Washington University in St. Louis chancellor speaks on global energy future at Shanghai Forum

Wrighton also receives honorary degree from Fudan University

Courtesy photo

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton gives the address “Strengthening Higher Education Through International Partnerships,” during a ceremony in which he received an honorary doctorate from Fudan University in Shanghai. He is the 11th non-Chinese person to receive such an honor from the university.

Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton delivered a keynote address May 29 at the Shanghai Forum on global energy demands and energy options that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

In addition to attending the forum, a summit focused on economic and political progress in Asia, Wrighton received an honorary doctorate from the Chinese Ministry of Education and Fudan University.

“The Shanghai Forum provides an outstanding opportunity for leaders throughout the region and across the world to come together to discuss topics of importance to the future of Asia,” Wrighton said. “My presentation on the global energy future allowed me to discuss interrelated issues of critical significance to current and future generations of people in China: energy, environment and the economy.”

Wrighton’s speech, “The Global Energy Future: The Options Before Us,” emphasized the importance of securing safe, abundant, affordable energy resources while avoiding adverse effects on the environment for all nations.

“For China,” Wrighton told the forum, “the challenge is even greater because the rapid growth in the economy of one of the world’s most populous countries is leading to an unprecedented demand for energy. How China meets this demand will have consequences for the rest of the world.”

Wrighton served as the vice chair of the Committee on America’s Energy Future. The committee’s report, “America’s Energy Future: Technology Opportunities, Risks and Tradeoffs”, prepared by the National Research Council, is available online.

Wrighton has been chancellor at Washington University since 1995. He is a professor of chemistry and former provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Courtesy photo

Chancellor Wrighton (center) is flanked by Fudan University Emeritus President Shenghong Wang (left) and current president Yuliang Yang following the honorary degree ceremony.

Other Washington University leaders participating in the Shanghai Forum were James V. Wertsch, PhD, the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences, associate vice chancellor for international affairs and director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, and Gary S. Wihl, PhD, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and the Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities. Both served as panelists at a session on the “Reflections on Cooperation in Climate Change.”

The Shanghai Forum was hosted by Fudan University in Shanghai and sponsored by the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. Founded in 1905, Fudan University is one of the most prestigious universities in China, with an international reputation for excellence in academics and scientific research.

Chancellor Wrighton said he was deeply honored by the honorary degree he received from Fudan University and the Chinese Ministry of Education.

“I accept this honorary degree on behalf of all my colleagues at Washington University who have worked over the past decade to strengthen our relationship with Fudan University, one of the world’s premier universities,” Wrighton said. “Today is an important day in the history of what I expect will be a long and productive partnership between Fudan University and Washington University.

“For me personally, I have valued greatly the opportunity to work with talented leaders of Fudan University and to develop strong friendships with them,” he said.

St. Louis-Shanghai Partners

Chancellor Wrighton addressing the Shanghai Forum May 29.

Washington University and Fudan University are partners in several academic endeavors, including the Olin Business School’s Executive MBA program, ranked No. 1 one in mainland China since 2005 by the Financial Times; intensive language programs for undergraduates; and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

The McDonnell Academy brings together exceptional international graduate and professional students from its 26 partner institutions worldwide to pursue a world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another. The program is designed to prepare them as future leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries and critical international issues.

The academy also encourages other initiatives, such as faculty collaboration across institutions on global issues including energy, the environment, cultural understanding, human health, and economic and social development.

Mark S. Wrighton biography

Mark S. Wrighton, PhD, was elected the 14th chancellor of Washington University in 1995 and serves as its chief executive officer. In the years following his appointment, the university has made significant progress in student quality, campus improvements, resource development, curriculum and international reputation.

Born in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1949, Wrighton received his BS degree with honors in chemistry from Florida State University in 1969. He did his graduate work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), receiving his doctorate there in 1972. In 2002, he was named an honorary professor at Shandong University in Jinan, China.

Wrighton started his career at MIT in 1972. He was head of the Department of Chemistry from 1987-1990 and became provost of MIT in 1990, a post he held until the summer of 1995.

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University, founded in 1853, is a private institution with more than 13,000 students, about half of whom are in graduate or professional degree programs. The university has seven academic divisions: Arts & Sciences, Brown School of Social Work, Olin School of Business, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, School of Engineering & Applied Science, School of Law, and School of Medicine.

Washington University has 3,297 instructional faculty . They are distinguished both for their teaching and for their research and creative activities. Virtually all of the full-time teaching faculty hold the doctorate or final professional degree in their fields, and the same professors often teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. Twenty-three Nobel laureates have been associated with Washington University, nine doing the major part of their pioneering research here.

As the university’s reputation has grown, interest among prospective students has climbed dramatically — nearly 25,000 applications for about 1,500 openings in a typical entering class. Applications come from all 50 states and more than 100 other countries.