Washington University in St. Louis Emeritus Trustee and alumnus Robert Frick and his wife, Barbara, have made a gift to establish a pilot initiative at the university to encourage an understanding of, and commitment to, civil discourse, free and open markets, free speech, and personal responsibility. The multidisciplinary Frick Initiative will support a broad range of grants, opportunities, and university events in support of these areas over the next three years.

Frick Initiative Purpose and Goals

The Frick Initiative will provide seed funding for opportunities and events which, in a multidisciplinary context, encourage an understanding of and a commitment to the importance of:

  • Civil discourse,
  • Free and open markets,
  • Free speech, and
  • Personal responsibility.

Process and Procedures

  • Each applicant is encouraged to file an application (in letter form) fully explaining:
    • What is proposed, and how it fits with the purpose and goals of the Frick Initiative,
    • a proposed budget and timeline (not to exceed a one-year period),
    • a suggestion of the goals to be achieved by the program and ways to measure success.
  • Applicants may seek guidance from the co-conveners or a designated staff member by sending any questions (along with an email address or telephone number) to the following link.
  • Applications will be reviewed periodically by the Initiative’s steering committee. After each meeting, the committee will inform each applicant whether and at what level the application will be funded, and for what period. The committee may make suggestions regarding how to revise an application to make it more likely to be funded.
  • Each approved application with be reviewed periodically to assess compliance with its terms and the success, or lack thereof, in light of the Frick Initiative’s purpose and goals.

Initial Steering Committee Members

The Initiative will be led by Mahendra Gupta, the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management and former dean of Olin Business School; and Russell Osgood, dean of the School of Law. In partnership with a steering committee representing student, faculty and university leadership, they will have responsibility for funding allocation, sponsorship opportunities, and monitoring the program’s success.

  • Anne Marie Knott, the Robert and Barbara Frick Professor of Business at Olin;
  • Becko Copenhaver, professor of philosophy in Arts & Sciences; university trustee and Olin National Council member;
  • Jeff Fox, chairman and CEO of Harbour Group Ltd.;
  • Ryan McLaughlin, law student.

The committee also may recommend funding for course or research support, student experiential learning, internships, or community projects. An advisory committee, including Robert and Barbara Frick, will also provide input.