John and Alison Ferring receive the Harris Award – The Source – Washington University in St. Louis – Washington University in St. Louis | Candle Made Easy

John and Alison Ferring were honored with the 2022 Jane and Whitney Harris St. Louis Community Service Award on June 8 during a luncheon at the Whittemore House.

The luncheon was hosted by Mary McKay, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Washington University in St. Louis. Also present was Michael Loynd, Chair of the Harris Awards Committee for 12 years.

“Alison and John, before I congratulate you, I want to first thank you,” McKay said. “Thank you for your decades of service to St. Louis and WashU and for advancing our mission with your time, knowledge, and resources.”

The Harris Award was established in 2000 in honor of the late Jane and Whitney Harris to recognize those who make significant contributions to the culture and well-being of the greater St. Louis community. Each year, the Harris Awards committee selects a St. Louis couple to receive the award.

The Ferrings were selected in recognition of their countless contributions to institutions and organizations in the St. Louis area.

About Alison Nichols Ferring

Alison Nichols Ferring has given her time and effort to support many local organizations.

She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Flance Early Learning Center since 2014 and on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Library Foundation since 2008. Ferring co-chaired the Library Foundation’s $75 million fundraising campaign from 2004 to 2010.

Ferring was a founding member of the Shakespeare St. Louis Board of Trustees and served on the Executive Committee of the Laumeier Sculpture Park Board from 2012 to 2021.

Their leadership and service are well known. In 2003 she was recognized as a St. Louis Woman of Achievement. She also received the 2010 Visionary Award from Grand Center Inc. and the 2015 Woman of the Year award from Variety the Children’s Charity.

Ferring served on the board of directors of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts from 2007 to 2021 and received the group’s 2018 Life Achievement Award. The non-profit organization works to develop visual artists and writers.

About John H Ferring IV

John H. Ferring IV has also served in numerous leadership positions for a variety of charities. Since 2017, he has served on the Board of Directors of Arch Grants, a Missouri-based nonprofit focused on economic development through entrepreneurship.

Ferring is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis (CAM) and served as Chairman of the Board from 2004-2007. He led CAM’s first foundation campaign from 2005 to 2007 and co-led the second campaign with Alison from 2015 to 2021.

He has served on the board of directors of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation since 2014 and works to maintain improvements made through the CityArchRiver project.

Ferring served on the Executive Committee of the Opera Theater of Saint Louis from 2012 to 2021. He also served on the board of directors of Jazz St. Louis from 2013-2020 and led the capital campaign for a new building from 2013-2014.

As Chair of the “Forever” campaign for Forest Park Forever from 2009-2018, he helped raise more than $130 million to complete much-needed improvement projects. He also served on the nonprofit’s board of directors from 2005 to 2017 and as its chairman from 2007 to 2009.

Ferring served on the Board of Commissioners of the Saint Louis Art Museum from 2010 to 2017; the board of directors of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation from 2005-2012; and was founding chairman of the Stadtmuseum from 1997 to 2002.

Together, the Ferrings served as honorary co-chairs of the Center of Creative Arts’ (COCA) $140 million capital campaign from 2017 to 2020. The campaign supported COCA’s mission of “Building Community Through the Arts”.

The couple is a well-known St. Louis philanthropist. They generously established the 2009 Ferring Family Chair for Pediatric Cancers and Related Disorders at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the 2010 Ferring Annual Award for Philanthropy at COCA, and the 2018 Ferring Family Foundation-endowed Executive Director Chair at CAM.

The Ferrings’ philanthropic work has been widely recognized. They received the 2009 Heart of Gold Award from St. Louis Children’s Hospital and an Excellence in Philanthropy Award from the Arts & Education Council.

Additionally, the Ferrings received the Kathryn Nelson Keeper of Forest Park Award for their numerous contributions to Forest Park Forever in 2017 and the Missouri Arts Award for their philanthropy from the Missouri Arts Council in 2019.

The couple have three sons: Nick, Will and Brooks.

Harris Award recipients are honored with a cash gift on their behalf to nonprofit organizations of their choice in the St. Louis area. The Ferrings award will support the Flance Early Learning Center, which strives to achieve excellence through “educating and nurturing young children, supporting families and strengthening communities.”

For more information about the award and how to submit a nomination, email

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