Gephardt Institute Receives Major Gift to Enhance Civic Scholars Program

Jason Silberman, AB ’15, (back row, center) led a program that educates children in East Harlem about health and nutrition. Silberman credits his experience as a Stern Family Civic Scholar for giving him the tools to work effectively with community.

Mickey and Debbie Stern, longtime supporters of Washington University in St. Louis, have made a $1 million commitment to the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement in support of our Civic Scholars Program.

“For more than two decades, Mickey and Debbie Stern have been tremendous volunteers and benefactors of Washington University,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “I am deeply grateful for their ongoing commitment to the university and for their recent gift. This support will have a lasting impact upon the program — expanding the number of students who have an opportunity to participate and enhancing the experience for all Civic Scholars.”

Stephanie Kurtzman, the Peter G. Sortino Director of the institute, said the gift will enable the program to expand experiential and immersive opportunities at the local, state, and national level. The gift will also fund four Civic Scholars annually, building upon a previous commitment from the couple that has supported six Stern Family Civic Scholars to date.

“The Civic Scholars Program prepares the kind of civic leaders we need to address the complex and entrenched challenges facing society,” Kurtzman said. “This generous gift will allow the Gephardt Institute to take Civic Scholars further out of the traditional classroom and into civic and community settings where they will be challenged to engage in discourse across the political spectrum and with the nuances of the urban, rural, state and federal contexts that shape our nation.”

Learn more about the Sterns and this historic gift in The Source.