Listening with purpose, leading with heart

Washington University in St. Louis administrators and faculty welcomed WUSTL alumni with children who are new students arriving for fall semester 2017 with a special luncheon at Holmes Lounge on the Danforth Campus in St. Louis Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. Photo by Sid Hastings / WUSTL Photos
From left: Henry ­Warshaw, AB ’76, MBA ’79; Steven Segal, BSBA ’82; and Deborah ­Grossman, EMBA ’91, all former chairs of the Alumni Board of Governors, meet with Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton during an alumni event. (Sid Hastings/WUSTL Photos)

Chancellor Wrighton has demonstrated a deep commitment to fostering connections between the university and the alumni community since his first days on campus. In addition to meeting regularly with alumni at annual events such as Reunion, Founders Day and Eliot Society Family Night, the chancellor has participated in countless alumni dinners, receptions and award ceremonies on campus and across the country to recognize their achievements. Further, he has addressed the Alumni Board of Governors (ABG) twice a year and held an annual meeting with its executive committee, receiving invaluable ideas directly from a rotating group of dedicated alumni invested in the university’s future success and growth.

We asked former chairs of the Alumni Board of Governors to share their thoughts about Chancellor Wrighton as they reflect on his legacy.

“Chancellor Wrighton has always been readily accessible to the ABG and the larger alumni community. During his 24 years of service, he has listened to suggestions and has been willing to modify the university’s approach toward alumni relations. As a result, our alumni association is much stronger.”
— Deborah Grossman, EMBA ’91, Chair, Alumni Board of Governors, 2011–12

“The thing that makes Mark so great, in addition to ­preserving tradition, is how thoughtful he is. When his retirement was ­announced, he sent an email to all the leaders who were no ­longer with the university: former deans, vice ­chancellors, all those people who had worked with him since he had become ­chancellor. He did it right after the board heard the announcement but before it was publicly announced, and this was very ­thoughtful. Mark was always a good communicator. There were never ­surprises. He always made sure that everyone was ­informed.”
— Barbara Feiner, MBA ’83, Chair, Alumni Board of Governors, 1995–96

11.19.15--Barb Feiner's Retirement Party in Hillman Hall. Photo by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos
Barbara Feiner, MBA ’83, a former vice chancellor for finance and CFO of Washington University, was also the ABG chair from 1995 to 1996, when Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton was inaugurated. Above, the chancellor speaks at Feiner’s retirement party in 2015. (Photo: Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos)

“Chancellor Wrighton will be remembered for taking a great ­national university and transforming it into a great international university. His leadership has aligned students, professors, ­administration, alumni, foundations and friends of the university to bring our institution to the world stage. His ability to bring disparate groups of people together to advance the mission of the university has been central to his long-term success.”
— Robert Mullenger, BS ’89, Chair, Alumni Board of Governors, 2016–17

“Chancellor Wrighton has raised money, professorships and a ­generation of future leaders in our graduates. He has shown us what is possible for the university. It is up to us to live up to his legacy.”
— Deborah Grossman, EMBA ’91, Chair, Alumni Board of Governors, 2011–12