Born in 1924, the Meyerhoffs matured during the Great Depression and World War II as members of a generation that believed in giving back to community and country. Their dedicated philanthropy has created a national legacy that spans the arts and sciences. After serving in the war, Robert Meyerhoff, a civil engineer and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, returned home to join the family construction business. He later left to establish Hendersen-Webb, a construction and property management company known for creating communities focused on quality and value. During this period, he and Jane Meyerhoff, a graduate of Goucher College, began to build the couples outstanding collection of post-World War II art, which they plan to donate to the nation as a gift to the National Gallery of Art.
While the Meyerhoffs contributions to education are many, perhaps the most significant is the Meyerhoff Scholars Program. What began as an initiative to address the underrepresentation of African American men in the fields of science and engineering has evolved into a diverse program that now includes men and women from a range of backgrounds who share the goal of advancing minorities in the STEM fields. A generation of talented graduates is now rising through the ranks of academe and the professions a cadre of young leaders committed to tapping the talents of all individuals to advance knowledge and discovery.
The Meyerhoffs have continued to support the program over time with scholarship endowment funds, The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chair in Biochemistry, and the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Science Fund, which supports teaching and research in the life sciences. In addition, the couples deep personal interest and pride in the Meyerhoff Scholars themselves has added a nurturing element that strengthens the experience.