Founded in 1853, Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is an R1 Doctoral University with a mission to discover and disseminate knowledge, and protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching and learning. With an enrollment of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 150,000 alumni, WashU is a world-class institution with a world-wide impact.

At his inauguration in 2019, Chancellor Martin cast a vision for elevating WashU’s academic distinction, providing broader access to WashU’s world-class educational experience, and deepening the university’s partnerships and impact in the St. Louis region. He called for WashU to be “in St. Louis, for St. Louis—in our research, education, patient care and operations. That vision was translated into “Here and Next,” a bold strategic plan for WashU’s next era of impact, launched in October 2022.

In February 2023, Chancellor Martin hired an inaugural senior advisor for St. Louis Initiatives, Lisa Weingarth, who has worked in the social sector both at the local and state level for more than 20 years. “WashU looks forward to learning best practices and leaning into the technical support that CUMU can provide as we ramp up our In St. Louis, for St. Louis Initiative,” said Weingarth.

WashU’s departments and divisions are carrying out more than 130 community engagement and impact initiatives that are focused on improving the quality of life for St. Louisians.

Some highlights include:

  • As one of his first acts as chancellor, Andrew D. Martin announced the WashU Pledge, a bold new financial aid program that will provide a free undergraduate education to incoming, full-time Missouri and southern Illinois students who are Pell Grant eligible or from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less. The WashU Pledge covers the full cost of a Washington University education, including tuition, room, board and fees.
  • WashU’s new School of Continuing & Professional Studies launched this year to make a WashU education more accessible to the modern learner—working adults in the St. Louis region who are balancing work, family, and educational goals.
  • WashU is a founding member of the St. Louis Anchor Action Network (STLAAN), where the university is working alongside 10 other local organizations in coalition to reduce racial, economic and spatial inequities in the St. Louis region. STLAAN comprises universities, institutions, businesses, community leaders and other stakeholders committed to reducing inequities through increased employment, health and wealth-building opportunities.
  • WashU’s Diversity Supplier Initiative identifies and sustains opportunities for qualified diverse enterprises at the local, regional, and national level. With a new Diverse Owned Business Directory, Supplier Diversity collaborates with departments to discuss business development, training and support as well as diversity and construction management.
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and its more than 1,800 faculty physicians serve on the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Louis Children’s Hospital, and Siteman Cancer Centerall located on the Washington University Medical Campus. Additionally, our physicians deliver exceptional care to patients at 130 locations across eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. As a part of the Integrated Health Network and the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, WashU Medicine is working to build a stronger safety net for a healthier, more equitable St. Louis region.
  • The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, which foster a vibrant culture of civic engagement throughout Washington University by supporting students in turning their passions into action. Some examples of programming include the St. Louis Fellowship Program, which affords students the chance to work full-time nonprofit or civic internships engaged in experiential curriculum to understand St. Louis’ history, culture, politics, challenges, and opportunities and Engage Democracy, which educates students on the processes and civic skills needed to participate in a thriving democracy.
  • The Institute for School Partnership focuses on interconnected strategies to establish research-practice partnerships to transform schools like mySci K-5 and Math314, invest in development of professional capacity of educators, and equipping educators with implementation of ambitious STEM instructional materials and pedagogies to support equitable classrooms and learning experiences for students like Transformational Leadership Initiative and STEM Teacher Quality.
  • As WashU executes on its strategic plan, Here and Next, new St. Louis initiatives are on the horizon, including a new School of Public Health and St. Louis Confluence Collaborative for Community-Engaged Research, Teaching and Practice.

As WashU works to carry out the tenants of Chancellor Martin’s vision through the “Here and Next” plan, we anticipate many of our collaborative campus initiatives being engaged with CUMU including:

  • St. Louis Initiatives Team in the Chancellor’s Office
  • Here and Next strategic plan implementation team in the Provost’s Office
  • Office of the EVC of Administration
  • Community engagement centers and offices throughout the campus

Join us in welcoming Washington University in St. Louis to the CUMU membership.