Travel & Learning: A New Direction

For more than a quarter century, Washington University alumni have explored the world via the Alumni Travel Program. In 2003, the program will expand its educational scope with studies of art, literature, theater, politics, American culture, biology, environmental science, and social issues—led by faculty experts in Arts & Sciences.

"Education is an important new direction for alumni travel," says Robert Harmon, B.S.B.A. '49, chair of the Alumni Travel Program for the Alumni Board of Governors. "In the past, we have had a faculty leader on some trips, but next year's tours will emphasize exciting learning opportunities. We have enlisted an outstanding roster of travel/study leaders from the University faculty—each is a leading scholar specializing in the field that is the focus of the tour."

Harmon and his wife Carolyn, A.B. '52, have taken "at least 25 trips" with the Washington University program. "We go because the destinations are places we want to visit," says Harmon. "Enjoying camaraderie with other alumni and friends is an added benefit." The Harmons and other members of the committee work with experienced travel companies to ensure that every tour will be a delightful experience of the highest quality.

Faculty leaders of trips in 2003 include:

Garland E. Allen, professor of biology, who will lead "The Galapagos Islands," October 2003. Professor Allen is a leading expert on science and its social context, including the many ethical, legal, and social issues raised by the Human Genome Project. Allen has written or co-authored several leading biology textbooks.

Elizabeth Childs, associate professor of art history and archaeology, will lead "Alumni College in Provence," May 13–21. A specialist in modern European art, Childs is an expert on 19th-century French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, with a particular interest in the art of Van Gogh and Gauguin. In 1996 she received the Council of Students in Arts & Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.

Robert Hegel, professor of Chinese and comparative literature, will lead "China and the Yangtze River," May 13–24. Hegel specializes in studies of Chinese fiction and theater. He has lived in China and Taiwan, has traveled extensively in China for his research, and has led several previous tour groups to China.

Walter H. Lewis, professor emeritus and university research ethnobotanist, will lead "Family Adventure: Rio, Iguassu Falls, and the Amazon," August 5–15. Lewis studies the uses of rain forest plants in traditional medicine among the Jivaro people of the upper Amazon basin, searching for sources of active compounds that may lead to new medicines. He will co-host the trip with his wife, Memory Elvin-Lewis.

Joseph Loewenstein, professor of English and comparative literature, will lead "Theatre Lovers' London," June 5–12. Director of the new Humanities Project at Washington University, Loewenstein is a specialist in Renaissance literature and culture, focusing on Shakespeare, Spenser, literature of the English Renaissance, and the culture of the book. He has received accolades for his teaching from the faculty, students, and the state of Missouri.

William Lowry, associate professor of political science, will lead "Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness," June 2003. Lowry is an authority on political institutions and environmental policy with a focus on the public lands, including national parks. Winner of numerous "teacher of the year" awards, he is co-founder of the Environmental Studies Program and an avid hiker, rafter, and camper.

William E. Wallace, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History, will lead "Alumni College in Chianti, Italy," June 22–30. Wallace, an internationally recognized authority on Michelangelo and his era, was one of the experts who conferred with the Vatican on conservation of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. He, his wife, and their teenage children, all of whom speak fluent Italian, will serve as "host family" for the trip.

For more information, please call the Alumni Association Travel Office, (866) WUTRIPS or (314) 935-5212; e-mail:; or visit our Web site, You'll find "Travel Program" when you click on "Other Alumni Services." Dates, participating faculty, and other details are subject to change.



Professor Douglass C. North (center), flanked by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton (left) and journalist Jeff Greenfield, received the 2002 Eliot Society "Search" Award.

2002 "Search" Award

The 2002 William Greenleaf Eliot Society "Search" Award was presented to Douglass C. North, the Spencer T. Olin Professor in Arts & Sciences, at the Society's 35th annual dinner on April 9. Jeff Greenfield, acclaimed broadcast and print journalist and author, was guest speaker for the evening.

In 1993, North and a fellow economic historian from the University of Chicago were named co-recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. It was the first time economic historians had been so honored, and the first Nobel prize outside of medicine and the natural sciences for a Washington University scholar.

North came to Washington University in 1983 as the Henry Luce Professor of Law and Liberty in Arts & Sciences, after 33 years at the University of Washington. He created the Center in Political Economy and directed it from 1984 to 1992, the year he became the first economic historian to win one of the highest honors in economics, the John R. Commons Award.

The Eliot Society's "Search" Award honors Washington University's endless pursuit of truth and knowledge, a quest personified by the career of Douglass North, who received the University's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994. On the morning of the Nobel announcement, North interrupted a press conference so he wouldn't be late for an undergraduate class he was teaching.


Sesquicentennial Memories
During the 2003-2004 academic year, come celebrate 150 years of Washington University history. As part of the yearlong festivities, all WU alumni are invited to share their recollections of life on campus. Did you meet your sweetheart at freshman orientation? Did one of your professors change your life? Did you ride the streetcar to class, or participate in a historic event at the University? Please tell us about it. Send your letters to: Alumni Relations, Washington University, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1210, St. Louis, MO 63130, or e-mail:


Volunteers Needed for Reunion: May 15–18, 2003

Are you looking forward to your undergraduate reunion May 15–18, 2003? Whether you are part of the 5th Reunion class or the 65th, you are invited to take part in the planning. The University-wide Reunion Kick-Off was September 20-21, 2002. Whether or not you attended the kick-off, you are invited to serve on your Reunion committee. It's a fun way to be part of a truly memorable celebration. To volunteer, please call 1-800-867-ALUM or e-mail: