Sam Fox School presents Awards for Distinction

Carmon Colangelo (left), the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts, presents the 2023 Dean’s Medal to David Kemper, who accepted on behalf of the Kemper family. Sabine Eckmann, the William T. Kemper director and chief curator of WashU’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, looks on. (Photo: Gara Lacy/Washington University)

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis celebrated seven honorees April 20 as part of the school’s 2023 Awards for Distinction ceremony.

The Dean’s Medal for outstanding service was presented to the Kemper family. Longstanding patrons of the arts, education and museums, the family has supported WashU for generations. David Kemper is a longtime trustee and current vice chair of the board. His sister Julie and their late father, James, have supported a range of visual arts programs. The university’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is named for David and Julie’s mother.

“Art museums and particularly university art museums are such a great way to bring people together and bring new ideas forward,” David said. Julie agreed, noting how “university art museums can raise the bar, they can explore topics that may not be popular at public museums, with an assurance of scholarly integrity.”

Amy Hauft (left), director of the College & Graduate School of Art, and Sam Fox School dean Carmon Colangelo congratulate Yvonne Osei, Mara MacMahon and Karin Soukup Fyhrie. (Photo: Gara Lacy/Washington University)

Also recognized during the ceremony were six outstanding Sam Fox School alumni:

Awards for Distinction

Recent Alumni Award

The Sam Fox School Awards for Distinction recognize alumni, friends and leaders in their fields for professional achievement in architecture, art and design and/or for service to their profession, the community or the Sam Fox School and Washington University. For more information about the awards, visit

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