The Development of One Life makes a Difference for Many
This Scholarship is established in memory of Marilyn and Morton Werner and the positive impact they had on the lives of others. Their lives exemplified kindness, community participation, leadership, entrepreneurship and advancing humanitarian values. This fund honors the ingenuity and industriousness that Marilyn and Morton brought to uplifting the lives of others.
The Egality Fund honors the role of human potential in creating a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. Egality acknowledges the imperative of dismantling systemic inequities and accelerating an ongoing leveling of society. This fund is for students who are motivated to advance systemic change through fields of study that involve civic engagement.
Marilyn Rudman Werner and Morton Thomas Werner
Marilyn and Morton were both born and raised in University City, Missouri in the 1920’s and 30’s. Drawn together by their vivacious spirits, humor, ambition, and creativity, they made their 25-year marriage a fun adventure. They brought gusto and a pioneering spirit to all their pursuits.
Both Marilyn and Morton grew up strongly connected to family and community. Morton and his two siblings were raised by their dedicated mother who sustained the family following her husband’s death when Morton was 6. Throughout his youth, Morton participated in the Boy Scouts, and was grateful for life-enhancing opportunities and inspiring relationships with scout leaders. In high school, he began developing his entrepreneurial acumen by working a sales job. Marilyn, the second of four daughters, assisted with the family laundry business at times, developing her bookkeeping acuity.
Marilyn and Morton were avid learners and understood education as a means for advancement in life. Morton attended Washington University on a partial scholarship and graduated in 1950, majoring in business administration. Marilyn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of Michigan in 1956 and received a master’s in social work from Washington University in 1958.
Marilyn and Morton began their newlywed life in 1958 with a few hundred dollars in their pockets. With the arrival of their first child, Morton furthered his education to become certified to sell commercial insurance. Marilyn devoted herself to family and supporting Morton to develop his career as an insurance broker. Morton became a partner and senior vice-president of Lawton-Byrne-Bruner in St. Louis. In 1968, Morton pursued an innovative idea presented by a colleague, and became a managing partner of Parcel Insurance Plan (PIP) that offered mid-sized companies low pre-paid insurance for shipment of parcels. Following Morton’s death in 1984, Marilyn effectively managed PIP. They both created fair and supportive conditions for their employees, and fostered a work culture of personal connection, fun and celebration.
Inspired by his work in the insurance field, Morton became an avid collector of fire marks and fire memorabilia and founded The Fire Mark Circle of the Americas. Most of his collection was donated to the St. Louis History Museum and the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters.
Marilyn and Morton lived lives of participation and contribution to business, social and civic organizations. Morton brought leadership and determination to succeed in all that he did, contributing unique ideas and an endearing sense of fun. His self-deprecating humor and genuine interest in others contributed to his charisma. Marilyn’s joie de vivre infused all her endeavors, encouraging others in a down-to-earth and graceful way. She was a devoted mother to her children, Susan, Jean and Ken, and a generous and loyal friend. After Morton passed, she directed the PIP business with savvy and fortitude and continued to engage in an active lifestyle.
Marilyn and Morton were deeply grateful for family, friends, and community and for the opportunities in their lives. They enjoyed giving of themselves and sharing resources with others and community organizations. Morton served as president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters and on the boards of the Eagle Scout Association, Talking Tapes Association, and Temple Israel. Marilyn was an ardent supporter of reproductive rights and women’s empowerment. She was recognized as Clayton Woman of the Year in 1980 for her contributions to civic activities, especially to the Clayton United Nations committee. Marilyn also contributed to the League of Women Voters, the Miriam Foundation, the Planned Parenthood Leadership Circle, and the National Council of Jewish Women.
In addition to providing for the educational pursuits of their children and grandchildren, they created several Designated Scholar Loan Funds at the Scholarship Foundation in honor of deceased family members. The Egality Scholarship Fund established in their memory grants support to students who are motivated to contribute to a more just, equitable and inclusive world.
Interested students should go to MyScholarshipCentral.org, follow the instructions to complete the General Application and then submit the supplemental application for the Marilyn and Morton Werner Egality Scholarship Fund. Completed applications and all required supporting documents must be submitted by April 17. Awards will be announced in June.