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In Memory of Bob

Honoring an alumnus through the gift of scholarship support

In 2012, when Doug Mandell, AB’91, established an Arts & Sciences scholarship in memory of his father, Dr. Alan Mandell, HS’73, (d.2005), he was moved by the experience. “To meet my student and talk with her about how the scholarship was enabling her to pursue her dreams—it was rewarding and I felt that my gift had meaning.  That experience caused me to begin to think of other ways I could have an impact through philanthropy and do more.”
 

A Team Effort


 
Scholarship Dinner  
       Arts & Sciences Scholarship Dinner, November 14, 2013. Seated, left to right: Jan Gish, Robert Carrico, and Jean Carrico; standing, left to right: Cheryl Carrico, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Academic Programs Jill Stratton, Stephanie Gaffin (AB’92, AB’92), Melissa Paul (JD’97), Kari Broder (LA14), Doug Mandell (AB’91), Michael Gehm BS’92, and Wendy Gehm  
Last year, Mandell realized how he could, in fact, do more. His friend Robert Carrico, AB’91, had passed away in 2000. Why not work with some of his Washington University classmates to establish another memorial scholarship, this time in honor of Carrico? “My dad and Bob were two people whose brilliance and kindness have had a profound influence on me,” says Mandell. “Creating scholarships in their honor allows me to play some small role in continuing their legacies.”
 
Mandell presented the idea to fellow friends of Carrico—Corey Booth, AB’91; Michael Gehm, BS’92; and Stephanie Gaffin, AB’92, AB’92—who enthusiastically signed on to join in funding the scholarship. The group was able to reach their initial goal of raising enough money to fund the scholarship for one year. Carrico’s parents, Robert and Jean, and his sister Cheryl supported the initiative both financially and by writing a letter to family and friends, encouraging support. The group’s collective outreach to classmates, friends, and family increased the funding for the Bob Carrico Scholarship dramatically, doubling the money initially raised to fund the scholarship.

“Force of Nature”

Mandell and Carrico met at the university in 1987, as freshman-year
Robert Carrico and Doug Mandell
  Doug Mandell (AB’91), left, and Robert Carrico (AB’91) on campus in 1991  
roommates on the fourth floor of Shepley Hall. “He was sitting on the floor, hunched over an organic chemistry book when I walked in,” recalls Mandell. “School hadn’t even started yet! His appetite for knowledge was amazing.” During their four years on campus, Mandell got to know Carrico as “unlike anyone I’d ever met, quiet but still a force of nature in terms of his intellect and his political passions and his sense of humor.”
 
Because of friends like Carrico, says Mandell, his undergraduate experience “was about so much more than academics and career preparation. Bob worked very hard to come out of his shell, to take all the classes he could, to join student organizations and publications, and to hang out with those of us who quickly came to love him— even though many of his friends often disagreed with him. My experience of building a strong friendship with someone who was very different from me in many ways was  one of the most important experiences I had at Wash U my freshman year and helped in making me a well-rounded person.” ​
  
It’s a well-rounded approach that informs Mandell’s giving. “The money is critical, of course,” he says. “But I think it’s important for donors to do more than that. That’s why I strive to mentor my scholarship students, to expose them to new opportunities. And that’s why I volunteer my time in support of Wash U.” Mandell serves on the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Cabinet, advocating for the university interests of alumni in his area. He is a member of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society Membership Committee for San Francisco, helping to raise annual fund support. In November, he served as a judge for the San Francisco IdeaBounce, an event that provided the opportunity for Bay-Area alumni to present their entrepreneurial ideas for feedback.
 

Legacy of Opportunity

The inaugural Bob Carrico Scholar is an anthropology major from Oklahoma City. Mandell and his fellow scholarship supporters are eager to see their student progress at the university that was “another home to Bob,” says Mandell. Carrico’s mother, Jean Carrico, says, “Being at Wash U—that was the happiest time of Bob’s life. He was a knowledge-seeker and a truth-seeker, and it would mean so much to him that his Wash U friends put a scholarship together in his honor.”
 
“Scholarships are all about opportunity,” remarks Carrico’s father, Robert Carrico, Sr., “and life itself is an opportunity—to pursue goals and to touch other people’s lives. Bob touched a lot of lives. This scholarship means that he can continue to do so.”
 

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