Week 2024

  • April 10 for housing priority placement

  • April 12: First round of summer assignments are completed and communicate

  • April 13: BPFA Trivia Night/Silent Auction

  • April 16: Leadership and Service Awards

  • April 19: Spring Virtual Career Fair

  • April 20: Spring VIBE Concert


Please visit the FAQ section to learn more about May commencement. Also, encourage your graduating Billiken to follow up with their college for more information.

Additional University Resources

2023-24 Student Handbook for all SLU Students

University Commencement

University Newslink

University Academic Calendar

Parent and Family Engagement Facebook Page 

Billiken Parent and Family Association Group