2012 Unsung Hero Steven Rosenblum to receive special honor from WashU


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

This week, the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law is honoring a few of their own, including Steven Rosenblum, the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Initiatives. Rosenblum, his wife, Andrea, and three sons, Myles, Spencer and Henry, are members of both Kol Rinah as well as Central Reform Congregation. Rosenblum grew up in St. Louis, attending Parkway Central High School (’85), and was bar mitzvahed and confirmed at Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel. In 2012, Rosenblum was honored by the St. Louis Jewish Light as an Unsung Hero.

Rosenblum is receiving The Distinguished Law Alumni Award, which honors alumni who have obtained distinction in their professional or academic careers.

Steven Rosenblum’s path to and from WashU Law

Rosenblum received his Bachelor of Arts from the History Honors College at the University of Texas in Austin and then attended Washington University Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree.

“I went to law school because I thought I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney like my uncle Irl Baris, who had a prominent practice in that area, but then I worked for a criminal defense attorney after my first year of law school and realized it probably wasn’t for me,” said Rosenblum.

In his last year of law school, Rosenblum went to Washington D.C. to work for Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and decided his path would take him either to politics or higher education.

“From there I worked for one year in the admissions office as a traveling recruiter for WashU law school and then went back to DC and worked for three election cycles for a political consulting firm that raised money for Democratic senate, congressional and gubernatorial candidates across the country.

In the late 1990s, Rosenblum moved back to St. Louis and worked for the St. Louis Symphony and the University of Missouri-St. Louis before joining WashU in 1999, working in the Office of Planned Giving until 2005.

“I joined the St. Louis Zoo in 2005 as Director of Planned Gifts to help create and fund a new endowment and stayed there until 2013, when I returned to WashU as Executive Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences, then Assistant Vice Chancellor and now Associate Vice Chancellor,” said Rosenblum.

Steven Rosenblum: Devoted to helping

Rosenblum has devoted his life and career to advancing cultural, educational and charitable institutions in the St. Louis region through both his longstanding career in nonprofit fundraising and his extensive volunteer service with a wide variety of civic organizations.

Rosenblum currently serves on several boards of directors, including the Parents as Teachers National Board, where he serves on the Executive Committee and is Chair of the Fund Development Committee; the Crown Center for Senior Living, an independent living apartment complex for low-income seniors, where he currently serves on the Council of Life Members;  and the Clayton Community Foundation.

The award he is receiving from WashU is to honor distinction in his career, but for his community, Rosenblum and his work represent something more.

“To me, success is being a part of something bigger and helping to improve the lives of others. I feel the vision and mission of WashU closely align with these goals,” said Rosenblum. “I think that growing up Jewish helped me understand the importance of education and questioning things, both of which have been part of my path to success.”

This year’s School of Law Distinguished Alumni Awards will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, April 8 at WashU’s Anheuser-Busch Hall (in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom), with a reception to follow.

Steven Rosenblum chats with Nikki Goldstein, executive director of Crown Center for Senior Living. Rosenblum serves on the Council of Life Members of Crown Center, where he continues to volunteer and serve on the board. Photo: Kristi Foster