ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Saint Louis University President Lawrence Biondi gave a speech a gala celebrating his 25 years of leadership at Chaifetz Arena Saturday night. He gave some audience members a surprise during the speech. He told the gala that he intends to retire from his position.
During the speech he said that, “During my time here at SLU I have been called a visionary leader, I have been called a hard charging businessman; I have been called an architect for change and a bulldog for progress. I have been called a my-way-or-the-highway kind of a guy, and even Machiavellian. I have also been called, well, lets just I have been called a few things I can not repeat in such upstanding the company of prestige and benefactors. But, see me later. It has never been about me. I might have a vision. But, I know it takes a team to bring that vision to life.”
Later in the speech he continues, “So with the blessing of the board of trustees this morning I have decided to make a transition. A transition of leadership for St. Louis University. It is time for me to move on to the next phase in my own life. This fall the board will launch a search for my successor. But, I will be here as long as the board needs me. I promise you that I will do everything I possibly can to make the transition to our next president as smooth as possible.”
Father Biondi is one of the longest serving presidents at an American Jesuit college or university. His work led to a modernization of the SLU campus and revitalization of the surrounding city neighborhood. During his tenure, he focused on increasing the University’s academic standards and achievements and developing the it as a major research center.
The search for a new president will begin in the fall. Biondi will assist in that process.
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