With the gift, UMSL will establish the David and Thelma Steward Institute for Jazz Studies, enhancing its ability to recruit and cultivate students interested in jazz, including those from underrepresented minority communities from St. Louis and beyond. To that end, the gift will support scholarships, artists-in-residence, travel funds for jazz educators and performers, and a summer jazz camp for high-potential jazz instrumentalists in grades 7-12.
"UMSL is grateful for the tremendous generosity of the Stewards," said UMSL chancellor Tom George. "For fifteen years, I've had the privilege of knowing David and Thelma Steward, and one of our shared interests has always been jazz. Our jazz studies program has seen tremendous growth under the leadership of Jim Widner, and with the help of the Stewards' philanthropy we will be able to take it to even greater heights for the benefit of our students."