At its fall meeting Oct. 5, the Board of Trustees elected trustee Craig D. Schnuck, chair of the executive committee of St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets, to a newly created additional vice chair role and heard a report on the Washington University endowment by Kimberly G. Walker, chief investment officer.
The trustees also held a moment of silence and presented a memorial resolution for Lee Liberman, PhD, a life trustee and former chair of the Board of Trustees, who died Aug. 31, 2012, in St. Louis. An outstanding university and St. Louis community leader, Liberman had served on the Board of Trustees since 1975.
In his report to the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton reported that 1,640 members of the fall 2012 freshman class moved in Aug. 23 and already have made a smooth transition to campus life, thanks to the dedication of the staff and student members of the orientation team. He noted that, although this year’s 14th annual Service First event Sept. 1 was cancelled due to inclement weather, student volunteers have been hard at work on subsequent weekends, providing much-needed service at a number of St. Louis-area schools.
This year’s class, selected from more than 27,000 applicants, came from across the U.S. and from 26 countries. He added that, once again, nearly 40 percent are multicultural or international students, and that the class is evenly made up of male and female students. Recruitment for next year’s class is already under way and both campus visits and applications are up over last year at this time.
Wrighton gave updates on construction projects on both campuses. On the Danforth Campus, he reported on planning for development of facilities for the Brown School of Social Work and the Institute of Public Health, the Delmar Loop student living initiative, the mid-August reopening of the Forsyth Boulevard underpass, and the Olin Business School expansion, which includes two new buildings — Bauer and Knight halls. He also noted that McMillan Hall is being renovated on the west side and new teaching facilities for the Department of Anthropology are being added on the north side.
He gave special mention to the newly renovated Umrath Hall, which recently opened for the fall semester. Originally built in 1902 as a men’s dormitory, Umrath’s intensive yearlong renovation began in June 2011 and retained the building’s historic exterior but included a complete reconstruction of the building’s interior and a new roof, giving the century-old building a new life. It is now home to the Danforth Center for Religion and Politics, the Center for the Humanities, the Department of Classics and other programs.
Among the construction projects occurring for the School of Medicine, the South County Cancer Center is targeted for completion in mid-November, Wrighton said, with move-in and occupancy planned for early 2013. This expansion of the Siteman Cancer Center is a collaborative undertaking with BJC HealthCare and Barnes Jewish Hospital. Construction of facilities for the Center for the Study of Itch on the sixth floor of the Clinical Sciences Research Building is now complete, and renovation is under way on an “open lab” concept for the departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology and of Medicine.
Four important leadership transitions recently have been announced, Wrighton said, including the decision of Edward S. Macias to step down from his position as provost and executive vice chancellor next June following 25 years as the university’s chief academic officer.
Additionally, Barbara Schaal, PhD, the Mary-Dell Chilton Professor of Biology, will become the next dean of Arts & Sciences on Jan. 1, succeeding Gary S. Wihl, PhD, the Hortense & Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities in Arts & Sciences, who will be on leave beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Finally, Wrighton reported that, effective Oct. 1, James V. Wertsch, PhD, was named vice chancellor for international relations and John A. Berg was promoted to vice chancellor for admissions.
Wrighton reported that the McDonnell International Scholars Academy welcomed 16 new graduate and professional students from 11 partner institutions worldwide for the 2012-13 academic year, including, for the first time, two scholars from the United States.
Last week, Chelsea Clinton announced at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York that WUSTL will serve as the host of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), April 5-7, 2013, on the Danforth Campus. President Bill Clinton, who will be present at the event, launched CGI U in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts and celebrities discuss solutions to pressing global issues. About 1,000 students will be invited to attend, including about 200 WUSTL students.
Wrighton made special note of the 25th anniversary of the university’s Ervin Scholars Program, held Sept. 15 at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott. The late Vice Chancellor for Students James E. McLeod founded the program in 1987 to pay tribute to WUSTL’s first African-American dean, John B. Ervin, PhD. More than 1,000 alumni, family and friends of the program participated. On the same weekend, McLeod’s Way was dedicated, celebrating McLeod’s remarkably effective leadership. The dedication included opening a new landscaped gathering place on the South 40.
The university finished the fiscal year June 30 with good financial results, Wrighton told the trustees. Top-line revenue was about $2.3 billion, an increase of $62 million from the year before. The total operating surplus was $105 million, compared to $123 million in the prior year. Endowment return was approximately 1.7 percent and, after spending 4.3 percent of current market value, the value of the endowment was $5.3 billion on June 30, 2011, representing a decline of $46 million from fiscal 2011.
Wrighton recognized the extraordinary accomplishments and national rankings of several of the university’s athletic teams early in the fall season, including the No. 1-ranked volleyball team and the No. 5-ranked women’s golf team. He noted especially senior tennis player Adam Putterman, who recently won the USTA/ITA central regional singles championship for the second straight year; and 2012 graduate and track athlete Liz Phillips, who is among the top nine student athletes selected as finalists for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year award. She is the third finalist in WUSTL history.
In addition, the board heard reports from the following standing committees: development, educational policy, university finance, global engagement, medical finance, audit and the alumni board of governors.
Craig D. Schnuck
Craig D. Schnuck is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Schnuck Markets Inc., one of the largest privately held supermarket chains in the United States. Based in suburban St. Louis, the family-owned company was started in 1939 and now operates 100 stores in five states throughout the Midwest. Schnuck was elected president of Schnuck Markets in 1984, served as its chief executive officer from 1989 to 2006 and chairman from 1991 to 2006. He currently serves as chair of the company’s executive committee. Schnuck served for nine years on the board of governors of the Uniform Code Council, the agency that oversees the retail food industry’s most fundamental technologies, serving as its chairman for two terms.
Schnuck serves as a trustee of Washington University. He is vice chair of the board of directors of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and serves on the board of BJC Healthcare, where he is chair of the finance and planning committee. Schnuck also has served as chairman of Civic Progress and a member of its executive committee. He has been a director of U.S. Bancorp since 2002 and director for several of U.S. Bank’s predecessor banks and bank holding companies from 1979 to 2001. He served from 1990 to 2002 as a director of General American Life Insurance Co., an independent insurance company that became a subsidiary of MetLife. Schnuck is a longtime member of the executive board of the Greater St. Louis Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has served as chairman and currently serves as vice-president.