Arts & Sciences presents Distinguished Alumni Awards, Dean’s Medal

Arts & Sciences recognized the achievements of six alumni during the 13th Annual Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony, held April 29 at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.

A new tradition was started this year with the addition of an awards dinner hosted by Gary S. Wihl, PhD, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, and the Arts & Sciences National Council, led by Chair Barbara Schaps Thomas (AB ’76) and Vice Chair Harry J. Seigle (AB ’68).

In another new tradition, some of the National Council members who are previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients introduced this year’s awardees. During the ceremony, the six honorees shared personal stories about their educational experiences, lives and accomplishments.

Five alumni received the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes graduates who have exemplified the ideals embodied by an Arts & Sciences education and have brought honor to Washington University through their lives, work and service.

Wihl presented the Dean’s Medal to Dan Storper (AB ’73), Putumayo World Music founder and president. The Dean’s Medal is awarded to a person who has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of the ideals of an Arts & Sciences education.

Distinguished Alumni

David W. Detjen, JD (AB ’70, JD ’73), introduced by William B. Pollard III, 2005 Distinguished Alumnus.

Detjen is partner at the New York office of Alston & Bird LLP, representing German and other European clients who need legal services in the United States for acquisitions and corporate and commercial matters. In recognition of his leadership in U.S.–German political, cultural and trade organizations, German President Horst Koehler awarded him the Officer’s Cross, First Class, of the German Order of Merit in 2007.

A modern European history major, he continued his education at WUSTL’s School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the law quarterly.

Detjen’s support for WUSTL includes serving as the Ethan A. H. Shepley Trustee, a member of the School of Law and Sam Fox National Councils, chairman of the New York Eliot Society Committee, National Members Chair of the Eliot Society and chairman of the New York Regional Cabinet. He and his wife, Barbara, (AB ’70) have two daughters, Andrea, (AB ’00) and Erika, JD, Class of 2010.

Richard S. Eckaus, PhD (MA ’48), introduced by Diane D. Jacobsen, 2005 Distinguished Alumna.

The Ford Foundation Professor of International Economics Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a pioneering researcher on economic issues related to global warming, Eckaus primarily is a development economist. His research on the problems of poor countries has focused on investment, government, tax and education policy; housing; agriculture; foreign trade; and income distribution.

He has consulted or conducted research across the world. The Portuguese government awarded him its Great Cross of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. Eckaus has published eight books and more than 100 academic articles.

His undergraduate education at WUSTL was interrupted after two semesters when he left to join the U.S. Navy during World War II. After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University, he returned to WUSTL and earned a master’s degree in economics. He earned a doctorate from MIT, joined its economics faculty in 1962, and served as head of that department from 1986-1990.

Eugenie S. Kleinerman, MD (AB ’71), introduced by Mark E. Mason, 2003 Distinguished Alumnus.

Kleinerman is the first woman to head a clinical division at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is the Mosbacher Pediatrics Chair, professor and head of the Division of Pediatrics, and professor of cancer biology. As head of the Children’s Cancer Hospital, she leads all major efforts ranging from clinical operations to research to fundraising.

Kleinerman is internationally recognized for her translational research, which focuses on osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that afflicts adolescents and spreads to the lungs. Numerous research advances include the development of an intravenously administered drug carried through the bloodstream within liposomes — microscopic vesicles that she and a colleague constructed to signal certain white blood cells, macrophages, to ingest them. At that point the drug is released, stimulating the macrophages to attack chemo-resistant tumor cells.

Liposomal MTP-PE, used with chemotherapy, produced a 30-percent reduction in the risk of death with 78 percent of patients surviving six years or more — the first improvement in long-term survival of children with osteosarcoma in more than 20 years.

Barbara D. Newmark (AB ’60), introduced by Earle H. Harbison Jr., 1998 Distinguished Alumnus.

A longtime champion of education and advocate for children, Newmark believes education is essential to individual progress and productive participation in society. This conviction has informed her professional and volunteer life following her graduation, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in sociology, a minor in history and a teaching certificate.

After teaching American history at Hanley Junior High School in University City, Mo., Newmark became project director and then executive director of Missouri’s Conference on Education. Under her direction, the organization examined teaching statewide and proposed legislation emphasizing fairness, achievement, accountability and diversity to improve K–12 education. The recommendations were instrumental in passage of the state’s Excellence in Education Act in 1985.

For her contributions, she received the Citizens for Missouri’s Children highest honor, the Eleanore Best Award.

Earlier this year, she and her husband, Michael N. Newmark (AB ’60, JD ’62), founded the Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations at the St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council.

Gary H. Stern, PhD (AB ’67), introduced by Carolyn Werner Losos, 1999 Distinguished Alumna.

An economist and banker, Stern was president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from March 1985 to September 2009, making him one of the longest-serving presidents in the Federal Reserve System.

Before joining the Minneapolis Federal Reserve in 1982 as senior vice president and director of research, he had been a partner in a New York-based economic consulting firm and seven years with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A past board chairman of the Council for Economic Education, he currently is the organization’s acting president and chief executive officer.

In addition to his economics degree from WUSTL, Stern earned a doctorate in economics from Rice University. He has served as a visiting professor in economics at WUSTL and as an adjunct professor in the MBA programs at New York University and Columbia University, among others. He is co-author of Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts (The Brookings Institution, 2004).

Dean’s Medalist

Dan Storper’s Putumayo World Music includes the award-winning Putumayo Kids music division and the Putumayo World Music Hour, an internationally syndicated radio show on more than 170 stations worldwide.

After graduation, Storper, a Latin American studies major, traveled to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia to visit the countries he had studied. In 1975, he opened a small retail store in New York City selling handicrafts and clothing collected in Latin America.

The store, called Putumayo after a beautiful river valley in Colombia, received considerable media attention and, by 1985, he found himself designing ethnic inspired contemporary clothing and supplying 600 other stores. Putumayo also had three successful New York stores with clients such as Jane Fonda and Mia Farrow.

In 1997, on the day the character of Elaine in a Seinfeld episode tried to put a Putumayo store out of business, Storper sold the company to focus on his fascination with world music.

His company’s World Playground Multicultural Activity Kit is part of the curriculum in more than 3,000 schools.

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