Actor Goodman to headline Founders Day Nov. 2

Annual celebration recognizes distinguished alumni, faculty and Brookings award recipients

Award-winning actor and St. Louis native John Goodman will be the keynote speaker for Washington University in St. Louis’ annual Founders Day celebration Saturday, Nov. 2, at St. Louis Union Station Hotel.

Established in 1953 to celebrate the institution’s founding 100 years earlier, Founders Day also marks a time when the university community gathers to recognize distinguished alumni, faculty and friends of the university.

John Goodman

John Goodman headshot

Goodman, who grew up in Affton, Mo., earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 1975 from Missouri State University in Springfield, where he majored in drama and performed in theater productions.

After graduation, he moved to New York with $1,000 he had borrowed from his brother and a dream of becoming a professional actor.

Goodman starred in “Argo,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2013, as well as in “The Artist,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012.

Among his many accolades are a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in ABC’s “Roseanne,” an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor on NBC’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and seven Emmy nominations for his role as Dan Conner in “Roseanne.”

Goodman, who also has lent his voice to many animated films, including “Monsters, Inc.,” currently is in HBO’s “The Righteous Gemstones” and the second season of ABC’s “The Conners.”

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:

  • Joann L. Data, MD ’70, senior consultant, clinical and regulatory affairs, Data Consulting;
  • Jan Holloway, MS ’83, community leader​;
  • Paul Koch, BSBA ’61, JD ’64, MBA ’68, co-chairman, Koch Development;
  • Roger L. Koch, BSBA ’64, MBA ’66, co-chairman, Koch Development;
  • Steve Miller, MD, HS ’91, MBA ’02, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Cigna Corp.;
  • Stephen Sands, BS ’79, MS ’79, vice chairman of investment banking and chairman of global health-care group Lazard; and
  • Anthony Thompson, MS ’99, chairman and CEO, Kwame Building Group Inc.​​

Distinguished Faculty Awards

The Distinguished Faculty Awards recognize outstanding commitment to the intellectual and personal development of students.

Recipients this year are:

  • Guy M. Genin, the Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor of Mechanical Engineering, McKelvey School of Engineering;
  • Jeffrey Milbrandt, MD ’78,  executive director of the McDonnell Genome Institute, the James S. McDonnell Professor and head of the Department of Genetics, School of Medicine;
  • Brian Z. Tamanaha, the John S. Lehmann University Professor, School of Law; and
  • Vetta L. Sanders Thompson, the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Brown School.

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 Philip and Sima K. Needleman and Rodger and Paula Riney.

For more on the speaker and honorees, visit the Founders Day website.