Tag: philanthropy

This blog post is excerpted the Washington Magazine Summer 2017 issue.

As the founder and owner of J. Wood & Associates, a ­successful management consulting firm, Emeritus Trustee Joyce (Wood) Buchheit, BSBA ’76, MBA ’77, believes in the power of philanthropy to change lives.

Buchheit has given generously to Washington University for nearly 20 years to express her gratitude for the scholarship support, mentorship and career guidance she received as a young mother entering Olin Business School in the 1970s.

“When I started at the business school, there were not many women and very few mothers. I chose Washington University because of the ­financial aid package I was offered,” she recalls.

Olin School Dean Robert Virgil and ­Professor Earl Spiller set her on a career path at Arthur ­Andersen & ­Company, at that time one of the “Big Eight” international accounting firms.

“Dean Virgil and Professor Spiller were outstanding teachers and mentors for their students. They encouraged Arthur Andersen to hire me in spite of the fact that I did not fit the normal age and ­gender profile for the position,” Buchheit says.

“And that scholarship changed my life,” she adds. “Without Washington University and the assistance of the dean and my professors, Arthur ­Andersen would never have hired me and provided me with excellent training and experience in the area of tax ­accounting.”

Giving back

After nearly four years at Arthur Andersen and a brief time at Mark Twain Bank, Buchheit founded J. Wood & Associates in St. Louis in 1984. Four years later, she moved the business to Bonne Terre, Missouri, where she began finding opportunities to give back.

“Christian Hospital had recently invested in the area by creating Parkland Health Center in Farmington, and they asked if I would sit on the board,” she says. Buchheit — who is now married to Chauncy Buchheit, executive director of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning ­Commission — has served on the boards of several rural hospitals, as well as Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. She recently retired from the board of BJC HealthCare, where she chaired the hospital system’s audit committee.

“My service to these organizations allowed me to support the community,” she says. “I feel strongly that we need research on effective policies that improve public health, and we need to revise or delete policies that have had unintended negative consequences. Dissemination and implementation of proven best practices in health care should be our highest priority.”

Buchheit was elected to the Washington ­University Board of Trustees in 2011 and ­became an emeritus trustee in 2016. She also has chaired the School of Medicine’s finance committee and currently serves on the national councils of the medical school and the Institute for ­Public Health.

“Joyce is dedicated to improving the lives of people in our region,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “We were proud to honor her with the Olin Business School Dean’s Medal in 2000 and the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2015. In addition to her extraordinary generosity, her ­dedicated service as an insightful leader, adviser and volunteer will have a lasting impact on faculty and students at Washington University.”

Buchheit considers her leadership role at the Institute for Public Health as an opportunity to advance the work of both the medical school and the Brown School. In 2012, she gave $2 million to establish the Joyce Wood Professorship, the university’s first endowed professorship in public health.

Overall, Buchheit believes that giving back to Washington University is an investment in the future.

“Because the chancellors and the deans of the business school have been long-term leaders, I’ve seen how they plan and execute over time,” she says. “The business school is growing, especially internationally. That’s the world students are entering today.”

Helping those students and the university continue to succeed is Buchheit’s primary motivation for giving to Washington University.

In 1998, she and her former husband ­Howard Wood established the Wood Fellows ­Program for MBA students. They endowed the Joyce and Howard Wood Distinguished ­Professorship in Business in 2004, added the Wood Leadership Scholars Program for Olin ­undergraduates in 2007, and made the lead gift for the Howard and Joyce Wood Simulation ­Center at the medical school in 2008.

As an Olin graduate and a former scholarship recipient, Buchheit finds supporting scholarships especially meaningful.

“I enjoy watching bright students progress through school and advance in their careers,” she says. “Their diverse backgrounds, their ­qualifications, their accomplishments — it all reinforces my drive to help them gain the ­education they need. It is exciting to see them succeed, open doors and hold them open for others.”

Maddy To, BSBA’19, is founder of YEP STL  – Youth Engaged in Philanthropy – a new organization designed to introduce high school students to community non-profit groups and how they are funded. The deadline for high school students to apply to the program is January 31.

YEP STLMaddy was interviewed on KTVI-TV about the organization and its partnership with Youthbridge, a local fundraising and grant-making philanthropy.

Watch the video above or click here.





Lucy Mayer Lopata, a longtime Washington University donor and St. Louis-area philanthropist, died Friday, May 24, 2013. She was 98.

The Lopata name is seen frequently around the Washington University Danforth Campus, including in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, with Lopata Hall, the Lopata Gallery and Stanley’s Café, named after Mrs. Lopata’s late husband, Stanley L. Lopata, a 1935 College of Arts & Sciences alumnus and former university Trustee. Pratim Biswas, PhD, is the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, and Igor Efimov, PhD, is the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Elsewhere at the university, their names adorn the Lopata Courtyard in Simon Hall, Lopata Plaza and the Lucy & Stanley Lopata House in The Village housing community. In addition, the Lopata Classic, a men’s basketball tournament, is held annually in the fall.

“It is very clear that Lucy and the Lopata name will live forever at Washington University through so many different venues — from buildings, galleries, and cafés, to professorships and close personal friendships with many on the faculty and staff,” says Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, the Spencer T. Olin Professor and dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science.  “Lucy has meant so much to this school — her generosity, engagement and warm personality have always been very obvious, even as late as mid-April. We will all miss her at these events, but the Lopata name will remain in all of its glory.”

Mrs. Lopata had many friends at the university, including Frank Yin, MD, PhD, professor and past chair of biomedical engineering, and his wife, Grace. Mrs. Lopata “adopted” the Yins as her own family. The Yins often took her out, brought her to university events, and attended Mrs. Lopata’s annual family holiday dinner.

Mrs. Lopata was born in Germany and attended school in Switzerland. For more than 70 years, she and her husband earned a reputation as two of the most generous and engaged people in the St. Louis area, supporting philanthropic, cultural and civic projects. Mrs. Lopata was a past president of the Jewish Federation Women’s Division and was involved in countless philanthropic organizations.

A private family service was held May 27.

Mrs. Lopata is survived by four children and their spouses: Steven and Frances Lopata, James and SuAnne Lopata, Lusette “Andy” and Edgar Smith, and Roger and Cynthia Lopata; four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, a sister, and other family. Memorial contributions or service may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Beth Miller, School of Engineering & Applied Science writer contributed this obituary.

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