Stephen Girard - The Forgotten Patriot
The Stephen Girard Awareness Initiative

It is often said that “history repeats,” and who could argue with a notion whose truth has been so consistently demonstrated? But as destined as it is to repeating, history has also been guilty of forgetting.
There are legions of defining moments in our past that are not in our history books . . . countless acts of courage and self sacrifice that have gone unrecorded, from heroes who have gone unacknowledged.
On occasion, a true giant is forgotten— someone who changed the course of history, but whose name today is barely known and whose accomplishments are little remembered. One such giant was a man called Stephen Girard.
Girard, a French sea captain, came to this country at an auspicious time and in an auspicious place: 1776, in Philadelphia. Literally and figuratively, he found himself on a global stage. The history of the United States of America was just beginning to be written and the whole world was watching. Girard would go on to play a major role in that history, but the reward for his contributions has been relative obscurity.
The Stephen Girard Awareness Initiative seeks to correct this unfortunate oversight of recorded history. If the definition of “patriot” is one who loves, supports, and defends his country, Girard’s name should be enshrined. Sadly, it isn’t. We cannot, of course, rewrite history. However warranted it may be, we cannot go back and insert Girard’s name and the descriptions of his deeds into the chronicles that relate the defining moments in the early development of our nation.

indentRather, our Initiative strives to introduce Stephen Girard’s name and his extraordinary humanitarian, patriotic, and philanthropic accomplishments through education, the use of news and history print and broadcast channels, the Internet, and social media. This website is the touchstone of that effort.
indentThe Stephen Girard Awareness Initiative is a project of the Girard College Alumni Association — fitting sponsors, since we are all men and women who have benefited by receiving a full room and board scholarship education from the Girard College for Orphans, the school Stephen Girard founded in 1848 for socially and economically compromised children. Girard’s bequest to build and perpetually operate the school remains to this day as one of the greatest acts of philanthropy in the history of America.
indentWe would very much like to hear from you about our Initiative and to have your support for what we are attempting. You have already helped by visiting the website and reading this message. You could help even more by telling others about this site. And you could get further involved, if you are so inclined, by funding our activities. The Stephen Girard Awareness Initiative is a tax-deductible donation, non-profit organization.
indentHowever you choose to help, you have our deepest appreciation.