Seems like just yesterday that Raja (pictured above) was born, but our zoo’s bull elephant had a special birthday celebration, his 23rd, last week, complete with cereal, melons, bananas and popcorn— everything an elephant could want. Raja was the first Asian elephant born at the Zoo and has now sired four female calves: Maliha, Jade, Kenzi and Priya.

New to WashU … a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance will be offered, starting in 2016. A collaboration between the university and COCA, the program will be led by dance professor Christine Knoblauch-O’Neal and taught by former Alvin Ailey dancers Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Kirven Douthit-Boyd.

Ubuntu Big-River hi-resCongrats to Big River Running Company, owned by St. Louisans Matt and Katie Helbig, which was honored with the Ubuntu Award for excellence in community service and involvement. The local company with four St. Louis stores also was recognized as one of The Best 50 Running Stores in America by Running Insight and Competitor magazine.

ej4-Ryan-Eudyej4, a locally based eLearning company that provides online video training sessions, has earned several awards from ELearning! magazine, thanks to nominations from users and customers. CEO Ryan Eudy (pictured) started the company, located in Creve Coeur, in 2004.

DFYPWS_FINK_COVER_KSHometowner Conor O’Neill Barry has created Don’t Feed Your Pets Weird Stuff, a funny children’s book meant to entertain and educate kids about responsibility and pets. It is illustrated with gouache painted images and will be released in hardcover in February.