Saint Louis University

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated at 4:35 p.m. with comment from Governor Jay Nixon.

A alliance of legal and political figures has launched an effort to get clemency for 14 women incarcerated in Missouri. 

The women are in prison for violent crimes, including murder. But coalition members said many were battered women who killed their abusers and others did not directly harm anyone by committing their crimes. All were victims of abuse starting at a young age and some had addiction problems.

Michelle Peltier/Saint Louis University

Fred Pestello may be the first lay president of Saint Louis University, but he is hardly ignoring the school’s mission grounded in Jesuit philosophy.

At his inauguration Friday morning, Pestello told faculty, staff, students, alumni and representatives of other universities that the traditions of a Jesuit education mean that SLU must “ask the most compelling questions of our time. Our mission statement itself is a reflection of this extraordinary vocation. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and the service of humanity….

People line up to take part in an amnesty program to clear up outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants in August 2013, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson | Associated Press

In 2013, the municipal court in Ferguson issued 32,975 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses, mostly driving violations, according to documents filed with Missouri’s judicial department.

Dr. James R. Drake with students
Provided by Saint Louis University School of Medicine

For the past 20 years, a clinic for St. Louisans who cannot afford basic health care quickly filled with patients every Saturday morning.

On many of those mornings, James R. Drake, M.D., a professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University and a general internist, supervised medical, social work and physical therapy students at the nation’s only entirely student-run free health clinic.

James Byard/WUSTL Photos

Updated 7:21 a.m. Tuesday to change number of people involved:

Monday marked not only the first day of classes at Washington University and Saint Louis University but also a collaborative effort to take note of the death of Michael Brown and the issues it has raised.

Courtesy: Panera Bread Co.

Artificial sweeteners have been controversial for decades. Several studies have attacked sweeteners, especially aspartame used in diet sodas.

In June, St. Louis-based Panera Bread Co. announced it will eliminate artificial sweeteners, coloring and preservatives from its foods by 2016. Panera nutrition manager Katie Bengston said “taste is the driving factor.”

Bengston said Panera is evaluating everything, including the sodas it sells.

via Flickr/chuteme

A delegation of religious and education officials from the Central American country of Belize arrives in St. Louis Monday for a meeting of the minds with Saint Louis University faculty.

The purpose of the conference is to determine ways that SLU students and faculty can provide training and support for St. Martin’s de Porres, a Jesuit parish and grade school in Belize City.

courtesy Missouri Jesuit Province

The Missouri district of Jesuit priests and brothers merged with its New Orleans counterpart Thursday to cover an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and from Missouri down to the Gulf of Mexico.  The headquarters of the newly combined district of the Catholic Order, known as a Jesuit province, will be located in St. Louis.

Stephanie Zimmerman

The scaffolding surrounding DuBourg Hall on the Saint Louis University campus is as much symbolic as it is structural.

While the administration building gets a facelift, the president’s office got a new occupant this week. Fred Pestello, SLU’s first non-Jesuit president, took over on Tuesday after a six-year career as president of Le Moyne College, another Jesuit institution in Syracuse, N.Y.

Ulrik |

About four years ago I realized that, although my business statistics students were understanding the math fairly well, they didn't “get” the statistics part. When asked to apply their knowledge, they were fairly clueless. My challenge was to change that. But how?

That challenge had another prompt: In the book “Academically Adrift,” authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa provide strong evidence that a student only experiences small to nonexistent gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills over the entire undergraduate college education.

via Wikimedia Commons

How did a French king born in 1214 become the namesake of a city founded in the heart of the Americas 550 years later? The answer is woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ identity even now, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Friday marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of the city’s namesake: Louis IX, the only French king to become a saint.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:41 p.m., Fri., March 21.

Saint Louis University has a new president, its first non-Jesuit president, to succeed the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, who stepped down amid controversy last year.

The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected Fred Pestello during a special meeting Thursday evening, according to a news release. He will begin his new position on July 1.

Provided by SLU Law School

Nearly 60 years after school segregation was outlawed, two members of the family most associated with the case say that the St. Louis area student transfers show that the true goals of the Supreme Court's ruling remain unfulfilled.

Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson, whose Topeka, Kan., family was the lead plaintiff in the landmark 1954 ruling, told an audience at Saint Louis University law school Friday that their case was more about equality of resources and opportunity than simply letting black and white students sit together.

via Flickr/chuteme

Updated at 3:23 p.m. Mon., Feb. 17, with announcement of new SIU president. Some of the jobs came open suddenly, one at the end of a long campus standoff and still others quietly at the end of long, productive tenures, but they all have resulted in room at the top of the ivory tower:

At least four local schools – Saint Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Community College and the Southern Illinois University system – have vacancies in the office of their top administrator or did until Monday, when SIU named a new president.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Casa Rosada)

In the 11 months since Pope Francis began his papacy, he has gained widespread approval and a reputation for shaking things up.

(Courtesy: John Waide, University Archivist, Saint Louis University)

The mattress began to shake.  Arms and legs flailing.  For hours he fluctuated between frenzy and calm.

The following phrases describe an exorcism that took place in March and April of 1949.  A cadre of Jesuit priests affiliated with Saint Louis University, led by Father William S. Bowdern, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, undertook the exorcism of a 14-year-old boy. They took turns praying over the boy, working to cast out the demon believed to have possessed him.

via Flickr/chuteme

An email scam directed towards Saint Louis University employees compromised private information to an unknown user, including the personal health information of about 3,000 people.  

A subset of SLU employees received an email in late July asking them to disclose their log-in and password information on a phony website posing as SLU’s log-in portal. 40 SLU employees responded to the email, and 20 email accounts were accessed by the unknown user.

(Art Chimes)

If you happen to be near the Saint Louis Science Center planetarium at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, look up. You might see a weather balloon.

Students at Saint Louis University are launching them as part of a study sponsored by the U.S. space agency NASA.

The mission aims to improve our understanding of air pollution and global climate.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated 3:50 p.m.

Saint Louis University's president Father Lawrence Biondi will be stepping down Sept. 1.

The fact that Biondi was to retire was announced in May, but the date Biondi would step down was not announced at that time.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

With dozens of alums and current students on hand, Saint Louis University’s new law school in downtown officially opened for business today.

Joe and Loretta Scott Hall - named for the couple who donated the office building where it's housed - is a stone's throw from the state and federal courthouses, as well as City Hall.