Pamella Henson
Pamella Henson

Every day, the people of Washington University are changing the world. Our faculty and students make groundbreaking discoveries to advance humanity and the planet. Our alumni launch entrepreneurial ventures to solve pressing societal challenges. Our clinicians provide life-saving patient care.

This work is made possible through the generous philanthropy and dedicated service of our global university community. On behalf of my team, I want to say thank you to our alumni, parents, and friends. 

Below are just a few of the numerous stories that illustrate the profound impact philanthropy has at WashU as well as the need for continued investment.  

Changing lives through visionary research: We are home to pioneering researchers who set the global standard for the kind of collaboration and big-picture thinking it takes to solve society’s most pressing problems — professors like Fred Ssewamala and Deanna Barch, who lead cross-disciplinary teams to tackle fundamental challenges to human health, namely poverty. We are ramping up efforts to recruit even more field-leading faculty as part of the research pillar of our 10-year strategic vision, Here and Next. Philanthropy helps us attract top candidates and provides essential seed funding for their work.

Working to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease: Our vast team has pioneered countless innovations to better understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease — predicted to afflict 16 million Americans by 2050 — and our end goal is to prevent it. Thus far, our advances include conducting the first Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial, identifying brain proteins that signal the disease, improving brain imaging techniques, and developing a blood test for early detection. The philanthropic investment of Charles F. and Joanne Knight has been critical to our leadership in the field.

Removing financial barriers to a WashU education: We are rapidly becoming a more accessible and inclusive place for talented students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Chancellor Andrew D. Martin has led a series of institutional commitments to enhance access and affordability over the last several years. In fall 2023, he announced a no-loan undergraduate financial aid policy that ensures all admitted students can obtain a world-class WashU education without going into debt. As evidenced by the incredible generosity of our donors to Make Way: Our Student Initiative, we trust that we will sustain these commitments now and into perpetuity by leaning on the strength of our philanthropic partnerships.

I invite you to learn more about our world-class people and programs, and to join us in preserving and advancing them. Your support makes all the difference.

Thank you for your partnership.


Pamella Henson
Executive Vice Chancellor, University Advancement