Founders Day

2013 Honorees

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Robert L. Behnken, BS ’92, BS ’92
Brian C. Cunningham, BS ’65, JD ’70
Avram Glazer, BSBA ’82
Michael Isikoff, AB ’74
Henry D. Warshaw, AB ’76, MBA ’79
Michael E. Willis, AB ’73, MArch ’76, MSW ’76

Distinguished Faculty Awards

Lisa Bulawsky
Panagiotis (Panos) Kouvelis
Andrew D. Martin, PHD '98
Tae Sung Park
Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert

Robert S. Brookings Awards

John F. McDonnell, BSBA ’61


Honoree Biographies

Robert L. Behnken

Colonel Robert Behnken, BS ’92, United States Air Force, has served on two missions to the International Space Station and has logged more than 708 hours in space—including more than 37 hours on six spacewalks. He currently serves as chief of the Astronaut Office for NASA. He has received the Meritorious Service, Defense Meritorious Service and Defense Superior Service medals from the U.S. Air Force and two space flight medals from NASA. As an undergraduate at Washington University, Behnken served in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) while earning bachelors’ degrees in physics and mechanical engineering. He was chosen as Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Senior. He later attended the California Institute of Technology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, where he earned his master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering.

After graduate school, Behnken was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he worked as a technical manager and developmental engineer for munitions systems. After completing Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, he was assigned to the F-22 Combined Test Force (CTF) at Edwards, where he served as the lead flight test engineer. He has more than 1,300 flight hours in more than 25 different types of aircraft.

Selected as a mission specialist by NASA in 2000, Behnken completed 18 months of training and evaluation before he was assigned technical duties in the Space Shuttle Branch of the Astronaut Office—supporting launch and landing activities at Kennedy Space Center. In 2008, Behnken trained as a mission specialist for the rescue flight for the last Hubble telescope servicing mission. Since then, he has held several positions within the Astronaut Office, including chief of the Space Station Operations Branch and deputy chief for Space Station Operations.

Behnken flew on two Endeavour space missions to the International Space Station in March 2008 and February 2010 as part of the larger space station assembly mission. As a mission specialist for both two-week missions, he logged a combined total of more than 450 orbits of the Earth, performed several spacewalks and operated the station’s robotic arm.

Behnken and his wife, Megan, live in Houston and enjoy spending their time mountain biking, skiing and backpacking.
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Brian C. Cunningham

During a career that spanned more than 40 years, retired attorney Brian Cunningham made significant contributions to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. Versatile in both business and the law, he helped form, build, advise and manage a wide range of life sciences companies, serving in roles from general counsel to chief executive officer.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Washington University in 1965, Cunningham served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, where he taught math. When he returned to the United States, he enrolled in the university’s School of Law. He graduated in 1970 in the top 10 percent of his class and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

Cunningham first practiced law at the New York firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts, where he developed the firm’s practice in municipal bond financing. After a brief return to St. Louis to work as associate corporate counsel at Monsanto Company, Cunningham moved to San Francisco, becoming vice president, secretary and general counsel at pioneering biotechnology company Genentech Inc.

After seven years at Genentech, Cunningham was named partner at Cooley Godward LLP, an international law firm known for its work in the technology sector. He headed the firm’s life science practice, representing numerous companies and providing expertise in technology transfer, clinical research and development agreements, and patent strategy. He also taught biotechnology, corporate and venture capital law as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University.

In 1998, Cunningham left the legal field to become senior vice president, chief operating officer and eventually president of Rigel Inc., a then private start-up company pursuing biopharmaceutical research and development. He later served as chief executive officer of Trellis Inc., another private biotechnology company, and he was co-founder of two virtual biotechnology companies.

Cunningham has provided strong leadership and support as a member of many Washington University committees. Currently, he serves as chair of the San Francisco Regional Cabinet and vice chair of the San Francisco Regional Campaign Committee for Leading Together, the Campaign for Washington University. He and his wife, Martha, AB ’65, serve as co-chairs of the Director’s Circle for the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics. He also is a member of the School of Law’s National Council, the School of Law Campaign Committee, the San Francisco Scholarship Initiative Committee, the San Francisco Eliot Society Committee and the Chancellor’s Technology Advisory Council. In 1997, the School of Law presented him with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

An active community volunteer, Cunningham has served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Hillsborough Public Schools, as a board member for the San Mateo Economic Development Authority, and as a director and chairman of Partners in School Innovation, an organization that seeks to improve teaching and achievement in underperforming school districts.

Cunningham and his wife have three grown children and four grandchildren.
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Avram Glazer

Avram Glazer is co-chairman of Manchester United, the world’s most popular sports team with 660 million fans globally. The soccer team—or football, as it is known worldwide—was crowned champion of England for the 20th time in 2013, setting a new record. Glazer and his family have owned Manchester United since 2005. In the years since, the team has been named champion of Europe as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League winner and champion of the world as the FIFA Club World Cup winner. It has earned five English titles.

Glazer also has been an owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1995. In 2003, the Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

Glazer and his family are actively involved in many charitable causes. The Glazer Family Foundation works with youth and families to identify and create programs that support positive social and economic development. Since its inception, the foundation has given millions in programs, grants, tickets and merchandise to organizations throughout central Florida. In 2010, the Glazer Children’s Museum opened in downtown Tampa, offering hands-on, educational programs and exhibits for children. Glazer and his wife, Jill, also support Cleveland Clinic, Tulane University, Palm Beach Day Academy and Washington University in St. Louis.

On an international scale, the signature partnership between Manchester United and UNICEF—United for UNICEF—has been helping children across the globe for 10 years. It has had a positive impact on the lives of more than 2.2 million children living in poverty in countries such as China, India, Thailand, South Africa and Iraq. In 2011, Manchester United launched a new program that helps disadvantaged children in Senegal, where one child in every 11 dies before his or her fifth birthday. The goal of the project is to equip 35 child survival centers with everything mothers need to ensure the well-being of their young children.

Glazer previously was chairman and chief executive officer of Zapata Corporation, the energy company founded by President George H.W. Bush. Glazer also has served on the boards of Houlihan’s Restaurant Group, Specialty Equipment Corp., Viskase, Omega Protein Inc., and Safety Components.

Glazer earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington University in 1982 and his law degree from American University in 1985. He also studied law in China, at Beijing University and Fudan University in Shanghai. He and his wife reside in Palm Beach, Florida, and New Orleans and have two children.
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Michael Isikoff

Michael Isikoff is the national investigative correspondent specializing in national security and law enforcement issues for NBC News. He was a lead reporter for the network on the Boston Marathon bombing, the Newton shooting massacre, the Penn State sex abuse scandal and other major national stories. He has appeared frequently on NBC Nightly News, the TODAY Show, Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show.

Isikoff is the author of two New York Times best-selling books: Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, co-written with David Corn, and Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story, which chronicled his own reporting of the Monica Lewinsky story. A one-hour MSNBC documentary based on Hubris aired in early 2012 and was the highest-rated documentary on the network in a decade.

Prior to joining NBC News in July 2010, Isikoff was a national investigative correspondent for Newsweek magazine, where his work earned many honors, including two National Magazine Awards. His blog on, “DeClassified: Investigative Reporting in Real Time,” written with Mark Hosenball, was considered essential reading for senior U.S. officials. Their previous Newsweek web column, “Terror Watch,” won the 2005 Society of Professional Journalists award for best investigative reporting online. In 2009, Isikoff was included on a list of 50 “Best and Most Influential Journalists” in the nation’s capital by Washingtonian magazine.

Isikoff’s June 2002 Newsweek cover story on U.S. intelligence failures that preceded the September 11 terror attacks, along with a series of related articles, was honored with the Investigative Reporters and Editors top prize for investigative reporting in magazine journalism. He also was honored, along with a team of Newsweek reporters, by the Society of Professional Journalists for coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal. His coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal won the National Headliner Award, the Edgar A. Poe Award presented by the White House Correspondents Association, and the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Reporting on the Presidency.

Isikoff came to Newsweek from The Washington Post, where he had been a reporter since September 1981. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Washington University in 1974 and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1976.

Henry D. Warshaw

Henry Warshaw, cofounder, president and CEO of Virtual Realty Enterprises, LLC, is a dedicated Washington University alumnus and an engaged member of the St. Louis community. A native New Yorker, Warshaw arrived in St. Louis in 1972 with the intention of attending Washington University and returning to his hometown following graduation. Forty-two years later, Warshaw not only calls St. Louis his home, he is actively involved in both the St. Louis and Washington University communities as a leader, entrepreneur and mentor.

Warshaw earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington University cum laude in economics and psychology in 1976 and later earned an MBA from Olin Business School in 1979. Warshaw and his wife, Susan, met while attending graduate school. The Warshaws contribute scholarship funds to the Olin Business School and the Brown School, where Susan earned her master’s degree in 1979.

Beginning his career in the banking sector, Warshaw was appointed president of Mark Twain Bank-Frontenac at the age of 29. Previously a principal with Moneta Group, he also served as chairman of the board of Enterprise Bank in Clayton and on the Enterprise Bank Holding Company board for more than 12 years.

Always an entrepreneur at heart, Warshaw owned and managed several successful enterprises following his banking career. For the past 20 years, he has been at the helm of Virtual Realty Enterprises (VRE), a real estate investment company with offices in Missouri, Florida and Arizona. Warshaw charts company strategy, manages the company’s real estate portfolio and negotiates acquisitions. VRE currently has more than 450 investors in the St. Louis community.

Warshaw served as the chairman of the investment committee on the board of trustees of Temple Emanuel for many years, and he currently sits on the board of directors of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. He was an original director of Citizens for Missouri’s Children, a non-partisan children’s advocacy organization. As co-chair of the development committee on the board of trustees for Crossroads College Prep in St. Louis City, he helped ensure the completion of the building addition for the first LEED platinum-certified grade 7-12 school in the Midwest, transforming what was originally a grocery store into a state-of-the-art educational building.

At Washington University, Warshaw served as chair of the Alumni Board of Governors and as a university trustee from 2009 to 2011. He has participated in many university committees and task forces, and served as co-chair of his reunion committee on multiple occasions. He has reached out to many Washington University students over the years, helping them with future career opportunities by providing internships and externships at his company. Warshaw has also recently taken a leadership role in Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University.

Henry Warshaw has been married to Susan for 31 years. They are the proud parents of Ellie and Jake.

Michael E. Willis

Michael Willis is founder of the award-winning architecture, urban design and interiors firm MWA Architects. Since its founding in 1988, MWA has built a national reputation for creating thoughtful and comprehensive design solutions for municipal clients throughout California and the West. As a principal architect for the firm, Willis is known for his integration of community participation and fine urban design in affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization projects.

MWA’s impressive project list includes infrastructure projects such as the New International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Award-winning projects such as the Cecil Williams Glide Community House and the Glide Economic Development Corporation Housing Tower, both in San Francisco, demonstrate Willis’s belief that good design does not have to be expensive. MWA received a Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow Award from the city of Portland, Oregon, for Humboldt Gardens, a sustainable, mixed-use development with a relatively restricted budget.

MWA also has developed expertise in master planning and architectural design for water districts. The firm has received multiple awards for its design of water and wastewater treatment facilities throughout the West Coast. In March 2006, Willis presented “Envisioning the Future of Urban Water” at the WateReuse California Conference in San Francisco, and in November 2007, he was a featured speaker at San Francisco’s Green Festival, the largest sustainability event in the world.

Willis has been recognized by Washington University as a distinguished alumnus of both the School of Architecture and the Brown School. The Black Alumni Council presented him with a National Black Achievement Award in 1996, and he gave the commencement address for the Brown School in 2007.

An active and influential member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Willis was a founder of the National AIA Board Knowledge Committee and was elevated to institute fellow status in 1996. He was a member of the AIA task force for the post-Katrina Louisiana Governor’s Rebuilding and Recovery Conference and currently serves as a juror for “Designing Recovery,” an ideas competition for rebuilding sustainable and resilient postdisaster communities.

Willis earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in1973 and master’s degrees in both architecture and social work in 1976. Willis and his wife, Iris, live in Oakland, California.

Lisa Bulawsky

Lisa Bulawsky is an associate professor of art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. .

Particularly applauded for her works in mixed media monotype, Bulawsky was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts individual artist fellowship in 1996. Her work is featured in Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes. Her prints are in the collection of the Royal Academy of Fine Art (Belgium), the House of Humour and Satire (Bulgaria), and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), among others. Recent exhibitions include the Corcoran Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the International Print Center New York, Opole Contemporary Art Gallery (Poland), and the Dalarnas Museum (Sweden). .

Under the pseudonyms of Vertigo Press and Blindspot Galleries, Bulawsky also engages the populist tradition in printmaking by creating temporary public works. In 2003, she received a grant to produce a community art event, Operation Pandemic Joy, for the Washington University Sesquicentennial celebration. Her work in the public sphere is recognized in the 2009 book Printmaking at the Edge, about international, contemporary trends in printmaking. .

Bulawsky serves as area coordinator for printmaking at Washington University and teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is widely recognized for her work in print media, which spans a range of activities including installation, works on paper and temporary public art. She also has developed an innovative pedagogy and curriculum in the College of Art, stemming from her research interests and investment in the philosophical and political qualities inherent to printmaking. In recognition of her talents in the classroom, she received an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005 and a Sam Fox School Outstanding Teaching Award in 2011. .

In 2011, Bulawsky became director of Island Press, a research-based printmaking workshop at Washington University that is committed to creating and publishing innovative prints and artist projects. As director, she has facilitated successful projects with important visiting artists including Trenton Doyle Hancock and Nina Katchadourian, raising the local and national visibility of the press and providing significant educational and internship opportunities for students. .

Bulawsky served as chair of the 2011 Southern Graphics Council International Conference, Equilibrium, sponsored by the Sam Fox School. Under her leadership, the conference boasted an extensive program of exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and events produced in collaboration with local artists and educational leaders. The conference brought more than 1,200 printmakers from around the world to Washington University and St. Louis to explore contemporary print practices and concepts. .

Bulawsky earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master’s of fine art in printmaking with honors from the University of Kansas.

Panagiotis (Panos) Kouvelis

Panagiotis (Panos) Kouvelis is the Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management in the Olin Business School. He also serves as director of the Boeing Center on Technology, Information and Manufacturing—a supply chain, process and technology management research center at Washington University.

Since 2009, Kouvelis has served as the senior associate dean and director of executive programs at the Olin Business School. Under his management, the reputation of the business school’s executive MBA programs has increased substantially, earning a No. 2 rank worldwide from the Wall Street Journal in 2010 and a No. 14 ranking from U.S. News & World Report in 2014. In addition, Financial Times ranked the Olin School’s non-degree executive programs in the top 10 U.S. business school programs for the first time. The business school’s EMBA programs doubled their revenues through strategic expansion to underserved executive markets in Kansas City and Denver.

Ranked a top 10 operations management researcher in terms of research productivity, quality and citations, Kouvelis is one of the most highly cited production and operations management scholars, with over 5,500 citations. He has published four books and more than 100 journal articles and has served in top editorial positions for all of the major journals in his field.

Kouvelis’ most recent research focuses on supply chain risk management with an emphasis on the integration of operational and financial hedges, detailed in 2012’s Handbook of Integrated Risk Management in Global Supply Chains. He also has produced pioneering work on supply chain finance to achieve a better understanding of the interaction between operational and financial decisions.

In 2012, Kouvelis was appointed as one of two academic leaders on the U.S. Commerce Department’s advisory committee on supply chain competitiveness. He recently agreed to serve as an expert on the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association’s multimodal logistics forum and is a past president of the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society.

He currently teaches Washington University EMBA programs in St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver, and has taught all 12 cohorts of the joint Olin-Fudan EMBA program in Shanghai, China. He also serves as the faculty director of the supply chain management executive education certificate. Kouvelis has received numerous teaching awards, including the EMBA Reid Teaching Award in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Kouvelis has consulted with or taught executive programs for many companies, including Emerson, Monsanto, Belden, Eaton and Boeing, on topics that include supply chain management, operations strategy and inventory management.

Kouvelis earned his doctorate in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University. He earned his master’s degrees in business administration and industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California. He also holds a diploma in mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens.

He and his wife, Helen, have been married for 20 years. They live in Clayton, Missouri, with their three children.

Andrew D. Martin

Widely recognized as a national expert in the study of judicial decision-making, Andrew D. Martin is the Charles Nagel Chair of Constitutional Law and Political Science in the School of Law and a professor of political science in Arts & Sciences. He also serves as the vice dean of the School of Law and the founding director of Washington University’s Center for Empirical Research in the Law (CERL). He previously served as chair of the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences.

Since joining Washington University in 2000, Martin’s innovating spirit and dedicated leadership have helped establish the university’s political methodology program as one of the best in the country. Political methodology is a subfield of political science that uses applied statistics and formal theory to study politics, and he has earned a name for himself as a trailblazer in the field. He has published articles in a number of prominent law reviews and leading social science and applied statistics journals, including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science and Journal of Legal Studies. Martin’s research has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and he has been the principal investigator on eight grants from the National Science Foundation. Through all of his projects and initiatives, he is engaged in truly interdisciplinary work, bringing together the often divided interests of political scientists and legal scholars in relevant and innovative ways.

He is the principal investigator of two important studies: the Judicial Elections Data Initiative, a study of litigation processes in employment discrimination suits initiated by the EEOC, and a cross-national study that examines decision-making in constitutional courts around the globe. Martin and a small group of collaborators are responsible for enhancing and expanding the Supreme Court Database project—an online collection of the details of Supreme Court decisions, which provides an indispensable tool for statistical studies of the Supreme Court. He and his co-collaborator, Kevin M. Quinn (University of California, Berkeley), developed the Martin-Quinn scores that are widely used to measure the ideologies of Supreme Court justices on a common continuum from liberal to conservative.

Professor Martin has mentored nearly 20 doctoral students at Washington University. He received the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in 2011 and was elected Fellow of the Society of Political Methodology in 2012.

He also is involved in multiple professional organizations. He served as chair of the Law & Social Sciences section of the Association of American Law Schools from 2009 to 2010. He has hosted the website for the Society for Political Methodology for nearly a decade. He was the associate editor and then acting editor of Political Analysis from 2007 to 2009. He received the Harold Gosnell Prize for political methodology, and his work was selected for inclusion in Oxford’s Centenary Celebration Volume.

Professor Martin earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary cum laude with high honors in mathematics and government in 1994, and he received his doctorate in political science from Washington University in 1998. He lives with his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Olive, in University City, Missouri, and Sandpoint, Idaho.

Tae Sung Park

Tae Sung Park, one of the world’s leading pediatric neurosurgeons, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in 1989. He is the Shi H. Huang Professor of Neurosurgery, professor of pediatrics and of anatomy and neurobiology, and chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Washington University School of Medicine, as well as neurosurgeon-in-chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

After graduating from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, in 1971, Park completed his neurosurgery residency at Yonsei and received first place in the board certification examination by the Korean Board of Neurological Surgery. He moved to the University of Virginia in 1976, and after six additional years of residencies and fellowships, Park scored in the 100th percentile in the written examination of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Park has made pioneering improvements to several neurosurgical procedures for children, most notably the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). In 1986, he started the SDR program to improve walking in children who suffer from spastic cerebral palsy. Today, he has performed SDR surgery on more than 2,600 children and young adults from 53 countries. His improved surgical technique and patients have been featured in Time magazine and on CNN, NBC and the BBC.

Always interested in the long-term progress of his patients, Park has created a Facebook page for SDR to stay connected to his domestic and international dorsal rhizotomy patients. His Facebook page now has more than 3,500 members, and he has been instrumental in the creation of an international network of SDR Facebook pages in the United States, England, Wales, Scotland, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, Brazil, Poland and Korea.

Park received a seven-year Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to fund his laboratory research from 1999-2007. He was honored with the most prestigious award given to neurosurgeons, the H. Richard Winn, MD, Prize for Meritorious Research from the Society of Neurological Surgeons in 2008, and he received the Distinguished Faculty Clinician Award from Washington University School of Medicine in 2011. He serves on the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He was an editorial board member of Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics and Child’s Nervous System. He has written 42 chapters and 188 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has edited four books.

Park’s laboratory work initially focused on the role of adenosine in the regulation of cerebral blood flow in newborns. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate evidence that linked some chemical mediators to blood-brain barrier breakdown during post-asphyxic restoration of the flow of blood in the newborn.

He and his wife, Meeaeng, have two children. His nephew, Jun Bum Park, ’16, attends Olin Business School and the College of Architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert is professor of biomedical engineering and associate chair for graduate studies in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Her groundbreaking research, which has been generously funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on developing biomaterials for drug delivery and cell transplantation for the treatment of peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury. She takes a highly interdisciplinary approach to her research, combining an understanding of biology, chemistry and biomedical engineering to develop new bioactive materials that can enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Sakiyama-Elbert served as a faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost from 2012 to 2013. She received the Award for Excellence in graduate mentoring from the Graduate Student Senate and dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences in 2011, and was honored by the School of Engineering & Applied Science in 2008 with the Dean’s Award for Excellence in advising and mentoring. She is also a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders and the Center for Materials Innovation, both at Washington University.

The author of five book chapters and more than 55 articles in peer-reviewed journals, she holds eight U.S. patents and has submitted an additional two patent applications. Early in her career, she received awards from The Whitaker Foundation and the Walter H. Coulter Foundation for her research, and she was named in the annual 30 Under 30 Awards by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2001.

Her professional service includes working as an associate editor for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, membership on the editorial board of Acta Biomaterialia and serving as a member of the Biomaterials/Biointerfaces study section for the National Institutes of Health from 2010 to 2013. She was elected chair of the 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, and she currently serves as co-president of the Association of Women Faculty at Washington University. She joined the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2011, was elected a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2013, and is a current member of the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS) Americas Council. She previously served on the board of directors for the Biomedical Engineering Society from 2009 to 2012.

Sakiyama-Elbert earned bachelor degrees in both chemical engineering and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She went on to earn her master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

William H. Danforth

For 60 years, William Danforth has served Washington University, helping it to become one of the world’s great centers of learning and discovery.

Grandson of the founder of Ralston-Purina Company, Dr. Danforth grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He interned at Barnes Hospital and served as a Navy physician during the Korean War, became a professor of medicine and served as vice chancellor of medical affairs at Washington University School of Medicine.

In 1971 Dr. Danforth succeeded Thomas Eliot as chancellor of Washington University and served until 1995, after which he became chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was named chancellor emeritus in 1999 and continues to work with others to shape the future of the university. He chairs the board of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and he has worked for a decade to help support commercializing life science research in St. Louis.

In the early years of his chancellorship, he helped guide the university through social and financial crises, helped rebuild student culture and re-establish strong relationships with the St. Louis community and the alumni. He led the successful $630.5 million Alliance for Washington University campaign.

Under his guidance, Washington University established 70 new faculty chairs, tripled the number of student scholarships and increased its endowment to the seventh largest in the nation. The campus was transformed by dozens of new buildings, higher retention of undergraduate students and improved recruitment of minority students.

Like his predecessor Ethan Shepley, he received the Alexander Meiklejohn Award from the American Association of University Professors for his unflinching support of academic freedom. Dr. Danforth and his late wife, Elizabeth “Ibby” Danforth, worked to invigorate campus life as part of a vibrant learning experience. He was called “Uncle Bill” and “Chan Dan,” and is remembered for reading bedtime stories on campus.

The philanthropy of the Danforth family and the Danforth Foundation has strengthened Washington University. Most recently, Dr. Danforth made a very generous commitment to support the PhD program in plant science, which will allow the university to expand its partnership with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. He has worked with leaders from Monsanto, Missouri Botanical Garden, the universities of Missouri and Illinois and Washington University to make the St. Louis region a world leader in plant science. He has also worked with others to develop the organization’s infrastructure to commercialize the products of local research.

John F. McDonnell

A native of St. Louis, John F. McDonnell earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University before joining McDonnell Aircraft Company in 1962. He retired in 1997 as chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas after overseeing a merger with The Boeing Company to create the world’s largest and broadest aerospace corporation.

McDonnell became a trustee of Washington University in 1976 and served as chairman from 1999 to 2004. He is now vice chairman of the board and a life trustee. He chaired the leadership phase of the $1.55 billion Campaign for Washington University. He was the founding chairman of the Arts & Sciences National Council and currently serves on the National Council of the School of Engineering & Applied Science. He is a founding member of the International Advisory Council for Asia.

The McDonnell family and their associated foundations have made some of the most significant contributions to Washington University’s rise as a major global research and teaching institution. These gifts include 14 endowed professorships in fields that include physics, space and earth sciences, engineering, international affairs, economics, human cognition, genetics, materials innovation, and medicine. Several buildings and a research center at Washington University also bear the family name.

In 2005, John McDonnell made a visionary commitment to establish the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, a global network that provides scholars from partner institutions the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and build leadership experience at Washington University. Most recently, McDonnell and the JSM Charitable Trust have made a $48 million commitment to create an unrestricted endowed fund that will enable the university to build on its strengths and maximize its impact on the world.

McDonnell, who took graduate courses at the Olin Business School, is a former chairman of The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He has served as chairman of the board of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Saint Louis Science Center and as vice chairman of BJC HealthCare and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. In 2004 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is a member of the Presidents’ Circle of the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

For the past 12 years, McDonnell has been actively involved in establishing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in St. Louis to enable start-up companies to commercialize life science breakthroughs from research at Washington University and other institutions in St. Louis and elsewhere. He is founding chairman of BioSTL and of the BioGenerator, nonprofits set up to pursue that mission.

The William Greenleaf Eliot Society awarded its highest honor, the “Search” Award, to McDonnell in 2005. In 2006, Washington University recognized his achievements with an honorary Doctor of Science degree. He and his wife, Anne, are Life Danforth Circle Members of the Eliot Society.
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