Remembering Joe Horning

Reflection by Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Higher Achievement CEO

Last week, Joe Horning passed away – after an accomplished career in local, community-minded real estate and intentional philanthropy.  Mr. Horning was a long-standing champion and former board member of Higher Achievement. Through bright times and challenging periods over many decades, Joe Horning stayed committed to Higher Achievement.  Notably, in 2000, when the organization was restarting after a pause in operations when we were particularly fragile, Mr. Horning made a multi-year investment to support a fundraising staff position, to support Higher Achievement’s future growth and financial sustainability.  In many ways, we owe our current scale and stability to his steadfast commitment.

His legacy was deeply felt by former board members.  In the words of Mary Maguire, current Emeritus Board member and Ward 4 mentor, “Joe Horning was a tireless champion of Higher Achievement. He believed in equity and opportunity with every fiber of his being and for years gave his talent, time, and financial support to ensure the program succeeded in its mission.  Along the way, he inspired many others to become active supporters of Higher Achievement.” Mary served on the board with him in the 1990s.

Personally, I remember meeting with Joe and his beloved family, including Lynne, Missy, and others in our basement conference room in NE DC while we were planning expansion to Ward 8.  His passion for serving the students and neighborhoods that need us most was readily apparent, and the Horning Family Fund made a generous, multi-year gift to support that growth. We are so grateful for his belief and generosity.  We are holding his family in the light.