Posted on Jul 28, 2013 in Alumni News and News
Jennifer Ford Reedy, c’95, possesses not only the rare ability to think beyond her circumstances and imagine a better world, but also the wherewithal to make it happen. The former University honors student and Truman Fellow made public service her life and in the process helped to raise millions of dollars in charitable giving.
Reedy is now the president of the Bush Foundation, a Saint Paul, Minn., grant-giving organization founded by 3M executive Archibald Bush. Reedy says that building self-determined communities is key–a lesson she learned during her graduate work at the University of Chicago and working in the city’s South Side. “I realized that you couldn’t bring those neighborhoods back through social services,” she says. “You have to actually have jobs. You have to have an economy. You have to have housing that people want to live in. I realized the importance of business in society and the role that business plays in having healthy communities.”
Reedy then raised the bar for charitable giving in Minnesota with giveMN.org, an online giving platform. The site has raised more than $66 million for area non-profits since 2009. “There are lots of different ways to do public service,” she says. “But the theme of public service has been constant in my life.”
–Adapted from story in Kansas Alumni magazine, No. 1, 2013, written by Lydia Benda