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About Guest Blogger

From time to time we have professors, students, staff, alumni, or friends who are not regular contributors, but want to share something with the community. Be sure to look at the bottom of the post to see the author.


Leonard Adreon, BSBA ’50, is a Korean War veteran, a corpsman who chronicled his experiences in a recently released memoir, Hilltop Doc: A Marine Corpsman Fighting Through the Mud and Blood of the Korean War. The memoir marked the first time in 60 years he had confronted and told the stories of the gruesome experiences he faced in war.

He recently returned to campus for a public conversation about his book, moderated by Olin Dean Mark Taylor.

“I didn’t say a word to anybody,” Adreon told the St. Louis Jewish Light. “A lot of us decided that the smartest thing to do was to go on with our lives and put it behind us. What we experienced and endured was horrendous. It was better forgotten.”

After the war, Adreon returned to St. Louis and spent 36 years as the executive vice president of The Siteman Organization. a real estate management and development company. He was an active advocate for the building and real estate industry throughout his career, serving in advocacy roles around the world and in Washington, DC.

Adreon has also been a leader at a variety of charities focused on child welfare and volunteers as a facilitator for writing classes in Washington University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.

He offered this poem to Dean Taylor in late April as a tribute to fallen US soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines.

Remember Forever

I am alone
among the silent stones
It’s early morning
The sun creeps through
sparsely scattered clouds
chases the night away
A cool gentle breeze
tingles my skin

Row after row
marble stones
on a carpet of green
Each curved at the top
standing proud over the grave
a small religious symbol
above the etched name of one who served
and the dates of a shortened shattered life

I’m here to visit my son
resting quietly with other soldiers
Today is his 40th birthday
If he could talk to me
what would he say
What is the message I should carry home

I sit on the small bench
close my eyes and listen

Dad, you’re here, that’s what counts
When I went away I knew the score
Danger lurked with every step
Most guys made it and came home
Some of us ran out of luck

I tried to do my best
for you and Mom
for Jamie and Helen
I longed to hear your voice
Feel the warm hug of your love

try to remember me Dad
and all who lie beside me
Remember me forever
Remember them forever




Stuart Adam Wolfer, BSBA
Julian Wise, LA '93

Julian Wise, LA ’93

Julian Wise, LA ’93, wrote this tribute to his former WashU roommate Stuart Adam Wolfer, BSBA ’93, an Army reservist killed during a mortar attack in Iraq in 2008.

This spring, I attended the 25th reunion for the Washington University Class of 1993. It was a joyful, fast-paced weekend, filled with alumni parties, volunteer events, and conversation with old friends. It was good to stroll the Brookings campus again.

Yet amid the merriment, I couldn’t help noting an absence in our ranks. The week marked the 10th year since the death of my former roommate, Major Stuart Adam Wolfer, KIA in Iraq in 2008.

Stuart and I lived together from 1990 to 1992, first in a suite at Rutledge Hall and later in an off-campus apartment in the Central West End. He remains an unforgettable figure from my Washington University years.

Stuart and I had little in common. I was a quiet liberal arts student from Cape Cod struggling to choose a major. Stuart bounded into WashU from Coral Springs, Florida, rock-confident in his plans for the future—business school, ROTC; an MBA or law degree after graduation. I marveled at his certainty, not without a trace of jealousy. Could it really be that easy to choose a career path without putting yourself through torturous mental gyrations?

Stuart was physical. He stood tall, worked out regularly, and carried himself with commanding presence. He didn’t just enter a room—he strode in. By junior year, he was maintaining a full course load, working part-time at Eddie Bauer’s at the Galleria Mall, and decamping frequently to Fort Leonard Wood in the Ozarks for ROTC training. I couldn’t figure out where he got the energy.

Lee Wolfer of Eagle, Idaho, the widow of Stuart Adam Wolfer, and ROTC Lt. Col. James Craig, unveil a memorial during the Stuart Wolfer Memorial Event at the North Campus of Washington University on April 18, 2018. Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Lee Wolfer of Eagle, Idaho, the widow of Stuart Adam Wolfer,
and ROTC Lt. Col. James Craig, unveil a memorial during the Stuart Wolfer Memorial
Event at the North Campus of Washington University
on April 18, 2018. Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Stuart and I weren’t best friends, but we were always cordial with each other. I kept quiet in the apartment, did the dishes and paid the rent on time. With his hectic schedule, that was all he was looking for in a roommate. We would never achieve that sentimental, bosom-buddy rapport associated with college friendships. I was a wallflower, while Stuart’s energy was turned up to 11. By senior year we’d drifted on to other living arrangements. I never saw Stuart after graduation; we exchanged a few brief emails before falling out of touch.

Walking among the current generation of WashU students, it struck me that the people least like us are often the ones we learn the most from. There is comfort and ease in bonding with similar people, yet the greatest growth comes from encountering those whose temperaments, outlooks, and natures contrast with our own.

With the passage of years, I’ve come to understand that, while he was no saint—he could be stubborn as a bull when the spirit moved him—Stuart possessed qualities I have come to value, admire, and even try to emulate. He was loyal to a fault, devoted, hard-working, and relentlessly value-driven.

I suspect his energy came from an awareness that his time at Washington University was brief and he was determined to wrest every drop of experience from it.

Today, I think of Stuart’s three daughters, who were young when he died. I want them to know that their father lived with a spark that’s memorable a quarter century later to those who knew him. I’m certain he loved them with a power beyond words. To them, I say: Your father was a remarkable man and you should be proud of him. Washington University certainly is.

Julian Wise is the owner of Island Images Gallery and Genevieve Press, a small non-fiction publishing company. He lives on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He can be reached at islandimagesgallery.com and julwise@gmail.com.




Neelam H. Vyas, president emeritus of the Olin Graduate Business Student Association and MBA

Neelam H. Vyas, president emeritus of the Olin Graduate Business Student Association and MBA ’18, delivered this address as the student speaker at Olin’s Graduate Graduation Recognition Ceremony on May 18, 2018.

Thank you, Dean Taylor. I stand before you this afternoon with deep pride for our business school and deep gratitude to my classmates for the opportunity to reflect on our time together at Olin.

There’s something about this place that’s hard to put into words—a magic that really can only be experienced. I began my journey at Olin with the first-day jitters of a second-grader. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated to be joining a class made up of former consultants, “human calculators,” engineers, contestants on the Price is Right, teachers, volleyball champions, and veterans.

But after those first few classes during orientation, icebreakers under the heat of the August sun, a lovely evening on the Mississippi, and the first of many free happy hours, fears were displaced by excitement for what was to come.

For many of us, the next two years would challenge our assumptions, crystallize our ambition, and transform our understanding of who we could be. Together, we survived our core classes—which introduced us to key business concepts, made us near-experts on cranberry processing and the airline industry, and taught us the hard way that nobody’s safe from a cold call.

The study rooms became our second home and our core teams became our second family. We learned the language of debits and credits, mastered acronyms like ROI and CLV, and embraced the ambiguity of the phrase “it depends.” We developed models and forecasts, and we leveraged business’ biggest buzzwords to highlight our assets and deliver impact on our presentations and papers.

We tightened up our resumes, polished our LinkedIn profiles, took a lint roller to our suits, and hustled hard for our dream jobs.

Our education at Olin has empowered us to pursue these jobs as stronger, wiser professionals with refined business acumen. But the truly exceptional part of the experience—the Olin magic—is what spills beyond the classroom. That magic is the intimacy of knowing our classmates’ stories, the impromptu conversation in a stairwell with a professor.

It’s the celebration of marriages, babies, and new four-legged sidekicks who’ve joined our growing circle. That magic is the warmth of our community, the inspiration we find in each other, and the strength of our network. For me, the last two years have been defined not by the courses or the cases but by the people. In a program where you can know everyone by name, I’ve learned that these relationships are priceless.

So, on behalf of the class of 2018, I want to extend a sincere thank you to our professors, administrators, staff members, alumni, donors, and our families here today who have supported and guided us through this journey. And I thank you, my classmates, for the lessons you’ve taught me along the way.

In you, I’ve found leaders, role models, coaches, tutors, confidantes, cheerleaders, trusted advisors, thoughtful critics, and friends. I’ve learned that there is tremendous power in being open to others—putting your authentic self forward and respecting the vulnerability it takes when others do the same.

This openness means admitting that you don’t have all the answers and recognizing the untapped lessons to be learned when you chisel past the chit chat. It’s the people who are at the heart of the Olin experience. And in the same way, it’s the people who are at the heart of every business.

Of course, I’m grateful for the wealth of skills and knowledge that create the foundation for our analysis and decision-making going forward. The world is moving quickly, and this foundation is needed to keep up. Our roles as future business leaders will demand more though.

They will require that we bring the same care and respect for people that we’ve found at Olin. Society and its leaders have a heightened awareness for the impact that business can have on the fabric of a society. As those future leaders, we have the opportunity and responsibility to model ethical behavior that places as much emphasis on people as on profits.

Accounting skills alone won’t be enough; it will also require accounting for other perspectives. We’ll not only need to focus on operating with efficiency but also operating with integrity. We’ll need to prioritize economic value as well as social values like empathy and inclusivity.

We’re in luck, because we can look to the kind of community we’ve shaped at Olin as we take on new jobs, establish new homes, and expand our networks. As this community and program continues to evolve, I hope we stay engaged as active alumni, ready to reinforce and support the next generations of Olin’s full-time MBAs, part-time MBAS, and specialized masters students.

My hope is that we stay connected to each other and cherish these days as a reminder of the values we share and a model of what a true community looks like.

Thank you.




A scene from the 2017 graduate student programs graduation recognition ceremony.

Dean Mark Taylor shared the following message with the Olin community before the graduate recognition ceremony on May 18, 2018.

The Olin Graduate Programs Recognition Ceremony is special for many reasons. Certainly, we share and take great pride in the triumph of our exuberant graduates—now prepared and eager to step from the graduation stage into a new phase of their lives.

The ceremony is also special because it recognizes and celebrates a small number of outstanding faculty and students whose contributions truly helped define the Olin journey for this class. I am delighted and honoured to share with you this year’s awards and honors.

David Allston: Joseph W. Towle Prize. Awarded to the graduating MBA student who, in the judgment of the faculty, exhibits the strongest academic achievement and the most potential in the area of organizational leadership. This award is named in honor of Joseph W. Towle, who was a tenured Olin management professor from 1954 to 1975 and a leader among faculty. Well-known in his field, an author, and president of the Academy of Management, he established this prize to encourage excellence in the classroom.

Cole Anthony Donelson: John Wayne Latchum Memorial Award. Recognizes the graduating MBA student who best exemplifies the qualities of integrity, loyalty to friends and country, courage, intelligence, and high standards of personal conduct as judged by the faculty. This award is named in memory of John Wayne Latchum, a business student who died in 1971 while he was a senior at Washington University. It is made possible through the generosity of his parents. Hubert C. Moog Prize. Awarded to the graduating MBA student who, in the opinion of his or her fellow students, best exemplifies the qualities of character, leadership, and service and also enjoys the respect, admiration, and affection of his or her classmates. This award is named in honor of Hub Moog, who as chairman and president of Moog Automotive, transformed his family’s St. Louis-based business into a world-renowned corporation. He served on the Washington University Board of Trustees and the Olin Task Force in 1980 and 1981. He and his wife, Dorothy R. Moog, were strong supporters of Washington University.

Ross Alan EricksonProfessional Achievement Award. Awarded to the graduating Professional MBA student who best exemplifies the qualities of integrity, loyalty, intelligence, and high moral character as judged by the faculty.

Molly Goldstein: Center for Experiential Learning Impact Award. Recognizes graduating students who have delivered the highest level of impact to the business and nonprofit communities through The Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) and other Olin-sponsored experiential programs and activities. Awardees distinguished themselves with exceptional effort and leadership that advanced the missions and objectives of the organizations and individuals with which they engaged.

Christine Haverly: Outstanding Corporate Finance Student Award. Awarded to the graduating Master of Science in Corporate Finance and Investments student who, in the judgment of the faculty, exhibits the strongest academic achievement and the most potential in the field of finance.

Brenna Alexandria Humphries: Paul Cuffe MBA Award for Outstanding Leadership. Awarded to a graduating African-American MBA student for outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and involvement in Olin extracurricular activities. This award is named in honor of Paul Cuffe, who was one of the most financially successful black Americans at the end of the 18th century. A builder and maritime merchant in New England, Cuffe became a successful blockade runner during the Revolutionary War and an entrepreneur during the early years of American independence.

Youngho Kim: Dean’s Special Service Award. Awarded by the Dean to recognize MBA students who have rendered extraordinary service to Olin.

Ryan Lynch: Hiram and Mary Neuwoehner Prize. Awarded by the faculty to the graduating Professional MBA student who has been the most substantive addition to the evening program through contributions in the classroom and excellence in writing papers and taking examinations. This award was established by Mary Neuwoehner in the 1990s to honor her husband, Hiram Neuwoehner, BSBA ’41, a St. Louis advertising executive and founder of Batz-Hodgson-Neuwoehner Inc.

Roberto C. Ortiz: Center for Experiential Learning Impact Award. Recognizes graduating students who have delivered the highest level of impact to the business and nonprofit communities through The Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) and other Olin-sponsored experiential programs and activities. Awardees distinguished themselves with exceptional effort and leadership that advanced the missions and objectives of the organizations and individuals with which they engaged.

Daniel Noel Tamasi: Dean’s Special Service Award. Awarded by the Dean to recognize MBA students who have rendered extraordinary service to Olin.

Raj Krishen Thapar: Milford Bohm Prize in Marketing. Awarded to the graduating MBA student who, in the judgment of the faculty, exhibits the strongest academic achievement and the most potential in the field of marketing. This award was established in honor of Milford Bohm―founder, chairman, and CEO of CPI (formerly Rembrandt Studio) from 1942 to 1973―by his wife, Lee Bohm, and their children, Mimi (MBA ’79), David (LA ’78/JD ’84), Rob (MBA ’90), and the late Vicki (EN ’84/SI ’85). Olin MBA Finance Award. Awarded to a graduating MBA student for achievement in finance.

Neelam Himansu Vyas: Dean’s Special Service Award. Awarded by the Dean to recognize MBA students who have rendered extraordinary service to Olin.

Wei XieOutstanding Wealth and Asset Management Finance Student Award. Awarded to the graduating Master of Science in Finance Wealth and Asset Management student who, in the judgment of the faculty, exhibits the strongest academic achievement and the most potential in the field of wealth and asset management.

Jessica Lynn Youngblood: CEL’s Taylor Outstanding Service Award. Awarded to the graduate or graduates who delivered the highest level of impact to the St. Louis local nonprofit community through the Center for Experiential Learning’s Taylor Community Consulting program. Awardees distinguished themselves with exceptional effort and leadership that resulted in demonstrated advancement of the missions and objectives of the organizations and communities with which they engaged. Peer Recognition Award. Awarded to the graduating Professional MBA student who, in the opinion of his or her fellow students, best exemplifies the qualities of character, leadership, and service and also enjoys the respect, admiration, and affection of his or her classmates.

Fan Zhang: Powell Niland Prize. Awarded to the graduating MBA student with the strongest academic achievement in the areas of operations and manufacturing management. This award is named in honor of Powell Niland, who was a tenured Olin operations and manufacturing management professor from 1957 to 1989 and an Olin professor emeritus from 1989 until 2009.

Charles F. Knight Scholars: Awarded to the graduate students who have earned the highest academic achievement in their program. This award was established by the Emerson Company to honor its then distinguished chairman and great benefactor to Olin Business School, who died in September 2017.

Full-Time MBA

  • Cole Anthony Donelson
  • Robert James Garwitz
  • Ramin Matthew Lalezari
  • Fengjia Brian Liu
  • Naohisa Matsumoto
  • Phuong Huyen Nguyen
  • Daniel Henry Nordin
  • Daniel Noel Tamasi
  • Raj Krishen Thapar
  • Jeffrey Donald Wertenberger

Professional MBA

  • Ross Owen Barthold
  • Rachel Ann Broadbear
  • Ryan David Brockman
  • Daniel Matthew Gilmore
  • David Edward Kekec
  • Daniel Robert Kohnen
  • Sean Michael Loughran
  • Kirsten McCain
  • Richard John Payton
  • Charles Robert Whitmer

Master of Accounting

  • Rebecca Marianne Brody
  • Feiyang Gao
  • Xinyi Huang

Master of Science in Customer Analytics

  • Jianan Chen
  • Qian Sun
  • Yang Yu

Master of Science in Finance—Corporate Finance and Investments

  • Shahzeb Khan Ghani
  • Christine Haverly
  • Yuchen Liu

Master of Science in Finance—Quantitative Finance

  • Xiangji Chen
  • Qi Li
  • Yuming Lou

Master of Science in Finance—Wealth and Asset Management

  • Hao Sha
  • Jingya Wu
  • Wei Xie
  • Yun Peng Zhao

Master of Science in Supply Chain Management

  • Yingyi Bao
  • Patrick Cauthen Mordente

Pictured above: A scene from the 2017 graduate student programs graduation recognition ceremony.




Excerpted from a profile in The Record by WashU Senior News Editor Diane Toroian Keaggy.

Senior Class President William “Bill” Feng, BSBA ’18, could not have anticipated the changes this nation, city and campus would undergo in the past four years. But he’s glad to have seen and been a part of it.

“This was the right time to be in a college,” Feng said. “And Washington University was the right place.”

Feng, who will graduate with a degree in economics and strategy from Olin Business School, will address thousands of classmates, faculty and family members Friday, May 18, at Washington University in St. Louis’ 157th Commencement. During his speech, he will encourage fellow graduates to stay engaged in the challenges that face their futures and the world.

“With all of the essays and exams and late nights of studying, it would have been easy to tune out everything else,” Feng said. “But whether it is racial equality or the #MeToo movement, we must confront the big questions and issues of our society and community. Our class has proven that we are brave and innovative.

“My hope is that we don’t stop — that what we have accomplished so far is nothing compared to what we will achieve.”

Read Feng’s full profile on The Source. Pictured above: Class President William Feng, an economics and strategy major at Olin Business School, built bridges during his time as a student here. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)


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