Saint Louis University ensures that no student leader will be overlooked or forgotten with its new Student Leader Hall of Fame located in Grand Market. A dedication on Saturday, Sept. 28 honored the distinguished students and student groups represented in the new hall and commemorated their many accomplishments.
The event invited Family Weekend participants and the SLU community to celebrate the unveiling of the hall with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a small reception. Vice President for Student Development Kent Porterfield and SGA President Vidur Sharma did the honors of cutting the ribbon and speaking at the dedication.
“What does it mean to be a student leader? It means procrastinating your academics to ensure everything is in order for those you serve,” stated Sharma in his speech.
For 22 years, SLU has recognized and awarded student leaders for their service at the annual Leadership and Service Awards. The new Student Leader Hall of Fame is a way to commemorate a few of these individuals and distinguished student groups with honorary plaques.
“Student leaders make plenty of sacrifices to provide leadership at the university, [and] student life at SLU is largely influenced by [their] work,” said Sharma. “From organizing social events at the university to service opportunities in the community, it is the leadership of students that defines the student experience at SLU.”
Sharma later commented on the pleasure of seeing past recipients for the Leadership and Service Awards present at the ceremony and the inspiration they have provided him throughout the years.
SGA and the Student Involvement Center played a large part in the creation of the hall, as the idea was initially a result of conversations between the two concerning new ways to honor individuals that have greatly impacted the SLU community.
“The new Student Leader Hall of Fame will celebrate students who have contributed greatly to the history, growth, and achievement of SLU spanning over the last 22 years,” said Porterfield. “[It] represents the University’s recognition and appreciation of student leaders’ numerous contributions.”
The hall does not currently display all nine of the Leadership and Service Awards, nor all of the recipients of the awards dating back to 1992. Future plans for the hall look to incorporate a plaque for each of these awards as well as some sort of representation for each recipient. One such idea includes the installation of a touch screen virtual display that would feature each recipient as well as their picture and a short biography.
“Our hope is that this Student Leader Hall of Fame would be a ‘stop on the tour’ for prospective students and would highlight the wonderful work of our student leaders,” commented Porterfield on the future finished project.
Each plaque in the hall currently holds enough space on it for the new recipients over the next three to five years.
Porterfield expressed hope that the space, as well as the hall in general, will provide a sense of motivation for those who see it.
“It is important to inspire students in the future to live up to the high standards that these past student leaders have set,” stated Porterfield.