St. Louis Executive and Renowned Philanthropist David L. Steward Selected for Prestigious Horatio Alger Award – Class of 2014
Horatio Alger Association to honor 12 prominent leaders who have demonstrated courage, fortitude and character in pursuing personal and professional success despite significant personal adversity
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that David L. Steward, co-founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc., will be inducted as a Member of this prestigious Association next spring. Mr. Steward joins eleven other outstanding business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor. Since its inception in 1947, this annual award has recognized exceptional leaders – all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education – who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success.
Born in Chicago but raised on a rural farm in Clinton, MO, Mr. Steward was the youngest of eight children in a home with no indoor plumbing. His work ethic was instilled as a young boy when he was responsible for milking the cows, feeding the pigs and removing ashes from his home’s pot-bellied stove. As a first grader, Mr. Steward became the first person of color to attend Clinton’s newly integrated elementary school in a town where his family was barred from public pools and not allowed to eat in white-only restaurants. Learning from his parents to forgive and be self-reliant, Mr. Steward attended Central Missouri State University where he earned a basketball scholarship, and graduated with a degree in business management. Mr. Steward was hired as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America and later became the first person of color to sell rail services for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. He worked for Federal Express from 1979 until 1984, when he launched Transportation Business Specialists and Transport Administrative Services, which leveraged his knowledge of the railroads. In 1990, Mr. Steward co-founded World Wide Technology, Inc. to distribute computer hardware, software and services to the federal government. Today, the company is the leading supplier of advanced technology solutions to the U.S. government with global operations and more than 2,300 fulltime employees. WWT has seen remarkable growth with expected revenues to exceed $6 billion in 2013, representing more than a $1 billion increase from last year.
“Mr. Steward’s accomplishments and work ethic perfectly reflect the principles of Horatio Alger,” said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “We speak often of the American Dream and no individual better captures the power of that dream than David Steward who has overcome adversity to achieve incomparable success and to serve as a role model for the power of perseverance.”
Mr. Steward is also an accomplished author and philanthropist. He serves as the Chairman Emeritus of Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, after having served four years as President. Mr. Steward is also President of the Central Region of Boy Scouts of America and a member of the Board of Curators for the University of Missouri System. In 2004, Steward authored, “Doing Business by The Good Book: Fifty-two Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible,” with a foreword written by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. Mr. Steward has been honored with the National Urban League’s Business Pioneer Award and the Dr. William D. Phillips Technology Award.
In accepting this honor, Mr. Steward commented, “My life has taken many unexpected turns but all have taught me valuable lessons and all have called upon my personal resilience. I am honored and blessed to be recognized by the Association for perseverance and personal and professional achievements. It is a blessing to be included among so many luminaries from the business, government and entertainment fields. I look forward to supporting the Association’s mission in any way that I can.”
Mr. Steward and his cohorts will officially be inducted as Members during the Association’s annual three-day induction ceremonies, which will be held in Washington, D.C. in April 2014. In addition to honoring these outstanding leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also recognize its 2014 National Scholarship recipients, providing an opportunity for Scholars and Members to meet and exchange stories of their respective perseverance and success.
In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately-funded scholarship programs for at-risk students in the United States and Canada. Funding for its scholarships, which annually provide more than $9 million to selected students in need, is wholly supported by private donations from Association Members and friends.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2014, please visit http://horatioalger.org/news_pr_members2014.cfm.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., fulfills its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. Horatio Alger Association supports students through annual undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships and mentoring programs across the United States and Canada. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $100 million in college scholarships to deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT) is a $6+ billion systems integrator that provides innovative technology and supply chain solutions to the commercial, government and telecom sectors. The company brings to market a powerful blend of knowledge, infrastructure and technology to help its customers evaluate, architect and implement technology products and solutions. Based in St. Louis, WWT works closely with industry leaders including Boeing; Dell; Cisco; EMC; HP; AT&T Inc.; VMware; Citrix Systems, Inc.; NetApp, Inc.; Microsoft and the U.S. Air Force. WWT employs over 2,300 people and operates more than 2 million square-feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space in more than 20 facilities throughout the world. For more information on World Wide Technology, visit www.wwt.com.
Edward Levens (For David Steward)
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.