In 1853 St. Louisans founded Washington University in St. Louis to educate their young people. In the more than 150 years since, Washington University has grown to be an internationally respected institution that draws more than 13,000 students and scholars from all 50 states and approximately 130 nations. We continue, however, to reflect our Midwestern heritage in many ways—from our friendliness to our work ethic.

The rich history of Washington University parallels the overall story of the St. Louis region's growth, for the two have become inextricably linked in the last century and a half. As St. Louis moves forward, Washington University benefits; when Washington University succeeds, so does St. Louis.

This report, presented with gratitude to the St. Louis community, highlights some of our connections with our community.

The Importance of Our Local Ties
Washington University has been nurtured by St. Louis for more than 150 years. As we have grown and evolved into an international institution, our local ties have remained strong.

Since our founding, most of the leadership of the Board of Trustees, including every chairman of the Board, has been local. Much support—both moral and financial—comes from St. Louis individuals and corporations who want a first-rank institution of higher education in their community.

Washington University benefits from public policies that recognize the value of higher education. For instance, the tax-free status afforded us by the state of Missouri, St. Louis County, and the cities of St. Louis, Clayton, and University City is essential. The state also supports an educational program in engineering for which we share responsibility with the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

We also benefit from our association with many St. Louis corporations. Research programs carried out with Monsanto have been national models. Our students intern at local corporations, which also employ many of our graduates. The School of Medicine prospers because of our affiliation with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, both members of BJC HealthCare. Time and again the University and our people call on the many excellent firms in St. Louis for legal, architectural, medical, accounting, banking, printing, and other services.

In addition, the people of Washington University in St. Louis—like the rest of the community—benefit immeasurably from the community's many excellent institutions, including Forest Park, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Central Institute for the Deaf, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Missouri Botanical Garden, Fox Theatre, Missouri History Museum, and Saint Louis Zoo.

A Commitment to St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service to our home community. As an active and contributing member in St. Louis, we:

  • Support student, faculty, and staff community services that result in thousands of hours annually dedicated to the St. Louis region.
  • Help St. Louisans achieve healthy lives through access to world-class medical care.
  • Assist in solving community challenges through programs such as legal clinics, the Center for Social Development, and art in the neighborhood.
  • Partner with local school districts to provide work-study students, tutors, student teachers, and mentors.
  • Provide stimulating lifelong learning experiences and cultural activities for St. Louisans.
  • Attract financial resources to the area for research, cultural enrichment, voluntary programs, patient care, and technology transfer.
  • Foster the growing entrepreneurial spirit of St. Louis' business and technology communities.
  • Employ more than 13,000 people.
  • Have an economic impact on St. Louis of $2.2 billion.

Additional Resources

Click here to download a pdf of the Community Impact Study brochure.

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