Scholarship America’s Jefferson Society
Leadership Giving to Create a Stronger America
As the author of the Declaration of Independence,Thomas Jefferson valued the extraordinary importance of education in a democracy. He knew that widespread education would forever be crucial to the success of the American experiment, writing in 1776 of the need to “Educate and inform the whole mass of people … No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness.” Scholarship America’s Jefferson Society takes these words to heart; corporate and individual members of this leadership giving society help ensure postsecondary success for students across the nation.
We encourage individuals and corporations who believe in Jefferson’s words to consider joining Scholarship America’s Jefferson Society. Your participation in this national network of committed philanthropic leaders will ensure that your gifts, voice and time are effectively and efficiently invested in local and national communities to maximize impact. To learn more about membership and benefits, please contact our development office at 800-642-7207. To give today and start your membership, click here.
About the Jefferson Society
Jefferson had faith in the “common man” and a person’s ability to elect wise and virtuous leaders when educated to do so. With this in mind, Jefferson wrote the Bill for Establishing a Public Library, and the Bill for Establishment of a System of Public Education, among others. And after inspiring the American Revolution, he went on to spur an educational revolution. The University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson, was a new kind of institution, dedicated to educating leaders in practical affairs and public service rather than for professions in the classroom and pulpit exclusively. It was the first nonsectarian university in the United States and the first to use the elective course system. Jefferson considered this act one of his greatest achievements.
Now, more than 230 years later, achieving education beyond high school is even more critical for all Americans. An increasingly complex economy and a rapidly changing global market require a skilled, educated workforce. Forecasts show that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will call for at least some postsecondary education. The financial cost of a higher education — resulting in student loan debt now exceeding $1 trillion — is a leading cause in the U.S. dropping from first in the world to 12th in the percentage of adults with degrees. Without significant changes, the U.S. will fall short by 3 million qualified workers.
Scholarship America’s Jefferson Society was formed to reaffirm Jefferson’s commitment to education, and to deepen understanding and commitment to Scholarship America, the nation’s largest private education support organization. The Jefferson Society recognizes individual and corporate philanthropic leaders throughout America who have devoted time, expertise, and financial support to help ensure that all students can access and complete their education beyond high school.