Journalist, author Friedman headlines Founders Day ceremony

Nov. 8 celebration also confers distinguished faculty and alumni awards

Acclaimed journalist and author Thomas L. Friedman will headline the annual Founders Day celebration at Washington University in St. Louis Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch.


The annual banquet and ceremony that honors the 1853 founding of Washington University also confers the Distinguished Faculty Awards, Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Robert S. Brookings Awards.

Friedman is widely considered to be among the world’s most influential thinkers. The popular columnist for The New York Times is renowned for his direct reporting and sophisticated analysis of complex issues facing the world.

He also is a prolific and best-selling author – and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner — who has been with the Times since 1981, covering some of the most important stories around the globe.

His most recent best-seller, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, is “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.”

Among his other works, the 2005 book, “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century,” sold over 4 million copies and received the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of 
the Year Award. In 2012, Friedman updated his National Book Award-winner, “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” adding a fresh discussion of the Arab Awakenings and Arab/Israeli relations in a new preface and afterword.

His book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America,” made it to No. 1 on the Times’ best-seller list. In addition, Friedman is the author of “Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism” and “The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization,” which Kirkus Reviews called “simply the best book written on globalization.”

The Distinguished Faculty Awards

The Distinguished Faculty Awards recognize outstanding commitment to the intellectual and personal development of students. Recipients this year are:

  • Philip Bayly, PhD, the Lilyan and E. Lisle Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science;
  • Rebecca Dresser, JD, the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law
 in the School of Law and professor of ethics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis;
  • Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine; and
  • Tristram R. (T.R.) Kidder, PhD, the Edward S. and Tedi Macias Professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology in Arts & Sciences.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize outstanding professional achievement, public service, exceptional service to Washington University, or 
all three. Recipients this year are:

  • Jay Jacobs (AB ’92), managing director and president, Pacific Investment Management Company LLC;
  • Alicia McDonnell (JD ’95);
  • Walter L. Metcalfe Jr. (AB ’60), senior counsel and former chairman, Bryan Cave LLP;
  • Dave Moellenhoff (BS ’92, BS ’92, MBA ’94), co-founder,;
  • Steven Cash Nickerson (JD ’85, MBA ’93), president and principal, PDS Tech Inc.; and
  • Gene Schnair (AB ’73, MARCH ’76, MBA ’76), fellow, American Institute of Architects and managing partner, 
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

Robert S. Brookings Awards

Presented by the Board of Trustees, the Robert S. Brookings Award honors individuals for their extraordinary dedication and generosity to Washington University. Recipients this year are:

For more information about Founders Day, visit here.