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About Bear Necessities

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Shop Where Your Dollars Support Scholars

Bear Necessities is a not-for-profit gift store on campus, operated by the Women’s Society of Washington University in St. Louis.  Proceeds from our store fund the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship Endowment. We carry a variety of dorm and office supplies as well as a large selection of WashU apparel and souvenirs. Many of our best sellers are available to buy in our online shop, but we look forward to seeing you in our campus store when you visit.

Remember Your Student’s Special Day

We offer birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookie cakes and balloons for any special occasion. Our Sodexo Bakery uses the finest ingredients and customizes each layer cake with hand decorations to insure a unique, flavorful cake. We also make balloon bouquets which may be added to your cake or gift purchase upon request.

About – Women’s Society of Washington University

The Women’s Society of Washington University (WSWU) – comprised of more than 500 volunteers and professional women – was founded in 1965 to cultivate ambassadors for WashU, provide support for the university community, and advance a reciprocal understanding of the needs and purposes of the university and the community.

The Women’s Society carries out its mission of service to the university and the community through its support of WashU programs, scholarships and lectures.

In 1996, the Women’s Society, in an effort to forward their mission, initiated several small businesses to serve students, faculty and staff. Today, the Bear Necessities gift shop is thriving as both a valuable service and an enterprise that supplies a large portion of the proceeds needed to support scholarships and undertake special projects.

About – Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship Endowment

In 1976, the Women’s Society established the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship which funds a two-year, full-tuition scholarship awarded annually to students graduating from a St. Louis Community College and transferring to Washington University in St. Louis.

The scholarship endowment is named in honor of Elizabeth Gray Danforth as an expression of gratitude and admiration for her service as first lady of Washington University for 24 years. She was a wife, mother, community volunteer, and valued partner of William H. Danforth, the University’s Chancellor Emeritus. Mrs. Danforth was an enthusiastic supporter of Washington University until her death in 2005; however, her selfless contributions will continue to change the lives of many Washington University in St. Louis students’ in the future.