Donald M. Stewart, 81

Donald Stewart, former head of Community Trust, dies

Herald staff report

Donald M. Stewart
(photo courtesy of Spelman College)

Donald M. Stewart, who was chief executive of the Chicago Community Trust from 2000 to 2005, died April 7 in Chicago. According to his son, the cause was a heart attack.

Stewart was born in Chicago in 1938, and he attended Hyde Park High School. He was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from Grinnell College in 1959, and he earned advanced degrees from both Harvard and Yale. He went on to become a life-long advocate and administrator in the field of education.

In 1976, Steward was named president of Spelman College, an historically black women’s college in Atlanta. After a successful 10-year career at Spelman, Stewart left and took over the College Board, a nonprofit organization that administers the Scholastic Assessment Tests (SAT).

Stewart retired from the College Board in 1999, and in 2000 he became head of the Chicago Community Trust. While there he supported a charter school program called Urban prep Academies.

Stewart served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago from 2005 to 2011. In 2010, President Obama named him to the Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Stewart is survived by his widow, Isabel, and by their three sons and eight grandchildren.



  1. Donald M. Stewart

(photo courtesy of Spelman College)