County Executive Sam Page delivers first State of the County Address at Touhill
“The UMSL community is excited to have you visiting with us today,” Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said during her welcome message. “It is such a pleasure to look out and see so many neighbors, friends and community partners, including some of our local neighbors, and elected officials we work with, as well as members of the St. Louis County Council.”
The event also served a showcase for the talent of UMSL students. Senior music major Dansol Kim played the piano as guests arrived and took their seats, guided by UMSL Ambassadors Alex Entwistle, Priyanka, Jay Gaskin, Starr Logan, Amanda Lopez and Chelsey Smith.
UMSL alumna Shawntelle Fisher delivered the invocation, and took the opportunity to briefly brag about her alma mater.
“I happen to be an alum of the University of Missouri–St. Louis – a very proud alum,” Fisher said. “I’m also a very proud alum of the Pierre Laclede Honors College.”
Fisher is the founder and CEO of The Soulfisher Ministries, a nonprofit that works on behalf of youth with incarcerated parents and promotes restorative justice for those currently and formerly incarcerated. She earned a bachelor’s degrees in educational studies and media studies from UMSL before pursuing master’s degrees in social work and divinity from Washington University and Eden Theological Seminary, respectively.
Page, who assumed office in April 2019, took his turn at the lectern and delivered an address that lasted nearly 30 minutes. He highlighted the accomplishments of his administration, particularly over the past two years while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve made it through an incredibly challenging time,” Page said. “We are holding our collective breath that the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, and we’ve been through some of our darkest moments, but we see the light. Thank you to everyone here, to everyone in the community who worked to help us get to this point. St. Louis County should be proud of all that we’ve accomplished in such a short time. But rest assured, you’re just getting started.”
He later added: “As a region, we must work together. We’re growing, but not fast enough. Let’s grow together. Let’s show the rest of the country that this is where opportunities abound, where success is within reach and where families put roots down to be part of great schools, diverse neighborhoods and to enjoy some of the best recreational and cultural institutions anywhere.”
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