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Distinguished Alumni Award Honorees


Tom Friedman, BFA ‘88

Visual Artist

St. Louis native Tom Friedman is a conceptual artist whose work explores ideas of perception, logic, and possibility. His art—which includes sculpture, painting, drawing, video, and installation—has been exhibited in esteemed museums and galleries around the globe.

Working as a professional artist since the early 1990s, Friedman has amassed a whimsical and diverse body of work. Friedman is known for using banal, unexpected materials, including toilet paper, laundry detergent, hair, plastic, and foil, to create complex, painstakingly crafted forms. Often autobiographical, his artwork recreates elements from his own life and surroundings, as seen in a 1994 piece in which he carved a likeness of his own face into a single aspirin.

In 2016, Friedman’s Swamp Creature Friends was installed outside on the South 40 between College Hall and Umrath House. In September 2017, Friedman’s 33-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture Looking Up was permanently installed outside the St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium.

Friedman’s work has been included in many group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, such as recent shows at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2018); Kranenburgh Museum, Bergen, Netherlands (2017); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2016); and Galerie Patrick Seguin, Paris, France (2015).

Many prestigious institutions hold pieces of his artwork in their permanent collections. Examples include MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York, NY; Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Friedman has received numerous awards, including the 1993 Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 1993 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2001. He earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in graphic illustration from Washington University in 1998 and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1990.

Friedman lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Sunil Hirani, BS ‘88

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
trueEX Group, LLC

Digital Asset Holdings
trueDigital Holdings
true PTS

Sunil Hirani is a financial innovator. Over the past 15 years, he has led several successful startups that have operated on the leading edge of technology, modernizing and transforming financial trading.

In 2018, Hirani co-founded trueDigital Holdings, a regulated digital asset exchange platform.  trueDigital helps institutions realize the benefits of the digital asset market in new, secure, and efficient ways.

An early blockchain investor, Hirani co-founded Digital Asset Holdings in 2014. Digital Asset is a pioneer in the development of systems to enhance efficiency, transparency, compliance, and settlement of financial assets using distributed cryptographic ledgers.

Three years earlier, he started trueEX, an automated trading platform for the global derivatives market. trueEX is a 2017 and 2018 GlobalCapital award winner for Swap Execution Facility of the Year – RFQ; a 2017 Risk Awards winner for OTC Trading Platform of the Year; and a 2017 FStech award winner for Best Trading Platform.

Hirani was also CEO of Creditex, co-founding the firm in 1999 and selling it to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2008. He was a co-founder of T-Zero, which was sold alongside Creditex to ICE. While at Creditex, Sunil led the acquisition of the Clearing Corporation, which allowed ICE to clear credit derivatives globally.

Prior to Creditex, he was in the swaps and derivatives area at Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust.

Hirani earned a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Washington University in 1988. In 2008, he established the Hirani Family Scholarship, which annually supports students across Washington University. Hirani is a member of the School of Engineering & Applied Science National Council and a 2008 recipient of the School of Engineering’s Alumni Achievement Award.

He lives with his wife, Blanca, and three children in Greenwich, CT.

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James A. Langenfeld, MA ’75, PhD ’83

Senior Managing Director
Ankura Consulting
Adjunct Professor
Johns Hopkins University

During his 40-year career, James Langenfeld has taught at four universities, held several senior government offices, served as a senior economist in the automobile industry, and most recently has been a consultant with several firms.

Since 1994, Langenfeld worked at the consulting firms Lexecon, LECG, and Navigant before recently joining Ankura. He has applied his economic training in analyzing and providing expert opinions on a variety of issues, such as the competitive effects of mergers, antitrust allegations, consumer protection matters, damages estimation, employment disputes, and government policy. These analyses have covered many industries, including motor vehicles, aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, health care, manufacturing, consumer products, and professional services.

Prior to his work as a consultant, Langenfeld was a Director at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). His work involved antitrust, consumer protection, and regulatory impact. In these positions, he supervised investigations, performed economic analyses, and helped craft policy statements such as the 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines. He also was instrumental in the FTC’s outreach to Eastern Europe to help establish competition policies for transition to more market-based economies.

As a senior economist at General Motors (GM) in Detroit, Langenfeld evaluated government regulations, such as the corporate average fuel economy requirements. He also led a large multidisciplinary study of GM’s joint venture with Toyota and presented its results to the company’s board.

An editor and referee of a number of business, economics, and legal journals, Langenfeld has published more than 130 scholarly articles on a variety of economic issues. He has received many honors and awards, including the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Service Award from the President of the United States and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; the FTC Distinguished Service Award; honors at the Department of Justice’s Celebration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the 1982 Merger Guidelines; and the National Association of Business Economists’ Adolph G. Abramson Scroll.

Langenfeld, who previously taught economics at Washington University, endowed a professorship in Arts & Sciences in 2018. The James Langenfeld Professor in Industrial Organization will be held by a faculty member in the department of economics who works in affiliation with the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy.

Langenfeld lives in Arlington, VA.

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Nancy J. Mattson, MBA ’78

Founder, Managing Director, and Chief Financial Officer
Argent Group Ltd.

Nancy J. Mattson is one of the founders of Argent Group Ltd., a boutique investment banking firm based in San Francisco, CA, established in 1982. Known as an innovator in the field, Argent specializes in asset-based and structured financings of large-ticket capital assets.

Throughout her career, Mattson has formulated and initiated pioneering financing structures that have been instrumental in enabling her clients to undertake major projects. At Argent, Mattson is primarily responsible for transaction origination, structuring and analysis, and placement and implementation. In the past 36 years, she has participated in most of Argent’s transactions, which aggregate over $40 billion in asset cost. As a recognized expert in maritime finance, she currently is involved in financings for the maritime industry. Her past experience comprises transactions in industries including space and telecommunications, aircraft, automobile, and manufacturing.

In 1987, the U.S. Navy recognized Mattson with the Distinguished Public Service Award for her role as financial advisor for their $3-billion vessel financing program. The Award was one of only a few bestowed by the Secretary of the Navy during the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

Prior to founding Argent, Mattson was a section head in the leveraged leasing group at Bank of America, where she managed the origination and syndication of leveraged leasing projects and the development of new asset-based financing products. After just two and a half years with the company, she was promoted to vice president, which was, at the time, the fastest advancement to that rank at Bank of America.

In addition to her MBA from Olin Business School, Mattson earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lawrence University. She received the Olin School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the 2016 Lucia Russell Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence University. Mattson has served on the Olin Business School National Council since 1997 and currently supports scholarships for Olin graduate students.

Nancy resides in Novato, CA.

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Horace Mitchell, AB ’68, MA Ed '69, PhD '74

President Emeritus
California State University, Bakersfield

Horace Mitchell retired from a 50-year career in higher education in June 2018.

California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) appointed Mitchell as its fourth president in July 2004. Under his leadership, the university achieved national recognition for its efforts to extend the excellence and diversity of the faculty and academic programs, to enhance the quality of the student experience, and to strengthen community engagement. At CSUB, Mitchell also served as a professor of psychology, with teaching and research interests in identity construction, multicultural psychology, and psychological assessment. Highlights of his presidency include the establishment of the university’s first engineering programs, its first independent doctoral program, and other academic programs related to regional workforce development needs. He also led the transition of the athletics program from NCAA Division II to Division I.

Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in education, and a doctorate in counseling psychology, all from Washington University. He began his professional career at his alma mater in 1968, serving first as assistant dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and then as assistant professor of education and black studies and chair of the Black Studies Program.

Mitchell has been a member of the board of directors for many organizations, including the American Council on Education, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, NCAA Board of Governors, Western Athletic Conference, and National Association of College and University Business Officers.

A few of his many accolades include the 2016 Harold Delaney Exemplary Educational Leadership Award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education; the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region VI’s 2010 President’s Award; and a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University’s School of Arts & Sciences.

Mitchell and his wife, Barbara, BS ’77, MSW ’77, MA ’78, have three adult children, six grandchildren, and a great grandson.

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Roger M. Perlmutter, MD/PhD ’79

Executive Vice President and President
Merck Research Laboratories

Roger Perlmutter currently leads Merck Research Laboratories, Merck’s global research and development organization. From 2001 to 2012, Perlmutter served as executive vice president and head of research and development at Amgen. In these two settings he has supervised the discovery, development, and subsequent approval of novel medicines addressing major inflammatory and endocrinologic diseases, as well as breakthrough therapies that stimulate the immune system to destroy cancerous tumors. Most recently, he chartered the effort to develop an effective Ebola Virus vaccine that is currently being used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Beyond his service at Merck and at Amgen, Perlmutter has served as a director of numerous biotechnology companies and as a science partner at The Column Group, a health-care venture capital firm. He is also a director of the Institute for Systems Biology, and chairs the Board of Trustees at Reed College.

Before assuming leadership roles in industry, Perlmutter was a professor in the departments of immunology, biochemistry, and medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. He also chaired the department of immunology, where he served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His research focused on understanding the signaling pathways that control lymphocyte activation. Prior to his role at the University of Washington, he was a lecturer in the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

Perlmutter earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1973 from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and an MD/PhD from Washington University in 1979. He pursued clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, and at the University of California, San Francisco.

Perlmutter joined the School of Medicine National Council in 2005. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and past president of the American Association of Immunologists.

Perlmutter splits his time between New York and Santa Barbara, CA where his wife, Joan Kreiss, MD ’78, and family live. They have two children, Lillian and Noah, who is a biology major in Arts & Sciences, Class of 2019.

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Distinguished Faculty Award Honorees


R. Martin Arthur

Newton R. & Sarah L. G. Wilson Professor of Engineering and
Chair of Electrical & Systems Engineering School of Engineering & Applied Science

Martin Arthur is in the 50th year of his career at Washington University, which began in 1969 when he became a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer studying peripheral auditory mechanisms in the cochlear nerve. He helped show that two-tone interactions to sharpen the location of vibrations on the cochlea are a non-linear property of neural encoding and not due to neural inhibition as seen in image sharpening in the retina. His primary research areas have been in improved image formation and tissue characterization in medical ultrasonic images and inverse electrocardiography to visualize the electrical activity of the heart. He has supervised 50 master’s and doctoral theses.

His activities as a professional engineer include helping to write the National Electric Code for patient-care areas of health-care facilities. Arthur co-founded Aspen Signal Engineering with fellow Washington University engineering professors Donald Snyder and Russell Pfeiffer to consult on hospital electrical systems. In 2015, along with Scott Marrus, MD,PhD, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular, and Jason Trobaugh, DSc, a Professor of the Practice in Electrical & Systems Engineering, he began ATM Cardiac Diagnostics with a license from the university for his inverse electrocardiographic intellectual property. ATM aims to detect heart attacks in emergency-care patients, who present with chest pain, from their electrocardiograms, more quickly than can be done with current biomarkers.

Arthur earned a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rice University in 1962, 1963, and 1964, respectively. He earned a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Baum’s research centers on enabling people with chronic neurological conditions to live independently by focusing on their abilities rather than their deficits. Her work has been recognized by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Social Security Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, as well as the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Arthur has two daughters, Amy Arthur and Erin Arthur, MD. He has three grandchildren, Sylva, Raymond, and Grigor.

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Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, FACS, FRCSI (Hon)

Henry G. and Edith R. Schwartz Professor and Chairman Neurological Surgery School of Medicine

Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Ralph Dacey joined the neurological surgery department in the School of Medicine in 1989. His surgical practice focuses on cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and brain tumors. His research has addressed the vascular biology of intracerebral microcirculation and the clinical management of cerebrovascular disorders and brain tumors. He has given more than 250 invited lectures nationally and internationally, has authored more than 248 publications, and holds 60 patents.

Dacey grew up in Boston and is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He trained in neurological surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Board certified in neurological surgery and internal medicine, Dacey served as chief of the neurosurgery division at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prior to assuming his current position at Washington University. He counts among his achievements the recruitment of outstanding clinicians and scientists to his department. He has educated more than 50 neurosurgery residents at the university.

Dacey is the former chair of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He has served as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, and the Society of Neurological Surgeons and as a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke within the National Institutes of Health.

Dacey was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. In 2013, he was conferred as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and received the Distinguished Service Award of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). In 2016 he was awarded the Harvey Cushing Medal, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons’ most prestigious award. In January 2018, the Joint Cerebrovascular Section (AANS/CNS) established the Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD, Medal for Outstanding Cerebrovascular Research to recognize neurological surgeons who have made outstanding contributions to research on cerebrovascular disease.

Dacey and his wife, Corinne, have two children, Elizabeth and Ralph. They also have one grandchild, Dacey Jane Cunningham.

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Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD

Joyce Wood Professor Public Health and Medicine
Brown School
School of Medicine

An internationally renowned scholar of health behavior, Debra Haire-Joshu develops population-wide interventions to reduce obesity and prevent diabetes, particularly among underserved women and children.

Haire-Joshu began serving the Washington University School of Medicine in 1984 as an associate professor and director of diabetes and health-related programs. After leaving WashU and spending one decade at Saint Louis University’s School of Public Health, she returned in 2008 as professor of public health and medicine with a joint appointment to the Department of Medicine and the Brown School. She served as the Brown School’s associate dean for research from 2009 to 2016. In 2013, she was installed as the university’s inaugural Joyce Wood Professor.

At Washington University, Haire-Joshu directs the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research and Center for Diabetes Translation Research. The National Institutes of Health and numerous state agencies and private foundations support her research. She has developed new interventions to prevent excessive weight gain among pregnant and postpartum women and has translated diabetes-prevention approaches to manage weight among young women, reducing risk of early chronic disease. She also has worked extensively to develop, test, and evaluate nutrition and physical-activity policies at both the state and federal level.

Haire-Joshu served as a health policy fellow for then–U.S. Senator Barack Obama and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions under the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She worked with senior staff of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in framing policy priorities for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. A distinguished fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Haire-Joshu has held several positions with the American Diabetes Association.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Haire-Joshu earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1975 and a master’s degree in health education in 1978. She then studied at Saint Louis University, earning a master’s degree in medical-surgical nursing in 1982 and a doctorate in educational psychology in 1988.

Haire-Joshu has two children, Corrie Joshu, AB ’98 and Joel.

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Fiona B. Marshall

James W. and Jean L. Davis Professor Arts & Sciences

Fiona Marshall is an archaeologist recognized for her work in animal domestication and the spread of food production. She is known particularly for her studies of two unlikely domesticates, donkeys and cats, and for her research on the development and spread of pastoralism in Africa.

Marshall joined the faculty of Washington University in 1987 after graduate training at the University of California, Berkeley. At Washington University, she developed a zooarchaeological laboratory that facilitates hands-on mammalian osteology training and undergraduate research experiences. Providing deep time perspectives on contemporary issues has been a focus of her “Ancient Africa” and “Humans and Animals” archaeology classes.

Her current research focuses on animal domestication especially donkeys and cats. Marshall also studies the origins of food-production in Africa, changing hunter-gatherer societies, and the development of mobile herder responses to climatic uncertainty. Through her research, she has contributed to understanding human-animal relations globally, complex interactions among ancient societies in Africa, the history and resilience of livestock and herding ways of life, and the sustainability of human use of African grasslands.

In 2015, Marshall was installed as the inaugural James W. and Jean L. Davis Professor at Washington University. Students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences have twice recognized her for her work as a faculty mentor, most recently with a 2013–14 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award. She is a fellow of the American Association of Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, among her numerous professional and academic affiliations.

Marshall grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1977, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in archaeology from Reading University in Berkshire, England. From the University of California, Berkeley, Marshall earned a Master of Arts and doctorate in anthropology, in 1978 and 1986, respectively.

Marshall and her husband, Tom Pilgram, have a son, Carl, and a daughter, Laura.

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Robert Brookings Awards Honorees


Mr. and Mrs. Andrew C. Taylor

Through their lifelong support and engagement with countless organizations and causes, Andrew and Barbara Taylor have demonstrated unparalleled dedication to the St. Louis community.

Life Trustee Andrew Taylor serves as executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings Inc., the privately held business founded in 1957 by his father, the late Jack Taylor.

Andrew joined Enterprise at the age of 16. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1970, he began working for RLM Leasing, a Ford Motor company affiliate in San Francisco. After three years, Andrew returned to Enterprise. In 1976, he became the general manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s St. Louis regional operations and was promoted in 1980 to president and chief operating officer. He became chief executive officer in 1991, chairman in 2001, and executive chairman in 2013.

Barbara Broadhurst Taylor was born in Santiago, Chile, where her father, a U.S. Air Force colonel and highly decorated WWII pilot, was serving as the chief of the military mission to Chile. Growing up, she traveled the world, following her dad’s career across the United Sates and to South America, England, and Korea. The daughter of the late Lt. General Edwin B. Broadhurst and the late Viola Seubert, Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of San Francisco.

Andrew chaired the public phase of Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University, which achieved record-setting success. He and Barbara were the 2009 recipients of the Jane and Whitney Harris St. Louis Community Service Award, which Washington University gives annually to a couple dedicated to improving the St. Louis area through service, generosity, and leadership.

Established in 2001 by the Taylor family and Enterprise Holdings, the Enterprise Holdings Scholars Program makes it possible for approximately 60 to 80 deserving students each year to have an exceptional educational experience at Washington University. In 2012, Andrew and Barbara, along with the Crawford Taylor Foundation, made a transformative commitment to establish the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research in the School of Medicine. They are also current members and Life Members of the Danforth Circle at the Chancellor’s Level.

Andrew and Barbara, who reside in St. Louis, have three daughters and two granddaughters.

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Mr. and Mrs. George W. Couch III

Business and philanthropic leaders in communities near their home in California’s Monterey Peninsula, George and Debra Couch have been exemplary benefactors and supporters of Washington University for three decades and counting.

Their enduring relationship with the university began with George’s younger brother, Gregory. While the brothers were living in St. Louis, Gregory developed schizophrenia and was treated by a Washington University physician. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1986.

Gregory’s struggles inspired George, his late mother Geraldine, and his wife, Debra, along with the entire Couch family, to focus their philanthropy on research into mental health issues with a focus on schizophrenia. Within months of Gregory’s passing, the Couches endowed a professorship at the School of Medicine. The Gregory B. Couch Professorship in Psychiatry is currently held by Deanna Barch, professor and chair of the department of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences and professor of radiology in the School of Medicine. George and Debra also have provided significant, long-standing support for research into schizophrenia. Over time they were moved by the strong efforts of Washington University researchers to seek answers to so many other devastating diseases that cause so much human suffering.

In 2017, the Couches made an investment in the Washington University School of Medicine to support personalized medicine. In recognition of their generosity and dedication to advancing the school’s pioneering work to improve human health, the university named the research building on the Medical Campus the Debra and George W. Couch III Biomedical Research Building. They are also current members and Life Members of the Danforth Circle at the Chancellor’s Level.

Appointed in 1998, George has served on the Washington University School of Medicine National Council for two decades. He joined the Washington University Board of Trustees in 2006.

George, who earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University, is chairman and CEO of Couch Distributing Company, which he founded in 1973. Located in Watsonville, CA, the company is the largest independent beverage distributor in the state’s central coast area.

Debra owns and operates the Debra C designer clothing boutique in Carmel, CA, a business she started in 1984. With a lifelong passion for women’s clothing and accessories, she credits her mother, who ran several retail businesses, for instilling in her an entrepreneurial spirit.

George and Debra live in Pebble Beach, CA. with their 4 rescue dogs.

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