2020 McDonnell International Scholars Recognition Ceremony

Greetings from campus, and thanks for inviting me to join you as you celebrate another year as McDonnell International Scholars. I’m sorry I’m unable to attend in person, though I still wanted the chance to share my congratulations and best wishes. First, congratulations on finishing up this unprecedented spring semester with your heads held high.  […]

WashU Response to COVID-19

Friends and colleagues, we are doing our best to keep the community informed of the situation. As we navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead, please know that my thoughts will continue to be with those impacted.

2020 WashU Day of Dialogue and Action

That’s what days like today and tomorrow are all about, as we use this opportunity to listen, learn, and reflect on our past as we use our collective voices to make way for the future. This is not only paramount for us as a community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion, but also as we double down on our role, impact, and connection “In St. Louis and For St. Louis.”

2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

Three students singing

This is the kind of place I aspire for us to be — not because it’s good for appearances or it’s good for politics. But simply because it’s the right thing to do. Once again, as Dr. King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Safety and security updates

As we begin the spring semester and settle back into our regular routines, I want to take the opportunity to share with you some important updates about our ongoing commitment to improving safety and security around our campuses.

2019 December Recognition

Undoubtedly, your time here was worth far more than any Google search could ever provide — a tangible response to the popular search “Why is education important?” While studying at Washington University, you gained knowledge, understanding, tools, experiences, and relationships that have immense promise to change the world. And now that this particular chapter is ending, it is our greatest hope that you leave this place feeling ready and prepared to continue your passionate and noble search for knowledge and truth.

The case for Medicaid expansion in Missouri

Missouri is facing a health-care crisis. Far too many residents in our state cannot get needed medical care because they lack health insurance. This is why Washington University is backing the Healthcare for Missouri initiative – an effort to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover more Missourians.

Addressing gun violence: We must raise a collective voice

Today, we are issuing a public appeal to our state legislators to make sensible changes to Missouri state law that will grant to local governments the ability to establish stricter gun safety requirements within their municipal and county boundaries.

Inaugural Address: Momentum

WashU Danforth Campus looking north toward Brookings Hall

I view my role as your 15th Chancellor to increase our momentum and help build the bridges to our shared future — the future of this institution, the future of St. Louis, the future of this country, and the future of the world.

Francis Olympic Field Renaming Ceremony

Here at Washington University, we are immensely proud that we have continued to carry the Olympic torch throughout our history to the present moment.  The renaming of Francis Olympic Field truly solidifies our commitment to these values, and I’m confident we’ll continue to embody the Olympic movement and spirit with us well into the future.

Following up on steps to enhance safety and security

Earlier this week, I expressed my determination to address safety concerns that have intensified following a recent spike in criminal activity in neighborhoods near the Danforth Campus. I now am reaching out to share with you specific steps we are taking in the short-, mid-, and longer-term.

The safety of our community

I wanted to reach out to let you know that I am concerned and determined to take action. Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of our university community.

Division of Students Affairs to report to the Office of the Chancellor

The student experience is a paramount facet of that mission as well as an area that continues to evolve with the changing landscape of higher education. To that end, and effective immediately, Dr. Lori White, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, will report directly to me moving forward. 

2019 Convocation

Brookings Hall

You now join a long line of individuals who have come before you and who have been deeply committed to the same values and principles.  As both Chancellor of Washington University and as an alumnus, I am both proud and honored that you represent our robust legacy and the extraordinary history of some of the world’s greatest thinkers, educators, inventors, innovators, advocates, and leaders.  With this comes great responsibility as you carry on the nearly 170-year legacy of distinction. 

Next steps in provost transition

Finding the ideal person to assume the role of provost will require thoughtful consideration, a smart and thorough process, and input from a broad range of community members. We are now ready to begin this task, and I want to share with you my plans for moving forward.

Commentary on Missouri law on abortion services

The university continues to share serious concerns about the recently enacted Missouri law related to abortion services. Dean Perlmutter of our medical school further explains those concerns in a commentary he coauthored with Richard Liekweg, CEO and president of BCJ HealthCare, that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

2019 Staff Day

As soon-to-be Chancellor, I want to emphasize how important I believe it is that staff get the recognition you deserve for the enormous time and diligent energy you put into keeping this place running and moving forward.  All of you are incredibly integral to the success of the university, and I’m really grateful for your contributions.

2019 Commencement

Members of the Class of 2019, I have to be honest. I feel a little bit like Paul McCartney right now as I channel one of the Beatles’ most famous lines, “You say Goodbye, and I say Hello.” For some of you, that joke might have gotten lost in the generational gap.  But it’s true. You’re leaving this place, and I’m just beginning my role as your 15th Chancellor.  Because I wasn’t here for most of your time on campus, I haven’t earned the privilege to impart a lot of wisdom.  To that end, all I really want to say is: “Congratulations!”  

2019 Day of Discovery, Dialogue, and Action

Change requires acts of bravery — from all sides.  And friendship and dialogue are perhaps the most powerful tools we can use to enact the change we wish to see.

Trilogy “Blacks in America 400+ years”

At WashU, we aim to make hope more visible.  At WashU, we aim to hear the voice of struggle and resilience in order to achieve progress.  At WashU, we aim to enhance our institutional efforts to make Washington University a place where all people feel represented, safe, valued, and included members of our community.  And at WashU, we aim to act responsibly as we care for our students, faculty, staff, and patients here in St. Louis and throughout the world.

The 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration

All of us, regardless of background or experience, benefit from being part of a diverse and inclusive community. It’s not just about succeeding or benefitting, though. Beyond that, it’s also about thriving and flourishing. As human beings, when we work on our own selves and strive to communicate and collaborate across our differences, we begin to create a university, local community, nation, and world that truly flourishes.

A welcome message from the Chancellor-elect

I am delighted and honored to return to campus to serve as your 15th Chancellor. Washington University in St. Louis is a vibrant institution filled with tradition; rich with diversity; committed to innovation, progress, and inclusion; and marked by leaders who have paved a course for a thriving future.

Welcome remarks

It’s so great to be back home. The past four years for me and my family in Ann Arbor have been a fantastic experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve another great institution. But, there is no place like here — and no place like home.