Andy prioritizes giving back to the university in multiple ways. He is a longtime WashU volunteer who currently serves on the national Eliot Membership Committee as well as the New York Eliot Membership Committee. He and Andi are Life Eliot Society members at the Eliot Fellow level who have supported athletics, the Skandalaris Center, and the construction of Sumers Rec Center, among other areas. The couple’s philanthropic interests at WashU also include entrepreneurship and leadership. They have two children and three grandchildren, and they reside in the greater New York area.

What inspired you to get involved with Washington University?

When I came to Washington University from Brooklyn, I ended up having a terrific experience as a student. I played football. I ran track. I was the vice president of Bearskin Follies and a member of Thurtene. Also, academically, Washington University prepared me for my future. So the university was always very important to me. Once I went back to New York, I became chair of the New York chapter of the alumni organization, and I was on the initial Alumni Board of Governors. I co-chaired reunions. Being involved with the university has really been engrained in my psyche for a long time.

How did your wife’s involvement with the university start?

Andi and I have been married for a thousand years, and we see eye to eye. We have a common commitment to the causes we support. While my wife did not go to Washington University, she’s become very involved. In 2006, she was a visiting professor for a semester and taught entrepreneurship to liberal arts students. She’s worked with Washington University PhD candidates who don’t want a career in academics. She’s been on panels and given talks. So, we’re in with both feet.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering for WashU?

What I say is, “Look. You had a great experience at Washington University. Academics, socially, student activities … It’s time to give back.” When you volunteer, you develop a continuous relationship with the university. But you know, giving back is funny: some people feel it and are excited to do it. For me, it’s been a very important part of my life.

Andi and Andrew Simon in Greece

Tell me about your experience with the WashU Alumni Travel Program.

My wife and I like to travel, and one of the nice things about the WashU program is that you travel in small groups. The guides on the trips are terrific, and it’s so nice to go on a trip when you know the people. We’ve been to 37 countries. With WashU, we were able to go to places we hadn’t been before: the Galapagos, Normandy, Australia. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again.

What motivates you to support Washington University financially?

I believe you have to give back. And I think you can give back in small ways to 40 different organizations, or you can give back in a much larger way to one or two organizations. So, I’ve made the decision over time to give back to Washington University, and that’s where I want to put my efforts.

What changes at WashU since you were a student excite you?

First, the university has moved from being just “The Harvard of the Midwest” to being a strong academic institution with a great reputation. Second, these new scholarship programs are terribly important. When I went to school, it was $450 a semester, and now tuition alone is over $60,000 a year. So, supporting scholarships is vital. Also, I think the work Dr. G (Anna Gonzalez, vice chancellor for Student Affairs) is doing is critical. The university is concerned with the overall health of the students, and I’m talking about both mentally and physically. I think the resources the university has put into athletics and health is also terrific. There’s a much greater interconnection at WashU today than there was even 25 years ago. Finally, the physicality of the Danforth campus is dramatic. There’s not a person who ever visits the university who doesn’t say this is a terrific campus.