Trustees meet, elect new members and officers

At its spring meeting May 4, the Board of Trustees of Washington University in St. Louis elected seven new members to the board, re-elected seven members and elected officers, among other actions, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

The seven new electees are:

  • Maxine Clark, chief executive bear of Build-a-Bear Workshop;
  • Robert E. Hernreich, co-owner of the Sacramento Kings;
  • Louis G. Hutt, managing member of Bennett, Hutt & Co.;
  • Eric P. Upin, managing partner and director of global strategy of Makena Capital Management;
  • Robert Skandalaris, managing partner of Quantum Ventures of Michigan;
  • Barbara Schaps Thomas, senior vice president and chief financial officer of HBO Sports; and
  • Ann Rubenstein Tisch, founder and president of the Young Women’s Leadership Network.

Seven trustees were re-elected for a second four-year term. They are:

  • Corinna Cotsen, owner of Edifice Complex;
  • John F. Dains, CEO emeritus of Helm Financial Corp.;
  • John P. Dubinsky, president and CEO of Westmoreland Associates;
  • Eugene S. Kahn, former CEO of Claire’s Stores and former chairman and CEO of the May Department Stores Co.;
  • Steven F. Leer, chairman of Arch Coal;
  • James V. O’Donnell, president and CEO of Bush O’Donnell & Co.; and
  • Harry J. Seigle, principal of the Elgin Company.

In addition, the board elected its officers for 2012-13:

  • Stephen F. Brauer, chair;
  • David W. Kemper, vice chair; and
  • John F. McDonnell, vice chair.

Wrighton gave an update on construction projects on both the Danforth and Medical campuses. On the Danforth Campus, Wrighton noted that renovations to Umrath Hall, one of the campus’ historic buildings, will be complete in May, and site preparation work for the expansion of the Olin Business School has begun.

This summer, the Forsyth Boulevard bridge, which connects the South 40 to campus via an underpass, will be replaced. Demolition will begin following Commencement, necessitating the closing of Forsyth Boulevard until August.

During the summer months, work will continue on the new residence hall fire suppression system. Sever Hall, one of the former Engineering buildings, is undergoing renovations in preparation for the relocation of the Office of the General Counsel, and the fourth floor of Seigle Hall, which was built as shell space, is being finished and will be ready for occupancy this month.

On the Medical Campus, Wrighton reported that the 10th floor of the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University is now occupied by the Center for Women’s Reproductive Sciences Research. A new Environmental, Health and Safety Building will be constructed on McKinley Avenue, and the Genome Data Center expansion has been approved by the National Institutes of Health and will proceed.

The South County location of the Siteman Cancer Center is due to be completed in early 2013, and the Center for the Study of Itch is expanding to the 6th floor of the Clinical Sciences Research Building.

Wrighton made special note of the fact that Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and alumnus Mike Peters has been selected to give this year’s Commencement address on May 18.

Peters also will receive an honorary degree at the university’s 151st Commencement exercises, as will five other individuals:

  • David M. Becker, JD, the Joseph H. Zumbalen Professor Emeritus of the Law of Property and associate dean for external relations at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law;
  • C. Ronald Kahn, MD, an internationally recognized expert in diabetes and obesity research and chief academic officer at the Joslin Diabetes Center;
  • Richard J. Mahoney, retired chair and CEO of Monsanto and current distinguished executive in residence at WUSTL’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy and executive in residence at Olin Business School;
  • Gloria M. Steinem, a pioneering feminist, award-winning journalist and best-selling author; and
  • Donald M. Suggs, DDS, oral surgeon, publisher and executive director of The St. Louis American, patron of the arts and distinguished community leader.

During the ceremony, WUSTL also will bestow academic degrees on approximately 2,800 members of the Class of 2012.

Wrighton reported that Robert Mecham, PhD, a pioneering cell biologist, and Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, a leading national scholar in gerontology, will receive WUSTL’s 2012 faculty achievement awards.

Mecham is receiving the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award, and Morrow-Howell is receiving the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award. They will receive their awards and give presentations of their scholarly work during a ceremony in December.

Wrighton noted that seven WUSTL students were recently recognized with prestigious national scholarships, including two Truman Scholars, three Goldwater Scholarships, and two Udall Scholarships.

Wrighton recognized the extraordinary accomplishments of many of the university’s athletic teams, noting especially that the Department of Athletics is currently in first place in the 2011-12 Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.

As the year wraps up, the baseball and softball teams are both in the hunt for a NCAA postseason berth; the No. 2 women’s golf team is in line for its third-straight NCAA tournament appearance; and the men’s and women’s tennis teams and the men’s and women’s track and field teams are participating at the University Athletic Association conference championships.

During the May 4 meeting, the trustees heard an admissions update from Associate Vice Chancellor John A. Berg, and a presentation on the university’s mission statement from Provost Edward S. Macias.

In other actions, the board received reports from the following standing committees: nominating and governance, compensation, development, educational policy, honorary degree, medical finance, university finance, audit and the alumni board of governors.

The board received a review of the year from student representatives Ashley Brosius, a graduating senior in Arts & Sciences from Moline, Ill.; David Messenger, a graduating senior in Arts & Sciences from Bronx, N.Y.; Daniel Conner, a graduating MBA/engineering joint degree graduate student from Kihei, Hawaii; and Cong (Lucy) Li, a doctoral student in neuroscience from Beijing, China; as well as from faculty representative Heather A. Corcoran, Faculty Senate Council chair and associate professor of art.

Wrighton also welcomed new student representatives to the board. They are: Joshua Aiken, a sophomore in Arts & Sciences from Chandler, Ariz.; Mamatha Challa, a junior in Arts & Sciences from Orland Park, Ill; David Collier, a law student from the Kansas City area; and Michael Lee, a medical student from Berkeley, Calif.

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