NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Dimensional Fund Advisors
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Arts (music) & Culture, Policy
OVERVIEW: Rex Sinquefield cofounded and serves as president of Show-Me Institute (SMI). He's also a life trustee of DePaul University and serves on the boards of the Missouri Botanical Garden, among others. His wife, Jeanne, is a director of the Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience Foundation, serves on University of Missouri's Steering Committee and is an active musician in the Columbia Civic Symphony Orchestra and the Folk String Orchestra. The couple also runs a center for chess and education.
BACKGROUND: Rex Sinquefield earned a business degree from Saint Louis University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. He went on to develop some of the nation’s first index funds and formed Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1981. After retiring in 2005, Sinquefield returned to Missouri.
EDUCATION: The core of Sinquefield's education philanthropy is revealed through the Show Me Institute. For years, the institute has been attempting to set Missouri education policy, producing materials claiming to show the benefits of ending teacher tenure and enacting vouchers in the form of "tuition tax credits." The general theme here is privatizing education and eliminating teachers' unions. The Sinquefields have also supported Teachgreat.org, which was organized to promote the teacher-tenure initiative petition.
In 2007, the couple also founded the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, where newcomers can learn the game and gurus can compete in local and national tournaments. Sinquefield has also been a steady funder of his alma mater, St. Louis University and of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where Jeanne serves on the steering committee.
The couple has also been a steady funder of the Boy & Girl Scouts of America; Jeanne has a long history with the organization, having served as a den mother, chair of a boy scout troop, a district chairperson, and council board member. In conjunction with the Great Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation sponsors the Sinquefield Invention Lab, to "give Scouts and students hands-on experience with 'maker' technologies while encouraging creative thinking and the development of problem-solving skills, creativity and imagination in a team environment."
ARTS & CULTURE: Jeanne, an avid musician who plays in several symphonies, appears to be key in this area of the couple's philanthropy. She has been involved in several projects in cooperation with the University of Missouri-Columbia, starting back in 2005 with the Creating Original Music Project and later the Mizzou New Music Initiative (MNMI). The couple gave $10 million to help create a new School of Music building at University of Missouri. To date, the Sinquefields have provided more than $15 million to the university, including nearly $4.5 million in support the MNMI. As well, the couple have supported the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Shakespeare Festival, and the St. Louis Art Museum.
HEALTH: Jeanne is a director of the Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to Neurofeedback. In addition, she helped develop and fund the neurofeedback research for the treatment of autism at the University of Missouri.
LOOKING FORWARD: While it's tough to get a handle on whether or not the couple's philanthropy is deepening, they're certainly passionate philanthropists with a few key interests. The foundation's website directly states that the couple "have dedicated their retirements to helping future generations." Education and the arts are a top priority. For K-12 education, Sinquefield's ideologies appear to be the guiding force. The couple's dedication to the University of Missouri, moreover, has served as the locus of a lot of the key areas that they're interested in—arts, education and health.