Here’s how Emerson’s support has had an immediate and long-term impact on UMSL

Emerson and UMSL

Emerson, the multinational corporation located just a few miles from campus, has contributed nearly $6 million to University of Missouri–St. Louis programs, buildings and scholarships over the years. Recognizing this generosity, UMSL awarded its E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy to Emerson at the 2015 Founders Dinner in September. But people often ask, “Just where does all that money go?” Here’s your answer.

Freshman Devin Billups is one of the many students benefiting from the Emerson Community Scholarship Program at UMSL.

Freshman Devin Billups is one of the many students benefiting from the Emerson Community Scholarship Program at UMSL.

Funding local futures
Emerson and UMSL have been anchor institutions in north St. Louis County for a combined 171 years. Emerson created the Emerson Community Scholarship Program at UMSL to further enhance the impact each has on the area – including the development of its young talent. UMSL and the University of Missouri System added $500,000 to match Emerson’s contribution. The program has attracted 50 new students to UMSL this fall, including business major Devin Billups. The Hazelwood Central High School graduate had scholarship offers from nine universities but chose UMSL because of Emerson’s support and the quality of the business college.

Fostering a program
For decades, UMSL sought approval for an engineering program that would benefit students of the St. Louis region – particularly women and minorities. Contributions and political support from Emerson helped UMSL establish a joint program with Washington University in St. Louis in the mid-1990s. Nearly 700 individuals have received engineering degrees as a result, including Evelyn Bailey Moore. The 31-year-old program manager at The Boeing Company received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award this year.

Briona Perry (left) and Elle Fitzpatrick are the first students to graduate from the Opportunity Scholars Program, which Emerson spurred the creation of with a lead gift. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Briona Perry (left) and Elle Fitzpatrick are the first students to graduate from the Opportunity Scholars Program, which Emerson spurred the creation of with a lead gift. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Boosting St. Louis talent
Understanding that too many of the region’s best and brightest students were leaving St. Louis, Emerson gave a lead gift to create the Opportunity Scholars Program to lure talented students to UMSL. Emerson picked UMSL because of its exceptional educational reputation and its history of producing work-ready graduates who stay in St. Louis. Briona Perry and Elle Fitzpatrick were the first graduates of the program. Both earned bachelor’s degrees in biology this spring.

The glass pyramid that stands above the St. Louis Mercantile Library is part of a 1980s expansion of the Thomas Jefferson Library partially funded by Emerson.

The glass pyramid that stands above the St. Louis Mercantile Library is part of a 1980s expansion of the Thomas Jefferson Library partially funded by Emerson.

Growing the library
As a primary contributor to the 1980s Thomas Jefferson Library addition that included the iconic glass pyramid, Emerson helped bring about the space that would later attract the St. Louis Mercantile Library collections and assets to campus.

Supporting educators
A gift creating the Emerson Professorship in Technology and Learning has helped UMSL establish itself as a leader in training new and veteran K-12 teachers on how to effectively incorporate technology into the classroom to improve educational outcomes.


This story originally appeared in the fall 2015 issue of UMSL Magazine.

The UMSL Experience

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