Transforming student lives and the world

Leading Together enhances excellence at Washington University.

Members of the Sumers family gathered at the dedication of the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center Oct. 28, 2016: (from left) James Sumers; Katie Sumers; Brian Sumers; Elizabeth Fowler; Gary Sumers, AB ’75; Marsha Goldberg; and Stephen Goldberg. (Joe Angeles/Washington University)
Members of the Sumers family gathered at the dedication of the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center Oct. 28, 2016: (from left) James Sumers; Katie Sumers; Brian Sumers; Elizabeth Fowler; Gary Sumers, AB ’75; Marsha Goldberg; and Stephen Goldberg. (Joe Angeles/Washington University)


Andrew C. Taylor is a life trustee; executive chair, Enterprise Holdings; and chair, Leading Together. (Joe Angeles/Washington University)
Andrew C. Taylor is executive chair of Enterprise Holdings and a life trustee and chair of the “Leading Together” capital campaign at Washington University. (Joe Angeles/Washington University)

Every gift, of any size, plays a vital role in Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to raise more than $2.4 billion to date. We have surpassed $400 million for new scholarships and fellowships, which will open doors of opportunity for qualified students from all walks of life. Endowed professorships, deanships and directorships all provide critical resources to help recruit and retain distinguished faculty. Generous donors have established 118 new endowed positions so far.

We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to Leading Together, and I encourage the rest of our alumni and friends to join us. Your generosity will help transform the lives of students and the world in which we live.

For more on all gifts to the campaign, please visit

Inaugural Ralph J. Nagel Dean installed for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Carmon Colangelo was installed as the first Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Nov. 18, 2016. Colangelo, a widely exhibited artist and the E. Desmond Lee ­Professor for Collaboration in the Arts, has served as dean of the Sam Fox School since 2006.

The deanship was established through a $5 million commitment from Trustee Ralph Nagel, BArch ’67, MArch ’69, and his wife, Trish Nagel, JD ’74. Their generosity will enable the school to enhance critical programs, fund creative research, and strengthen technological resources and cutting-edge initiatives.

“It’s all about empowering the school to move beyond its current boundaries in inspiring the next generation of ­leaders to take creative risks,” Ralph Nagel says. “The Sam Fox School has the legacy, scale and depth to support this critical need in society.”

The Nagels are longtime supporters of the university and co-chairs of the ­Denver Regional Cabinet. Trish Nagel serves on the School of Medicine National Council, and Ralph Nagel serves on the national council of the Sam Fox School.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says, “I am deeply grateful that Ralph and Trish have chosen to establish this prestigious position at Washington University. Their generosity will help ensure the continued excellence and growth of the Sam Fox School.”

Sumers Recreation Center supports fitness and well-being for all

On Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, Washington University dedicated the new Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center, a spacious, modern 60,000-square-foot facility for sports, recreation and fitness on the Danforth Campus. The center was made possible through a $12 million lead gift from Trustee Gary Sumers, AB ’75, and the many alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff who have made gifts to revitalize the university’s athletics and recreation facilities. The Sumers Center provides state-of-the-art facilities for physical fitness, recreational sports and varsity athletics, and it serves the physical and emotional well-being of the entire campus community.

‘Washington University has been a defining part of my life’

Gary Sumers, AB ’75, has long supported student endeavors and scholarships at Washington University. (James Byard/Washington University)
Gary Sumers, AB ’75 (James Byard/Washington University)

Trustee and alumnus Gary M. Sumers says, “Washington University has been a ­defining part of my life.” He has long supported scholarships at Washington ­University to ensure that future generations of students will benefit from the top-notch learning experience that meant so much to him. He has committed an ­additional $3 million to provide scholarships for undergraduate students from families with high financial need.

Sumers also has made a $7 million commitment to support construction of a new 25,500-square-foot building to house the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services. Part of the transformation planned for the east end of the Danforth Campus, the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center will provide beautiful gathering spaces to better serve visitors, prospective students and the university community. To offer sweeping views of Brookings Hall, the welcome center is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Sumers graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1975 with a double major in history and political science. In 1995 he joined New York–based Blackstone Group, a leading global alternative asset manager and financial advisory firm. He retired in 2014 as senior managing director and chief operating officer in Blackstone’s Real Estate Group.

A member of the Arts & Sciences National Council and the New York City Regional Cabinet, Sumers received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. The university honored him with the Robert S. Brookings Award at Founders Day in 2016.

“From his long-term support for scholarships and the Sumers Recreation Center to the new Sumers Welcome ­Center, Gary’s extraordinary generosity and leadership will have lasting impact on the future of Washington University and its students,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “It is truly fitting that his name will be associated with a building that will welcome and serve students and other visitors to our campus.”

Susan Caine is executive director of development communications at the university.