The Grande Project - CLASS OF 2021
The Grande Project was borne from necessity. Faced with shuttered service agencies around St. Louis during the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Ministry faced a choice: cancel Senior Project for the Class of 2021, or design an alternative. We chose the latter.
Embracing imperfection over nothing, we got to work. Knowing the power of direct service in disturbing a self-centered aura among our students, we created an alternative project that challenged seniors to safely engage with an outside, marginalized population in a time when so many students have been forced to isolate or withdraw.
Anchoring the project with the virtual Ignatian Family Teach-in For Justice in October 2020, and a weeklong Grande Project intensive and seminars in January 2021, we trusted ever more fully that the Lord would work through our best efforts with His love and grace in order to reconcile, heal, and strengthen the students in their vocations. This is a project generated and sustained by that spirit of hopeful trust.
Named after Fr. Rutilio Grande, SJ, Martyr of the Church and friend of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the Grande Project is an advocacy project with these four goals:
- Demonstrate care and concern for a marginalized population;
- Listen to those living the experience, to those on the frontline, to Catholic Tradition, to their heart, to their conscience, and to their own experience;
- Exercise their God-given privilege (gifts, talents, and opportunities) to give voice to the voiceless by becoming an engaged advocate in today’s world; with the ultimate goal of:
- Awakening seniors’ God-given ability to bring about a more loving and equitable world.
St. Oscar Romero, pray for us.
We are very proud of how all our seniors adapted in these challenging circumstances. This attached issue highlights 10 medal-winning projects that emerged after three rounds of adjudication: first from faculty & staff project advisors, then by the Campus Ministry Grande Project organizers, and finally by a four-person panel consisting of members of the SLUH Board of Trustees. To the 62 project advisors and numerous other presenters, we send our humble thanks for working with the seniors on the ground level. To the board, our sincere gratitude goes to Mary Reedy, Mark Mantovani, Anja Schmelter, and John Wunderlich, not only for their time, but also for their generous and good nature.
As we present the ten medal-winning projects, we’d also like to commend the 22 other “Honorable Mention” projects that rose to the level of Board review.
Medal Winners (further information attached & in the issue at the top of this page)
- Thomas Binek
- Charles Janson
- Patrick Gannon & Erald Murati
- Graham Johnson
- Michael Krausz
- Corey Lyles
- Ben McCabe & Alex Tarlas
- Drew Shelton
- Carter Spence
- Grant Sussman
- Oliver Allen
- Luke Altier
- Tad Banker & Franco Schmidt
- Brendan Byrne & Sam Kleffner
- John Doan
- Noah Apprill-Sokol & Andrei Chura
- Carter Fortman
- Ben Geldmacher
- Kevin Hickey
- Jack McClelland
- Sam Megown & Jake Noonan
- Andrew Munie
- Sean Quinn
- Eric Richars
- Tyler Ridgway
- Bobby Rizzo & Maurice Safar
- Anthony Roukoz & Adam Wolfe
- Jacob Sprock
- Tim Torrez II
- Matthew Van Vooren
- Sam Tarter & Drew Walters
- Ben Walsh
"Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and his Christ - for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce."
- FR. PEDRO ARRUPE, S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus, 1965-81