In the fall of 1990, Drew Spangler, AB ’93, BS ’93, and Carolyn “Beanie” Reuter, AB ’94, met during a scavenger hunt for WashU varsity swimmers. Drew was a junior, and Beanie was a first-year student. The team-building activity spurred an argument between them: While returning to campus from the Delmar Loop, the two had a heated discussion about the next task. Beanie later said to her roommate, “Can you believe him? Who does he think he is?”
She would get an answer soon enough. As the men’s and women’s swim teams trained and socialized together in the months following the scavenger hunt, Drew and Beanie engaged in more friendly conversations. They started dating in the spring and became more serious the next academic year.
Almost three decades later, the relationship that started off on the wrong foot has turned into a marriage of 20 years and counting. During this time, Drew has built a successful career in the investment management industry. He currently serves as vice president of North America for Osmosis Investment Management, a firm based in London. Beanie, who earned a master’s degree and teaching certificate from Harvard University, teaches honors biology at the public high school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where they live with their three daughters.
Grateful for the way the university brought them together and prepared them for the future, the Spanglers show their appreciation through volunteer service. In 2019, they became vice chairs of the Boston Regional Cabinet. Their alumni leadership is the result of increasing involvement over the last 15 years, during which they attended WashU Reunions and other events, connected with the university community in the Boston area, and rallied support for Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University.
“Drew and Beanie share a genuine passion for our alma mater and the critical work our faculty and students are pursuing to enhance lives around the globe,” says Steven Segal, BSBA ’82, a former university trustee and current chair of the Boston Regional Cabinet. “They are exemplary advocates for Washington University, including supporting scholarships and enthusiastically introducing faculty to our community. We’re so lucky to have them as cabinet officers.”
Regional cabinet members like the Spanglers help lead WashU’s engagement and fundraising efforts in cities across the country. Through a variety of activities, such as salons, meetings and networking opportunities, they strengthen connections to the university among alumni, parents and friends.
Last year, for instance, the Spanglers helped organize the Boston Regional Cabinet’s annual dinner, which featured international biodiversity expert Jonathan Losos, the William H. Danforth Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences. At the event, Beanie, who studied biology as an undergraduate, warmly presented Losos as one of her favorite professors. She brought to the podium a notebook and term paper she kept from one of his courses, which has had a lasting impact on her.
“Our roles on the cabinet do not feel like work,” Beanie explains. “We enjoy serving together, and the people on the cabinet are terrific. It has been great to meet them and share our enthusiasm for the university.”
The Spanglers give back to their alma mater in other ways. The couple has supported the swimming program for many years. Generous scholarship donors, they recently began contributing to the College Prep Program, an initiative that prepares high-achieving, low-income high school students from St. Louis for college.
“Unfortunately, for some kids, college isn’t even on their radar, whether for financial reasons or because it was never a part of their parents’ lives,” Drew says. “WashU is playing a role in breaking down barriers and introducing promising students to what higher education means and why and how it can be a part of their futures.”
Participants in the three-year College Prep Program spend time on campus, take courses for credit, learn about the college application process, and connect with others on a similar path. All of the more than 100 students who have graduated from the program since its inception in 2014 have been admitted into colleges. For the Spanglers, the program is a source of pride in their alma mater.
“We started giving to WashU in order to support swimming, which was how we met and was so grounding for us as students,” Beanie says. “As we became more engaged as alumni, we learned about all the university is doing to increase access to higher education through the College Prep Program and other efforts. We are thrilled to be a part of it.”