Alumni Honored at Founders Day 2006
The Right Honourable Sir John Major (front row, center), KG, CH, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, gave the keynote address at the annual Founders Day dinner on November 4, 2006. Pictured with Major are (front row, from left) Russell D. Shelden and Mary B. Shelden, both recipients of the Robert S. Brookings Award; Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton; Stephen Brauer, chief executive officer of Hunter Engineering and vice chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees; and Betty Farrell and David Farrell, also recipients of the Robert S. Brookings Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award recipients (back row, from left) are as follows: Gordon Philpott, M.D. ’61; James D. Weddle, M.B.A. ’77; James E. Schiele, A.B. ’52, M.L.A. ’85; Marylen Mann, A.B. ’57, M.A.Ed. ’59; Jon H. Feltheimer, A.B. ’72; and George Zimmer, A.B. ’70.

More than 700 alumni and friends gathered at the annual Founders Day Dinner on November 4, 2006, to commemorate the founding of Washington University. The Right Honourable Sir John Major, KG, CH, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, gave the keynote address. Of the awards given, six graduates were honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards, and two couples received Robert S. Brookings Awards for their extraordinary contributions to the University.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Jon H. Feltheimer, A.B. ’72 – Under Feltheimer’s leadership, Lionsgate Entertainment has become the No. 1 independent filmed entertainment studio, with 25 Academy Award nominations and seven Oscar wins in the past seven years, including the Best Picture of 2006 for Crash. Its television business has 12 prime-time cable and broadcast network series, including the critical sensation Weeds. Before joining Lionsgate in 2000, Feltheimer engineered the creation of TriStar Television for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). He became head of the Columbia TriStar Television Group and was named executive vice president of SPE, where he oversaw such major hits as Mad About You, The Nanny, Dawson’s Creek, Party of Five, and The King of Queens.

Marylen Mann, A.B. ’57, M.A.Ed. ’59 – In 1982, Mann founded OASIS to “nurture the mind, health, and spirit of adults aged 50 and up.” Today, OASIS serves more than 360,000 adults, has an annual network funding base of $22 million, and is the largest education and volunteer service organization for mature adults in the United States. From 1984 to 2003, Mann served as president of the OASIS Institute, which directs the national network in 26 cities. She also was a faculty member in the Department of Education in Arts & Sciences at Washington University (1962–72), the University of Missouri–St. Louis (1972–74), and the University’s School of Medicine (1984–2003).

Gordon Philpott, M.D. ’61 – A member of the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine for more than 30 years, Philpott served as director of the Jewish Hospital Surgery Department for 11 years and retired in 1999 as the Harry Edison Professor of Surgery with emeritus status. His clinical and laboratory research on diagnosis and treatment of patients with colon cancer led to a joint appointment as professor of radiology, and he helped start the Breast Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which continues as an important part of the Siteman Cancer Center. He was elected to the University’s Board of Trustees in December 2006.

James E. Schiele, A.B. ’52, M.L.A. ’85 – In 1956, following service in the U.S. Air Force that included a year in Korea, Schiele joined St. Louis Screw & Bolt Company. It became one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of industrial fasteners, with 20 percent of sales in the international market. The family sold St. Louis Screw & Bolt in 1999, and Schiele remains a consultant. A tireless volunteer on behalf of the University, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, and he currently serves on the International Advisory Council for Asia, among many other activities.

James D. Weddle, M.B.A. ’77 – While he was a graduate student, Weddle began his career with Edward Jones as a research department intern. Following graduation, he became an investment representative, opening the firm’s 200th branch, and became a principal in 1984. Under his leadership, the firm’s East Coast offices grew from 250 to over 1,000. Weddle assumed responsibility for managing all of the firm’s branch offices in late 1997. In 2006, he succeeded Douglas E. Hill as Edward Jones’ fifth managing partner.

George Zimmer, A.B. ’70 – Zimmer opened the first Men’s Wearhouse in 1973 in Houston. Today the company is the largest retailer of men’s tailored suits and dress casual clothing in the United States and Canada, with over 700 stores with more than $1.5 billion in annual sales. Under Zimmer’s leadership, the Men’s Wearhouse has fostered a corporate culture of commitment to social responsibility. Today it is a Fortune 1000 company and has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in six of the last seven years.

Robert S. Brookings Awards

David and Betty Farrell – In 2003, David and Betty Farrell made the lead gift for the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center at the Washington University School of Medicine, a visionary facility for students and faculty preparing to address the latest challenges in science and medicine. David is the former chairman and chief executive officer of the May Department Stores Company and an emeritus trustee of the University. The Farrells, in partnership with the former May Company, established the David C. and Betty Farrell Professorship of Medicine in the John Milliken Department of Medicine in 2000, and the couple enhanced the professorship to the distinguished level in 2002.

Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden – Russell, M.D. ’49, completed his medical degree at Washington University and served as chief of the Department of Anesthesiology and president of the medical staff at Research Hospital in Kansas City until his retirement in 1977. From 1958 to 1983, he also held an academic appointment as a clinical professor in the anesthesiology department at the University of Missouri–Columbia. The Sheldens endowed their first professorship at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1988, the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professorship in Anesthesiology and established a second professorship in anesthesiology in 2005.