The people, organizations, and critical events that have shaped our world view and investment philosophy. For us, it's never just been about businesses. We are from an incredible legacy of smart, determined, and community orientated folks looking to make a difference in the world they live in.
In 1895, Julius Rosenwald becomes a partner in Sears, Roebuck, and within a year is named Vice-President. He grows annual sales from $750,000 to $50 million. In 1908, Rosenwald is named President of Sears, Roebuck.
After meeting Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald joins the Board of Directors of the Tuskegee Institute in 1912, a position he would hold for the rest of his life. In 1924. A generation later, his son-in-law, Edgar Stern would also be elected to the Board.
In 1912, Edgar Stern is elected to the New Orleans Parish School Board and the Charity Hospital Board. In 1915 he becomes President of the New Orleans Association of Commerce, and one year later is appointed Director of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. In 1926, Edgar Stern will run for and win Presidency of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange. At 27, he is the youngest person to hold this title.
Inspired by his meeting with Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald funds the construction of six schools for African-American students in rural Alabama in 1912, including the New Hope Rosenwald School in Fredonia, Alabama. Over the next two decades, more than 200 Rosenwald Schools were built throughout the United States.
Rosenwald establishes the Rosenwald Fund, “for the well-being of mankind,” with all funds being spent on philanthropic causes. Edgar Stern eventually becomes a trustee. By 1948, the fund would be exhausted. In total, $70 million funded public schools, colleges, universities, museums, Jewish charities, and African-American institutions.
The economic impact of World War I drains Sears, Roebuck. Rosenwald pledges $21 million in personal cash, plus personal stocks and assets, to keep the company out of bankruptcy. Sears regained financial stability in three years.
Julius Rosenwald receives a special gold medal from the William E. Harmon Awards for Distinguished Achievement in Race Relations for his contributions to the education of African-American youth. He also becomes the President of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
The Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments, one of the first mixed-use housing developments in America, is built in Chicago, using a $2.7 million investment from Rosenwald. Free Hills Rosenwald School is built in Free Hill, Tennessee.
On Edgar Stern's recommendation, the Rosenwald Fund writes to U.S. President Herbert Hoover to suggest that the welfare of African-Americans, particularly regarding unemployment, "be included in the matters to which the President and his advisors are giving attention."
Dillard University is chartered by historically Black colleges Straight University and Union Normal School/New Orleans University. Edgar Stern serves on the Board of Trustees. Main campus construction will begin in 1934 and classes will begin a year later. In subsequent years, the school year will traditionally end in a deficit, which Stern will help cover from his personal funds. Additionally, the Stern Family Fund makes possible the construction of the school's auditorium and gymnasium, the Stern Science Hall, assorted building improvements, and a $3 million endowment, which is later increased to $4.5 million.
Flint-Goodridge Hospital in New Orleans (formerly the Phyllis Wheatley Sanitarium and Training School for Negro Nurses) comes under the purview of the newly formed Dillard University. The 80-bed Flint-Goodridge Hospital will open in 1932. The Hospital will provide unprecedented opportunities for African-Americans to become medical providers.
Edith Rosenwald Stern and Edgar Stern establish the Stern Fund, with the stipulation that the fund would go out of existence in 50 years. The Stern Fund closes down in 1986, having disbursed $25 million.
The Sterns diversify WDSU Broadcasting Services by creating the Royal Street Corporation. RSC goes on to invest in luxury hotels and resorts, charter airplane services, brewing companies, and restaurants.
Edgar B. Stern, Jr. develops the Royal Orleans hotel on the site of the former St. Louis Hotel in New Orleans, commencing a legacy of hospitality and "experience" investing. In 2008, the Royal Orleans would become the 345-room Omni Royal Orleans.
Edgar B. Stern, Jr. develops Oakland Shopping Center in the New Orleans metropolitan area. It is the one of the first shopping malls in the country to feature air conditioning.
Edgar B. Stern, Jr. moves to Aspen, Colorado. He purchases Treasure Mountains Resort and transforms it into Park City Resort. He also develops the Starwood residential subdivision and the Red Mountain Ranch.
The New Orleans States-Item names Edith and Edgar Stern New Orleans' leading philanthropists of the past hundred years, further noting, “every city should have its own Sterns.”
The Discovery Garden, a one-half acre educational and interactive garden for children of all ages, opens in the garden of Longue Vue, the former home of Edith and Edgar Stern.
Royal Street Ventures, an investment fund focused on entrepreneurship, is created out of the Royal Street Innovation and Investment Corporation. The company is headquartered in Park City, Utah.