St. Louis – December 20, 2021 – Notion, LLC established a new endowment fund at Webster University to support the next generation of graphic design students, it announced today. With a $25,000 gift, the independently owned full-service creative agency pledged to support graphic design students in their endeavors to succeed in school and prepare for their future. The establishment of the in-perpetuity fund will expand opportunities for the next generation in the creative industry.
Located near Webster Groves, Notion is a recipient of the 2020 St. Louis Small Business Monthly Top 50 Small Companies in St. Louis award and has steadily grown from three to 25 team members in seven years. The endowed scholarship fund is a milestone in the agency’s growth and a testament to the firm’s commitment to partnership and its “how can we help” mentality.
Webster University is a non-profit private university established more than a century ago with the primary goal of offering an education to those who faced significant challenges in pursuing higher education. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, more than 94% of Webster University students receive financial aid, about one third of Webster’s undergraduate students qualify for Pell grants which indicates they come from low-income households, and more than 40% of Webster’s undergraduate reported they are the first person in their household to attend college.
“As one of seven kids growing up in a blue-collar household, I could not afford the type of education that Webster University offers and I struggled to stay in school,” says partner and executive creative director John Senseney. “Now that I’m on the other side, I’m passionate about investing in the future of the design community. Webster’s Graphic Design program nurtures great talent and my partners and I are eager to pay it forward and give students a little boost.”
“The impact of this endowed scholarship will have a lasting and profound effect on our students in the College of Fine Arts,” said Paul Steger, dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster. “We are grateful to the partners at Notion, LLC for providing this visionary support, for recognizing the excellence of our program, and the outstanding talent we attract.”
The economic impact on students in higher education was exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic as many, who worked part- or full-time, lost their source of income or had a parent who lost their job. Some students were forced to make difficult choices between continuing their education in a virtual setting or supporting their own lives and taking care of family members.
“During the pandemic, I learned that many of our students had challenges staying in school, mostly due to resource issues,” says Noriko Yuasa, Director of Graphic Design, Webster University. “They were under a lot of stress, and we tried to be as flexible and accommodating to their unique needs as possible. We encouraged students to stay in school, but the situation has been very difficult for those dealing with forces beyond their own control.”
Webster University’s graphic design program is ranked as one of the top design programs in the St. Louis region and many of its graduates go on to pursue successful careers in the arts and creative fields. The Notion Graphic Design Endowed Scholarship builds on the firm’s annual scholarship fund and its commitment to partnership, collaboration and doing what’s best for clients, employees and the community. It is Webster’s first graphic design-specific endowment and will support students with tuition, textbooks, equipment, professional development tools and other daily needs including meals and transportation.
“Investing in our industry by supporting our future colleagues is essential,” says Senseney. “We hope that this scholarship will help alleviate some of the stress that students are faced with and allow them to complete their degree and explore their creative calling.”
Notion is an independently owned full-service creative agency based in St. Louis, MO. Focused on strong collaboration, trusted client partnership and strategic design, the creative minds at Notion turn into ideas into reality. Notion supports B2B marketers and communications teams in six key areas: Brand Identity, Corporate Communications, Product Marketing, Sales Enablement, Thought Leadership and Data Visualization. Learn more at www.notionpartners.com.