Founders Day 2010: The Distinguished Alumni Award winners

Part 3 of 3: Six honored at Nov. 6 gala

Washington University’s Alumni Association will commemorate the institution’s founding at the annual Founders Day celebration Saturday, Nov. 6, at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott.

David McCullough, acclaimed historian and award-winning author, will deliver the keynote address. A hallmark of the event is the presentation of Distinguished Faculty Awards, Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Robert S. Brookings Awards.

This is the third of a three-part series profiling the recipients of this year’s Founders Day awards. The Oct. 28 Record featured four WUSTL faculty receiving the Distinguished Faculty Awards, and the Oct. 29 Record featured the recipients of the Brookings Award.

Tickets are still available to the WUSTL community and alumni and can be reserved by calling (314) 935-6503.

Alumni receiving awards this year are: David W. Detjen, JD (LA ’70, LW ’73); Eric D. Green, MD (GM ’87, MD ’87); Donald A. Jubel (EN ’73); W. S. Lin (GB ’76); Ruth Lynford (AR ’46); and Louis B. Susman, LLB (LW ’62).

David W. Detjen

Detjen follows a family tradition, beginning with his great-grandfather, of practicing international law.


A partner in the New York office of Alston & Bird LLP, he also heads up its team that represents European clients, many of them German. His efforts in forging German-American relations were recognized in 2007 by then-president of Germany Horst Koehler with the Officer’s Cross, First Class, of the German Order of Merit.

Detjen earned a bachelor’s degree in 1970 in European history in the Department of History in Arts & Sciences. He also studied German here and studied abroad at the Eberhard-Karls-Universitat in Tubingen.

After earning a law degree from WUSTL in 1973, Detjen began his career clerking for the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Soon after, he joined a St. Louis law firm and began lecturing at WUSTL’s School of Law. He joined Walter, Conston, Alexander & Green in New York City in 1980, where he was a partner in the firm until 2000 when it merged with Alston & Bird.

A summer research project during his senior year led to the publication of his first book, The Germans in Missouri, 1900-1918. Since then, he has authored two treaties on international joint ventures, and two bilingual handbooks for the German-American Chamber of Commerce, in addition to many legal articles.

He serves WUSTL and the law school in several ways. He is a former Ethan A. H. Shepley Trustee and volunteers for the Alumni and Parents Admission Program. He is a member and former chair of New York’s Eliot Society Committee and formerly served as its national members chair.

He serves on national councils for both the School of Law and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. With his wife, Barbara (LA ’70), he co-chaired their 35th WUSTL class reunion.

Dedicated supporters of the university, the Detjens donate to the Scholars in Law Program and are Life Fellows of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. In 2010, he received Arts & Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award.

Eric D. Green

Since 1994, Green has helped guide the spectacular growth and diversification of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest organization solely dedicated to genomics research.


Before being named director in 2009, he served as NHGRI’s scientific director, chief of the Genome Technology Branch and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center.

Green earned a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981, then returned to his native St. Louis to earn medical and doctoral degrees from WUSTL. During his residency training in clinical pathology, Green worked in Maynard Olson’s laboratory, where he launched his genomics research program. From 1992-94, he taught pathology and genetics, and became co-investigator at the university’s Human Genome Center.

For the past two decades, Green has led a research program at the forefront of mapping, sequencing and understanding complex genomes. His significant contributions to the field include the establishment of a program in comparative genomics to study evolutionarily diverse species; the identification and characterization of several human disease genes; and the rollout of a large-scale teaching effort of DNA sequencing to study genomic variation among humans.

He is the founding editor of Genome Research, a scholarly journal, and is a series editor of Genome Analysis: A Laboratory Manual, and co-editor of Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics. Green has authored or co-authored more than 250 scientific publications.

Green was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award from the School of Medicine in 2005. Other top honors include inductions into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians.

Donald A. Jubel

Jubel followed his late father, Henry, into Washington University and into the family business.


The elder Jubel, after graduating with an engineering degree in 1940, founded Spartan Light Metal Products, a manufacturer of highly engineered aluminum and magnesium die cast solutions for the power train markets. During summer breaks, the younger Jubel worked in every area of the plant, learning the business from the ground up.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1973 from the School of Engineering & Applied Science and a master’s of business administration from the University of Missouri in 1974, Jubel became the initial project engineer for Spartan’s magnesium operation. He worked his way up to president in 1991, and was named chief executive officer in 1999. Today, Spartan’s 700 employees work in operations across Missouri and Illinois, and as far away as Tokyo.

As an alumnus, he serves the engineering school as a member of its national council, as chair of its Eliot Society and as a member of its Patrons Committee. Jubel also is a member and past president of the school’s Alumni Advisory Council and co-chaired the Class of 1973’s 35th Reunion.

Both Jubel and his company sponsor scholarships for engineering students: Spartan Light Metal Products has endowed four scholarships and with his wife, Karen, sponsor two annual scholarships.

In addition to his service to WUSTL, he is active in a number of St. Louis area community organizations, his church and professional associations.

To recognize his efforts, Jubel received in 2008 both the School of Engineering’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the Alumni Achievement Award. His father received the latter award in 1997.

Wei-Shan Lin

After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Tatung University in Taipei, Taiwan, Lin enrolled in graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He transferred to Washington University and graduated in 1976 with a master of business administration degree from Olin Business School.


While working on his academic degree, he continued a professional association already in place with Tatung Co., a manufacturer of consumer electronics, home appliances and industrial equipment based in Taipei. By the time Lin graduated from WUSTL, he was armed with years of business experience.

Throughout his tenure with Tatung, Lin led several initiatives to expand. During the 1980s, he established several joint ventures between prominent U.S. and Japanese companies, such as Otis, Okuma and Fanuc.

Chief among his accomplishments was for Tatung to be the first, in 1981, to enter the color cathode ray tube monitor industry with IBM as a partner. His leadership during the development process assured the monitors’ solid design and quality, quadrupling sales for the item.

In 2006, Lin became Tatung’s president and chairman. Under his leadership — spanning more than 30 years — the company has been transformed into a diversified conglomerate. Its growth can be measured in the company’s consolidated sales revenue, which has increased from $6 billion in 1999 to $10 billion in 2008.

Established 92 years ago, Tatung Co. is the oldest large industrial business in Taiwan. Although Lin has taken the company to new heights, he adheres to its original corporate management philosophy: “Honesty, Integrity, Industry and Frugality.” His personal management style includes conducting classes himself for managers to instill the company’s corporate values and management principles.

For his service to WUSTL, which includes membership in the International Advisory Council for Asia and the Olin Business School’s National Council, Lin received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992.

Ruth Lynford

Lynford earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from WUSTL in 1946, then headed for New York where she joined the architectural firm York and Sawyer. Four years later — after being told that women architects were not allowed in the field or the design studio — she proved them wrong and founded an interior design firm.


Today, as president of Lynford Ltd., she serves a wide range of residential, commercial and institutional clients.

In addition to enjoying a successful career, Lynford has worked tirelessly to help others achieve success in her chosen field and to promote design education and sustainable architecture and interior design. A strong advocate for education, she created a collaboration of New York state educational institutions offering four-year or more programs in interior design. Called the New York Eleven (NY11), the now 12 schools include Cornell University, Pratt Institute and Parsons The New School for Design.

Lynford also helped create legislation formally recognizing interior design as the 33rd licensed profession in the state of New York. The bill is being used as a model for similar state initiatives.

On a more global scale, Lynford serves on the board of directors of the International Center for Integrative Studies, a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations devoted to developing integrative and interdisciplinary concepts and models. She also is a director of the International Council of Caring Communities, another United Nations NGO.

Lynford serves her alma mater as a longtime member of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts National Council, and is a member of the New York Regional Cabinet and the New York Eliot Society Committee. She belongs to the Woman’s Club of Washington University.

Among her many professional distinctions, Lynford has an honorary doctorate from the New York School of Interior Design and has received the Leadership Award of Excellence from the International Interior Design Association. In 2005, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the architecture school.

Louis B. Susman

After more than four decades at the center of Democratic politics, Susman capped off a remarkable political career with the presidential appointment in 2009 as the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.


Since 1968, when he began working for the senate campaign of the late Sen. Thomas Eagleton, Susman has been involved in many presidential and congressional campaigns, serving in a variety of capacities and earning a reputation as a premier fundraiser. In 2004, he was presidential candidate John Kerry’s national finance chairman. Prior to his ambassadorship, he served in an advisory role to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Since 1962, when he graduated from the School of Law with a LLB degree, Susman also has enjoyed a successful career in the legal and banking professions. From 1975-1989, he practiced law as a senior partner at St. Louis-based Thompson & Mitchell.

He then joined Salomon Brothers as managing director of its Chicago office, becoming in 1996 the vice-chair of the Global Corporate Investment Bank. When Salomon Brothers merged with Citigroup two years later, he joined its International Advisory Board.

Known for his diplomacy skills, Susman was tapped by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to serve on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. Other significant nonpartisan roles included serving as a director of the Center for National Policy, an organization that examines national public policy issues; chairing the U.S.- U.K. Fulbright Commission and the American School in London; and being a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Susman serves on the board of many public organizations and corporations, among them The Art Institute of Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Northwestern Children’s Memorial Hospital.

During the period he was on the board of directors and management committee for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club, the team won a World Series and two National League Championships.

Susman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.