Founders Day to honor faculty, alumni Nov. 3

Political pundits Matalin and Carville to appear at annual gala at America's Center

This year, Founders Day attendees will get a two-for-one bonus when powerful political couple Mary Matalin and James Carville deliver the keynote address.

Matalin and Carville, top political strategists for the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, and married since 1993, will appear at the Alumni Association’s annual gathering to commemorate the founding of Washington University.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the America’s Center in St. Louis and will include presentations of the Distinguished Faculty Awards, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Robert S. Brookings Awards.

Tickets are available to the WUSTL community and alumni and can be reserved by calling the Alumni Relations office at 935-7378.

Matalin has served as assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney and was the first White House official to hold that double responsibility. Before becoming a White House advisor, she was best known as a co-host of CNN’s debate show “Crossfire.”

Before joining CNN, she hosted the Washington-based political weeknight talk show “Equal Time,” which premiered in May 1993 on CNBC. Considered a brilliant strategist, Matalin has directed a number of Republican campaigns and has joined Fred Thompson’s team for a presidential bid.

Carville, Democratic political advisor, commentator and media personality, gained national attention as lead strategist of the successful presidential campaign of then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. He also co-hosted CNN’s “Crossfire,” staying on until its final broadcast in June 2005. Since its cancellation, he has appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Together, the pair authored the best-selling political campaign book “All’s Fair: Love, War and Running for President.” They also appeared together on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “K Street,” about the world of powerful political consultants.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

Receiving this year’s faculty awards for outstanding commitment to teaching and dedication to the intellectual and personal development of students are: Lewis R. Chase, M.D., professor of medicine in the School of Medicine; Steven Fazzari, Ph.D., professor of economics in Arts & Sciences; Jackson Nickerson, Ph.D., the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy at the Olin Business School; and James V. Wertsch, Ph.D., the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences and director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

Lewis R. Chase

When Chase joined the medical faculty 37 years ago, he embarked on a career that has included a long list of teaching and clinical research positions. More importantly, he has provided an excellent education for countless medical students, residents and fellows.

Lewis Chase

After graduating from Harvard University Medical School in 1964, Chase completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Albert Einstein School of Medicine. His first job was with the National Institutes of Health, where, with colleague Gerald Aurbach, he made an important discovery regarding the parathyroid hormone.

In 1969, Chase completed a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the University and a year later joined the faculty, continuing research on the mechanism of action of the parathyroid hormone. From 1975 to 2005, he served in a variety of administrative positions for the WUSTL Medical Service at the St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, including chief of the medical service, associate chief of staff for research and development and chief of specialty care.

Since 1984, Chase has chaired the medical school’s General Clinical Research Center Advisory Committee, and he is also a member of the Admissions Committee.

The recipient of many prestigious awards, Chase has received the Elliot P. Joslin Research and Development Award of the American Diabetes Association, as well as the first Howard Hughes Investigator Award from the University. From the medical school Classes of 2001 and ’07, he was named Clinical Teacher of the Year, and in 2004 he was given the Goldstein Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching.

Steven Fazzari

For more than 25 years, Fazzari has encouraged students to challenge conventional wisdom about mainstream economics and, through his research, has helped influence the reshaping of some modern theories.

His widely cited research explores the connection between macroeconomics and finance, as well as the study of the foundations of Keynesian macroeconomics. His current work focuses on the link between equity finance, research and development spending by high-tech firms and economic growth. A newly launched major research project with former student Barry Cynamon examines the effects of rising consumer spending and household indebtedness.

Steven Fazzari

Fazzari earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University in 1978 and ’82, respectively. He became an assistant professor at WUSTL in 1982 and was promoted to full professor in 1996.

Being involved in all levels of students’ education is a hallmark of his teaching, which includes an array of subjects and levels of complexity, from introductory economics to senior writing seminars. As recognition for his dedication, Fazzari has garnered teaching awards from the Arts & Sciences Council and the Interfraternity Council, both given by undergraduates.

In addition, he has been recognized frequently by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for outstanding mentoring. In 2002, he received the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

During his tenure, Fazzari has led a number of important University committees, including the Curriculum Committee for the College of Arts & Sciences and undergraduate studies committee for the Department of Economics. From 1999 to 2005, he chaired the economics department. Currently he serves as a member of Arts & Sciences’ Academic Planning Committee.

Jackson Nickerson

In a brief span of 11 years, Nickerson has made a solid impact on the Olin Business School — especially on students. Upon arriving at the University in 1996, he restructured the introductory management course for freshman business majors to make the material more relevant.

Jackson Nickerson

His personal concern for each student soon made him a popular professor. He has received many teaching awards over the years, among them the Student Union Professor of the Year Award and the Undergraduate Business School Council Teaching Award. For the past seven years, he has received a Reid Teaching Award from the Olin Business School. In 2003, Nickerson received the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

His dedication spills over to campus life. For six years he helped introduce improvements to the undergraduate experience as a member of the Undergraduate Council.

As the Frahm Family Professor of Organization and Strategy, Nickerson continues his research on the effect of organizational structure on company performance. Noted as an expert in this field, he explores the performance implications of outsourcing, centralization versus decentralization and the use of teams. A recent broad-reaching study he conducted with Georgetown University colleague Jeff Macher on the management of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes led to changes in regulatory practices at the FDA and in the industry as a whole, which in turn has led to a reduction in pharmaceutical costs.

Nickerson earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, he worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and then returned to Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in business and public policy.

James V. Wertsch

Over the years, Wertsch’s scholarly interests have evolved from the development of language and thought in children to the larger realm of language, thought and culture. More recently, he has studied how these concepts form collective memory and national identity, especially with regard to the former Soviet Union. This evolution is not surprising, given his broad-ranging background in education, anthropology and Russian history, all of which provide Wertsch the skills to lead a number of significant academic initiatives at the University.

James Wertsch

He joined the education department in Arts & Sciences as chair and professor in 1995. He now is the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences and teaches in the Department of Anthropology. Among his many books are: “Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action” (1991); “Voices of Collective Remembering” (2002); and, published this year, “The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky,” which he co-edited with Harry Daniels and Michael Cole.

As director of International and Area Studies in Arts & Sciences, Wertsch has been instrumental in developing the program into a popular interdisciplinary major. As founding director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, his extensive administrative, teaching and research abilities have helped create a truly global institution of higher education at the University.

Wertsch earned his doctoral degree from Northwestern University in 1975 and taught there from 1976-1985. He also has taught at the University of California, San Diego, Clark University and at a number of universities as a visiting professor, including the University of Utrecht, the University of Sevilla, the University of Oslo and Moscow State University. He is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Education and is a guest professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Robert S. Brookings Awards

Rose Tropp Brown and Ellen and John Wallace Jr. will receive the 2007 Robert S. Brookings Awards, which are given by the Board of Trustees to individuals who exemplify the alliance between the University and the community.

Rose Tropp Brown

Tropp Brown and her husband, the late Seymour Brown, M.D., dedicated their lives to medicine; he as a medical doctor and she through her work and volunteer support, which have enriched the lives of so many in her hometown of St. Louis.

Tropp Brown intended to go to medical school after graduating from the University with a bachelor’s degree in education and biology but was unable to afford it.

Instead, she began a retail career in a St. Louis department store. She also worked for the book publisher C.V. Mosby (now Elsevier), editing medical publications and indexing. In the evenings she taught chemistry classes at Beaumont High School for Mallinckrodt chemical workers.

During this time, she met Seymour Brown, and they were married in 1941. He volunteered for military service during World War II, and upon his return, they left St. Louis for Boston. While Brown studied anesthesiology at Lahey Clinic, she was hired by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors as an editing assistant.

After moving back to St. Louis, she taught deaf and hearing-impaired students for the Special School District. During her 13 years in this position, Tropp Brown also began actively volunteering for St. John’s Mercy Medical Center and for St. Luke’s Hospital. She held a variety of offices throughout her 20 years associated with these medical institutions and became a life member of St. John’s auxiliary organization.

Included among their very generous support to St. Louis organizations and institutions are significant gifts to the School of Medicine. They include student scholarships; the Seymour Brown, M.D., and Rose Tropp Brown Endowment for Research in Gastroenterology, made in memory of their son, the late Alvin R. Brown; and the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professorship in Anesthesiology, in honor of her husband. Furthermore, she is a Brookings Partner member as well as a Life Member of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society.

Ellen A. Wallace and John K. Wallace Jr.

The Wallace family’s association with the University began with John’s grandfather, Harry Brookings Wallace, who served as acting chancellor from 1944-46; included his matriculation for a master’s of business degree in 1962; and continues today with the family’s extraordinary efforts and generosity to the institution.

A list of John Wallace’s contributions to the Olin Business School demonstrate his tireless efforts to help develop a top-ranked business school: He led Olin’s alumni organization, chaired its most recent capital campaign and serves on its National Council. His enthusiasm and influence have made a significant difference to the Olin Business School, which gave him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and the Dean’s Medal in 1999.

In addition, he has served the University in numerous roles, chief among them as a member of the Board of Trustees — following in his grandfather’s footsteps —and as a former chair of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. In 1997, the Wallaces provided a gift to establish the John K. Wallace, Jr., and Ellen A. Wallace Distinguished Professorship in the Olin Business School.

This is the first part of a two-part story on Founders Day. The next issue will feature recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Both Wallaces have successful business careers. John joined Cupples Co. after graduate school and became president of its charcoal products subsidiary. In 1981, he purchased the subsidiary and named it Imperial Products. In just eight years, it grew to become the largest industrial and third-largest recreational charcoal operation in the United States.

He sold it in 1989 and founded The Regency Group, a mid-sized holding company. Currently enjoying semi-retirement, John is co-owner of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ellen helped found Farmhouse Collection Inc., in 1990. Although it started out small, today her high-end, handcrafted furniture is shown in 17 regional showrooms. Both Ellen and John remain active in supporting St. Louis organizations.

Before entering the furniture business, Ellen was active in helping disadvantaged and at-risk youth. For 10 years she served as a Citizens Deputy Juvenile Officer with the St. Louis County Family Court system and was a board member of Providence Program.