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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Des Lee Collaborative Vision (DLCV) and what does it do?

The Des Lee Collaborative Vision is a project that links the expertise and resources at universities with educational, cultural and social service institutions in the community. Working through a select group of endowed professors partnering with community entities, the DLCV is able to enhance education, improve the quality of life throughout the St. Louis area and beyond, and create opportunities for traditionally underserved people.

How is the work of the DLCV accomplished?

The DLCV is made up of partnerships between the DLCV endowed professors and over a hundred community organizations. The professors unite their efforts with educational, cultural, governmental and social service institutions in the St. Louis-area and beyond. Specifically, the endowed professors work with one another, businesses, government agencies, community organizations and local school districts to address issues and share best practices.

Who are the DLCV endowed professors and what makes them unique?

The DLCV endowed professors are prominent scholars in their respective fields of study.  Unlike traditional university scholars whose primary obligations within a conventional university setting focus on research and teaching, DLCV endowed professors are equally devoted to spending their time working with community organizations and in partnership activities.

What is the history of the DLCV?

The Des Lee Collaborative Vision began as a mere question to former University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Blanche Touhill. Retired businessman and St. Louis philanthropist E. Desmond "Des" Lee asked how he could strengthen ties between the university and the community.

As a result, in 1996 Lee and Touhill announced the creation of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision: Connecting St. Louis through Educational and Community Partnerships. The effort would initially be underwritten by Lee and organized by Touhill. By the end of that year, there were twelve endowed professors and nine community partners. Most of the early professors had expertise in science education.  Throughout subsequent years, more professors were added to the DLCV. Though most were endowed by Des Lee, almost a third of the current 35 professorships were funded by other philanthropists interested in making a difference in the community.

What is Des Lee's personal philosophy?

E. Desmond "Des" Lee often stated, "Education is the key to all of our progress and all of our hope."