Tag: Howard Wood

Howard Wood, BSBA’61, grew up in Bonne Terre, Missouri, a farming community sixty miles from St. Louis. Both of his parents were school teachers and there was no question that he would go to college, but how to pay for it was a major obstacle. “We were as poor as church mice,” Wood says.

“Washington University was just like it is in these days.  It’s a very expensive place to attend given some of the alternatives.  And my first year’s tuition was $750.” That did not include room and board, Wood is quick to add. He will never forget the generosity of one man who made it possible for him to attend WashU.

“We had a gentleman in Bonne Terre by the name of Henry Day who owned a quarry in the county … St. Francois County where I grew up.  And he offered a full scholarship each year to Washington University.  I was on that scholarship as was my brother.  And we were the only two that ever graduated on it.  So it was kind of an unusual situation, but it was a very nice scholarship, and he was a Harvard graduate. But that’s how I got to Washington University; otherwise I would never have been able to attend.”

Wood was considered “an out-of-town student” when the majority of students lived within the metropolitan area and could take the streetcar to school. “There were very few dorm rooms, practically none,” Wood recalls. “The fraternities had most of the rooms for the men.  There was no South 40. They didn’t have sleeping rooms in the sororities.  So it was a little bit different back in 1957.”

Howard Wood had a successful career at Arthur Anderson before partnering with Olin alumnus Jerry Kent to launch Charter Cable. He has been a generous supporter of the Scholars in Business program and talks about the importance of scholarships in another video in this series.

Link to more Olin history on the Centennial website.


Howard Wood, BSBA’61, received an honorary doctor of laws degree at Wash U Commencement May 17.

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 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.

Howard Wood receives honorary degree from Chancellor Wrighton. Photos courtesy of WUSTL photos services.

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.

Cory Booker, Marilyn Fox, Martin Mathews, Juhani Pallasmaa, and Peter Rosen also received honorary degrees at this year’s Commencement ceremony. Their bios and all Comencement coverage is available in the WUSTL Newsroom.


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