Celebrating our community

In this issue, we celebrate our recent graduates and look at the many ways our students, faculty and alumni — through scholarship, pedagogy and community engagement — contribute to the greater good.

Andrew Martin at Commencement
Chancellor Andrew D. Martin delivers remarks at one of the eight Commencement ceremonies held for the Class of 2021 May 20 and 21 on Francis Olympic Field. (Photo: Joe Angeles/Washington University)

Greetings! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since we celebrated our Class of 2021 during their Commencement ceremonies on Francis Olympic Field as well as recognized our Class of 2020 with in-person ceremonies just a week later. While the end of the academic term often signals a time of rest for some in our WashU community, it has been far from restful on our campuses as students engage in summer coursework, internships and practicums; our faculty continue ongoing research; colleagues at the Medical Center continue confronting COVID-19; and we prepare for yet another academic term. 

In this issue of Washington, you’ll learn about some of the actions taking place through scholarship, pedagogy, the student experience and community engagement. I’m particularly pleased that this issue provides a closer glimpse into some of the pillars that will lay the foundation for our upcoming strategic plan — academic distinction, educational access, and our role and impact “in St. Louis and for St. Louis.” In addition, you’ll see that our faculty continue to move the needle forward on issues related to the pandemic and racial equity.

I’m also delighted to see that our alumni are doing extraordinary things to address many of the aforementioned areas, while other alumni are making innovations in their sectors and industries. Whether it be confronting the pandemic through 3D printing, addressing issues of racism in Ferguson, starting a nonprofit for animals in need or even leading the art of bourbon making — it’s clear our alumni represent a diverse array of interests, talents and passions. 

As always, I’m grateful to those of you who represent our alumni community and the many ways you lead and serve, and to all of our readers who support our mission to improve lives. The past year and a half has been challenging, though because of exceptional people like you, our foundation remains strong. Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of the magazine, and warm wishes as you embark on the months ahead.