Olin School honors five alumni

Four alumni of the Olin School of Business received Distinguish Alumni Awards May 4 at the school’s annual dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.

Dean Stuart I. Greenbaum, Ph.D., the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership, also presented James O’Donnell (B.S.B.A./M.B.A. 1974) with the Dean’s Medal, which is awarded annually to those whose dedication and service to the Olin School have been exceptional.

Alumni awards are bestowed annually to recognize those who have achieved distinction in their fields and for embodying the qualities of leadership, integrity and commitment that the Olin School seeks to instill in its students.

This year’s recipients were F. Gilbert Bickel III (B.S.B.A. 1966); David T. Blasingame (M.B.A. 1971); William Marshall (B.S.B.A. 1970; M.B.A. 1973; Ph.D. 1977); and Victor Richey Jr. (M.B.A. 1995).

Bickel built a distinguished career in the financial services industry and is senior vice president and wealth adviser at Morgan Stanley. He is a sponsor in the Scholars in Business Program, serves on the Olin School’s national council and has led several committees, including the school’s alumni board.

He serves the University as chair of the Annual Fund, as a member of the Alumni Board of Governors and as a member of the National Entrepreneurship Council and the Skandalaris Entrepreneurship Fund Investment Committee.

Bickel also is one of the founders of and now chairs the St. Louis Arch Angels, a group of investors interested in local entrepreneurship and early stage investments.

Blasingame’s name is especially familiar around the University. Not only did he earn undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees here, but he also is executive vice chancellor for alumni and development programs.

Since he graduated, he has spent only three years away from the University — two with the Army and one with the U.S. Postal Service.

Blasingame oversaw the Campaign for Washington University, which raised more than $1.5 billion for the University over the past nine years. Many of his programs have helped ensure the University’s fund-raising success and spread its reputation worldwide.

His son, Josh, also attended WUSTL, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science in Arts & Sciences in 1992.

After earning three degrees from the Olin School, Marshall spent eight years teaching finance at the university level, the last seven of which were spent at WUSTL.

In 1985, he left academia and worked first at Goldman Sachs & Co. and then Franklin Savings Co.

In 1991, he joined forces with former Olin School faculty member Jess Yawitz to found NISA Investment Advisors LLC. NISA brought Marshall back to St. Louis, and he has since been active with the Olin School as an adjunct faculty member, research fellow and Olin Cup judge.

Richey had already made a name for himself prior to attending the Olin School’s Executive M.B.A. Program.

He had spent more than six years as a military intelligence officer in the Army. As a senior executive with ESCO Technologies, he was involved in repositioning the company from a defense contractor to a global manufacturer of engineered products for industry and commerce.

But in the early 1990s, Richey decided he needed a more formal business education, so he enrolled in the E.M.B.A. program. Since graduating, he has become chairman of ESCO and has built a reputation for running a lean operation and a mostly debt-free company.

O’Donnell is co-founder the holding firm Bush-O’Donnell & Co. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the Olin school over the past 15 years and has been a key volunteer leader at the school for more than two decades.

His activities include serving as president of the school’s alumni board and as a member of its national council since its 1995 inception.

At the University level, O’Donnell served on the Board of Trustees, was a member of the Alumni Board of Governors and held positions as patrons chair and president of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society.

He received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award at Founders Day in 1989 and the Olin School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997.