Olin School of Business recognizes five distinguished alumni

Four alumni of the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis received Distinguish Alumni Awards on Wednesday, May 4, 2005 at the school’s annual dinner at the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis in Clayton. Business school dean Stuart Greenbaum also presented the Dean’s Medal at the same dinner.

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 of Business seeks to instill in its students. This year’s recipients are F. Gilbert Bickel, III, BSBA, 1966; David Blasingame, MBA, 1971; William Marshall, BSBA 1970, MBA 1973 and PhD, 1977; and Victor Richey Jr. MBA 1995. James O’Donnell was the recipient of the Dean’s Medal, which is awarded to those whose dedication and service to the Olin School have been exceptional.

Founded in 1917, the Olin School of Business is a part of Washington University in St. Louis, a school widely recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. Olin has a longstanding reputation for outstanding management education derived from the school’s accomplished researchers, professors and students; tailored curriculum; and strong sense of community. Olin equips its students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences needed to become leaders in a time of intense competition and global change.

Alumni bios

F. Gilbert Bickel built a distinguished career in the financial services industry and is currently senior vice president and wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley. He is a sponsor in the Scholars in Business Program, serves on the Olin National Council and has led several important alumni committees including Olin’s alumni board. Bickel 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 is also one of the founders and now chairs the St. Louis Arch Angels, a group of investors interested in St. Louis-area entrepreneurship and early-stage investments.

After earning three degrees from the Olin School, William Marshall spent eight years teaching finance at the university level, the last seven of which were spent at Washington University in St. Louis. 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 faculty member Jess Yawitz to found NISA Investment Advisors, LLC. NICA brought Marshall back to St. Louis and he has been active with the Olin School of Business as an adjunct faculty member, research fellow and Olin Cup judge.

Victor Richey had already made a name for himself prior to attending the Olin School of Business’s Executive MBA program. Richey had spent more than 6 years as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. 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 90s, Richey decided he needed a more formal business education so he enrolled in Olin’s executive MBA program, graduating in 1995. Since then, Richey has become chairman ESCO and has built a reputation for running a lean operation and a mostly debt-free company.

David Blasingame is a familiar name around Washington University. Not only did he earn both his undergraduate and MBA degrees from the university, he is also the executive vice chancellor of alumni and development programs. Since graduating, Blasingame only spent three years away from Washington University -two with the U.S. Army and one with the U.S. Postal Service. Blasingame is responsible for developing the Campaign for Washington University, which raised more than $1.5 billion for the university over the past nine years. Many of Blasingame’s programs have helped ensure the University’s fundraising success and spread its reputation worldwide. Blasingame’s son, Josh, also attended Washington University in St. Louis, receiving an AB in political science in 1992.

James O’Donnell was the recipient of the dean’s medal which is awarded to those whose dedication and service to the University as well as the Olin School have been exceptional. O’Donnell is co-founder of Bush-O’Donnell & Co. holding company along with William H.T. Bush. O’Donnell has taught as an adjunct professor at the Olin school over the past 15 years. He’s been a key volunteer leader at the Olin School for more than two decades. His activities include serving as president of Olin’s alumni board and as a member of Olin’s National Council since its inception in 1995

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 Elliot Society. He received the University’s distinguished alumni award at Founders Day in 1989 and the Olin School of Business’ distinguished alumni award in 1997. O’Donnell and his wife Kathy – also a Washington University graduate – are Life Eliot Benefactors and longtime Danforth Circle members. They sponsor several scholarships named for key mentors. Their contributions are further recognized with the O’Donnell Lounge in the Knight Center.