ST. LOUIS – The board of directors of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation (TTEF) has elected three new board members: Mark W. Eggert of Centene Corporation, Pat Smith Thurman of 10th Street Gallery, and Dr. Gary Ritter of Saint Louis University.


In their roles as board members, Mr. Eggert, Mrs. Smith Thurman, and Dr. Ritter will support strategic planning, evaluation, and oversight of the Foundation’s mission. All elected board members have held many community leadership positions in the corporate and nonprofit sectors locally, nationally, and globally, and bring decades of expertise in their respective disciplines to benefit the mission of the Foundation.


Mark Eggert is the Senior Vice President of Contractual and Regulatory Affairs for Centene Corporation. Eggert’s portfolio includes extensive experience with legal and strategic challenges in the public, academic and business sectors, previously serving as Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel for Washington University in St. Louis and as Assistant United States Attorney, among other national leadership roles. Eggert is published author, accomplished speaker, and a decorated military veteran.


Pat Smith Thurman has held numerous senior level positions at national and global financial institutions including MasterCard Worldwide, Citicorp Information Resources, First Financial Bank, and Venture. Mrs. Smith Thurman is actively involved on several boards and committees, including St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and a former board member of the National Conference for Community and Justice. Mrs. Smith Thurman has been recognized nationally as one of 100 Women Who Make a Difference in Technology. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of 10th Street Gallery.


Dr. Gary Ritter is the dean of the School of Education at Saint Louis University. A widely published scholar, Ritter’s research interests include teacher training and evaluation, access to postsecondary education for low-income students, school governance and accountability, disparities in school discipline, and evaluating promising educational programs in economically disadvantaged areas. Ritter’s work has been published in numerous journals and outlets, including the Review of Educational Research, Education Finance & Policy, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Education and Urban Society, the Journal of Education Finance, and Education Next.


“On behalf of the board of directors of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation, we extend a warm welcome to Mark Eggert, Pat Smith Thurman, and Dr. Gary Ritter,” says TTEF Board Chairman Kevin Short. “As TTEF’s mission continues to grow and expand in service to thousands of St. Louis children and families, I am confident these esteemed local and national leaders will make an essential contribution to the TTEF mission, and our vision for the future.”


About Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation

The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation (TTEF) was founded in 1991 as a 501(c)(3) organization by a concerned group of corporate and civic leaders, and has grown into the 4th largest elementary school scholarship organization in the United States. Since its inception, TTEF has raised more than $125 million from local and national funding sources to provide need-based tuition assistance scholarships, enabling thousands of St. Louis children to attend the private or parochial elementary school of their choice. To learn more, visit