| Des Peres Hall and West Pine Gym are adorned with 101 flags.
Photo by Chad Williams
If the dozens of international flags that now adorn Des Peres Hall are any indication, Saint Louis University's new Center for Global Citizenship is really taking shape.
The 101 flags, which also line the roof of West Pine Gym, not only represent the home countries of SLU's international students — based on the most recent census — but also international locations where U.S. students and faculty travel to study, teach, research and complete service projects.
"Saint Louis University's Catholic, Jesuit mission calls us to make a world of difference, not just here at home, but also around the globe," said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. "This project demonstrates our commitment to international education and is a clear sign that SLU truly has become a global university."
The Center for Global Citizenship will bring together the Office of International Services, the International Studies Program and the English as a Second Language Program — academic and support units currently separated on the Frost Campus.
"Bringing these groups together under one roof will create an integrated experience that will enhance the support we provide to our international students as well as those who travel abroad," said Manoj Patankar, Ph.D. "In addition, the new center will help us develop all of our students to be true global citizens."
| Ismael Lopez Barrera (left) and Bruce Pratte, members of the Billiken Construction Crew, work on the Des Peres Hall renovation project.
Photo by Chad Williams
One of the highlights of the Center for Global Citizenship will be a 1,000-square-foot lounge. Featuring comfortable seating, the space will be wired for international media, including television outlets from around the globe. Moreover, a catering kitchen will be located in an adjoining room.
"It's really the heart and soul of the building," said Bert Barry, Ph.D., director of international services. "It's the perfect place to build community and to connect our international students with our U.S. students. The whole idea of the new center is to celebrate our cultural differences and our common mission."
The building also will feature state-of-the-art conference rooms with global teleconferencing capabilities as well as a classroom dedicated to supporting international teaching.
In addition, the project calls for experimental classrooms and an interactive teaching lab that will be supported by the Reinert Center for Teaching Excellence. SLU's new Center for Sustainability also will call the building home.
The Des Peres Hall renovations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.