Trustees elect new board member, hear report from Wrighton

At the Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees meeting held Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6 and 7, the trustees elected a new trustee and received a report from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

William B. Pollard III, AB ’70, a partner with Duane Morris LLP, was elected as an Ethan A.H. Shepley Trustee for a four-year term ending in December 2022.

Mark S. Wrighton

Wrighton’s report to the board included the Oct. 2 appointment of Barbara L. Potts as associate vice chancellor for finance and controller and updates on admissions, athletics, construction and faculty and student honors.


In his admissions update, Wrighton noted that in the university’s first year as a partner with QuestBridge, a nonprofit that connects high-achieving, low-income students to the nation’s best colleges, some 750 students have applied here through QuestBridge’s National College Match program, which pairs candidates and colleges based on their preferences. The university has matched with 30 of these students, who will be offered a full cost-of-attendance scholarship guaranteed for their four undergraduate years.

Wrighton also noted the university’s new partnership with MyinTuition, a college-cost estimator tool that quickly provides a personalized estimate of the cost of attending the university once financial aid is factored in. Since September, more than 1,300 prospective Washington University students and their families have used the free tool.


Wrighton noted that the women’s cross-country team captured the 2018 NCAA Division III women’s cross-country national championship, and the men’s cross-country team ran to a second-place finish at the national championships, resulting in the programs’ top overall finish in school history.

Junior Paige Lawler, from Lexington, Mass., was named the USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country National Athlete of the Year, and head coach Jeff Stiles was named the USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country National Coach of the Year.

Women’s soccer advanced to its third semifinal in the last four years but suffered a season-ending loss to Middlebury College.


Wrighton noted that the Forest Park Parkway bridge fully reopened to pedestrian and cyclist traffic Nov. 2 providing separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. Landscaping around the bridge will follow completion of the grading and pavement work.

Planning for renovations to Compton and Crow halls on the Danforth Campus is underway, with construction expected to begin in May and lasting several years. January Hall, which underwent an extensive renovation that was completed in September, is a candidate for LEED Gold certification.

Wrighton reported that the Danforth Campus east end transformation project continues on schedule, happily noting that the underground parking garage will be ready for use at the May Commencement. Excavation for McKelvey Hall is complete and piers are being installed, and the Brookings steps are being reinstalled.

On the Medical Campus, planning will begin soon for the new research and vivarium facility and parking garage at 4370 Duncan Ave. The second part of the second phase of the renovation of the Becker Medical Library is underway, and work continues toward enhancing the visual appearance of the Central West End MetroLink station. At the old Universal Printing site, demolition is underway to create surface parking.

In his remarks to the board, Wrighton also highlighted a number of recent university successes, including the selection of 11 faculty members as new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a team of five students in Olin Business School’s data analytics program prevailing over 44 other teams in a global competition with a project that provided the National Multiple Sclerosis Society insight about its annual fundraising bike race.

In other business, the trustees passed memorial resolutions in memory of Marie Prange Oetting, a longtime university volunteer, former alumni representative to the Board of Trustees and chair of the Alumni Board of Governors, who died Oct. 9 at age 91; and William T. Shearer, MD, PhD, a former trustee, School of Medicine alumnus and former faculty member, who also died Oct. 9, at age 81.

In addition, the trustees, under Chair Craig D. Schnuck, chairman emeritus of Schnuck Markets Inc., heard reports from the following committees: development, educational policy, nominating and governance, and university finance; and received written reports from the audit, university finance and Alumni Board of Governors committees.

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