Education Initiatives

Applications for the 2014 David M. Rubenstein/Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Scholarship Program are no longer being accepted.

Applications for the 2014 Philip M. Dearborn Fellowship are no longer being accepted.
Applications for the 2014 Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Fellowship are no longer being accepted.

The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. is one of the most significant private sector financial supporters in the metropolitan region of scholars seeking higher education opportunities. The Club grants about $500,000 each year in scholarships to graduating seniors in D.C. public schools and fellowships to doctoral candidates attending area graduate schools.

The high school scholarship program supported by the Economic Club is one of the few large-scale scholarship initiatives dedicated exclusively to students attending public schools and public charter schools in the District of Columbia. Nearly 50 students from all participating D.C. public schools, including more than a dozen public charter schools, were awarded scholarships of $10,000 each in 2013.

The Economic Club also awards $30,000 annually in fellowships to graduate students. The Phillip M. Dearborn Fellowship and two fellowships named in honor of past Economic Club president Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., are presented each year to doctoral candidates pursuing degrees in the fields of economics, finance, and business. Each of the fellowships is for $10,000.

Support for higher education in the Washington metropolitan area has been a community engagement priority for the Economic Club since its founding in 1986. Currently, the Club’s Education Initiatives are directed by Jeffrey Eisenach, Vice President–Education.


Education Initiatives History

Support for higher education in the Washington metropolitan area has been a community engagement priority for the Economic Club since its founding in 1986. Club members recognize that there are few more important contributing factors to the economic well-being of the United States than a well-educated population.

Just four years after the Club was founded, a fund was established in 1990 to award fellowships to students pursuing advanced education degrees in the fields of economics, finance, and business. By 1993, the Club was awarding $20,000 in fellowships to two students pursuing master’s degrees in the amounts of $5,000 each and one doctoral candidate who received $10,000. The doctoral candidate fellowship was awarded in the name of Philip M. Dearborn, a leading national authority on urban finance, intergovernmental finance, and regional economic development who was particularly well regarded for his analyses of the financial condition of Washington, D.C., and the Washington metropolitan area.

The two fellowships awarded to students seeking master’s degrees had evolved and doubled by 2009 into two doctoral fellowships of $10,000 each. They were renamed that year in honor of Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., the Economic Club’s immediate past President. According to current President David M. Rubenstein, the fellowships were re-designated in Mr. Jordan’s name because, “During his tenure as President of the Economic Club, Vernon Jordan significantly increased the Club’s value as a critical forum for the exploration of the most important economic and financial issues of the day. He never lost sight of the importance of maintaining the Club’s strong ties to the local community. We could think of no greater way to honor his contributions than to name this fellowship program for him.”

Also in 2009, President Rubenstein, who is Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of The Carlyle Group, established the David M. Rubenstein/Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Scholarship Program in the Club’s name. This program is one of the few large-scale, privately supported scholarship initiatives dedicated exclusively to students graduating from D.C. public schools.

Initially, the David M. Rubenstein/Economic Club of Washington, D.C. Scholarship Program awarded individual scholarships of $5,000 to 32 graduating seniors enrolled in Washington, D.C. public schools. The program has grown in size and scope in each subsequent year. The largest expansion of the program to date occurred in 2012. In that year, President Rubenstein substantially increased his financial contribution to the program, enabling a doubling of the individual scholarship awards to $10,000 and an increase in the number of recipients to 44. That number jumped again in 2013 with 47 D.C. public school seniors receiving scholarships. Through 2013, President Rubenstein and the Economic Club have awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships to almost 200 graduating seniors.