Just before the country’s electorate heads to the polls, members of the Washington University in St. Louis community will have a rare opportunity to hear firsthand from one of the country’s most eminent political analysts.
Peggy Noonan, who for decades has been a widely respected chronicler of American politics, will provide the keynote address for the university’s annual Founders Day gala Saturday, Nov. 3, at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. The event commemorates the 1853 founding of Washington University.
The event also honors the university’s distinguished alumni and outstanding faculty, as well as presents the Robert S. Brookings Awards.
Noonan began her career as a producer and writer for CBS News. She left that position to join President Ronald Reagan’s administration as a special assistant and speechwriter.
Since 2000, Noonan has penned the weekly Wall Street Journal column “Declarations,” and in 2017 she received the Pulitzer Prize in commentary “for rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation’s most divisive political campaigns.”
Earlier in her career, she received the Award for Media Excellence, bestowed upon her by former Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and The Week magazine once named her “columnist of the year.”
In addition, Noonan is the best-selling author of “What I Saw at the Revolution” and “When Character Was King.” Her ninth and most recent book is the collection “The Time of Our Lives.”
She has taught journalism at New York University and Yale University and was a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
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:
Tom Friedman (BFA ’88), visual artist;
Sunil Hirani (BS ’88), co-founder, Digital Asset Holdings, trueEX Group LLC, trueDigital Holdings;
James A. Langenfeld (MA ’75, PhD ’83), senior managing director, Ankura Consulting;
Nancy J. Mattson (MBA ’78), managing director, Argent Group Ltd;
Horace Mitchell (AB ’68, MA ’69, PhD ’74), president emeritus, California State University, Bakersfield; and
Roger M. Perlmutter (MD ’79, PhD ’79), president, Merck Research Laboratories.
Distinguished Faculty Awards
The Distinguished Faculty Awards recognize outstanding commitment to the intellectual and personal development of students. This year’s recipients are:
R. Martin Arthur, the Newton R. and Sarah L.G. Wilson Professor of Engineering and chair of electrical and systems engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Science;
Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, the Henry G. and Edith R. Schwartz Professor and chair of neurosurgery, School of Medicine, and neurosurgeon-in-chief, Barnes-Jewish Hospital;
Debra Haire Joshu, the Joyce Wood Professor, Brown School and School of Medicine; and
Fiona Marshall, the James W. and Jean L. Davis Professor, Arts & Sciences.
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. This year’s honorees are George and Debra Couch and Andrew and Barbara Taylor.
Read more about Founders Day.