The Institute for Public Health serves as an important bridge across campus, connecting all seven schools to strengthen Washington University in St. Louis’ impact on public health.
Currently, the institute’s sole facility is on the Medical Campus, but thanks to alumnus and university trustee Harry Seigle (AB ’68) and his wife, Susan, the institute soon also will have a home on the Danforth Campus.
The Seigle Suite for the Institute for Public Health, as it will be known, will be housed in the new Brown School building slated for completion in 2015.
In announcing the couple’s $1 million gift to provide the Seigle Suite, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said:
“Harry and Susan Seigle’s outstanding generosity will enable us to create a special space for the Institute for Public Health that will foster a collaborative environment and encourage exciting new education, research and scholarship in public health.”
Prominently placed near the new building’s garden-level entrance, the Seigle Suite will include a reception area, several offices and a conference room.
“The new Seigle Suite will greatly enhance the institute’s presence and provide the kind of spaces that our students, faculty and staff need to conduct their work here,” said William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and institute director. “With this gift, the Seigles are making an important contribution to advancing public health.”
“The Seigle Suite will be a wonderful addition to the Brown School expansion and will ensure that the collaboration of schools and disciplines we envision for public health will occur,” said Edward F. Lawlor, PhD, Brown School dean, the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor and the institute’s founding director.
The Institute for Public Health’s relationship with the Brown School is extensive: Brown awards the university’s master of public health degree; more than 30 of its faculty are institute scholars; and Brown researchers direct three of the institute’s five centers.
Lawlor noted that, as a member of the Brown School National Council, Harry Seigle is committed to the school’s mission and understands the transdisciplinary nature of its work covering broad areas of public health, social work, international economics and public policy.
The Seigle name already is prominent on the Danforth Campus: there is Seigle Hall, built to facilitate interdisciplinary work between the social sciences and the School of Law, and Seigle Commons, in the Village.
In addition to facilities support, the Seigles established the Seigle Family Professorship in Arts & Sciences in 2003 (held by Ping Wang, PhD, of the Department of Economics) and fund both annual and endowed scholarships in Arts & Sciences known as the Seigle Family Scholarships.
Seigle, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at WUSTL, went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University and practiced law before joining the family lumber business in 1974, eventually becoming chair and president. First known as Elgin Lumber Co. and later renamed Seigle’s Inc., the company became the largest building-material supplier to Chicago homebuilders.
After selling the firm in 2005, Seigle established The Elgin Co., a private real estate and investment firm.
Throughout his professional life, Seigle has remained an active and engaged alumnus.
“Harry is one of our hardest-working alumni volunteers, and he has held a number of key leadership and advisory positions throughout the past two decades,” Wrighton said.
In addition to his work on the Brown School National Council, Seigle has served for nearly a decade as a university trustee and has assumed several leadership roles for Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University, including national co-chair for Regional Campaigns, chair of the Chicago Regional Campaign, and a member of the Brown School Campaign Committee.
Seigle also was a Scholarship Initiative volunteer and founding chair of the Chicago Regional Cabinet. He is a former vice-chair for the Arts & Sciences National Council. Furthermore, the Seigles are life members of the Chancellor’s Level of the Danforth Circle.
For his service, he has received several honors from the university, including a Founders Day Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003, a Chicago Regional Award in 2002, and, with Susan, the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2008.
Public service plays an important role in Seigle’s life. In addition to serving as president of the Chicago American Jewish Committee and trustee of the Steppenwolf Theater, he is a former chairman of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Finance Authority.
Harry and Susan Seigle have been married more than 40 years and have three sons: Max (AB ’00), Joseph (AB ’05) and Ben, a University of Chicago graduate.