From a young age, Carol Loeb wanted to become a teacher. Passionate educators enriched her experiences at school and at home. But it was in a junior high school math class that she experienced what she calls her aha moment. “My teacher was an imposing figure, but I realized she was incredible,” Mrs. Loeb says. “I wanted to be able to share my excitement about the subject like she did.”
Now more than five decades into a career as an educator, Mrs. Loeb’s enthusiasm for the profession is unchanged. She taught middle school and high school math for many years before becoming an SAT and ACT instructor at John Burroughs School and Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School. She and her late husband, Jerome, MA ’64, former chairman of the May Department Stores Co., also put education at the forefront of their philanthropy. Through gifts made together and after Mr. Loeb’s death in 2004, the couple has provided significant resources to enhance teaching and learning across Washington University.
Most recently, Mrs. Loeb made a $2 million commitment to endow the Carol B. and
Jerome T. Loeb Professorship in Medical Education. Eva Aagaard, MD, senior associate dean for education and professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, was installed as the inaugural holder of the professorship in June. Known for her leadership in physician education, Dr. Aagaard came to Washington University in 2017 from the University of Colorado, where she was associate dean for educational strategy. She is spearheading efforts to review and revise the School of Medicine’s curriculum.
“The impact of this gift is profound and timely,” says David H. Perlmutter, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of the School of Medicine. “The world of health care and biomedicine is advancing rapidly, and Dr. Aagaard’s tremendous efforts in curriculum renewal will ensure that the newest and most innovative ideas influence how we mold physicians of the future.”
The Loebs made their first gift to Washington University in 1965, a year after Mr. Loeb received his master’s degree in math from the university. In 2001, they endowed the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Colloquium in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Their focus shifted to the medical school a year later, when they established the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellows Program. They endowed a professorship in the Department of Medicine in 2004. Mrs. Loeb established a second professorship in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2009, and she has served on the School of Medicine National Council since 2010.
Mrs. Loeb says the couple’s dedication to the School of Medicine reflects their appreciation for the physicians who delivered exceptional care to their family over the years, including their daughter, Kelly, who required extensive treatment after she was born prematurely in 1968. “We wanted to ensure that medical students were trained to provide the same level of expertise and compassion that we received when Kelly was a patient.”
Her passion for teaching and education make Mrs. Loeb an exceptional role model for medical school faculty members, Dr. Aagaard says. “I will endeavor to live up to the example she sets through my work as an educational leader and teacher.”