Founders Day gala to feature Newsweek editor Jon Meacham

Annual event honors faculty, alumni

Washington University’s Alumni Association will commemorate the institution’s founding at the annual Founders Day ceremony Nov. 8 at the America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.

A hallmark of the event is the presentation of the Distinguished Faculty Awards, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Robert S. Brookings Awards. The event also features a prominent speaker, and this year’s guest is journalist and author Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine.


Tickets are available to the WUSTL community and alumni and can be reserved by calling 935-5212.

In 1995, Meacham arrived at Newsweek as national affairs editor. In this position, he covered some of the most significant news stories of the time, beginning with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment process of President Bill Clinton through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq war. Under his direction, Newsweek was honored with two National Magazine Award citations for general excellence.

Meacham is the author of two books, the 2006 “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation” and “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship,” published in 2003. Both have enjoyed broad appeal as well as critical praise. Because of his broad-based knowledge of current issues, he is a frequent guest on national talk shows.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

The Distinguished Faculty Awards are being presented to four WUSTL professors who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to teaching and to intellectual and personal development.

They are Elizabeth C. Childs, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of art history and archaeology in Arts & Sciences; Dorsey D. Ellis Jr., J.D., dean emeritus and the William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus in the School of Law; Robert J. Rothbaum, M.D., professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine; and Gautam N. Yadama, Ph.D., associate professor of social work and director of international programs at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

Elizabeth C. Childs


After earning an undergraduate degree in art history and anthropology from Wake Forest University and a doctorate in modern art history from Columbia University, Childs began teaching at the State University of New York at Purchase.

She joined WUSTL in 1993 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor five years later. She is the first female chair of the art history and archaeology department.

Her research focuses on the relationship of colonialism, travel, exoticism and the avant-garde in visual arts and literature before World War I. An international expert in modern European art, she is serving as a consultant for two exhibitions. During the course of her career, she has served in research or consultant capacities to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy.

An innovative teacher, Childs also holds a courtesy appointment in women, gender and sexuality studies in Arts & Sciences. She has co-taught courses in several academic departments and has been called upon to develop a new survey course as well as a plan for a new first-year curriculum for the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. Her teaching has been honored by the ArtSci Council twice and by the Graduate Professional Council with an Outstanding Mentor Award.

In her books and scholarly articles, Childs has covered such areas as the study of humor in caricature, French impressionist painting and photography, exoticism within European modernism and art censorship since the Renaissance.

Dorsey D. Ellis Jr.


Ellis joined the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore upon earning a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1963. But five years later, he changed course, joining the University of Iowa law faculty and beginning what was to become a distinguished 40-year career in academia.

While at Iowa, he began yet another important career path when he was appointed assistant to the president and assistant dean of faculties and later vice president for finance and university services.

He came to WUSTL in 1987 as law school dean. Under his direction, the school expanded by virtually every measure: increased number and value of scholarships; increased size, diversity and academic stature of the faculty and the student body; the establishment of a joint degree program with East Asian studies; and the institution of a graduate program for international students. Most important, Ellis led the initiative to construct Anheuser-Busch Hall, which opened in 1997.

As a member of the law faculty, Ellis made a mark on law education at WUSTL by expanding the law school’s international dimensions and creating new courses emphasizing comparative and international aspects. Most recently, he led the planning for the School’s Transnational Law Programs. This summer, he was appointed dean emeritus and the William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and continues to serve as academic director of the transnational program.

Robert J. Rothbaum


As professor of pediatrics and clinical director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in the School of Medicine, Rothbaum has devoted his long career to the improvement of care for children. In this capacity, he oversees the clinical side of the outpatient office, the ambulatory procedure center and inpatient service.

His medical, analytical and administrative contributions range from developing the first sexual abuse diagnostic and management protocols to creating the first computer-based physician ordering system.

He also helped create the pediatric parental nutrition Web site and co-founded a system that brings together physicians, therapists, dietitians, nurses and psychologists to analyze nutrition challenges in children.

Among the long list of teaching awards given by WUSTL are the 25-Year Service Award he received in 2001; the 2007 Samuel Goldstein Teaching Award (the medical school’s highest honor for educators); and, most recently, the 2008 Distinguished Service Teaching Award.

Rothbaum graduated from Brown University in 1972 and earned a medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1976. After completing his pediatric residency and an ambulatory pediatrics fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, he followed with a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Gautam N. Yadama

Gautam Yadama

While many faculty in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work focus on issues of poverty in the United States, Yadama’s research involves helping developing countries advance their understanding of how to reduce poverty. He teaches courses on social and economic development policy and the role and use of theory in applied social research.

Through extensive research projects in China, India, Nepal, Mongolia and Bhutan, among other countries, Yadama is working with institutions to help local communities create sustainable development. One such project involves understanding the role of micro-institutional mechanisms for managing quasi-public goods in India and China.

Yadama has served as consultant for such major institutions as the United Nations Development Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Save the Children-UK and the International Development Research Center in Canada.

As a mentor, Yadama is helping educate young professionals from such Asian countries as Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He continues to help develop the Brown School’s summer institute in China, and he serves on the steering committee of WUSTL’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy and is the academy’s ambassador to China’s Tata Institute.

Yadama earned a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Robert S. Brookings Awards

The Robert S. Brookings Awards are given by the Board of Trustees to those who, through their commitment and generosity, epitomize the alliance between Washington University and the St. Louis region.

Two couples are receiving this year’s Brookings award: Harry and Susan Seigle and Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman.

Harry and Susan Seigle

The Danforth Campus became even more imposing with the opening of Harry and Susan Seigle Hall this fall. The new building houses several social science departments in Arts & Sciences and provides additional facilities for the School of Law.

Seigle Hall is a fitting tribute to its namesake, a Chicago couple who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to WUSTL through their service and support.

Harry Seigle, J.D., is a former member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Arts & Sciences National Council. He also is a founding chair of the Chicago Regional Cabinet. Together, the Seigles have supported a professorship in Arts & Sciences as well as sponsored a number of programs, scholarships and facilities at the University. Two of their three sons continue their tradition of being active alumni.

After earning a degree in political science from WUSTL in 1968, Harry Seigle earned a law degree from Northwestern University. He eventually joined the Elgin Lumber Co., a family business later renamed Seigle’s Inc. The firm flourished under his direction as chair and president, becoming the largest building material supplier and carpenter contractor in the Chicago region.

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1960, Susan Seigle became the program associate for the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. She continues to be active in community organizations such as Hadassah, the Elgin Community Crisis Center, Personal PAC (Chicago) and Congregation Beth Tikvah.

Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman

Harvey Friedman and Dorismae Hacker attended Washington University around the same time and began dating Dorismae’s senior year.

Harvey began his career before he could graduate. Dorismae earned a degree in art history in Arts & Sciences in 1942. They married in 1943, while Harvey was in the service.

His career began in the textile industry and included a teaching stint at University College before focusing on retail and housing development. In 1969, he began developing nursing homes and apartments, creating a long-time interest in the need for a comprehensive understanding of productive aging. Although he switched his business focus in 1980 to found the Bank of Ladue, the interest in aging research and education continued.

It was a natural outcome that the Friedmans would establish the world-class Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at WUSTL. Their support for this cross-disciplinary center is in addition to earlier gifts that included the establishment of a graduate research fellowship for nurses working with the aged and an annual prize for a non-physician in the field of aging.

Directing the center is John Morris, M.D., who is, not coincidentally, the Harvey A. and Dorismae Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology.

Dorismae Friedman put her education to good use, serving on the board of the Saint Louis Art Museum and volunteering as a docent for 15 years. She co-chaired her class’ 60th and 65th reunions.

The Friedman’s significant support for WUSTL includes being Life Patrons of the Eliot Society. In recognition of their vision, the University created an annual lectureship in their names.