Webster University, founded in 1915 in St. Louis and home to campus locations around the world, received one of its largest single donations to date: a total of $1 million from Ladue residents Marianne and Peter Gleich.
The donation has funded the creation of the Gleich Honors College, where undergraduates, international and transfer students, and students at the private university’s international campuses will benefit from the expansion of learning and research opportunities.
Marianne Gleich received her degree in French from Webster University. Alongside her husband, Peter, she has established scholarships focused on French, study abroad programs and international business programs.
“We have always felt strongly that education is an extremely important aspect in everyone’s life,” Marianne and Peter Gleich expressed in the press release. “It is our belief that the Gleich Honors College will provide an opportunity to challenge Webster’s talented students today, as well as tomorrow."
The Gleich Honors College will feature a program that aims to be inclusive and diverse while connecting students to local, regional and international communities. Built on the existing Impact Scholars program, which provides students with opportunities to "strive for personal excellence in the service of social justice and community service," Gleich Honors College will be led by interim director Emily Thompson, who has served as Impact Scholars director and a French professor.
“With this gift, we can create an innovative version of an honors college that is globally inclusive and inclusive of students whose talents may develop during their college careers,” says Chancellor Elizabeth Stroble in the press release. “The Gleich Honors College will offer additional academic challenges, opportunities for purposeful community engagement, as well as pursuing research that spans various academic disciplines which can be broadly applied to issues of global significance.”
According to the release, the Impact Scholars Program has generated strong interest and loyal support for its ability to bring together students who desire to make a positive impact while continuing their education.
“This program is the most recent embodiment of the Gleichs’ vision for expanding exceptional educational opportunities for Webster students,” Stroble states. “Their generosity assures that Webster University continues to thrive as an institution that meets students’ needs and furthers their dreams.”
The Gleichs have shown longtime support to Marianne’s alma mater. In 2019, the couple received Webster University’s Visionary Award, which honors those who show a long-standing and farseeing dedication to the educational institution.
University President Julian Schuster expresses gratitude in the press release for donors’ visionary support, including that of the Gleichs. “The generous donation of Peter and Marianne Gleich creates rich opportunities and rewards [for] these students and greatly enriches their pursuit of knowledge, as well as their overall Webster experience,” he says.
In a written statement, Marianne and Peter Gleich add: “Our hope is that others will join in supporting this effort to enhance the quality of education, which is a long-standing hallmark of Webster University.”
Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, 314-246-7800, webster.edu