Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis recognized the achievements of six alumni during a ceremony May 20 in the Arts & Sciences Laboratory Science Building.
Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor, dean of Arts & Sciences and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to five individuals who have attained distinction in their academic or professional careers and have demonstrated service to their communities and to the university.
The five alumni who received the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award are: John P. Dubinsky (A.B. ’65, M.B.A. ’67); Flint W. Fowler, Ph.D. (A.B. ’80, M.A.’81); Henrietta W. Freedman (A.B. ’75); Diane D. Jacobsen, Ph.D. (M.L.A. ’95, M.A. ’00, Ph.D. ’03); and William B. Pollard III, J.D. (A.B. ’70). Jacobsen is a 1965 graduate of Queens College, City University of New York.
Macias also presented the Dean’s Medal to John H. Biggs (Ph.D. ’83), former chairman and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF, one of the world’s largest pension systems, for his support and dedication to Arts & Sciences.
A classics major at Harvard University, Biggs began his career as an actuary at General American Life Insurance Co. in 1958, eventually becoming chief financial officer in 1970. From 1977-1985 he was WUSTL’s vice chancellor for administration and finance.
In 1985 he became president and CEO of Centerre Trust Co. He joined TIAA-CREF as president in 1989, became chairman and CEO in 1993 and retired in 2002.
He and his wife, Penelope, M.A. ’68, Ph.D. ’74, established a residency in the classics, which over the years has brought 16 nationally recognized scholars to WUSTL, and recently endowed a distinguished professorship in classics. A trustee since 1988, he chairs the board’s Investments Committee.
A leading St. Louis banker and WUSTL trustee, Dubinsky is president and chief executive officer of Westmoreland Associates, LLC, and chairman and chief executive officer of CORTEX (Center of Research Technology and Entrepreneurial Expertise).
He began his career with Mark Twain Bank, becoming president and CEO in 1986.
Instrumental in forming BJC HealthCare, Dubinsky chaired its board from 1998-2004 and remains a vice chairman.
He has served on WUSTL advisory groups, including National Councils for the School of Medicine and the Olin School of Business. Holding five degrees between them, Dubinsky and his wife, Yvette, A.B. ’64, M.A. ’66, M.F.A. ’90, are among the university’s strongest academic supporters.
After earning degrees in psychology from WUSTL, Fowler received his doctorate in education from Saint Louis University. As director of INROADS/St. Louis from 1981-1996, he worked to promote the social, personal, educational and vocational development of St. Louis youth.
In 1996 he became executive director of the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, which serves 2,600 children, primarily from low-income, single-parent homes. The north St. Louis club recently completed a 28,000-square-foot expansion to extend services to 1,000 more children.
His WUSTL leadership includes 19 years on the Black Alumni Council and his work on the Steering Committee of The Tie That Binds scholarship initiative.
Freedman completed more than two years of course work at Harris State Teacher’s College in the early 1940s, but because married women were barred from teaching, she had to leave school when she married Rudolph Freedman, B.S. ’40, M.S. ’52.
She returned to college, majoring in psychology at WUSTL, when her youngest child was in high school. She found social and industrial psychology courses particularly useful in her work at SEMCOR, the family materials fabrication business.
She founded the Arts & Sciences Scholarship Program and the Lifelong Learning Institute; served on the Board of Trustees as Alumni Board of Governors chair and as a Shepley Trustee; and continues to serve on the Arts & Sciences National Council and the Center for Aging Advisory Board.
After earning a mathematics degree from Queens College in 1965, Jacobsen joined IBM, where she had a succession of senior executive management positions. She eventually became a health care executive and then president and CEO of Dependable Insurance Group.
After her husband, the late Thomas H. Jacobsen, was appointed chairman, president and CEO of the former Mercantile Bank in St. Louis in 1989, she earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in international affairs at WUSTL.
She was the driving force in creating the undergraduate International Leadership Program in Arts & Sciences. An Arts & Sciences National Council member, she also lends her expertise to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
A Manhattan attorney, Pollard is a partner in the commercial litigation firm of Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard. He earned his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees at Columbia University.
He served 11 years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, considered the nation’s premier prosecutorial office. When he was promoted to deputy chief of the criminal division, Pollard oversaw national security and terrorism matters.
He serves on the Black Alumni Council, the Arts & Sciences National Council and the Regional Cabinet. He and his wife, Renée, longtime annual scholarship supporters, have established the Pollard Endowed Scholarship in Arts & Sciences.
Editor’s note: Biggs is a resident of New York, N.Y. (10017); Dubinsky and Fowler of University City, Mo. (63130); Freedman of Ladue, Mo. (63124); Jacobsen of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (32082) and Clayton, Mo. (63105); and Pollard of Chappaqua, N.Y. (10514).