Our Scholarship


Jeffrey Frank Wacks Scholarship: A Scholarship for Life

In 1998, the Wacks family established the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating painting major. Their purpose was to honor the impact that Washington University’s School of Art had on Jeff’s development as an artist and a person. Recognizing that the years after college were his most challenging ones as an artist, Jeff’s family believed they would honor him best by supporting young painters with the resources to continue their creative endeavors upon graduation.

Candidates are required to submit a visual portfolio and a proposal outlining their plans and objectives for how they would use the scholarship to further their creative efforts. The proposal must address the candidates’ past work and the impact it would have on their future as an artist. Professionals from the greater St. Louis art community participate as judges. Each year, a critic or curator is asked to review the submissions, choose the most promising candidate, and write an analysis explaining his or her choice.

“The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Scholarship was established in order to provide a succession of talented recipients with the means to start living and working in whatever creative path they choose to take during that crucial first year following their educational experience at Washington University.”
— Buzz Spector, Former Dean, College and Graduate School of Art, Sam Fox School of Art & Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art

In 2011, thanks to the efforts of Buzz Spector, former Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and his dedicated staff, a book was published featuring thirteen past recipients—who they are and where their talents have taken them. This exquisite publication is part of Washington University’s diverse portfolio of information. It attests to the high caliber of students graduating from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts and adds another dimension to the already high esteem of this stellar university and its faculty.

Today, with the assistance of Carmon Colangelo (Dean of Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts), E. Desmond Lee (Professor for Collaboration in the Arts), and Lynn Giardina (Executive Director of Development), the Wacks Family has chosen to expand the field and open the scholarship to all graduating seniors majoring in art.

“Jeff was not an artist because it was fun. He had something to say to this world — important things.”
— Arny Nadler, Associate Professor, Chair, Art, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and Chair, Undergraduate Art

The Wacks Scholarship is one of the most coveted awards presented each May during the College and Graduate School of Art’s Recognition Ceremony. It has brought Jeffrey’s family immeasurable pleasure, comfort, and inspiration.