Trustees meet, elect two new members

At its spring meeting, held April 30-May 1, the Board of Trustees at Washington University in St. Louis elected two new members and heard reports on the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and plans for the East Campus, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

The two new board members elected to four-year terms are Washington University alumni Lee Fixel, partner and managing director of Tiger Global Management LLC in New York, and Jay Jacobs, president of Pacific Investment Management Company in Newport Beach, Calif.

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

  • John D. Beuerlein, general partner of Edward Jones;
  • Gregory H. Boyce, chairman and CEO of Peabody Energy;
  • Andrew M. Bursky, chief executive officer of Atlas Holdings LLC;
  • Arnold W. Donald, chief executive officer of Carnival Corp.;
  • Priscilla L. Hill-Ardoin, retired senior vice president for regulatory compliance and chief privacy officer for AT&T Services Inc.;
  • Thomas J. Hillman, founder and managing partner of FTL Capital Partners LLC;
  • Sanford C. Loewentheil, chairman and co-founder of L + M Development Partners Inc.;
  • George Paz, chairman and CEO of Express Scripts Holding Co.;
  • Scott Rudolph, president of Piping Rock Health Products LLC;
  • Gary M. Sumers, senior managing director and chief operating officer, retired senior advisor for Blackstone Real Estate;
  • Jack E. Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of Coin Acceptors Inc.; and
  • Joyce F. Wood, owner of J. Wood & Associates LLC.

The board also elected former trustee Hugh Grant, chairman and CEO of Monsanto Company, to a new term.

During Friday’s meeting, Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts, gave an update on the school’s priorities and its Leading Together capital campaign.

The trustees also heard an update on East Campus planning from Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration, and Trustee Andrew E. Newman, chairman of Hackett Security Inc. and chair of the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Administrative transitions

In his report to the trustees, Wrighton noted that Lori S. White, PhD, vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University, has been appointed to succeed Sharon Stahl, PhD, as vice chancellor for students when Stahl retires July 1.

He expressed his appreciation to Stahl for her more than 25 years of service to the university and to the students.

Wrighton also noted three additional important administrative transitions in the coming months. The search continues for the next dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, who will assume the position that has been held by Larry J. Shapiro, MD, for the past 12 years.

In addition, Aaron F. Bobick, PhD, professor and founding chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been named the new dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, effective July 1. He will succeed Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, who is stepping down at the end of the academic year after serving as dean since 2010.

Wrighton also announced that Vice Chancellor for Finance Barbara A. Feiner will step down from her position at the end of the calendar year.

Wrighton reported that the Admissions Office has had a busy spring recruitment season and that Friday was decision day for admitted students to respond to offers of admission. A full report on the composition of the fall 2015 freshman class will be available at the October board meeting.

Wrighton noted the success of the spring sports teams with women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and softball teams all waiting word on NCAA championship tournament placements to be announced May 4.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams combined to win 11 conference titles this season to lead both teams to a runner-up finish at the recent UAA Championships, and the baseball team has won seven of its last eight games to improve its overall record to 29-13.


Wrighton made special note of the fact that award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, who has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, will deliver the Commencement address May 15.

Burns will also receive an honorary degree at the university’s 154th Commencement exercises, as will four other individuals:

  • Mary-Dell Chilton, PhD, a distinguished science fellow at Syngenta Biotechnology Inc. and a key founder of modern plant biotechnology;
  • Gerald D. Fischbach, MD, an internationally renowned neuroscientist and chief scientist and fellow of the Simons Foundation;
  • Herbie Hancock, an icon of modern music who has had an illustrious career spanning five decades; and
  • Susan Talve, the founding rabbi of St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation who was named one of the nation’s most inspirational rabbis in 2014.

Wrighton gave an update on construction projects on both campuses. Among the projects on the Danforth Campus, he reported that Hillman Hall, the Brown School and Institute for Public Health expansion, is scheduled for completion this June, and the new Sumers Fitness and Recreation Center is still on track to open in August 2016.

The fit-out of the third floor in Green Hall is finished and Phase II of the Simon Hall renovations will begin following Commencement. Olin Library will undergo a 15-month renovation project beginning in May 2016.

Wrighton noted that on the Medical Campus, construction on the Scott McKinley Research Building is progressing with move-in expected by August 2015. A new administrative office building, for joint use by BJC and the School of Medicine, will be completed in December 2016 at the site of the old coal bunker.

Also, a new off-site pediatric ambulatory center will be completed this month and an expansion to the exam and support areas for patients at the Siteman Cancer Center is to be completed by August.

The chancellor also acknowledged the deaths of three members of the Washington University School of Medicine community: Grant W. Farmer, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate, who died April 7 at age 36; John W. Olney, MD, the John P. Feighner Professor of Psychiatry and professor of pathology and immunology, who died April 14 at age 83; and David C. Beebe, PhD, the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, who died March 27 at age 70.

Faculty representative to the board, William W. Clark, PhD, chair of the Faculty Senate Council, and the outgoing student representatives to the board provided reviews of the year.

Arts & Sciences seniors Tori Bawel, a chemistry major, and Maya Walton, an urban studies major, represented undergraduate students on the board.

Gregory Ebersole, a fourth-year MD candidate at the School of Medicine, and Tess Thompson, a third-year doctoral student in the Brown School, were the graduate student representatives.

In addition, the trustees heard reports from the following standing committees: compensation, development, educational policy, global engagement, honorary degree, medical finance, nominating and governance, university finance and Alumni Board of Governors and received a written report from the audit committee.

The two new trustees:

Lee Fixel

Fixel is a partner at Tiger Global Management, LLC and head of the firm’s private equity business. He focuses on privately held venture and growth-stage investments in the consumer Internet sector, primarily in the U.S. and India.

Fixel has led the firm’s investments in Facebook, Linkedin, Eventbrite, Warby Parker, Surveymonkey, Thumbtack, Quora, Glassdoor, Flipkart and Ola.

Prior to joining Tiger Global in 2006, Fixel was an analyst at Alkeon Capital Management, an investment firm focused on global growth equities. He holds a BSBA in accounting and finance from Washington University, completed the General Course at the London School of Economics and is a CFA charterholder.

Fixel also serves on the board of directors of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Jay Jacobs

Jacobs is president and a managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company’s (PIMCO) Newport Beach office. Prior to being elected president, he served as the global head of talent management, leading the firm’s human resources area and its human capital initiatives.

Previously, he spent five years in PIMCO’s Munich office as the head of PIMCO’s German business and a senior member of the European management team. He joined the firm in 1998 as a member of the executive office working closely with the leadership team in Newport Beach.

Jacobs, who has 20 years of investment experience, earned an MBA from Georgetown University in 1998 and a bachelor’s degree in economics in Arts & Sciences from Washington University in 1992.