St. Louis American Foundation honoring UMSL with 2023 Corporate Diversity Award

by | Feb 13, 2023

The award will be presented at the 21st Annual Salute to Excellence in Business Awards luncheon on Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis.
Chancellor Kristin Sobolik welcomes other business and nonprofit leaders to an Executive Learning Experience held by the St. Louis Anchor Action Network last June at Sumner High School in the Ville neighborhood

Chancellor Kristin Sobolik welcomes other business and nonprofit leaders to an Executive Learning Experience held by the St. Louis Anchor Action Network last June at Sumner High School in the Ville neighborhood. UMSL’s leadership of the St. Louis Anchor Action Network was one reason the St. Louis American Foundation is awarding the university its 2023 Corporate Diversity Award. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has been helping people of many different backgrounds pursue their goals and achieve success by providing access and opportunity to affordable, high-quality education since its founding.

It has also shown a deep commitment to using the talent of its faculty, staff, students and alumni, and the resources it has, to strengthen the St. Louis region.

The St. Louis American Foundation is honoring the university for its impact – spanning six decades – by presenting it with its 2023 Corporate Diversity Award at its 21st Annual Salute to Excellence in Business Awards luncheon, scheduled for Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis.

“It’s a corporate diversity award, that illustrates our entire mission – which is to transform lives,” UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said in a story in The St. Louis American announcing the honor. “We are an anchor institution here in St. Louis. So being recognized for everything that all of us are working hard and doing from a very diverse and inclusive perspective out in the broader St. Louis community – that is what I am excited about.”

The St. Louis American made special note of initiatives such as the UMSL Bridge Program and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Accelerator.

The former has delivered comprehensive educational access programming to thousands of students and parents in the St. Louis region and beyond since 1986. It has helped improve college preparedness and has a 100% college matriculation rate since 2003.

The latter, now in its third year, has been aiding new and diverse entrepreneurs by providing them with $50,000 in non-dilutive capital as well as access to business training and the use of UMSL interns to help grow their businesses.

The university is working to spur economic development on a broader scale through its leadership, alongside Edward Jones, of the St. Louis Anchor Action Network. The network of businesses, hospital systems, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations is committed to increasing employment and purchasing in neighborhoods that have faced disinvestment and systemic racial and spatial inequities.

UMSL alumni continue to fill prominent roles in local businesses and organizations, including Steven Harris, who last year was promoted to managing partner of RubinBrown LLP.

The university continues to enhance its reputation as it works to serve current and future students. UMSL has climbed 69 places in the past three years in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings and now ranks No. 212 among national research universities, including No. 107 among public institutions. It also ranked first in the state and No. 75 nationally on the list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which highlights how well universities graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants. Nearly 50% of UMSL students were Pell Grant-eligible in the 2021-22 academic year.

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The St. Louis American

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Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming
Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.