Stewart Bainum, Founder of Commonweal Foundation, Passes Away
Stewart Bainum, founder of the Commonweal Foundation, passed away peacefully February 12, 2014 at the age of 94.
A philanthropist, entrepreneur, business leader and innovator, Mr. Bainum and his wife Jane established the Commonweal Foundation in 1968 to support educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth.
“My father believed without reservation that with hard work and opportunity, students from even the most difficult circumstances could be successful in school, careers, and in their personal lives,” said Barbara Bainum, his daughter and current Chair, CEO and President of the Commonweal Foundation.
The Bainum Family and the Foundation staff appreciate your kind sympathy in this time of loss. The lives of many people were forever changed by his generosity. We are committed to maintaining his extraordinary legacy by carrying forward the mission of the Foundation with the same dedication that Mr. Bainum gave to his work and his life.
The Commonweal Foundation operates and supports educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth. The Foundation focuses on primary and secondary education.Our vision is that children living in poverty have the opportunity to break the bonds of their circumstance by gaining access to quality educational opportunities and services, and graduate from high school prepared to enter and succeed in higher education or pursue gainful employment to become contributing members of society.
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Be accountable and persistIn 1968, a Washington, DC area businessman founded the Commonweal Foundation to serve the community in which he had lived and thrived since 1937. First known as The College Foundation, Commonweal’s original purpose was to provide loans to financially needy students for college tuition. In the 1980s, the Foundation acquired its new name and a new focus: the support of secondary education. In 1988, Commonweal became one of the first local sponsors of the nationally acclaimed "I Have A Dream" program, promising college scholarships to nearly seventy elementary school students upon their completion of high school. Today, the Commonweal Foundation continues to provide educational and social support to financially needy students in the form of widely expanded services, including grants, scholarships, and learning assistance programs.