Founders Day gala honors faculty, alumni Nov. 6

Part 1 of 3: Acclaimed historian David McCullough to deliver keynote address; four to receive Distinguished Faculty Awards

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.

A hallmark of the event is the presentation of Distinguished Faculty Awards, Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Robert S. Brookings Awards. David McCullough, acclaimed historian and award-winning author, will deliver the keynote address. McCullough was a last-minute cancellation last year due to illness.

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


McCullough, a two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, has many bestsellers to his credit. His most recent book is 1776, published in 2005.

His body of work covers a variety of subjects and characters, but all contain compelling narratives of American people.

His first book, The Johnston Flood, was published in 1968 to critical praise. Other works include The Great Bridge, a history of the Brooklyn Bridge; The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal; Mornings on Horseback, which details the early years of Theodore Roosevelt; Brave Companions, essays on extraordinary Americans; and Truman, which became an HBO movie. In 2001, he released John Adams, which was made into a popular HBO miniseries.

McCullough has appeared in television shows and documentaries, including several by Ken Burns. He hosted PBS’ American Experience from 1988-1999.

Among McCullough’s many accolades are more than 40 honorary degrees; the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian award; the New York Public Library’s Literary Lion Award; membership in the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Academy of Achievement; and the National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecturer.

His works have been published in 10 languages, and, most significantly, all his books still are in print.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

The Distinguished Faculty Awards will be presented to four outstanding faculty members who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the intellectual and personal growth of their students.

They are: Deanna Barch, PhD, professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and professor of psychiatry and of radiology in the School of Medicine; Stuart A. Kornfeld, MD, the David C. and Betty Farrell Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine; William R. Lowry, PhD, professor of political science in Arts & Sciences; and Anjan V. Thakor, PhD, the John E. Simon Professor of Finance and senior associate dean in the Olin Business School.

Deanna Barch

Barch is a leading authority on the interplay of cognition, emotion and brain function to study mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and other serious mood disorders. Through her research, Barch hopes to find the bases for disturbances in cognitive control and emotional processing in schizophrenics and for those at risk of its development.


Working with students pursuing integrated training in psychology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering, she directs a multidisciplined approach to the study of psychiatric disorders.

Her graduate students have recognized her commitment to teaching with two Outstanding Faculty Mentor awards. Other honors include the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of psychopathology from the American Psychological Association. In 2005, she was awarded a fellowship at the Clare Hall Center for Advanced Studies at Cambridge University.

Barch eaned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University in 1987 and a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After earning a doctorate, Barch joined the faculty of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh medical school, where she served a one-year internship and a three-year postdoctoral fellowship.

She taught psychiatry for a year before joining WUSTL as an assistant professor of psychology and as co-director of the Cognitive Control and Psychopathology Laboratory. She became an associate professor of psychology, of psychiatry and of radiology in 2003 and a full professor in 2008.

Also in 2008, she became director of the Silvio Conte Center for Neuroscience Research at the School of Medicine.

The author of more than 120 publications, Barch also serves as editor-in-chief of Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. She serves on the committee for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Psychosis and on the Research Domain Criteria project for the National Institutes of Health.

Stuart A. Kornfeld

For more than 40 years, Kornfeld has been a prominent hematologist, educator, mentor, clinician and administrator at the School of Medicine.


His pioneering research — some of which was conducted with his late wife, Rosalind — led to groundbreaking discoveries concerning sugar chains and how they direct protein movements within cells. He continues this work in cellular protein trafficking, a multistep process that uses a series of recognition signals to mediate their sorting, packing and transport.

As testament to his major contributions to biochemistry, Kornfeld’s papers were selected for the 2007 “Classics Series” of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This year, he received one of the most prestigious awards in academia, the George M. Kober Medal, from the Association of American Physicians. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Kornfeld graduated from Dartmouth College in 1958. After earning a medical degree from WUSTL in 1962, he conducted his postgraduate training at Barnes Hospital and at the National Institutes of Health. In 1966, he returned to the university as an instructor and rose to full professorship in 1972. In 2000, he was inaugurated as the David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professor of Medicine.

Among his administrative contributions is serving as co-director of the Division of Hematology for more than 30 years. He currently co-directs the Physician Scientist Training Program.

William R. Lowry

Lowry’s teaching and research interests are American politics, public policy and environmental issues, especially at the place where they converge. He is considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on policies affecting our nation’s public lands and rivers.


In many of his five books and dozens of scholarly articles, Lowry blends scientific data, comparative analysis and personal experience to explain how past policies have affected our natural resources and how new policies can help restore and preserve them.

The former Navy quartermaster earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University, a master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from Stanford University. An avid outdoorsman, he once worked as a seasonal ranger in Yosemite National Park.

After a stint as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, he joined the WUSTL faculty as an assistant professor. In the early 1990s, he helped develop the environmental studies program, which has grown significantly.

For his outstanding teaching and mentorship, Lowry has been honored with two Political Science Professor of the Year awards and also has been recognized by Mortar Board, the Interfraternity Council and the Women’s Panhellenic Association. In 1999, he received the university’s Advisor of the Year award. He also serves on numerous university committees, including the Campus Y.

Lowry served on a National Research Council panel in 2003 and served as the Fulbright Chair of North American Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta.

Anjan V. Thakor

Thakor is a renowned authority on information economics, corporate finance and banking. The author of seven books and more than 100 journal articles, he is acknowledged as one of the most prolific researchers in his field.


For several years, he served on the nominating committee for the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and was the former president of the Financial Intermediation Research Society. Thakor also has served as an expert witness in federal cases involving financial issues.

His administrative and curricular contributions are substantial. They include the redesign of Olin’s Executive MBA program and the development of the concept behind the specialized master of science program in finance. He has been instrumental in the creation of two research centers, the Center for Finance and Accounting and the Institute for Innovation and Growth. He chairs Olin’s Long-range Planning Committee for Programs.

Before joining WUSTL, Thakor was the Edward J. Frey Professor of Banking and Finance at the University of Michigan Business School, where he also chaired the finance group. At the Indiana School of Business, he was named the Indiana National Bank Professor of Finance and chaired the finance department. He earned a doctorate from Northwestern University in 1979.

He has served as managing editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation and is on its advisory board.

Outside of academia, Thakor runs a consulting firm, Value Integration Association, and is a partner in the management consultant company, The Wholonics Leadership Group.

This is the first of a three-part series highlighting Founders Day honorees. On Oct. 29, the Record will highlight the Robert S. Brookings Award recipients and, on Nov. 1, the Distinguished Alumni Award winners.