The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation 

sponsors of the

Stewart Stern Scholarship Fund 

Digital Media Innovation Lab at Pierce College

The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation was created in 2000 by Gary and Carol Milgard and their children Cari, Lori, and Mark who share a deep interest in and commitment to philanthropy.

Our goal is to support the work of a wide variety of organizations that serve our communities. We believe this is a way for the family to give back and continue to educate their descendants in the value of community service.

This Foundation supports well managed non-profit projects and programs that focus on the health of Pierce County.

Grants will be awarded to organizations that work to improve quality of life and impact a positive change in the community.

About Us

The Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation is a private philanthropic organization founded in Tacoma, Washington in 2000 by Gary and Carol Milgard and their three children; Cari Milgard-DeGoede, Lori Milgard and Mark Milgard.

Gary and Carol felt that this was a way for them to give back to the community which helped them to become so successful. In honor of their parents, the Milgard children are continuing this legacy by educating their descendants in the value of community service.

Although Gary Milgard was the founder of Milgard Manufacturing, Inc., there is no affiliation with the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation.


Stewart Stern

Stewart Stern Memorial & Scholarship Fund

Through a generous donation from The Gary E. Milgard Foundation, TheFilmSchool has initiated the Stewart Stern Memorial & Scholarship Fund. This fund will support writers and filmmakers in the pursuit of their craft.

An Ode to Stewart Stern:

Stewart SternStewart’s life was dedicated to leading us to that pure moment of self-discovery and showing us how important we are to this world. He called this the Personal Connection. His body of work exposed our human frailty and the capacity we have for healing. He co-founded TheFilmSchool over a decade ago to help artists find their way and teach them how to tell story. Stewart’s gifts will continue to be shared with the world through the stories crafted by his students and the curriculum he inspired. His work has impacted millions and we are all forever changed by his presence on this earth. With great love and admiration we say adieu and thank you Stewart Stern.

A few words from his students:

Those lucky enough to meet Stewart Stern and shake his hand were greeted with a genuine smile and a story to tell about meeting a living legend.  For those who took his classes you bore witness to a man bearing his naked soul so that they might do the same in their writing thus elevating it above the rest of the pack.  For those who were blessed enough to call him friend you received all of the above plus a bottomless pit of love, support and acceptance. For those not fortunate enough to know Stewart Stern, you can know him through his films because he poured himself into them.  He was the greatest man I have had the honor to call my friend.
– Brian McDonald, Student and TFS Story Instructor

Before I had the life-altering experience of being mentored by Stewart Stern at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, I had never known a teacher to work so hard, care so much and give so selflessly of his time in the service of someone else’s story – my little story. Thank you, Stewart, for sharing your gifts and talent with the world, but more importantly, for so bravely sharing yourself with us; your strengths and weaknesses as well as the joys and pitfalls of your fascinating life. You have the rare capability to touch everyone you meet. I feel so lucky to have been one of those people!
– Sydney Leigh Soliz, TFS Student