When it comes to equity and inclusion, SLUH is especially proud of several alumni who have done notable work toward creating a community where the wounds of poverty, hatred and discrimination are healed. Following are Jr. Bills featured on our Alumni Trailblazers display, which celebrates the achievements of graduates of color. It is situated on the first floor of our main building near the Robinson Library (scroll down for a full display description). Nominations are welcome.
Celebrating the Achievements of Graduates of Color
Like the history of our country, the history of SLUH is marked by the sin of racism but also the courage and achievement of Black people and other people of color. We remember those who were enslaved by Bishop DuBourg when he founded the school in 1818. We remember the six enslaved people who, against their will, made the treacherous journey from Maryland to St. Louis along with the group of Jesuits who would eventually assume responsibility for Saint Louis University. We remember the scores of other people whose unfree labor added to the growing university’s wealth and prosperity. We remember the pioneering Black students who, starting in 1946, first availed themselves of the opportunity to attend this high school from which they would previously have been barred because of their race. And we honor the unique courage of Black, Latino, Asian, Arab, and other students of color who attend this predominantly White institution today.
As a Catholic, Jesuit school, our mission is grounded in the Gospel imperative to treat every human being with love and respect, aware that we are all made in the image of God. We strive to build the Kingdom of God, in which, as Paul wrote to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We recognize that our institution has not fully lived out this essential part of our mission, in our thoughts and words, in what we have done and what we have failed to do. We are committed to the search for ways of repairing the damage done by the sin history of our school, our church, our city, state, and nation. Ultimately, we seek to create lasting and positive change at SLUH by cultivating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection—where a richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives is harnessed to create lasting value for all in our community.
As part of those commitments to healing the wounds of racism and nurturing achievement by those whom our institution previously excluded, we proudly present this display of alumni who personify our mission by modeling the pursuit of excellence and promotion of the common good. These alumni paved the way for other alumni of color from diverse backgrounds—also honored in this display. Their legacy of generosity, achievement, and faith will endure for future generations to admire and emulate.