Three major gifts enhance new Danforth University Center

The William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth University Center opened its doors to the Washington University community Aug. 11. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of several donors, the new building features three premier spaces.

Tisch Commons creates a space both beautiful and functional

The Tisch Commons, a gift from Ann Rubenstein Tisch and Andrew Tisch, is a beautiful place to gather in the new Danforth University Center.

Washington University alumna and trustee Ann Rubenstein Tisch and her husband, Andrew, are supporting the new Danforth University Center with a $2 million gift. To honor their commitment, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton has announced that the center’s commons will bear their name.

“The Tisch Commons is one of the most architecturally interesting places we now have on our Danforth Campus, and I look forward to seeing it become a natural gathering place for all members of our extended campus community,” Wrighton said. “This exceptionally generous gift from Ann and Andrew enables us to establish the Commons as an important center of campus activity, for which we are very grateful.”

In 1972, when Ann Tisch was a freshman, she experienced a similar transformation with the opening of the Mallinckrodt Student Center. With the Campus Store, Edison Theatre and Dining Services, Mallinckrodt attracted students and others to the building, but it lacked both office space for student-related activities and a singular gathering place. The new center will have all this in spades.

After graduating from Arts & Sciences in 1976, the Kansas City, Mo., native landed jobs with WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan., and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. In 1984, she joined NBC as a national correspondent. Her political, medical and human-interest stories were aired on “NBC Nightly News” and NBC’s morning shows. She also became a substitute anchor for the “Today Show” and “NBC at Sunrise.”

She left that life in 1991, however, devoting her time to realize a long-held dream: creating an all-girls public school in East Harlem, N.Y. Named The Young Women’s Leadership School, the curriculum stresses mathematics, science and technology. By every measure, the school is considered a successful collaboration with the New York City public school district. Most notably, the school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate and college enrollment rate.

Since then, she has created eight such schools in the cities of Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Austin and Dallas. She also serves as president of The Young Women’s Leadership Foundation. As a result of the success of the program, she is widely sought after as a consultant for innovative educational initiatives.

A dedicated alumna, Ann Tisch has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1994 and serves as a member of the New York Regional Cabinet. Over the years, she has been very generous in her support for scholarships and for cancer research. She is active in her husband’s and family’s many philanthropic efforts, among them New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she serves on its Dean’s Council. In addition, she is on the advisory board of the Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association.

Andrew Tisch earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. He entered the family’s investment holding business, Loews Corp., in 1971 and serves as chairman of its executive management committee. Before that, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of Lorillard Inc. from 1990-95 and as president of the Bulova Watch Co. and Bulova Corp. from 1979-1990.

Harvey Media Center creates hub for student communications

The Harvey Media Center, named for the late Lynne Cooper Harvey and her husband, legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey, gives students a state-of-the-art recording studio.

Washington University is the recipient of many significant gifts from the late Lynne “Angel” Cooper Harvey and her husband, the legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey. Although she passed away recently, her school spirit remains through the establishment of scholarships and fellowships, a professorship, an awards program for student excellence, and the June S. Courson Courtyard in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Building.

Added to this long list of gifts is the Angel and Paul Harvey Media Center in the new Danforth University Center, which is supported by a gift of $1.2 million.

“Angel Harvey loved Washington University and wished to make it as special a place for current and future students as it was for her,” Wrighton said. “She and Paul were great friends of the University and were especially generous in supporting the American Culture Studies Program in Arts & Sciences, where their gifts provide financial assistance for students and support for programs. We are so sorry to lose her but feel fortunate to have known such a gracious, generous and inspirational individual.”

Wrighton noted that along with the growing number of student media on campus in the past decade came a strong need for a place to gather resources for improved use. The Harvey Media Center will provide workspace for WUTV and a host of print publications, including Student Life and The Hatchet. The new recording studio features a 24-channel audio mixer with a software program for digital recording. WUTV will have a professionally designed news set equipped with technology to create state-of-the-art newscasts and programs.

Before her death May 3, Angel Harvey led a long and celebrated life with more than a half-century career in radio. As a woman, she broke many barriers, and, as a pioneering news producer, she helped shape the modern newscast. In 1997, she was the first producer inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, and, in 2001, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Women in Radio and Television.

The native St. Louisan earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English in Arts & Sciences. Upon graduating, she landed a job at a local radio station, where she met her soon-to-be husband and business partner. They moved to Chicago in 1944.

In the 1940s, they became the husband-wife phenomenon that catapulted Chicago’s “Paul Harvey News and Comment” to national syndication by 1951. The show currently reaches a worldwide audience of about 24 million; his other show, “The Rest of the Story,” has achieved similar success.

In recognition of her accomplishments and leadership at the University, which included serving on the Phoenix and Chicago regional cabinets, Angel Harvey received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997, an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 1998 and the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2001. Paul Harvey received an honorary doctorate in 2007.

Dains Dining Hall turns eating into a grand experience

The John F. and Stephanie Brooks Dains Great Dining Hall provides diners with a comfortable and elegant space.

Thanks to a generous gift to the Danforth University Center by alumni Stephanie Brooks Dains and her husband, John, dining has become a truly great experience.

“Together with the Tisch Commons, the John F. and Stephanie Brooks Dains Great Dining Hall dominates the first floor of the center. It is a space that is both comfortable and elegant,” Wrighton said.

“Washington University is very grateful for this remarkable gift from John and Stephanie. The dining hall is now the main dining area on campus, and, as such, it is destined to become a favorite setting for our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and parents who will gather here as a community,” he said.

The Dains Dining Hall sits in the center of the first floor, flanked by the Tisch Commons on the north side, the University Cafe on the west and the servery, located to the east of Dains Dining Hall. A formal dining space called the Orchid Room is on the south end of the servery, and Ibby’s Bistro, a full-service restaurant, is located at the northeast corner. The Orchid Room overlooks the southeast courtyard with a bubbling fountain and hand-carved statues, and The Edison Family Courtyard sits on the northeast side.

Stephanie Dains earned a degree in psychology in Arts & Sciences in 1969 and then earned a master of arts in teaching from Webster University, which she used to forge a career as an art therapist and teacher. Her husband, John, a 1968 graduate of the John M. Olin Business School, is chief executive officer of Helm Financial Corp., which leases railcars and locomotives. John also is an enthusiastic supporter of the University. He serves on the San Francisco Regional Cabinet and the University Young Alumni Programs Committee.

The Dains’ longtime generosity extends to life membership in the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. In addition to the Danforth Uni-versity Center contribution, they also established the Mary E. and Charles V. Dains, Sr. Endowed Scholarship.

During the year, the WUSTL community will have opportunities to attend programs throughout the center.

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