No Better Investment

Parents Roger and Amy Faxon on giving to Washington University

The idea that all young people deserve the opportunity to pursue a top-notch education is a cornerstone of the Faxon family’s philanthropic philosophy.

“Like all parents, we want our child to benefit from a rich and diverse college experience—including economic diversity,” says Amy Faxon, mother of Sara, Class of 2015. “A premier university like Washington University needs more than tuition dollars to continue providing programs and support for its students. There are many wonderful nonprofits to support, but what better investment is there than the institution at which your child has chosen to spend four years of her life?”

Roger and Amy Faxon knew their daughter had her heart set on Washington University from the very beginning. “Clearly, she wanted to get a strong education—one that would challenge her and help develop her intellectual capacity,” says Roger. “But she also wanted to be at a university that provided a warm and welcoming community. As all parents who are taking children around to visit colleges know, there is this kind of vibration that parents don’t always get, but that students do. And she definitely felt that at Wash U.”

The Faxons have always been strong supporters of education, so choosing to make a gift to the university was “an easy decision for us,” explains Amy. Roger and Amy direct half of their support to Sara’s school, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the other half to the Goldman Fellows Program in the Gephardt Institute for Public Service—a decision that speaks to the family’s passion for good citizenship. The couple worked hard to instill the values of volunteerism and civic engagement in Sara and her older sister, Emily. As elementary school students, both girls volunteered with a nonprofit called Children for Children (now GenerationOn), which helped young people from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds collaborate to assist others in need.

Sara continues to prioritize community service as a college student—volunteering as a tutor for at-risk youth in the Each One Teach One program offered through the Gephardt Institute. An anthropology major, Sara spent spring semester studying in South Africa. She also is active in Greek life, an avid photographer, and a member of Kuumba, a campus organization that showcases the creative ventures of students online.

“She’s found a wonderful and diverse group of friends, and she’s been able to reach out and find other parts of the community she enjoys,” says Roger. “Wash U has broadened Sara’s vision of the world, and will serve her well in any career she chooses. That’s important to us.”