Tag: Alumni



Hank Cummings, a double major in music and business, opened the all University Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quad this morning by singing “America the Beautiful.”

Commencement Speaker Anna Quindlen

More than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree candidates and their friends and families defied cloudy skies and predictions of rain to fill the Quad where best-selling author Anna Quindlen delivered this year’s Commencement address.

In addition to Quindlen, other speakers included Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, the senior class president, Reid Petty, from Mendham, N.J., BSBA’17, is a marketing major delivered the undergraduate student Commencement greeting, and Wei Zhu, a candidate for a juris doctoris from the  School of Law, was selected to give the graduate student address. She is from Hunan Province, China.

The 3,089 candidates at Washington University’s 156th Commencement will receive 3,245 degrees, of which 1,490 are undergraduate, 1,751 are graduate and professional, and four are associates in arts.

There are 600 doctoral candidates, including 132 for the doctor of philosophy degree from the Graduate School; one for the doctor of business administration degree from the Olin Business School; 242 for the juris doctoris degree from the School of Law; two for the juris scientiae doctoris degree from the School of Law; and 223 for degrees from the School of Medicine.

CATEGORY: News, Student Life



Alumni in the news

Retired US Air Force veteran Don Halpin, a 2016 graduate of Olin’s Executive MBA program, is the Healthcare Systems Engineer at the Jump Simulation Lab at OSF Innovations in Peoria, IL. He is responsible for supporting socio-technical innovation projects. In this role, he develops new technologies and processes – particularly the incorporation of aviation safety tools into the healthcare arena. Halpin’s second career at “Jump” was recently featured in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Don Halpin is a graduate of the USAF Academy with a BS in Electrical Engineering (computer design focus) and a MS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University.

Halpin employs forward-thinking best-practices from his 28 years in the Air Force. His final assignment was as the Director of Safety for Air Mobility Command where he was responsible for the flight and ground safety of its 55,000 person operation. He was an airlift and air refueling pilot, capability planner, political-military affairs officer, squadron and wing commander.  Now, he’s applying his knowledge of mobility operations to the medical sector at Jump Simulation, also known as Jump, for short.

Jump, which opened in April 2013, is a collaboration between OSF Healthcare and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, and aims to improve the experience of medical practitioners and patients through education and simulation initiatives. One such initiative includes printing 3-D hearts for cardiovascular surgeons to employ before surgery, an example of the high-tech atmosphere at the innovative company.

Halpin credits his strong family support system and Olin’s Executive MBA program as assets to his work at Jump, where he started working following his retirement from the Air Force. He was actively engaged in the EMBA curriculum, graduating with honors, while also fully engaged in the important work at Jump. Managing work, family and EMBA is a challenging yet rewarding experience for Executive MBA students.

With healthcare positioned as one of world’s most relevant and global industries, Halpin practices the EMBA pledge to take “business knowledge and translate concepts into real world applications,” on a daily basis.

To read more about Halpin’s work, please see the news article from The Edwardsville Intelligencer here.

CATEGORY: Career, News



Reid Petty has been President of the Class of 2017 since sophomore year and before he graduates, he will address his classmates, and thousands of guests and graduate students in Brookings Quad at Commencement. The Source talked to Reid who is an Olin marketing major about what he plans to say and his post-graduation plans in the advertising industry.

Why did you decide on a career in advertising?

Growing up, I was always plopped in front of the TV with my family. That’s how we bonded — watching “The Office,” “Lost” and probably some questionable stuff like “The Sopranos.” I loved the shows, but I also loved the ads. I would challenge myself to come up with a better ad than the one I saw on TV.  It clicked that this is what I should do with my life. Last summer, I worked at Team One, an advertising firm in Los Angeles, where I wrote copy that will appear in an upcoming Lexus ad. And after graduation, I will be working in the Chicago office of DigitasLBI in a dual project management and account management role. I also studied film at WashU and I am hoping, at some point, to merge these two loves by going into advertising for film.

You spent a summer in Copenhagen and a semester in Singapore. How did your study-abroad experiences impact your education?

Those experiences are some of the best things that ever happened to me. In Copenhagen, I took a class on the Roskilde Festival, the world’s largest nonprofit music festival. We learned about festival management and festival culture. It concluded with us spending a week at the festival where we were just immersed in Danish culture. The week shaped my understanding of what it means to travel, to get outside of your comfort zone and discover new people and places. I then chose to go to Singapore because I wanted a totally different experience, and I loved it. Being abroad is challenging, fun, sometimes lonely and always exciting.

So what words of wisdom will you be sharing with graduates?

I’m 22 years old. I don’t have that much wisdom to offer to my peers. But I have thought a lot about why this place is so special. And it comes down to the people. And sure, you could say that about a lot of universities. But I found this school very different than the other ones I visited. As a tour guide, I would talk about the campus culture here — that Washington University is super-collaborative and very friendly. And I think that imparting those words on visiting students gives them the idea that this is a very welcoming place. And they make it so. Their expectations shape reality. And so this sense of community is passed down from class to class. For us seniors, it may feel like it’s all ending, but it’s not. This community will stay with us wherever we go in life.

CATEGORY: Career, News, Student Life



Sustainability champions Nick Annin, Elise Fabbro and Nicola Salzman graduate this month from Washington University in St. Louis poised to fight the globe’s most pressing problem with a powerful tool: the free market.

Though these students support laws and treaties that protect the environment, they also recognize that markets can move faster. And, in this battle, every second counts.

Nick Annin plans to pursue a Masters in Finance at Olin after earning his undergrad degree. Majors: Environmental policy and writing in Arts & Sciences. 

“There is a myth that the economy and the environment are inherently at odds,” said Annin, a senior in the environmental studies program in Arts & Sciences. “We know, in fact, the opposite is true. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment.”

The three advocates share much in common, including an early admiration for former vice president Al Gore. Each said Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” transformed climate change from a vague cause for concern into, for each of them, a call to action.

Annin remembers watching the film in fourth grade with his father Peter Annin, a renowned environmental journalist. Annin felt as if he might vomit.

“All my life, I had gone camping and the woods were my home,” said Annin, a native of Madison, Wis. “The idea that all of that was threatened was horrifying.”

Nicola Salzman Majors: Environmental policy in Arts & Sciences and leadership and strategic management in Olin Business School.

Salzman, also a senior in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences, was in high school in Boston when she read a book version of “An Inconvenient Truth.” She remembers looking at the adults around her thinking, “Wait? You knew about this? And you’re not doing everything you can to fix it?”

And Fabbro, a law student, remembers her Palo Alto, Calif., high school inviting Gore to deliver his “Inconvenient Truth” presentation live.

“I walked out of there changed,” Fabbro said. “Since then, the environment and our impact on it is what I think when I go to bed at night, and when I wake up in the morning.”

In 2013, they would all arrive at the same time at the Danforth Campus. Annin came to play football for Coach Larry Kindbom; Salzman liked the campus culture; and Fabbro transferred to the School of Law when an admissions officer serendipitously called the day she learned her current program was losing two environmental law experts.

Once here, they all applied to participate in the international climate negotiation seminar. They also each attended the global climate talks, known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences of the Parties (COP) as a delegate from Washington University.

Elise Fabbro Degrees: JD, School of Law and MBA, Olin Business School

It’s a unique opportunity, one that few universities extend to undergraduates, said Beth Martin, senior lecturer in environmental studies in Arts & Sciences. At the conferences, the students tracked specific articles of the agreement such as mitigation or finance, and attended negotiations and forums featuring climate leaders such as Gore and former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

“They see how diplomacy works and how words matter,” said Martin, who teaches the international climate seminar and leads the Washington University observer delegation. “The students also meet people whose daily lives and homes are profoundly impacted by climate change. It is both an incredible educational and emotional experience.”

All three students consider the conference the capstone of their academic careers. “We participated in history,” said Fabbro, who attended COP 21 in 2015 in Paris with Annin.

“I asked myself over and over again, ‘How am I here?’” said Salzman, who attended COP 22 in Marrakesh in 2016. “It was an experience unlike one I could ever have in a classroom.”

Fabbro, Annin and Salzman left their respective conferences buoyed. The innovations of engineers, the research of scientists, the resolve of diplomats — the gains were real. And yet each returned, more convinced than ever, that global talks and international treaties can only take us so far. The private sector can — and must — play a pivotal role.

For a closer look at Washington University’s leading sustainability champions and their vision for world for a healthy environment and economy, link to their Class Acts profiles.




Olin’s Undergraduate Graduation Recognition Ceremony will be held in the Athletic Complex, Field House at 11:30 a.m., May 19, 2017. All graduates are requested to arrive at the Athletic Complex no later than 11:00 a.m. Please check-in at the tables at the draped off north hallway on the Field House level and fill out your reader card. A reception immediately follows in the Knight Hall Atrium. Be sure to read the information for Undergraduates.

Click here to live stream the 2017 Olin undergraduate ceremony. The ceremony will also be live streamed on Olin’s Facebook page.

Borchert at last month’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Alex Borchert, BSBA’06, will deliver the keynote address at the Undergraduate Graduation Recognition Ceremony, May 19, in the Athletic Complex.  Borchert is the Managing Director of Investments for Altus Properties, a private equity real estate investment firm headquartered in St. Louis.

In addition to his successful career, Alex is currently President of the Olin Business School Alumni Board and active in the St. Louis community as a United Way board member and co-chairing the Young Professional for United Way with his wife Dr. Dana Borchert.

Miranda Lan with classmates in Bruges

Miranda Lan has been selected by her classmates as student speaker.

Miranda is an organizational behavior and marketing major, originally from Vancouver, Washington. She says her parents are her role models and inspire her to use business skills to create a better world. Miranda will begin working for Capital One in July and looks forward to working alongside her Olin peers in DC.

Related post about Miranda’s semester abroad.

Undergraduate Awards and Prizes

Michael Joseph Bannon •  Arthur M. Seltzer Accounting Award
Awarded to recognize an outstanding senior in the area of accounting. Established by Richard Wise, JD ’83, to honor his mentor, Arthur M. Seltzer, BSBA ’62, a successful accountant and financial adviser in St. Louis.

Lauren Ashley Berger •  Loeb Prize in Leadership
Awarded to a graduate who has shown leadership in undergraduate activities related to Olin Business School and who maintains excellence in scholastic achievement, as judged by his or her classmates. This award is named in honor of Isidor Loeb, who was dean of Washington University’s School of Business and Public Administration (now known as Olin Business School) from 1925 to 1940.

Colton Gregory Calandrella •  Taylor Outstanding Service Award
Awarded to the graduate who has participated in multiple Taylor Community Consulting projects to enable positive change in the St. Louis community. The Taylor Community Consulting Program provides students the opportunity to impact the local nonprofit sector through team-based, experiential learning projects.

Jude Collins Gingo •  Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key
Awarded to the graduate with the highest academic average. The award is given by Delta Sigma Pi, America’s foremost professional fraternity for men and women pursuing careers in business.

Jude Collins Gingo •  John W. Bowyer Award in Finance
Awarded to the graduate who is considered to have the greatest potential for success in a career in finance, as judged by the finance faculty. The award is named in honor of the late John W. Bowyer, who was a legendary teacher of finance at Olin from 1951 to 1987.

Andrew Glantz  •  Joseph W. Towle Prize
Awarded to the graduate with 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.

Allison Rachel Hartenstein •  Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key
Awarded to the graduate with the highest academic average. The award is given by Delta Sigma Pi, America’s foremost professional fraternity for men and women pursuing careers in business.

Miranda Lan •  Taylor Outstanding Service Award
Awarded to the graduate who has participated in multiple Taylor Community Consulting projects to enable positive change in the St. Louis community. The Taylor Community Consulting Program provides students the opportunity to impact the local nonprofit sector through team-based, experiential learning projects.

Adrian Ingoo Lee  •  Powell Niland Prize
Awarded to the graduate 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.

Ricardo Alejandro Perez •  Undergraduate Marketing Award
Awarded by the faculty to a graduate for outstanding achievement in the field of marketing.

Jessica Prussick •  International Business Student Award
Awarded to the graduate who shows the greatest potential for a career in international business.

Esteban Roque Recht •  Taylor Outstanding Service Award
Awarded to the graduate who has participated in multiple Taylor Community Consulting projects to enable positive change in the St. Louis community. The Taylor Community Consulting Program provides students the opportunity to impact the local nonprofit sector through team-based, experiential learning projects.

Ethan John Rinchik •  Kay Roh Memorial Award
Awarded to a graduate in recognition of his or her contributions to Washington University and/or the St. Louis community through extracurricular or volunteer activities, as judged by his or her classmates. Named to honor Kay Roh, who was awarded her BSBA posthumously in 1991. The award is made possible through the generosity of her parents, Min and Jae Roh, and grandparents Ginger and Jack Woods.

Lillian Ross •  Loeb Prize in Leadership
Awarded to a graduate who has shown leadership in undergraduate activities related to Olin Business School and who maintains excellence in scholastic achievement, as judged by his or her classmates. This award is named in honor of Isidor Loeb, who was dean of Washington University’s School of Business and Public Administration (now known as Olin Business School) from 1925 to 1940.

Brody Austin Scott Roush •  Arthur M. Seltzer Accounting Award
Awarded to recognize an outstanding senior in the area of accounting. Established by Richard Wise, JD ’83, to honor his mentor, Arthur M. Seltzer, BSBA ’62, a successful accountant and financial adviser in St. Louis.

Daniel Aaron Schleien •  Dean’s Special Service Award
Awarded by the dean to recognize students who have rendered extraordinary service to Olin.

James Michael Baxter Soldati •  Dean’s Special Service Award
Awarded by the dean to recognize students who have rendered extraordinary service to Olin.

John James Tomlin •  Outstanding Student Athlete Award
Awarded to a graduate who exhibits strong leadership ability and sportsmanlike conduct.

To be announced week of May 15: Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude and Honors in Management

The Dean’s Special Service Award goes to Colton Gregory Calandrella, Ricardo Alejandro Perez, Lillian Ross, Daniel Aaron Schleien, and James Michael Baxter Soldati

Colton has served the Olin and St. Louis communities in many capacities. From the formation of the Olin Diversity and Inclusion Committee to Vice President of the Olin Business Council and his participation in projects with the Center for Experiential Learning, Colton leads by example and is a role model for other students. He is graduating with a major in Economics and Strategy and Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Latin American Studies.

Ricky, Lillie, Danny, and Jimmy have participated in Olin Business Council since their first year, taking on leadership roles over the past three years.

Ricky created the Urban Youth Start-Up Challenge, a program whose purpose is to share information about attending college to St. Louis area high school students by bringing them to Olin for an introduction to entrepreneurship and campus tour. The OBC and undergrad office are committed to continuing this program.

Lillie is the first woman to be elected OBC president in over a decade. She has initiated several efforts to build school spirit and encourage underclassmen and women to take on responsibilities.

Jimmy led a rebranding of OBC last year to focus efforts on three pillars: Building Connections, Developing Professionals, and Advocating for Students. He also advocated for Olin as member of the University’s Undergraduate Council.

Danny has been the VP of Finance for two years and managed to keep the Council’s budget within all the rules and regulations of the Student Union.

It is rare for seniors to remain actively involved in student government through their last semester, but these students have been exceptions and exceptional in their service to the school.

The Reid Teaching Award is presented by Olin’s graduating class to the professor whose enthusiasm and exceptional teaching most inspire, energize, and transform our students. BSBA Reid Teaching Award to Staci Ann Thomas and  Ignacio Esponda.

CATEGORY: News, Student Life