An advocate for education with a passion for improving the world, Albert C. Stewart’s (A&S ’51) legacy gift to SLU will enrich the lives of SLU students for years to come.
One of the first black men to receive a doctoral degree from Saint Louis University, Albert C. Stewart (A&S ’51) was a veteran, educator, business executive, dean and life-long activist. Throughout his life, Stewart was an advocate for education: He earned the highest degree in his field, came out of retirement to work in higher education, and established a senior education program from his senior-living complex in Connecticut. Though he died in 2016, he and his wife Colleen left a legacy of pursuing knowledge and educating financially insecure youth that will enrich the lives of Saint Louis University students for years to come.
Created via a $1.5 million gift left to the University in Albert’s estate, The Albert and Colleen Stewart Scholarship benefits undergraduate students at SLU with demonstrated financial need. Named in honor of Albert and his late wife, Colleen, who he heralded as the love of his life and the person who always helped him realize his true potential, the scholarship made its first awards to 62 students at Saint Louis University during the 2018-2019 academic year.
“The Stewarts’ generosity is reflective of the mission of Saint Louis University, encouraging our students to pursue knowledge and fight for the greater good,” said Cari Wickliffe, assistant vice president and director of student financial services at SLU. “Their legacy will live on through the lives of their scholarship recipients for generations to come."
Albert Stewart worked hard throughout his life to break down barriers and advocate for opportunities for the underrepresented. He was one of the first black Navy Officers during World War II and eventually served as a lieutenant junior grade. Afterword, he continued to work for the United States government as a world-class chemist in a multitude of roles and departments throughout his career. Stewart broke down barriers and fought against segregation in schools. Later in life, both he and his wife undertook a number of roles in the education field and were advocates of education for young people.
“Drs. Albert and Colleen Stewart were among the most visionary educators that I had to good fortune to know,” said Dr. Allen D. Morton, retired dean and finance professor emeritus of Western Connecticut State University. “They were among the early advocates for experiential learning, with an emphasis on helping students develop innovative and inclusive solutions to challenges in school, life, and their fields of professional endeavor. This scholarship reflects the Stewarts’ lifelong commitment to helping students develop and realize their maximum potential and to ultimately pay it forward to others.”
Albert’s passion for improving the world was evident in everything he did. He served on the boards of more than three dozen major organizations and was a champion for education – especially for underprivileged families. Even after retiring for the second time, Albert still worked to bring education and learning to those without access: From his senior-living complex, he established a program that brought educators to the complex for discussions with seniors there who were eager to find intellectual stimulation and continue learning.
"We are incredibly proud to have alumni like Albert Stewart who want to help current students succeed in their college careers,” said Wickliffe. “We are honored by their dedication to Saint Louis University, its students and the pursuit of knowledge.”