Honorary WUSTL Degrees for 2013

Fox, Pallasmaa among those awarded honorary degrees

Posted by May 7, 2013

Washington University in St. Louis will award six honorary degrees during the university’s 152nd Commencement May 17.

During the ceremony, which will begin at 8:30a in Brookings Quadrangle on the Danforth Campus, WUSTL will bestow academic degrees on approximately 2,800 members of the Class of 2013.

Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark, who is credited with helping revitalize New Jersey's largest city with his hands-on and innovative approach, will deliver the Commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from WUSTL.

The other honorary degree recipients and their degrees are:

Marilyn Fox, civic leader, philanthropist, and community volunteer, doctor of humanities;

Martin L. Mathews, president, CEO, and co-founder of Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club, doctor of humanities;

Juhani Pallasmaa, a Finnish architect, educator, and critic and a leading international figure in contemporary architecture, design, and artistic culture, doctor of art and architecture;

Peter Rosen (MD60), one of the international leaders in the field of emergency medicine and one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the specialty, doctor of science; and

Howard Wood (BSBA61), co-founder of two of the nation's most successful telecommunications companies: Charter Communications Inc. and Cequel III LLC, doctor of laws.

In his second term as Newark's mayor, Booker has been instrumental in more than doubling the rate of affordable housing production; creating the city's largest expansion of parks and recreation spaces in over a century; and bringing more than $1 billion of new economic development into the city, including its first office towers and hotels in decades.

A 1994 Rhodes Scholar and 1997 Yale law graduate, he has attracted national attention for his education reform efforts to improve city schools; public safety initiatives to reduce crime; and innovative programs to help men and women leaving prison find jobs and reconnect with their community.

Booker also has gained wide attention for implementing new technologies in the city, ranging from creating the state's largest wireless network of crime-fighting technology—including cameras and gunshot detection—to using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

An avid social media user, Booker has more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

Booker has been recognized by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Time, which selected him to its 2011 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

As mayor, his personal involvement in helping improve life for his constituents has ranged from living on a "food stamp" budget for seven days to raise awareness of food insecurity, shoveling the driveway of an elderly man who requested help via the mayor's Twitter feed, inviting Hurricane Sandy victims into his home, and saving a woman from a house fire.

Booker earned a bachelor of arts in political science in 1991 and a master of arts in sociology in 1992, both from Stanford University, where he returned in 2012 as its commencement speaker.

Marilyn Fox

Fox has devoted her energy and resources to countless causes focused on making the St. Louis community better.

She has held leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including the Missouri Botanical Garden, Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, Jewish Federation of St. Louis and St. Louis Jewish Community Center, the Missouri History Museum, and Webster University.

In 1992, she was elected the first female president of the Jewish Community Center and led a successful $17 million campaign for its satellite facility in Chesterfield, Mo. The Chesterfield facility, which opened in 1996, is named the Marilyn Fox Building.

She also served as board vice chair of the United Way of Greater St. Louis; board vice president of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri; and twice chair of the Old Newsboys Day Campaign for Kids.

Fox and her husband, Sam Fox, also are strong supporters of Washington University. They are members of the Danforth Circle of the university's William Greenleaf Eliot Society.

In recognition of their steadfast support and generosity, one of the seven schools bears the family name: the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Among the honors she has received are the St. Louis Women of Achievement Award in 1993 and Woman of the Year Award from Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis in 1996. The National Conference of Community and Justice recognized her with its Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award in 1998.

In 2007, Fox was inducted into the Old Newsboys Day Hall of Fame for her support of the annual November campaign to fund children’s charities.

Martin L. Mathews

For more than half a century, Mathews has dedicated his life to community service. A champion for youth, he co-founded a club initially designed to provide structured recreational activities to young men in his north St. Louis neighborhood.

Today, the Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club provides cultural, educational, and athletic programs to a diverse population of more than 40,000 young men and women, ages 5-18, throughout the St. Louis-metropolitan area. Many of these youth hail from low- to moderate-income families.

By forging relationships with business and civic leaders and developing innovative programs, Mathews helped create a national model.

In 1960, while coaching a boys' baseball team, Mathews met another neighborhood youth coach, the late Hubert "Dickey" Ballentine.

The men shared a mutual concern: keeping young men on the fields and off the streets.

From that meeting, came a baseball league, then a small storefront building for club meetings, to eventually, after a multimillion-dollar campaign, a facility equipped with an Olympic-size pool, basketball gymnasiums, community meeting and music rooms, computer and tutorial labs, and administrative offices.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan dedicated the new facility, declaring it a model for the country, and presented the co-founders with the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Since then, the club has continued to grow in size and scope with such additions as the James "Cool Papa" Bell multipurpose outdoor athletic complex, a 19,000 square-foot Girls' Program expansion wing and the Bob Russell Park in North County. In 2001, the club officially became the Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club.

Among the programs offered to combat teen idleness and illiteracy are Computer Literacy Instruction, Urban Music, Summer Day Camp, "The Sky is the Limit," and "Maleness to Manhood Workshop Series." These activities supply youth with education, cultural awareness, job training and mentors.

For his dedication to youth, he has received numerous honors, including A&E Biography Community Heroes, the FBI's Director's Community Leadership Award, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat's Humanitarian Award, and Focus St. Louis' What's Right with the Region! Award.

Juhani Pallasmaa

Pallasmaa has designed, written, and lectured extensively across the world for more than 40 years. Since 2008, he has served on the jury for the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the field's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

He is an honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects—a distinction conferred upon him in 1980 under the Gateway Arch—and the 2009 recipient of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Pallasmaa is the author and/or editor of more than 45 books on topics ranging from architecture and the visual arts to environmental psychology and cultural philosophy.

His book The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (1996) has become a classic of contemporary architectural theory and is required reading in architecture schools around the world.

Pallasmaa served as dean and professor of architecture at the School of Architecture, Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), from 1991-98.

Pallasmaa has contributed significantly to architecture and the arts at WUSTL. He first arrived at the Sam Fox School in 1999—the latest in a long line of prominent Finnish architects associated with the school over the last 60 years.

From 2001-03, he was the School's Raymond E. Maritz Visiting Professor of Architecture, and he continues to work with graduate students in the School's Helsinki international semester program.

Peter MacKeith, associate dean and associate professor of architecture who was on the HUT faculty with Pallasmaa, has edited two collections of his essays.

Last year, Pallasmaa co-authored Understanding Architecture with Robert McCarter, the Ruth & Norman Moore Professor of Architecture, and he received the Sam Fox School's Dean's Medal.

Peter Rosen

Rosen, a 1960 graduate of Washington University School of Medicine, serves as senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and visiting professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

He also is professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

Rosen has written hundreds of articles, editorials, and book chapters to advance the literature of emergency medicine. He was founding editor of Rosen's Emergency Management: Concepts and Clinical Practice, the field's highly regarded flagship textbook, soon in its seventh edition.

He is also the founding editor of the Journal of Emergency Medicine and remains on its editorial board.

Rosen has been a prolific speaker over the years, presenting on all matters involving emergency medicine, including difficult cases, medical ethics, communication issues, the history of emergency medicine, and even legends in the field, of which he arguably is one.

He has held offices in several academic societies and won numerous prestigious awards, many related to his work teaching and counseling a generation of emergency medicine physicians.

His honors include the American College of Emergency Physicians' Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award in 1977 and in 1984, as well as its Award for Outstanding Contribution in Education in 1994.

In 1990, he received the Leadership Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. He also was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993.

Howard Wood

Wood has never forgotten the opportunities he received as a student and graduate of Washington University, which he attended on a full-tuition scholarship.

Since earning a bachelor of science in business administration degree in 1961 from the Olin Business School, he has been an ardent supporter of his alma mater.

After a successful career in accounting, Wood changed course and co-founded what would become two of the nation's most successful telecommunications companies: Charter Communications Inc. and Cequel III LLC.

While building his businesses, he also helped drive WUSTL's progress. He served on the Business School Task Force in 1980-81. He is a past president of the Olin alumni association and an inaugural member, since 1995, of the school's National Council.

Among the Wood family's major contributions to Olin Business School are the Wood Fellows for MBA candidates and the Wood Scholars for undergraduates, as well as an endowed chair in organizational behavior.

His generosity also has extended to the School of Medicine, assisting in establishing a state-of-the-art simulation center.

He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2000 and named an emeritus trustee in 2011. A life member of the Danforth Circle, he also served on the School of Medicine's Finance Committee.

Wood received Olin's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992, the Founders Day Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996, the Dean's Medal from Olin in 2000, and the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2012.

Today, he runs a real estate and cattle farming operation in his hometown of Bonne Terre, Mo.