Welcome to the Gephardt Institute
for Civic and Community Engagement

We foster a vibrant culture of civic engagement throughout Washington University by supporting students in turning their passions into action.


New In the Lou

St. Louis is a vibrant region with many stories and places to explore. Check out our online guide to being an engaged member of the St. Louis community, and start your civic journey at WashU.  


What We Do

The Gephardt Institute works with students, faculty, and staff across all seven academic schools—at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—to ensure robust and high-quality civic engagement opportunities on campus and in St. Louis.

We work closely with community organizations in the St. Louis region to facilitate effective partnerships with WashU departments and organizations to address community needs and priorities.

We also support alumni-led efforts to foster a lifetime of
civic engagement.

Educating Students for Lifelong Engaged Citizenship

We inspire WashU students to actively engage in addressing social challenges. This arc of engagement begins with the first-year experience and continues beyond graduation.

Cultivating Campus and Community Partnerships

We catalyze campus and community partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities. We focus on trust, collaboration, and shared goals. 

Infusing Civic
Engagement Throughout WashU

We advance WashU’s mission by supporting civic learning, leadership, and impact that reaches students, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and supporters.


Gephardt Institute News and Events

Civic Scholars to Present Projects in Rapid-fire “PechaKucha” Events

The Gephardt Institute’s Civic Scholars Program provides a rigorous, in-depth curriculum for undergraduate students with an interest and passion for civic leadership. Sophomores are selected through a competitive process and learn together through their junior and senior years. During the summer before their senior year, each Civic Scholar develops and implements an independent Civic Summer project […]

Institute Effort Drives Voter Turnout

“Best voting experience ever!” “Great experience, start to finish.” “Every vote day should feel like this!”  The results are in, and the Gephardt Institute’s voter turnout efforts were a smashing success, according to the students who voted on campus on Nov. 8. Almost 950 students and other St. Louis County voters cast their Midterm Election […]

Civic Engagement doesn’t End with the Election

After the massive effort to get out the vote at WashU, the Gephardt Institute’s efforts to instill civic engagement interest and skills in students are still going strong.   Civic Café is a new weekly event held in Stix House on Tuesdays, in which the WashU community is invited to discuss a civic issue or develop […]

Imagine The Future With Us

The Gephardt Institute is creating pathways for WashU students
to become lifelong engaged citizens. The urgent challenges today
require the focus, resolve, participation, and leadership of current
and future generations.

With your support, we will ensure that
WashU graduates embrace their opportunity to help make our
nation a more perfect union for all.