Robyn LeBoeuf, a professor of marketing and co-vice dean of faculty and research at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, was installed as the inaugural Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit Distinguished Professor during a Sept. 26 ceremony at the school’s Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center.
The newly endowed professorship from Emerita Trustee Joyce Buchheit (BSBA ’76, MBA ’77) and her husband, Chauncy Buchheit, was established in meaningful celebration of the school’s mission to “change the world, for good.”
“Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit have been great friends of the university over the years, and we are delighted and grateful for their generosity,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said.
“Joyce came to WashU in the 1970s as a transfer student and a married mother of two. At a time when few female students attended the Olin Business School, Joyce earned both a BSBA and an MBA. She attributes her success in part to the financial aid package that made it possible for her to attend. Her appreciation of that opportunity shaped her own service and philanthropy in the decades that followed.”
An expert on consumer behavior, decision making and marketing research, LeBoeuf joined Olin Business School in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s in psychology and statistics from American University in 1997 and a PhD in psychology from Princeton University in 2002.
LeBoeuf’s research centers on understanding human judgment and decision making. She focuses on understanding the biases that affect people’s decisions, as well as how small changes in how a decision is framed or how a situation unfolds affect the preferences that people express. She is also interested in how people make estimates of, and predictions about, various quantities — such as price, magnitude or probability — and how those estimates and predictions can be biased.
Her research has been published in industry-leading marketing and psychology journals such as the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In 2002, she was the recipient of the Hillel Einhorn New Investigator Award, and she has received numerous other accolades in the years since, including the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award and the Poets & Quants List of Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors in the World.
“It is fitting that Professor LeBoeuf — a world-renowned teacher, scholar and leader at Olin — should be the inaugural recipient of a professorship named for Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit, whose generosity has made an immeasurable impact at WashU. I am most grateful that we can bestow this honor upon her,” said Mike Mazzeo, dean of Olin Business School.
“I am tremendously honored to be associated with the Buchheits and their history of support for Washington University and its students, especially students from rural communities,” LeBoeuf added.
During her installation address, titled “Decisions About the Future,” LeBoeuf talked about her personal and professional journey to WashU, as well her recent research papers that collectively examine how people plan for, and make decisions about, the future.
About Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit
Joyce Buchheit was born in Missouri’s Arcadia Valley and attended 14 different schools in her youth. After graduating with an MBA from Olin in 1977, she worked as a tax accountant at Arthur Andersen & Co., and later founded Wood & Associates, an accounting and consulting firm.
Grateful for the mentorship and support she received to start and sustain a successful business career, Joyce has sought opportunities to pay it forward as an active community leader in southeastern Missouri and in St. Louis, and at WashU in particular, over the last several decades.
Chauncy Buchheit retired in December 2017 as executive director of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission, where he helped identify needs, secure funding and pave the way for economic development throughout the region for nearly 40 years.
The couple’s support also extends to the Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit Professorship in Public Health at Washington University and funding to create the WashU Rural Scholars Academy, a free summer college preparatory program dedicated to helping high school students from rural communities in Missouri and southern Illinois experience and apply to WashU. They also established the Buchheit Graduate Student Family Support Fund to help graduate students with financial need who have dependents under their care. The Buchheits are charter members of the William H. Danforth Leadership Society.
Joyce served on WashU’s Board of Trustees from 2011-16. She is a member of the School of Medicine National Council and the Institute for Public Health National Council, which she led from 2018 to 2021. She has also served as a board member of Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis and of Parkland Health Center in Farmington, as well as on the board of directors for BJC HealthCare.
Olin Business School recognized Joyce with its Dean’s Medal in 2000, and she received the 2015 Robert S. Brookings Award for her commitment and generosity to Washington University.