Gene and Connie Kahn generously established this challenge to encourage increased support for the Brown School Annual Fund.

Each year, tuition and income from the endowment cover only a portion of Washington University’s operating revenue. The Annual Fund is essential to help bridge this gap and provide discretionary funds to be used directly by the dean for important priorities that remain unfunded. The Kahn Family Challenge benefits students in the Master of Social Work, Master of Public Health, and Master of Social Policy programs. 

How the challenge works

The Kahn Family Challenge will match all new and increased annual gifts and multi-year commitments to the Brown School Annual Fund, up to $50,000 per year. 

Gifts to this fund provide annual credit toward membership in one of the university’s giving clubs. Your recognition level is based on your gift and will not include the challenge matching dollars.


Emilie Docter FanSenior Associate Director of Advancement, Brown School

About the Kahn Family 

Gene Kahn is a former chief executive officer of Claire’s Stores, Inc. and a former chairman and CEO of the May Department Stores Company. Mr. Kahn is a member of the Washington University Board of Trustees and has served on multiple board committees. He is the immediate past chair of the Brown School National Council and serves on the Institute for Public Health National Council. He is a member of the board of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he chairs the Washington University School of Medicine Relationship Committee, and he also serves on the board of the Goldfarb School of Nursing in St. Louis. 

Gene and Connie Kahn

Connie Kahn is active with St. Louis cultural and charitable organizations and continues to be involved in the community. She is an honorary member of the Women’s Society of Washington University.

Their daughters, Amanda and Jodi, give back to their communities, New York City and Dallas, as well as their alma maters, Georgetown and Villanova Universities, respectively. The Kahns are Sustaining Charter members of the Danforth Circle Chancellor’s Level and Life Members of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. 

Annual Fund Levels of Recognition* 

Annual Fund Donor


Century Club Member
Century Club Fellow
Deans Committee


William Greenleaf Eliot Society 

Eliot Society Member


Eliot Society Fellow**


Eliot Society Benefactor**


Eliot Society Patron


Danforth Circle 

Dean’s Level


Chancellor’s Level

$50,000 or more 

Your gift to Washington University is tax deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. and Canadian law. 

*Your recognition level is based on your gift and will not include the challenge matching dollars. 

**Donors may establish a named annual scholarship for each gift of $5,000 or more. Undergraduate alumni who have graduated in the past five years and graduate and professional alumni age 35 and younger who have graduated in the past five years may establish a named annual scholarship with each gift of $2,500 or more.