Mary and Joe Stieven receive UMSL award for philanthropy

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Joe Stieven (right) accepts the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy along with his wife, Mary (gold dress), at the 2018 Founders Dinner on Oct. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton. (Photos by August Jennewein)

West St. Louis County residents Mary and Joe Stieven are the 2018 recipients of the E. Desmond and Mary Lee Medal for Philanthropy, established by the University of Missouri–St. Louis to honor individuals and organizations whose incredible generosity had the potential to transform lives and communities.

The award was presented during UMSL’s annual Founders Dinner Oct. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Missouri. More than 750 alumni, donors, supporters and faculty attended the gala event.

Joe and Mary Stieven, Lee Medal

Mary Stieven displays the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Medal for Philanthropy awarded to her her and husband Joe Stieven while flanked by UM System President Mun Choi (left) and UMSL Chancellor Tom George at the annual Founders Dinner on Oct. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton.

Joe Stieven, president, chairman and CEO of Stieven Capital Advisors, graduated from UMSL in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree and in 1985 with an MBA. The couple’s oldest son and son-in-law have also earned MBAs from UMSL and their youngest son, Michael, is currently studying in the UMSL/WUSTL Joint Engineering Program. Joe also serves on UMSL’s Chancellor’s Council.

“Individually and collectively, Des and Mary Ann were two of the most philanthropic people St. Louis has ever witnessed,” Interim Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Beth Krumm said. “Tonight … I am delighted to say … we are honoring a couple cut from the same cloth.”

Krumm said the couple has committed more than $5 million to support UMSL students and help address some of the university’s most pressing needs, including:

“Mary and I are so humbled,” Joe Stieven said. “We believe so much in this institution – for what it’s meant to our family and to the greater St. Louis area as a whole.”

Joe Stieven said he is especially proud of the recognition because of its affiliation with Des and Mary Ann Lee, who set the standard for “random acts of kindness” with their philanthropy, advice and support of individuals and organizations throughout the region.

Krumm thanked the couple for their considerable support of UMSL, pointing out that they, too, had demonstrated broad reach in the community through their own “random acts of kindness” to institutions such as the BJC Foundation, Mercy Health Foundation, Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Louis University High, Chaminade College Prep, St. Joseph’s Academy and Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.

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