Washington University in St. Louis is a nonsectarian, private research university located in St. Louis and St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1853 and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than one hundred and twenty five nations. Twenty-two Nobel laureates have been associated with Washington University, nine doing the major part of their pioneering research at the university. Washington University is made up of seven graduate and undergraduate schools that encompass a broad range of academic fields. Officially incorporated as The Washington University, popular nicknames for the university include Wash. U. and WUSTL, all derived from the initials of the university's name. To prevent confusion over its location, the Board of Trustees added the phrase "in St. Louis" in 1976. The university has an endowment of $5.66 billion. The current chancellor is Mark S. Wrighton, who has led the university since 1995. He is among the highest paid university heads in the United States.
Washington University was co-founded in 1853 as a nonsectarian, private institution by St. Louis leader Wayman Crow and the Unitarian minister William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the Nobel Prize laureate poet T. S. Eliot. The University's original name at the time of its founding was Eliot Seminary. Eliot, however, was not in favor of the name, and in 1854, the Board of Trustees changed it to "Washington Institute in St. Louis" because the University's charter, was (by a historical coincidence) passed on Washington's birthday (February 22,1853) and Washington's name was free from any divisiveness.
In 1857, the name was changed to Washington University. To avoid confusion with over 23 other institutions sharing the Washington name in their titles, the university again restored the "in St. Louis" suffix in 1976 to distinguish it in the international media.
Fitting for its national prominence gained since World War II, Washington University has been known to be a progressive campus, frequently inviting speakers such as NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who received an honorary doctorate in 2000. Washington University admitted its first women law students in 1869. Washington University School of Medicine later admitted its first women medical students in 1918. Washington University integrated St. Louis Jewish Hospital, a local pioneering institution, as a major affiliate in 1963. The process of desegregation at Washington University began after World War II in 1947 with the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work followed by all undergraduate programs in 1952.
The school's Medical Campus is in the city of St. Louis on the east end of Forest Park. Some administrative offices are in the city of St. Louis in what is called the North Campus. The 560 Music Center and the Lewis Center are in University City.
The school has also two smaller campuses (South and West) as well as the Tyson Research Center in St. Louis County.
Although Chancellor Wrighton has previously noted after the 2004 debate that it would be "improbable" that the University will host another debate and was not eager to commit to the possibility, he subsequently changed his view and the University submitted a bid for the 2008 debates. "These one-of-a-kind events are great experiences for our students, they contribute to a national understanding of important issues, and they allow us to help bring national and international attention to the St. Louis region as one of America's great metropolitan areas," said Wrighton.
Distinguished by its collegiate gothic architecture, the Danforth Campus lies at the western boundary of Forest Park, partially in the City of St. Louis. Most of the campus sits in unincorporated St. Louis County, while the southern part of the campus sits in suburban Clayton.
Formerly known as the Hilltop Campus, Danforth Campus was officially dedicated with a formal university ceremony on September 17, 2006, in honor of William H. Danforth, the 13th Chancellor of the University, the Danforth family, and the Danforth Foundation.
The construction of Danforth Campus was accelerated through a profitable lease of several buildings to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Through the efforts and influence of David R. Francis, an alumnus and former mayor of St. Louis, Missouri governor and U.S. Interior Secretary, newly-constructed campus buildings on the edge of Forest Park began use for classes when the World's Fair was over. This included facilities used by the 1904 Summer Olympics (the first Olympics played in the Western Hemisphere), such as Francis Field and Francis Gymnasium .
The Danforth Campus is accessible by the University City-Big Bend and Skinker stations on the MetroLink's recently-opened cross-county extension, which provides easy access to the Washington University Medical Campus, the North Campus, and the West Campus.
The School's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also serve as the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, which are part of BJC HealthCare. Washington University and BJC have taken on many joint venture projects, such as the Center for Advanced Medicine, completed in December 2001.
Olin Residence Hall, named for Spencer T. Olin, provides residential services for 200 medical and graduate students.
The Medical Campus is accessible via the Central West End MetroLink station, which provides a quick link to the Danforth, North, and West Campuses.
Medical Campus Includes:
The West Campus is located about a mile to the west of the Danforth Campus in Clayton, Missouri, and primarily consists of a three-story former department store building housing mostly administrative space. The West Campus building was home to the Clayton branch of the Famous-Barr department store until 1990, when the University acquired the property and adjacent parking and began a series of renovations. Today, the basement level houses the Library archives and a conference center. The ground level still remains a retail space. The upper floors consolidated capital gifts, portions of alumni and development, and information systems offices from across the Danforth and Medical School campuses. There is a music rehearsal room on the second floor where the WUSTL Symphony Orchestra currently practices. The West Campus is also home to the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT), which provides IT training services.
Both the North and West Campuses are accessible by the St. Louis MetroLink, with the Delmar Loop and Forsyth MetroLink Stations directly adjacent to these campuses, which provides easy access around the St. Louis metropolitan area, including all of Washington University's campuses.
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Arts & Sciences at Washington University comprises three divisions: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and University College in Arts & Sciences. Edward S. Macias is Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of Arts & Sciences. James E. McLeod is the Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Robert E. Thach is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Founded as the School of Commerce and Finance in 1917, the Olin Business School was named after entrepreneur John M. Olin in 1988. The school provides degree programs including BSBA, MBA, MS in Finance, Master's in Accounting, part-time Professional MBA, Executive MBA and PhD, as well as non-degree executive education. In 2002, an Executive MBA program was established in Shanghai, in cooperation with Fudan University.
Olin has a network of about 15,000 alumni worldwide. Over the last several years, the school’s endowment has increased to $213 million (2004) and annual gifts average $12 million per year. Simon Hall was opened in 1986 after a donation from John E. Simon.
Undergraduate BSBA students take 40–60% of their courses at Olin and are able to formally declare majors in eight areas: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, marketing, managerial economics and strategy, organization and human resources, international business, or operations and supply chain management. Graduate students are able to pursue the MBA degree either full-time or part-time. Students may also take elective courses from other areas in Washington University including law and many other fields. Mahendra R. Gupta is the Dean of the Olin Business School.
Olin graduates are well represented in leadership positions at companies across various industries, including: Wachovia, Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Deloitte Consulting, Exxon-Mobil, General Mills, IBM, Marriott, Monsanto, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, and UBS.
Architecture offers BS and BA degrees as well as M.Arch and MUD. There is a combined six-year BS and M.Arch degree program as well as joint M.Arch programs with most of the other schools in the University. In 2008, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 5th in the nation by Design Intelligence.
Art offers the BFA and MFA in Art in the context of a full university environment. Students take courses in the College of Arts & Sciences as well as courses in the College of Art to provide a well rounded background. One third of students in the school pursue a combined study degree program, second major, and/or minors in other undergraduate divisions at Washington University. U.S. News & World Report ranked the MFA program 15th in the nation in 2008.
Carmon Colangelo is the Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Bruce Lindsey is Dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. Ron Leax is the interim Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art.
The Washington University School of Engineering was ranked 43 in the 2007–2008 U.S. News undergraduate engineering program ratings. Graduate programs are also offered through the School of Engineering and part-time programs through the Sever Institute of Continuing Studies. Its current head is Dean Mary J. Sansalone until July 2008. Interim Dean of Engineering Salvatore P. Sutera takes office 1 July 2008.
(In summer 2007, Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering were merged into the new Mechanical, Aerospace, and Structural Engineering Department.)
The Washington University School of Law offers eight joint-degree programs, including JD/MSW, JD/East Asian Studies, and JD/MBA programs. It also offers two graduate degrees in law, the LLM and the MJS (Master of Juridical Studies). The law school offers 3 semesters of courses in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and requires at least 85 hours of coursework for the JD.
In the 2009 US News & World Report America's Best Graduate Schools, the law school is ranked 19th nationally, out of 190 law schools. In particular, its Clinical Education Program is currently ranked 4th in the nation. This year, the median score placed the average student in the 96th percentile of test takers. The law school offers a full-time day program, beginning in August, for the J.D. degree. The law school is located in a state-of-the-art building, Anheuser-Busch Hall (opened in 1997). The building combines traditional architecture, a five-story open-stacks library, an integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, and the latest wireless and other technologies. National Jurist ranked Washington University 4th among the "25 Most Wired Law Schools."
Kent D. Syverud is the Dean of the School of Law.
Within the medical school, the Program in Physical Therapy is also highly reputable. It is ranked 2nd in the nation for "Best Physical Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report. In 1999, the Program was granted approval by Washington University to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at both the professional and post-professional levels. The two new clinical doctorate programs replaced the Master of Science in Physical Therapy and the Master of Health Science (MHS). With the transition to the DPT, the program would best equip students to manage the changing needs of the health-care environment and the growing responsibilities of the profession. In its 60-year history, more than 1,500 students, most of whom are still actively involved in the physical therapy profession, have graduated from the Program.
The Program in Occupational Therapy is currently tied for 1st in the nation for "Best Occupational Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report. The Program offers a Master of Science degree as well as the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) at the professional and post-professional levels. M. Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., serves as the program director and was the most recent president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Larry Shapiro, MD, is Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.
The school's current dean is Edward F. Lawlor.
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, established in 1881, is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country and the first art museum established west of the Mississippi River. The collection includes works from 19th, 20th, and 21st century American and European artists, including George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Cole, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt, Robert Rauschenberg, Barbara Kruger, and Christian Boltanski. Also in the complex is the Newman Money Museum. In October 2006, the Kemper Art Museum moved from its original location Steinberg Hall into a new facility designed by Fumihiko Maki. Interestingly, Maki's very first commission was in fact that very same Steinberg Hall on Washington University's campus in 1959, which is directly in front of his newest building, the Kemper Art Museum complex, nearly 40 years after Steinberg.
Virtually all faculty members at Washington University engage in academic research, offering opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students across the University's 7 schools. Known for its interdisciplinarity and departmental collaboration, most research centers and institutes at Washington University are collaborative efforts between many areas on campus. More than 60% of undergraduates are involved in faculty research across all areas ; it is an institutional priority for undergraduates to be allowed to participate in advanced research, which is rather unique among leading private research universities . A dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research is located on the Danforth Campus and serves as a resource to post research opportunities, advise students in finding appropriate positions matching their interests, publish undergraduate research journals, and award research grants to make it financially possible to perform research.
During fiscal 2007, $537.5 million was received in total research support, including $444 million in federal obligations. The University has over 150 National Institutes of Health funded inventions, with many of them licensed to private companies. Governmental agencies and non-profit foundations such as the NIH, United States Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NASA provide the majority of research grant funding, with Washington University being one of the top recipients in NIH grants from year-to-year. Nearly 80% of NIH grants to institutions in the state of Missouri went to Washington University alone in 2007. Washington University and it's Medical School play a large part in the Human Genome Project, where it contributes approximately 25% of the finished sequence. The Genome Sequencing Center has decoded the genome of many animals, plants, and cellular organisms, including the platypus, chimpanzee, cat, and corn.
NASA hosts its Planetary Data System Geosciences Node on the campus of Washington University. Professors, students, and researchers have been very involved with many unmanned missions to Mars. Professor Ray Arvidson has been co-investigator of the Phoenix Rover robotic arm and chair of the Mars Exploration Rover landing site group.
Washington University professor Joel Lowenstein, with the assistance of several undergraduate students, has been involved in editing, annotating, making a digital archive of the first publication of poet Edmund Spencer's collective works in 100 years. A large grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities has been given to support this ambitious project centralized at Washington University with support from other colleges in the United States.
Currently, the undergraduate program is ranked 12th overall, tied with Northwestern University, and 6th in admissions selectivity, tied with Columbia University, in the 2007 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking. Additionally, 19 undergraduate disciplines are ranked among the top 10 programs in the country. Global rankings include 28th in a ranking of world universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2006 that assesses quality of scientific research leading toward a Nobel Prize. Britain's Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Washington University 48th in the world in 2006. Washington University was ranked 45th nationally in The Washington Monthly's 2006 ranking of universities' contributions to research, community service, and social mobility. In addition, the Olin Business School's undergraduate program is among the top 12 in the country. The Olin Business School's undergraduate program is also considered amongst the country's most competitive, admitting only 14% of applicants in 2007.
Graduate schools include the School of Medicine, currently ranked 3rd in the nation, and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, currently ranked 1st. In 2008-2009, the School of Law was ranked 19th while the Olin Business School was ranked 25th. Additionally, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 5th in the nation by Design Intelligence.
Many of these organizations and other campus life amenities will be housed in the new $41 million Danforth University Center being built on the Danforth Campus, also to be dedicated in honor of the Danforth family. The building will be completed by Fall 2008 and is expected to earn a LEED rating of Gold for environmentally friendly design.
75% of undergraduate students live on campus. Most of the residence halls on campus are located on the South 40, named because of its adjacent location on the south side of the Danforth Campus and its size of 40 acres. It is the location of all the freshman dorms as well as several upperclassman dorms. All of the dorms are co-ed. The South 40 is organized as a pedestrian-friendly environment where residences surround a central recreational lawn known as the Swamp. Wohl Student Center, the Habif Health and Wellness Center (Student Health Services), the Residential Life Office, University Police Headquarters, various student-owned businesses (e.g. the laundry service, Wash U Wash), and the baseball, softball, and intramural fields are also located on the South 40.
Another group of residences, known as the North Side, is located in the northwest corner of Danforth Campus. Only open to upperclassmen and January Scholars, the North Side consists of Millbrook Apartments, The Village, Village East (to open fall 2008), and all fraternity houses except the Zeta Beta Tau house, which is off campus and located just northwest of the South 40. Sororities at Washington University do not have houses by their own accord. The Village is a group of residences where students who have similar interests or academic goals apply as small groups of 4 to 24, known as BLOCs, to live together in clustered suites. Like the South 40, the residences around the Village also surround a recreational lawn.
WUSTL's sports teams are called the Bears. They participate in the University Athletic Association and the NCAA Division III. The Bears have won 15 NCAA Division III Championships, one each in men's tennis (2008) and basketball (2008), four in women's basketball (1998-2001), nine in women's volleyball (1989, 1991-1996, 2003, 2007), and 122 UAA titles in 14 different sports. The Athletic Department is headed by John Schael who has served as director of athletics since 1978. The 2000 Division III Central Region winner of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Continental Airlines Athletics Director of the Year award, Schael has helped orchestrate the Bears athletics transformation into one of the top departments in Division III. Washington University in St. Louis is home of Francis Field, site of the 1904 Summer Olympics. Francis Field is also home of the Washington University in St. Louis Football, Soccer, and Track and Field teams.