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On this Day in SLU History

September 24, 1815

French Sulpician and SLU founder, Louis W. V. Du Bourg, is consecrated Bishop of Louisiana and the Floridas.

September 23, 2017

SLU kicks off its yearlong bicentennial celebration with a celebratory Mass under the Arch.

September 22, 2011

Common, the first Great Issues Committee speaker of the year, speaks to the Saint Louis University community about the content of his new memoir, “One Day, This Will All Make Sense.”

September 21, 1945

The University News reports that Charles A. Robinson, S.J., former Professor of Japanese at Saint Louis University, has been aiding the American military authorities in Tokyo in their investigation of enemy treatment of American prisoners of war.

September 20, 1957

The University News reports that the rumored tunnel from Cupples House has turned out to be an historical myth after workers tried to find it. The tunnel, allegedly used as a corridor from the old Cupples mansion to kitchens and stables across West Pine, was supposed to have been built in 1888. By 1920, according to a former employee of the Cupples family, the tunnel’s existence was common knowledge, and many people claimed to have been inside it and even to have led horses through it. Workmen sank 25 holes up to 14 feet deep in the Cupples House lawn in an effort to find the elusive passage, but all they found was a limestone slap.

September 19, 2017

Margaret Atwood receives the St. Louis Literary Award.

September 18, 2008

SLU launches its new “Be a Billiken" marketing campaign. Major facets of this initiative include the launch of a new website for prospective students and stylized posters and mailers sent to interested parties. There are a thousand Wildcats and Bears. but there is only one Billiken,” says a University spokesperson.

September 17, 1943

Nancy Ring is appointed SLU's dean of women. She is "the first woman to achieve this honor” according to The University News.

September 16, 2004

The University News reports on a disaster inside Cupples House. Due to a low flying helicopter, a $50,000 chandelier fell onto a $75,000 table. Both antiques have been carefully removed and are undergoing an expensive repair process.

September 15, 2005

The University News reports that for the first time ever, Saint Louis University — in collaboration with Apple — is sponsoring a 72-hour beginner’s film festival for freshmen.

September 14, 1976

SLU hosts a conference titled “Woman’s Pursuit of the American Dream: A Creative Middle Road." The conference’s speakers explored the paths between the extreme positions of Gloria Steinem, an advocate of the Equal Rights Act and editor of Ms. Magazine; and Phyllis Schlafly, who opposed the Equal Rights Act.

September 13, 1974

Sophomore soccer player Bruce Rudroff is presented with an MVP award by Bob Broeg, St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor, following a match between SLU and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

September 12, 1945

University President Patrick J. Holloran, S.J., delivers a war address to the entire SLU community in the University News. In the piece, he states, “I think that it can be truly said that never in all history has a people sacrificed so much in so unselfish a manner as have our United States in the course of the disastrous world conflicts in which we have participated during the lifetime of practically all of our more mature and responsible citizens. The flower of nearly two generations of younger men, torn from their families, has been sent to the battlefronts: some never to return, some to come back maimed in body, broken in mind; many carrying scars that only death will heal, and all who survive to suffer a searing of soul which we who remained at home cannot know.”

September 11, 2002

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gather at St. Francis Xavier Church for a Mass of remembrance of those who suffered and died during the terrorist attacks the previous year.

September 10, 1952

SLU kicks off the celebration of its annual Freshman Week. The annual event includes student performances, academic counseling and trips around the city.

September 9, 1879

University Trustees approve a plan submitted by Jesuit historian, Thomas Hughes, to begin a series of postgraduate lectures.

September 8, 1993

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a speech on global peace at an interfaith gathering at St. Francis Xavier College Church. The Dalai Lama is in St. Louis to honor the Friends of Tibet, a St. Louis based, non-profit organization that works for the people of Tibet. The Buddhist leader says that the important thing that every religious teaching shares is a commitment to compassion and love.

September 7, 1974

The men's soccer team defeats the Western Illinois University Leathernecks at Mullally Field in St. Louis 2-0.

September 6, 1978

A decision to invite former President Richard M. Nixon to speak at SLU is reaffirmed by the Great Issues Speakers committee. Students in attendance at this meeting strongly protest the decision.

September 5, 1906

SLU's Bradbury Robinson throws football's first forward pass.

September 4, 1931

SLU announces the completion of construction on Davis-Shaughnessy Hall.

September 3, 1888

Classes begin in the newly built University complex on Grand Boulevard.

September 2, 1834

The Board of trustees approves the Constitution of Saint Louis University.

September 1, 1978

The U News announces that Thomas Fitzgerald, S.J., has been named president of SLU.

August 31, 1978

SLU breaks ground on Morrissey Hall, the previous home to the School of Law. Projected costs are $3.15 million.

August 30, 1900

William B. Rogers, S.J., is appointed the 18th president of Saint Louis University.

August 29, 2009

The Village of Cahokia, Illinois, buys the 113-acre site that was the former campus of Parks College. Parks moved to SLU's St. Louis campus in 1997.

August 28, 2006

A gathering of about 600 members of the SLU community celebrates the groundbreaking of the University's Chaifetz Arena in conjunction with the first day of fall classes.

August 27, 1993

The opinion section of The University News features a debate about whether or not women should be ordained as Catholic priests.

August 26, 2016

Newslink shares the story of Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences, and her husband, Dave, who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by embarking on a SLU-inspired mission: A four-day, 465-mile ‘St. Jude Memphis to Peoria’ run during one of the hottest weeks of the summer that raised nearly $10,000.

August 25, 1929

Pilots of the first All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race take off from Parks Airport after waiting for the fog to lift during a stop-over.

August 24, 1957

Walter Ong, S.J., has his portrait taken by Jacques Lowe for possible use in Sign Magazine. Lowe would go on to be the official photographer for John F. Kennedy.

August 23, 1946

SLU President Patrick J. Holloran, S.J., announces Oliver Parks' gift of his air college to Saint Louis University. It becomes the School of Aeronautical Technology, and eventually Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

August 22, 1946

The Billiken throws out an honorary first pitch at Busch Stadium to Fredbird in the batter's box. Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha is catcher.

August 21, 1955

Construction work begins on Marguerite Hall, the new women's dormitory at Saint Louis University.

August 20, 1992

SLU's golden Billiken sculpture returns to its home in the West Pine Gym after a four-year disappearance. SLU President Paul Reinert, S.J., was told of the statue's whereabouts at an alumni gathering and negotiated its return. Men's basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour says, "It appears to be a great omen, and we're willing to take all the luck we can get."

August 19, 2005

The University News reports that SLU history professor Thomas Finan, Ph.D., has led a research team to western Ireland to survey church ruins. "We merely scratched the surface," he said. "The results of this summer's project were so positive that it would appear we will be digging and surveying at the site for several years to come."

August 18, 1975

SLU announces that Norman Mailer, acclaimed for his World War II novel, "The Naked and the Dead," will be the final speaker of this year’s Great Issues Series. Mailers iconoclastic political journalism and insightful personal essays indicate that he will be a dynamic and valuable speaker.

August 17, 1860

Students studying meteorological activity at SLU's College Farm record an earthquake at 9:17 a.m.

August 16, 2017

Billikens make up the largest team walking in St. Louis's annual Sista Strut breast cancer awareness walk.

August 15, 1821

Seven Belgian men set sail for America to become Jesuit missionaries, eventually coming to Saint Louis University.

August 14, 1945

Former SLU faculty member Chaplain Joseph Boggins, S.J., gives the final radio prayer to the nation, on the surrender of the Japanese military forces to the United States: "May God grant that in the days that follow this peace all of us may march together in the same spirit and make these United States even greater in the sight of God and man."

August 13, 2009

Newslink reports that musicians from SLU and the St. Louis Symphony have formed the "No Strings Attached" ensemble, with its first rehearsal planned later that month.

August 12, 2015

SLU reports that thanks to all of those who participated in the #IceBucketChallenge, the St. Louis Chapter of the ALS Association was able to double its contributions to Saint Louis University's ALS Clinic, one of only 40 certified centers of excellence in the country.

August 11, 1857

A fire breaks out in SLU's carpenter's shop and sets fire to the roof of the study hall. Furniture is saved, but the buildings are damaged by water.

August 10, 1946

Jerry Ahrens, slugging pitcher on the Saint Louis University High baseball squad, is selected as St. Louis’ representative on the All-American Boys’ baseball team. Ahrens, hitting at a .380 clip, will be either in the outfield or on the mound as his manager, Ty Cobb, deems necessary.

August 9, 1970

The Grateful Dead plays at Saint Louis University’s Homecoming.

August 8, 1871

Joseph Zealand, S.J., is appointed the 10th president of Saint Louis University.

August 7, 2015

SLU's men's basketball Billikens depart for Nassau, Bahamas, to embark on a three-game exhibition stint and community service project in the Caribbean nation.

August 6, 2010

Christy Connoyer becomes the 10th head coach in Billikens softball history. In the 2017-2018 season, she tallied her 200th win leading the Billikens.

August 5, 2009

SLU opens a new, inclusive garden to serve as a test model for special needs gardens at local schools.

August 4, 2011

SLU's Live Well STL forum brings together more than 100 civic leaders for a forum on community health initiatives hosted by SLU's Center for Outcomes Research (SLUCOR).

August 3, 2017

SLU announces that a record number of SLU athletic teams — seven in all — have received the NCAA's award honoring their student-athletes' academic progress and performance.

August 2, 1877

Joseph E. Keller, S.J., is appointed the 12th president of Saint Louis University.

August 1, 2013

Workers assess the restoration needs of St. Francis Xavier College Church after a lightning strike earlier in the summer

July 31, 1888

DuBourg Hall opens on the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. Though now home to SLU's administration, the building at its opening contained the whole of the University's operations, including classrooms, laboratories, a museum and library, and dormitories for both students and the Jesuit faculty.

July 30, 2015

SLU announces that SLU Dance Marathon has received the national Ryan White Award for Overcoming Adversity.

July 29, 2016

Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., dean of Doisy College of Health Sciences, records running between Kentucky and Illinois on her trek from Memphis to Peoria on behalf of St. Jude's Children's Hospital. By the end of her four-day journey, she and her family had raised $10,000 for the children's cancer research hospital.

July 28, 1838

The classical course begins at SLU. The course includes a competent knowledge of Greek, Latin and English languages, of geography, use of globes, ancient and modern history, logic and principles of moral philosophy, including ethics and metaphysics; rhetoric and mathematics, including arithmetic, algebra, plane and solid geometry, trigonometry, surveying, measuring conic sections; and the principles of natural philosophy.

July 27, 2012

Comedian Steve Harvey performs at Chaifetz Arena.

July 26, 2013

SLU announces a new partnership between the Department of Chemistry and Jost Chemical, which offers training and internship opportunities for area high school students, aimed at increasing diversity in science.

July 25, 1956

Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria collides with a Swedish ship off the coast of Cape Cod. Among the cargo of the Andrea Doria lost at sea are hundreds of thousands of microfilmed manuscripts en route from the Vatican to SLU for the Vatican Film Library.

July 24, 2013

Participants in SLU's Sports Business Summer Academy take a VIP tour of Busch Stadium, courtesy of the business school and the St. Louis Cardinals.

July 23, 2012

SLU announces that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner will receive the Saint Louis Literary Award. Kushner is known for his play, Angels in America, among other works.

July 22, 1952

Billikens take a dip at a picnic in Forest Park during the Club 1951 picnic.

July 21, 1868

Peter J. Verhaegen, S.J., the first president of Saint Louis University, dies.

July 20, 2015

SLU shares renderings of Spring Hall, one of two new residence halls to be built on campus, with the University community.

July 19, 2017

Four members of Saint Louis University's Department of Public Safety are honored by the Department of Defense's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for their efforts in helping a deployed colleague and his family.

July 18, 2012

Newslink reports on the Healthy Eating with Local Produce program that gets students into the kitchen to learn more about local foods and the value they bring to the community.

July 17, 2014

Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, visits campus to meet with middle school students participating in a SLU summer camp.

July 16, 1862

Thomas O'Neil, SJ, is appointed the 8th president of Saint Louis University.

July 15, 1960

SLU shutterbug Boleslaus "Father Luke" Lukaszewski, captures students making the most of their summer by getting ahead on some reading in the Pius XII Memorial Library.

July 14, 2009

SLU joins the Yellow Ribbon program helping veterans.

July 13, 2009

Former Billiken basketball standout Cody Ellis helps Australia beat France to advance in the FIBA World Championships.

July 12, 2012

John Pruellage, former chairman of SLU's board of trustees, leaves a $1.1 million gift to the School of Law. The school's John K. Pruellage Courtroom is named in his honor.

July 11, 2013

The School of Law partners with businesses in downtown St. Louis to create the "SLU Zone," an area where students, faculty and staff can receive discounts at participating businesses while supporting the city's downtown community.

July 10, 1993

SLU's Black Alumni Association hosts St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. at its third annual prayer breakfast. Freeman delivered the event's keynote address.

July 9, 2014

Newslink announces that SLU high jumper Naya Owusu will represent Ghana at the Commonwealth Games and African National Championships.

July 8, 2017

SLUCare and Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital (now SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital) team up to open a new institute dedicated to fetal health, which will offer lifesaving therapies for series fetal problems.

July 6, 2009

Newslink reports that SLU's College of Public Health (now the College for Public Health and Social Justice) will collaborate on disaster planning preparations for the year's All-Star Game at Busch Stadium.

July 5, 2014

The Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America Convention enters its second day at Chaifetz Arena. The convention brings together Indian Americans from throughout the country to celebrate the Tamil language.

July 4, 2017

SLU-Madrid hosts a barbecue to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday for global Billikens.

July 3, 1940

The 70th General Hospital is formed in Europe, staffed by SLU faculty and nurses during World War II.

July 2, 1993

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that SLU will purchase the Mercantile Bank on the corner of Grand and Lindell boulevards, in an effort to extend the University's boundaries.

July 1, 2014

Fred Pestello, Ph.D., officially begins his tenure as SLU's 33rd University president.

June 30, 2010

SLU's Museum of Contemporary Religious Art launches its new "MOCRA Voices" podcast. The podcast is a series of conversations with thinkers and practitioners of contemporary art, religion and spirituality.

June 29, 2009

SLU-Madrid is featured on Spanish TV in a pregame show before the USA-Spain World Cup soccer match, reaching millions of viewers.

June 28, 2006

SLU announces the patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church, Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir, will receive SLU's highest honor as part of his pastoral visit to the U.S. Sfeir's visit was noted as the most significant visit by a religious visit to St. Louis since Pope John Paul II's 1999 tour of the city.

June 27, 1990

"Post-Minimalism and the Spiritual," an exhibition examining spirituality through the work of four Chicago artists, closes at SLU's Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.

June 26, 2013

SLU collects more than 7,000 pounds of shoes during the year's "Battle for the Boot," winning the second annual show drive competition to benefit Shoeman Water Projects.

June 25, 2012

SLU researcher M.N. Frances Yap, Ph.D., becomes the University's first Pew Scholar. The Pew Scholars program recognizes significant scientific promise.

June 24, 1990

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology — then located in Cahokia, Illinois — holds an open house featuring displays of antique and experimental aircraft and concerts by the St. Louis German Band and "Volition."

June 23, 2016

Day one of the Olympic men's gymnastic trials begin at Chaifetz Arena.

June 23, 2016

Day one of the Olympic men's gymnastic trials begin at Chaifetz Arena.

June 22, 2011

27 high school students from across the United States and Puerto Rico are participating in a summer academy at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology geared toward long term sustainability.

June 21, 2010

SLU researchers including Enrico di Cera, Ph.D., have perfected a new version of the blood-regulating enzyme thrombin and have harnessed its anti-blood clotting abilities.

June 20, 2012

Newslink reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hosted a reception for more than 225 School of Law faculty, staff, alumni and students in Washington, D.C., in honor of the Center of Health Law Studies' 30th anniversary.

June 19, 2013

Newslink features Parks College students loading a trebuchet — a type of catapult — for a demonstration as part of a symposium hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

June 18, 2010

SLU's softball team shatters the school record for wins in a season with 30 wins to make its fourth straight trip to the Atlantic 10 softball championships.

June 17, 2004

The Olympic torch passes through campus on its way to the Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

June 16, 2011

Ellen Harshman, Ph.D., J.D., receives the 2011 Coro Leadership Award for her work exemplifying the organization's mission to prepare engaged, responsible and effective leaders who make significant, positive impacts on their communities.

June 15, 2010

29 SLU-Madrid students begin taking part in the campus' six-week summer law program, immersing themselves in Spanish legal culture.

June 14, 2013

Newslink reports on the "ReSpectacle Program," an initiative by SLU ophthalmology residents to use technology to match unused glasses with those in need of prescription eyewear.

June 12, 2009

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visits SLU for an international business event discussing world food shortages and food insecurity.

June 11, 2009

Newslink features a story about Brittany Cloudy, a SLU track star who survived being dropped from a burning building as a child, going on to find success on and off the field at the University.

June 10, 2010

Newslink reports that first-year SLU medical student George Hanna has received a "star-studded" scholarship from the Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Gifted Scholars Program in Neuroscience.

June 9, 1884

The cornerstone is laid for St. Francis Xavier College Church at Grand and Lindell, beginning construction of the foundation of the church.

June 8, 2016

Former @SaintLouisMBB standout Rob Loe joins the New Zealand men's national team as it prepares to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

June 7, 2015

SLU alum Mike Isaacson (A&S '69, Chaifetz Grad '96), artistic director and executive producer of the Muny, wins a Tony Award for producing Fun Home.

June 6, 2014

Chaifetz Arena ends up a successful graduation season with more than 85,000 people visiting the arena to attend a record number of commencement ceremonies in a three-week run.

June 5, 1917

Leonard Wood, who served as the chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1910-1914, receives an honorary degree from Saint Louis University.

June 4, 2013

The National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) Conference takes place on campus. The conference's events highlight SLU's achievements in the field of international education.

June 3, 2014

Newslink reports that Vedad Ibisevic, former Billikens men's soccer player, and his teammates on the Bosnia-Herzegovina Men's National Team took to the field at Robert R. Hermann Stadium for practice before a match against the Ivory Coast.

June 2, 2011

Campus Ministry re-creates the famed Chartes Cathedral labyrinth, allowing SLU students, faculty and staff members to experience a tradition of interactive prayer dating back centuries.

June 1, 2012

Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA) hosts a factory party to celebrate its exhibit, Warhol's Polaroids: A Method, giving guests a chance to dress in costumes while reliving the swinging '60s.

May 31, 2011

SLU is named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a school can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.

May 30, 2017

Newslink reports that the SLU community donated almost 9 tons of items to Campus Kitchens, Goodwill Industries and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul through its annual Trash to Treasure drive.

May 29, 2015

SLU alumni John Moriarty, Eric Koettker, Greg Ortyl and Andy Vitale participate in the Guiness Book of World Records' "Longest Marathon Playing Baseball." The epic game clocks in at 70 hours, nine minutes and 24 seconds.

May 27, 2009

A $3 million donation to the School of Law by the Anheuser-Busch Foundation receives wide media attention, including from the Associated Press and MSN Money.

May 26, 2011

Newslink reports that SLU's role in the U.S. historic World Cup upset over England will be featured in a documentary. Harry Keogh, the most successful soccer coach in Billiken history, played on the 1950 national team

May 25, 2011

Newslink reports that soccer standout Tim Ream has been named to the Gold Cup roster. The former Billiken All-American has played fo the United States national team among other international appearances.

May 24, 1866

Property earmarked for DuBourg Hall is purchased.

May 23, 2013

Newslink reports that sophomore baseball player Mike Vigliarolo has become the first Billiken to receive Player of the Year honors from the Atlantic 10 Conference.

May 22, 2010

Newslink reports that 78-year-old Charles Dahm, M.D., a longtime School of Medicine faculty member, was among graduates at the University's commencement ceremony, earning his fourth SLU degree.

May 21, 1971

The U News reports that SLU has approved plans for its first co-ed dorm, which will be known as the Center for Educational Living. The center, lead by a married couple of co-coordinators, will house 240 upperclassmen men and women in Marguerite Hall.

May 20, 2014

Saint Louis University's baseball team wins their third consecutive Atlantic 10 regular season championship, according to reports.

May 19, 2009

Newslink reports that Saint Louis University Hospital, now SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, is the only local hospital and one of 13 nationwide to receive the American Heart Association's Triple Gold Achievement Hospital honor.

May 18, 1959

Saint Louis University's newly erected Pius XII Memorial Library opens to patrons.

May 17, 2008

Saint Louis University held its first commencement ceremony on campus in 60 years. Fox Sports personality and native St. Louisan Joe Buck delivers the commencement address.

May 16, 1969

The University News reports that the Association of Black Collegians is hosting Black Culture Day, featuring exhibits of black art, literature, craft and fashion, and an address by sociologist Nathan Hare, Ph.D.

May 14, 1948

The University News reports that Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg, former cabinet minister and later chancellor of pre-Hitler Austria is to speak at the University's commencement address. It will be the first time since 1942 that all schools of the University will be represented among the graduates at the commencement exercise to be held on June 1.

May 13, 1967

The "Flying Billikens" of Parks College surpass the nation's thirty-four best clubs, to win the Bendix Trophy as the outstanding team at the 19th annual National Air Meet.

May 12, 1855

The College Church on the Ninth and Washington campus catches fire.

May 11, 1966

Leading British philosopher Rev. Frederick Copleston, S.J., famous for his BBC addresses and for his debates with Lord Bertrand Russell and others, speaks on "The Scandal of Philosophy" in the Kelley Auditorium.

May 9, 2011

Newslink announces that SLU's Center for Entrepreneurship will create a new institute for private business to encourage the growth and vitality of family and other closely held businesses.

May 8, 1843

The Sisters of Charity of Maryland come west to open the first parochial school for girls in St. Louis, attached to St. Francis Xavier College Church.

May 7, 1971

Paul Reinert, S.J., responds to a letter where he was satirized by the "concerned members of the Christian community of Saint Louis" both for supporting United States militarist policies in Indochina and for heading an institution that is failing to relate to the black community. He acknowledges the validity of what he calls a minority opinion on the University's policies and cautions against making a scapegoat of the University by tearing it down "physically or symbolically."

May 6, 1988

The University News announces "those who are tired of the tedious system of getting information from Pius XII library, put your pencils down and take note - a computerized card catalogue and check-out system will be in operation by the fall semester."

May 5, 1923

Saint Louis University celebrates the 100th anniversary of the coming of the Jesuits to the Midwest.

May 4, 2013

Newslink reports that Eleonore Stump, Ph.D., and John Greco, Ph.D., have received a $3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support their research intellectual humility. It's one of the largest grants ever received for a humanities project in University history.

May 3, 1887

Twelve laymen meet with SLU's president to solidify and enlarge the graduate lecture program, and form the Post-graduate Society, which furthers post-graduate courses throughout the University.

May 2, 1951

The Billikenews reports that Paul Reinert, S.J., is traveling to Washington D.C. to attend a meeting at the American Council on Education. Reinert is a member of the council's Committee on Accrediting Procedures in Higher Education.

May 1, 1998

Margaret Thatcher visits campus and presents a lecture titled "Reflections on Freedom" at the former West Pine Gym as part of the Great Issues Speaker Series.

April 30, 2015

Newslink announces that chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov will deliver the University's May 2015 commencement address.

April 29, 1903

University President William Banks Rogers, S.J., welcomes President Theodore Roosevelt to Saint Louis University. The University Cadets serve as guard of honor for the presidential party. Later, Rogers hosts President Roosevelt during a display of $50,000 worth of combustible fireworks that announce the dedication of the World's Fair.

April 28, 1926

SLU's Varsity Breeze (predecessor to The University News) floats the idea of a student-aid fund, owing to the fact that 60 percent of students pay for their own education. The board claims that the effort involved in earning money for their tuition affects their studies detrimentally.

April 27, 2017

200 guests attend the unveiling of a portrait of President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J. “He sought to make SLU more than a collection of buildings. He made it a home,” said University President Fred Pestello.

April 26, 1921

Saint Louis University's radio station, WEW ("We Enlighten the World") hits the airwaves for the first time. It is only the second radio station in the United States.

April 25, 1944

The St. Louis Globe-Democrat announces that SLU will admit African-American students for the University's summer session.

April 24, 1946

A new Union House for students is planned with the purchase of the Cupples House, then occupied by the Order of Railroad Telegraphers.

April 23, 1998

The University News reports that the Archdiocese of St. Louis has invited Pope John Paul II to visit the city. The pope's visit took place in January 1999

April 22, 2004

Janet Reno, former U.S. attorney general under President Bill Clinton and the first woman to hold that office, speaks at SLU about career and justice. "We need to take affirmative action for kids. We need to open up the door and excite them about learning," she says before receiving two standing ovations.

April 21, 1921

The Junior Prom is held at the Moolah Temple. It's the first St. Louis junior prom, and juniors — who decided on an informal dress code — dance the night away to Kennedy's 12-piece orchestra.

April 20, 1979

Playwright Arthur Miller visits campus to receive the Wilma and Roswell Messing Jr. Award from the University Library Associates. The award will later be known as the St. Louis Literary Award.

April 19, 2012

Newslink announces that history professor Thomas Madden, PhD, has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for his work studying Venice during the Crusades.

April 18, 1975

It is announced that Norman Mailer, acclaimed for his World War II novel, The Naked and the Dead, will be the final speaker of this year's Great Issues Series at Saint Louis University. Mailers iconoclastic political journalism and his insightful personal essays indicate that he will be a dynamic and valuable speaker.

April 17, 2004

Saint Louis University hosts its third annual Showers of Service. Nearly 600 SLU community members take part.

April 15, 1921

The University radio station begins to send out weather reports. It's the first station west of the Mississippi to do so.

April 14, 1969

Aviator Robert Hage speaks at the Parks Commencement ceremony. Hage is the author of a popular aviation textbook and worked on the design for the DC-10

April 13, 1954

Members of SLU's Judo Team demonstrate a throw during team practice.

April 12, 1840

Bishop Joseph Rosati lays the cornerstone for the new Saint Francis Xavier Church on the northeast corner of the University grounds, at Ninth Street and Christy Avenue. President John Elet, S.J., addresses a crowd from the east balcony of the main building of the University.

April 11, 1969

The University News announces the go-ahead of this fall's initiation of Saint Louis University in Spain, at its newly founded Madrid campus. An estimate of 35 participating students has increased to 45. "Of this number," comments Father Sullivan, "the great majority are from St. Louis area schools."

April 10, 2008

Chaifetz Arena is dedicated.

April 9, 1961

Students in Marguerite Hall host an open house where they show off their living quarters.

April 8, 2008

Alternative band Bon Iver plays at the Billiken Club in Busch Student Center, years before winning the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist.

April 7, 2011

SLU's "Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit" makes its national debut at the American College Personnel Association College Student Educators International convention in Baltimore.

April 6, 2016

Newslink announces that theatre students participate in a production of Mukashi, Mukashi, featuring audience participation and puppets in its interpretation of classic Asian tales. The play is co-written and directed by SLU alumna Louise Hung.

April 5, 2011

The University unveils Hotel Ignacio, a new boutique hotel, as a sign of its commitment to the revitalization of the St. Louis's Midtown arts district.

April 4, 2012

Newslink announces that Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee will speak on campus at a sports business symposium.

April 3, 1964

Students protest University plans to raze Choteau House, now called the Cupples House. Sophomore Tom Grady is quoted as saying, "Choteau House is one of the soundest structures architecturally as well as aesthetically, on this campus."

April 2, 2014

Senior guard Jordair Jett is named Associated Press' All-America Honorable Mention. He's the first Billiken to receive the honor since Larry Hughes, who played in the 1997-1998 season, and the sixth Billiken overall.

April 1, 1960

Students participate in an egg throwing contest in front of Samual Cupples House.

March 31, 1921

SLU’s Centennial Endowment Fund meets much enthusiasm after being endorsed by the Vatican: “There is no cause more worthy of praise and support than that which concerns the instruction and the moral formation of youth."

March 30, 1958

Walter Ong, S.J., speaks at the training school for Catholic leaders. Ong was a professor of English for more than 35 years at SLU.

March 29, 1917

A group of alumni and St. Louis businessmen meet with a Saint Louis University committee of Jesuit and lay faculty members to plan for celebrating the centennial of “the old college.”

March 28, 1842

Professor Josephus Wells Hall gives the first medical lecture to SLU students and a large audience of the general public. Instruction in medicine at SLU begins in a small house adjoining the University buildings, on the north side of Washington Avenue, between Tenth and Eleventh streets. The building is the personal property of the first dean, Dr. James V. Prather. At the time, only eight universities and one college have functioning medical departments.

March 27, 1960

The Saint Louis University chapter of the Benjamin Franklin Kite-Flying Society sponsors a “Kite Kontest” in Forest Park. Prizes are awarded for the most unusual and highest-flying kites.

March 26, 1969

Grover Loening, a German-American aircraft manufacturer who received the world's first degree in aeronautical engineering, visits Parks College and receives the Parks Pioneer Award.

March 25, 1994

In honor of Women’s History Month, SLU’s Women’s Studies Program encases a poster of “Christa,” a four-feet-tall bronze by sculptor Edwina Sandys that depicts Christ as a woman, for display in the lobby of Ritter Hall.

March 24, 1836

Peter Verhaegen, S.J., is named superior of the Jesuit mission in Missouri. He makes Saint Louis University his home.

March 23, 1973

Saint Louis University’s first recycling center is established by the Environmental Corps at the Busch Memorial Center, where a container for used newspapers is placed on the loading dock.

March 22, 2004

Former Saint Louis University President Thomas R. Fitzgerald, S.J., dies at the Wolfington Jesuit Residence at Georgetown University. He was 82.

March 21, 1944

The world-famous von Trapp family sings outstanding examples of early Catholic liturgical music and Gregorian chants, among other offerings, at the University Auditorium.

March 20, 1941

Archduke Otto von Hapsburg, heir to the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, speaks at Saint Louis University, drawing upon the long and tragic history of the Hapsburg dynasty to discuss current European problems and to advance his plans for the restoration of his empire.

March 18, 1949

The Faculty Women’s Club of the University issues 9,000 invitations to clergy, alumni, faculty and friends in honor of the inauguration of incoming University President Paul C. Reinert, S.J., to be held in the West Pine Gymnasium.

March 17, 1949

A free St. Patrick’s Day party for all SLU freshman women is held in the Chouteau House at 8 p.m. The dress code is informal, but attendees are encouraged to wear green.

March 16, 1944

Sigma Xi is installed at Saint Louis University. It's the only chapter of the fraternity in the United States at the time.

March 15, 1921

Frances McMenamy, S.J., father provincial of the Jesuits of Missouri, returns to SLU after a tour of Central America where he visited St. John's College in Belize, a school run by SLU faculty members. He declares that students in Belize are eager to come to St. Louis to further their educations.

March 14, 1839

SLU's trustees recommend that an honorary medical degree be given to Benjamin Brown, who would later be the first person to receive a medical doctorate west of the Mississippi.

March 13, 1840

Catholic residents meet to discuss the possibility of erecting a new church, which will become Saint Francis Xavier Church at Ninth Street and Christy (Lucas) Avenue and will be known more widely as “the College Church.”

March 12, 1971

The University News reports on the Ice Bills completing their first hockey season on a joyful note as they meet the Bowling Green State University Falcons. The Bills fight to an overtime 4-4 tie in their last game of the 1970-71 season.

March 11, 1966

Bob Dylan performs at the Kiel Opera House in downtown St. Louis. Tickets are available for students to purchase for between $2.50 and $4.50 through a mail order form that required a self-addressed stamped envelope.

March 10, 1820

Jeremiah Connor, a former sheriff of St. Louis and designer of the city's Washington Avenue, donates the land for Saint Louis University to Bishop DuBourg.

March 9, 1962

A space vehicle exhibition, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is held in the University auditorium. A SLU alum has been involved in every NASA launch.

March 8, 1935

The University News reports that a nationwide strike of students will take place on April 12, 1935, to oppose fascism and war.

March 7, 2017

Dr. Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury who officiated at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, visits SLU to deliver the theology department’s Henry de Lubac Lecture, “Christ, Creator and Creature: Reflections on Christology and the Nature of Created Being,” at the Center for Global Citizenship.

March 6, 2016

Bruce Springsteen performs to the largest sold-out crowd in Chaifetz Arena history. More than 10,240 tickets were sold.

March 5, 1962

Brewery heir Joseph Griesedieck turns over the first spadeful of dirt in the groundbreaking ceremony for Griesedieck Hall, marking the start of construction on Saint Louis University’s 17-story “residence for men.”

March 4, 1896

Archbishop Peter Kenrick dies. At his funeral, University Cadets will form the guard of honor around his coffin.

March 3, 1901

Saint Louis University hosts its first annual indoor track meet at the St. Louis Coliseum. Fifteen universities and track clubs participate.

March 2, 1962

Saint Louis University’s first Mardi Gras weekend begins with a parade on West Pine Boulevard at noon. That night, a dance is hosted at the Chase Hotel at which dancing the Twist has been banned.

March 1, 2001

Napster representatives arrive at SLU. A discussion is held with keynote speakers Chuck D, from Public Enemy, and Ted Meyers, an executive from Rhino Records.

February 28, 1957

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) is founded. Each year, a number of graduating Billikens commit to a year of service with the JVC and similar ventures.

February 27, 1830

The first of many Louisiana students begins studying at Saint Louis College. At the time, the territory beyond the Mississippi River includes only two states: Louisiana and Missouri.

February 26, 1929

The Saint Louis University Billiken basketball team beats their archrival, Washington University, winning the City Championship for the first time.

February 25, 1844

Anti-Catholic rioters attack the medical school; they are driven back, but return later and destroy the building and its contents.

February 24, 1933

Jazz great Dewey Jackson and his orchestra perform at a dance at Saint Louis University at an interracial dance held at SLU in the gym, sponsored by the Catholic magazine "Interracial Review."

February 23, 2017

Newslink reports that renderings of the new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital have been unveiled. University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., SSM officials and St. Louis leaders— including Mayor Lyda Krewson — turn over the first shovels of the dirt on the project later that year

February 22, 1963

Today at SLU in 1963: Walter Ong, S.J., receives the Ordre des Palmes académiques, the national order in France that honors distinguished academics and scholars, for his work on French logician and educational reformer Peter Ramus.

February 21, 1973

Today at SLU in 1973: A SLU fraternity raffles off 100 gallons of free gas. Eight months later, the 1973 oil crisis begins.

February 20, 2005

Renowned civil rights activist Dr. Angela Davis shares her experiences with the Saint Louis University community as part of Black History Month. The event attracts 1,600 students from across the nation.

February 19, 1967

W. H. Auden, perhaps the greatest living poet of the day, speaks at Saint Louis University in the West Pine Gymnasium as part of the Great Issues series. In 1970, Auden will receive the Messing Award at SLU for his literary achievement.

February 18, 2017

Playwright Tennessee Williams captivates an audience of nearly 600 at Pius XII Memorial Library as he receives the Wilma and Roswell Messing Jr. Award. The award will later be known as the St. Louis Literary Award and given to John Updike, Joan Didion and Margaret Atwood, among many other acclaimed authors.

February 17, 1994

Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center speaks before a packed Busch Memorial Center audience. His presentation, “Why Can’t We All Get Along?” is part of the Student Government Association’s Great Issues series.

February 15, 1946

SLU faculty Dr. Donald Greiff and Dr. Henry Pinkerton have discovered a cure for typhus fever, according to The University News. The research team includes Dr. Vicente Moragues.

February 14, 1964

Today at SLU in 1964: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson visits SLU in one of his 1st public appearances after the assassination of President Kennedy. He speaks at the future site of the Busch Memorial Center and plants a tree to symbolize the growth of St. Louis.

February 13, 1924

Today at SLU in 1924: William F. Robinson SJ, president of Saint Louis University, and Reverend Mother Concordia of the Sisters of Mary sign a document giving the University charge of St. Mary's Infirmary.

February 12, 2014

Today at SLU in 2014: SLU announces the digitization of 19th-century diaries that include some of the earliest first-hand accounts of the daily lives of students and Jesuits.

February 10, 1908

Today at SLU in 1908: John P. Frieden, SJ, is appointed the 19th president of Saint Louis University.

February 9, 1964

The Saint Louis University men's soccer team joins members of the United States Olympic soccer team for an exhibition game against the St. Ambrose Fighting Bees. Half of the Olympic team that year is made up of players from St. Louis.

February 8, 1946

Today at SLU in 1946: Enrollment at Saint Louis University sets a record: 6,118 total. Many are veterans home from World War II. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 7, 1923

Today at SLU in 1923: Magician Harry Houdini makes a stop at SLU to lecture against "mediums." @sciam's Committee on Psychic Research reveals that so far, these so-called mediums have been found to be 100 percent fraudulent. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 6, 2013

Today at SLU in 2013: The new Magis Faculty Society meets for the first time at Il Monastero. The society was created to foster connections among SLU's retired and emeritus faculty members. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 5, 1953

Today at SLU in 1953: Billikenews reports that the Knights of Columbus Foundation at SLU received the first shipments of microfilm of the Vatican Library's priceless manuscript collection. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 4, 1912

Today at SLU in 1912: The St. Louis Times describes the newly appointed president of SLU, Alexander Burrowes, SJ: "On his full face and even features is an expression inviting confidence and bespeaking kindness." #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 3, 1933

Today at SLU in 1933: Saint Louis University and the Sisters of St. Mary open Firmin Desloge Hospital, which would later become @SLUHospital. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 2, 1958

Today at SLU in 1958: The cornerstone of @piuslibrary is put in place. Before that, the University's library collection was housed in the Pere Marquette Gallery, located on the 2nd floor of DuBourg Hall. #SLU200 slu.edu/200years

February 1, 2013

Today at SLU in 2013: SLU announces the 2005 @SLUWsoccer will be inducted to the Billiken Hall of Fame. The team was the 1st SLU women's team to earn an NCAA Tournament berth. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 31, 2002

Today at SLU in 2002: @TheUNews reports that @KSLUradio goes global with its first internet broadcast. The stream is limited to 4 hours because it drains resources from University's servers. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 30, 1836

Today at SLU in 1836: Mississippi Sen. Robert Walker, chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, reports a bill which calls for a grant of land to the "French University of Saint Louis." #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 29, 2009

Today at SLU in 2009: Sources, a poetry collection by SLU professor Devin Johnston, is selected as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle 2008 award for poetry, according to @TheUNews. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 28, 1944

Today at SLU in 1944: Claude Heithaus, SJ, eulogizes Otto J. Kuhnmuench, SJ, as, "a living edition of the Ratio Studiorum." Kuhnmuench taught Latin at SLU for 30 years, earning the nickname "The Old Roman." #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 27, 2017

Today at SLU in 2017: The College for Public Health and Social Justice announces its REACH initiative, which aims to address problems that undermine the health of children and mothers. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 26, 1999

Today at SLU in 1999: Classes are cancelled so that SLU students and faculty can attend papal events during Pope John Paul II's visit to St. Louis. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 25, 2012

Saint Louis University announces that @SLULAW will move downtown to a new building donated by Joe and Loretta Scott. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 24, 2013

Today at SLU in 2013: SLU researchers and their collaborators at @Mizzou and @PittTweet report a breakthrough in the pursuit of new hepatitis B drugs that could help cure the virus. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 23, 1976

Today at SLU in 1976: @SLU_SGA's Popular Film Series offers students the chance to view a screening of American Graffiti for only 50 cents with a SLU ID. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 22, 1911

Today at SLU in 1911: SLU is named a Collegium Maximum, an official Jesuit term for the "premier college" of a province, by the Father General in Rome. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 21, 1855

George Hood, a Saint Louis University senior, records in his diary that due to heavy snow, the school authorities declare a winter sports day.

January 20, 2005

Today at SLU in 2005: Saint Louis University starts its official Facebook page. @theunews offers full coverage of "SLU's new fad." #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 19, 2016

Hoverboards and electronic skateboards — which have grown in popularity by the middle of the decade — are temporarily banned at SLU's campuses due to safety concerns.

January 18, 1982

Today at SLU in 1982: Longtime SLU professor John Kavanaugh, SJ, lectures at the College Church on "Following Christ in a Consumer Society." His best-selling book by the same title was published the year before. #SLU200 http://www.slu.edu/200years/index.php

January 17, 1898

St. Louis Republic lauds the previous day's dedication of the College Church, calling it a "day of unhoped-for splendor." Archbishop John Joseph Kain, along with four bishops, 60 Jesuit scholastics, 65 priests and 40 acolytes, blessed the new church.

January 16, 1898

St. Francis Xavier College Church is formally dedicated at Saint Louis University.

January 15, 1865

Francis Stuntebeck, S.J., the director of SLU's weather station, reports: "This morning at six o'clock, four rings were seen around the moon: the nearest white, the second blue, the third yellow, and the fourth light green. These lasted for some six to eight minutes and then gradually disappeared."

January 14, 1929

In their best game of the 1929 season, the Billiken men's basketball team beat the Washington Bears 29-18. After three minutes of scoreless play, "Moose" Meyers drops in a long shot, and the Billikens control the game from that point on.

January 13, 1833

Pope Gregory XVI grants a dispensation allowing the Society of Jesus to charge tuition to meet the costs of education and board. The Jesuits at SLU actively sought this dispensation. It is one of the most significant changes in the Jesuit way of operating schools since the founding of the order.

January 12, 1898

U.S. President Grover Cleveland orders the creation of the Corps of Cadets, a student military organization, at Saint Louis University.

January 11, 1984

The winter 1984 issue of Universitas publishes a story about Patrick Gaffney, SMM, and his innovative computer course titled "Who is Jesus?"

January 10, 1898

DuBourg Hall is dedicated.

January 9, 2006

Tom Kavanaugh (AS '01) wins his final round of the popular game show Jeopardy, making him an eight-time champion with winnings of more than $144,000.

January 8, 1818

In the same year as SLU's founding, Henry Clay, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, presents the first petition to Congress from Missouri requesting statehood.

January 7, 1824

Bishop Louis William DuBourg offers the Jesuits his college, which will become Saint Louis University.

January 6, 1949

Father Reinert begins his 25-year tenure as president of Saint Louis University.

January 5, 1818

Bishop Louis William DuBourg arrives in St. Louis. Later this year, he will establish Saint Louis Academy, which will become Saint Louis University.

January 4, 2013

The men's basketball team defeats Savannah State 67-59, earning their eighth consecutive win at home. The Billikens would go on to compete in the NCAA men's basketball championship.

January 3, 1952

SLU President Paul Reinert, S.J., participates in the Western Province Educational Meeting of the Vincentian Fathers to discuss ways to improve seminary education.

January 2, 1953

Pope Pius XII gives Saint Louis University permission to name its new library in his honor, writing to SLU President Paul Reinert, S.J.: "Willingly then do we accede to your filial request that this new library be designated the Pius XII Memorial Library."

January 1, 1860

The first weather bureau in St. Louis is set up at Saint Louis University.