Center’s focus: Global citizenship

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Trustee C.S. Huh receives key to the city

Saint Louis University’s Center for Global Citizenship (CGC) was dedicated and blessed on Friday, Sept. 27. President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J., and Mayor Francis Slay spoke at the event, amongst others.

The renovation of what was formerly West Pine Gymnaisum and most recently the Bauman-Eberhardt Center cost $8.8 million. The new center, built with the intention of providing an environment for the various national and cultural groups of SLU to come together, features the 1,000-seat C.S. Huh Auditorium, a new cafe and lounge and study space. It also houses the Cross Cultural Center, which used to exist in the Busch Student Center, and the offices of ethnicity-based student group.

Kent Porterfield, SLU’s Vice President of Student Development and emcee for the event, praised the CGC for giving SLU a new level of international recognition.

“[The CGC] marks SLU’s place on the global stage,” Porterfield said, also noting that SLU hosts roughly 1,000 international students annually.

Ellen Harshman, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, stated that the CGC will provide new opportunities for cross-cultural education and involvement, both locally and around the world.

“Saint Louis University is committed to bringing the world the next top scholars and bringing scholars to the rest of the world,” she said. “It’s the work that takes place inside these walls…that will enhance the educational experience of our students and make them more culturally aware of the world around them.”

Garvaundo Hamilton, the Student Government Association’s Vice President for International Affairs and Jamaica native, thanked SLU for building the CGC, stating that it made a strong statement about the university’s dedication to making international students feel at home.

“This building serves as a reminder for our achievements and a challenge for us to grow,” Hamilton said. “Saint Louis University will never be Jamaica, but because of the efforts of all these people, Saint Louis University can be my home.”

Interim President Bill Kauffman thanked AT&T Inc. for their $1 million contribution to academic, research and service programs that will be held in the center. The building’s lounge space has been named the AT&T Student Commons in honor of the contribution. He also thanked John Sondag, the president of the corporation’s Missouri branch, for his work on the project.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay also spoke at the event, thanking SLU for its work in building an international community and attracting talent to the Saint Louis University.

“I’m very proud of this institution [and] I’m very proud to be an alumnus,” Slay said.

Slay gave C.S. Huh, a member of SLU’s Board of Trustees and the chairman of South Korean conglomerate GS Group, a key to the city in recognition of his contributions to St. Louis’ economy and the construction of the CGC. The C.S. Huh Auditorium was named in honor of his donations to the CGC renovation project.

Biondi was the final speaker at the event, recognizing Chair of International Business Seung Kim for his work in enhancing the university’s international influence.

He also claimed that the CGC was the SLU’s flagship structure.

“This center represents our diverse and international group… It’s our flagship building, denoting SLU as an international community,” Biondi said. He closed the dedication by blessing the building.