Fall 2005

“Search” Award to Sam Fox and John McDonnell

John McDonnell and Sam Fox

The “Search” Award, which represents the unending pursuit of truth and knowledge, is the highest honor bestowed by the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. At the Society’s annual dinner on April 13, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton presented the 2005 award to Sam Fox, B.S.B.A. ’51, and John McDonnell, GB ’67, two leading citizens of St. Louis and Washington University.

Wrighton said, “Sam Fox and John McDonnell believe in giving back to an institution that has played a significant role in their lives. They inspire our faculty and students. Their names will be associated with Washington University in perpetuity, and their generosity will be cited long into the future for its impact on the goals and accomplishments of a university that seeks to have an impact not only on this region, but also on the world.”

Fox and McDonnell were especially honored for their work on the Campaign for Washington University, the most successful fundraising campaign in the University’s history. McDonnell served as leadership chair during the “quiet phase” of the Campaign, and Fox chaired the public phase. Wrighton said, “With a rare combination of pragmatism and optimism, they raised our sights of what we would be able to accomplish.”

Both McDonnell and Fox have served on the Washington University Board of Trustees, McDonnell as chair and vice chair and Fox as vice chair. McDonnell was founding chair of the Arts & Sciences National Council and a founding member of the International Advisory Council for Asia. Fox is a member of the Olin School of Business National Council and a former president of the Eliot Society.

Fox is chairman and chief executive officer of Harbour Group, Ltd., and McDonnell is the retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas, Inc.