Trustees receive updates on BioMed 21, University athletics

The University’s Board of Trustees met Dec. 5 and heard reports about the status of BioMed 21 — a $300 million biomedical science initiative — and the University athletics program, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

The trustees also elected Harry J. Seigle, president and chief executive officer of Seigle’s Home and Building Centers Inc., as an Ethan A.H. Shepley trustee for a four-year term.

Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, gave an update on the recently announced BioMed 21. Shapiro reviewed future plans for the strategic initiative, which will bring new knowledge of the human genetic blueprint to the patient’s bedside and change how illnesses are understood, diagnosed and successfully treated.

BioMed 21 will include faculty from the schools of Medicine, Engineering & Applied Science and Arts & Sciences.

Director of Athletics John M. Schael co-presented a report on University athletics, heralding the recent successes of varsity teams in competition among University Athletic Association schools. He was joined in his presentation by Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor and dean of Arts & Sciences, and James E. McLeod, vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

In addition to an overview of athletics at the University, the report reflected upon recent research showing that academic standards for athletes in UAA universities is setting the national benchmark for academic quality.

In his remarks to the board, Wrighton recounted a number of recent University successes, including the appointment of two seniors, Bethany Ehlmann and Allison Gilmore, as Rhodes Scholars. The fifth and sixth WUSTL students to be named Rhodes Scholars in the past five years, Ehlmann and Gilmore will attend Oxford University beginning in fall 2004.

Wrighton also reported on the recent announcement that the University has been chosen to host a presidential debate Oct. 8 — the fourth consecutive presidential election in which the University has been selected as a debate site by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Among other announcements, he noted that Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator of more than 2,500 not-for-profit organizations, ranked the University at the top of its list of the 50 best-rated academic institutions who are “consistently excellent charitable-giving colleges and universities in terms of financial efficiency.”

Also announced by Wrighton was the April 14 groundbreaking for the Sam Fox Art Center’s two new buildings — an art museum and a School of Art studio facility.

Wrighton said internationally acclaimed artist Frank Stella will give the keynote address, and Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki also will speak.

It was also announced that on May 7 there will be a rededication ceremony for Olin Library, in which a commissioned statue of George Washington will be placed on a plaza located on the south side of the refurbished and expanded library.

In his concluding comments, Wrighton thanked Sam Fox for his continuing successful leadership of not only the Campaign for Washington University, but also for his successful leadership of the St. Louis United Way campaign, in which the University realized its own goal of $500,000 in charitable support from faculty and staff. Washington University is among the top educational institutions in the country in terms of giving to the United Way.

In other action, the trustees heard reports from the following committees: audit, development, educational policy, Hilltop finance, nominating and Alumni Board of Governors.

About Harry J. Seigle

Harry Seigle, a native of Elgin, Ill., and a 1968 Washington University graduate, has devoted his entire career to both the development of his family-owned building supply business and public service.

He serves as president and chief executive officer of Seigle’s Home and Building Centers Inc. and directs its sales and acquisitions. He has also served for more than 20 years as president of the Seigle Family Foundation, which is devoted to supporting scholarships for deserving students and local not-for-profit organizations.

Seigle has twice been elected trustee and chairman of Elgin Community College and has served as chairman of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. In 1995, Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar appointed him chairman of the Illinois Development Finance Authority.

After graduating from the University, he earned a law degree at Northwestern University. He pursued legal practice in Chicago before he joined his father in the operation of what was then Elgin Lumber Co., founded in 1881. He helped in growing the family-held business into Seigle’s — Chicago’s largest building material supplier to the residential construction industry.

With 13 locations and more than 700 employees, Seigle’s manufactures trusses and doors.

Seigle is a life director and a “court of honor” member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago and the Home Builders of Fox Valley. He has been a strong advocate for affordable housing.

In civic activities, Seigle serves as a director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf and Victory Gardens theaters, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; and as president and campaign chairman of the Elgin United Way, as well as the Community Crisis Center, a family shelter.

At Washington University, he serves on the Arts & Sciences National Council, as chairman of the University’s regional cabinet and as vice chairman of the Regional Campaign Committee.

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