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Meramec Campus Honors Mayor Mike Swoboda with Earth Day Celebration

April 24, 2009

Mike Swoboda, Mayor Swoboda's son, places soil around the tree honoring his father.

The 2009 Earth Day Celebration on the Meramec campus included a tree-planting ceremony outside the Social Science Building in honor of Mike Swoboda, former mayor of Kirkwood. President Paul Pai; members of the Swoboda family; community members, including Walter Smith from Kirkwood Living Green; faculty; staff; and students gathered to honor the late mayor.

“I am pleased that we are able to pay tribute to Michael Swoboda, a person who not only served the Kirkwood Community so well as mayor for 8 years, but who also cared deeply about and was a champion for the environment,” said President Pai. “It is appropriate that we honor him on Earth Day by planting this oak tree in his memory. Trees are a symbol of endurance—of life past, present and future. What better way to honor someone who will surely endure in the hearts of the community he loved and served.”

Sponsors and organizers of the event included the Earth Day Coalition, the Global Justice Project, MOPirg, the Student Governance Council, the Office of Campus Life, Professor and PTK Sponsor Kay Blalock, Campus Ministries Director Aline Russell, and Service Learning Coordinator Donna Halsband. The Meramec Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa purchased the oak tree, and Professor Blalock and student Julie Glenn also spoke, representing the Meramec Community.

Photo: Mike Swoboda, Mayor Swoboda's son, was among those present who participated in the ceremonial tree planting.