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Meet the Class of 2024: Peyton Kennedy

Peyton Kennedy, a senior at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business and member of the women's basketball team, shares her experiences at SLU and what she hopes to do after graduation.

Peyton Kennedy, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, has had an amazing senior year. While Kennedy finished up her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, she and the women’s basketball team took home the 2024 Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) championship trophy for the first time in the program’s history. 

These things didn’t come without hard work. Kennedy shares her experiences at SLU and what she hopes to do after graduation.

Where did you grow up?

I'm from Rockford, Illinois, which is about four and a half hours north of St. Louis. 

Why did you decide to attend SLU?

Saint Louis University is such a great institution. It’s not just the academics; it’s the family atmosphere and the culture that I felt when I came to visit. Everyone knew everyone, greeted everyone and gave them high fives, handshakes or hugs. You could tell that community is definitely the center of SLU's mission.

Why did you decide to major in business?

I actually came in as a criminal justice major. My parents are both in law enforcement, so I've been around that my entire life. I took a few classes, though, and realized it wasn't what I wanted to do long-term.

That’s a big change! So, what drew you to marketing and entrepreneurship?

I’m really into helping the helper and being that lifeline for people who can provide information and support. I'm getting into real estate, and I think there's a correlation between criminal justice where you want to provide community and help people be safe and real estate where you provide those safe homes for people and build that community within neighborhoods.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I will be getting my professional M.B.A. here at SLU.

Peyton Kennedy prepares to shoot during the WNIT championship

Kennedy and the SLU women's basketball team won the WNIT Championship title for the first time in the program's history. Photo courtesy of SLU Athletics

How did it feel to win the WNIT and Atlantic 10 championships?

We’ve won championships the past two years and those hold value to me, but looking back, I think I’ll remember the journey more. Watching your teammates grow, pursue excellence and make it to the mountaintop, was pure bliss.

Peyton poses for a photo with her trophies after winning the WNIT.

Peyton celebrates her team's win following the WNIT Championship. Submitted photo

You’ve accomplished a lot during your time at SLU. What are you most proud of?

My freshman and sophomore years at SLU were challenging. I felt lost, academically and athletically. I wasn't performing on the court like I wanted and my mental health wasn't great, so I had to reach out for help. 

Getting that outside help and having those resources has made me the person I am. I’m proud of trusting the process and realizing that everything happens for a reason. I've made it this far, and I'm going to get my diploma. The championships and awards are just bonuses.

That’s very strong of you. Who helped you through that?

My roommate at the time gave me her therapist's number. I went for a straight year and learned how to change my mindset and turn negative thoughts into positive ones. It takes practice and a lot of commitment, but I realized when I did, I got better. That helped me in the classroom and on the court. 

I truly do have the best support system. My parents, obviously, have sacrificed their time and money for my success. The athletic department also does a great job of providing resources like mental health experts, nutritionists and athletic trainers.  

What would you say to students who may find themselves in the same situation?

My advice is to stay in the present moment and invest in yourself. You are worth it. 

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