has announced gifts totaling $8 million from Maxine Clark and Bob Fox in support of community engagement programs and facilities at its .
A gift of $7.5 million to the , which will be renamed the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Policy Institute, will be used to ensure that the research being conducted by Brown School faculty is translated into effective policy and practice and that the school is a resource and gathering place for members of the St. Louis community. A second gift of $540,000 from the couple will advance the efforts of the and its Civic Scholars Program. In addition to the renaming of the policy forum, a space in Thomas and Jennifer Hillman Hall — the new Brown School building to be dedicated this fall — will be named the Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Forum in recognition of the gifts.
Clark founded , a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience that has grown to more than four hundred stores, in 1997. She is also a trustee of the university and a member of the Brown School National Council and the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship National Council. Fox is the owner and CEO of residential closet organizing business ., which he founded in 1984.
"We are truly grateful to Maxine and Bob for their vision to help advance the university's commitment to public policy and community engagement," said Washington University chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. "Their generous gifts will establish a gathering place for members of the Brown School, the university, and the greater St. Louis community, and will help open the doors of the Brown School to civic leaders, lawmakers, and active citizens. Maxine and Bob are both active and effective in making our community stronger, and their gifts will enable current and future generations of students, faculty, and staff to contribute to our community as well."