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  • Remembering Burt Wheeler

    Burt Wheeler (right & inset) enjoys a game of volleyball in Brookings Quadrangle on “Burt Wheeler Day,” organized by students in 1971 to recognize his many contributions toward improving undergraduate education. (Photos courtesy of WUSTL Archives)

ClassNotes

Remembering Burt Wheeler

Burton M. Wheeler, professor emeritus of English and of religious studies and former dean of the College of Arts & ­Sciences, died Feb. 17, 2012.

Wheeler came to WUSTL in 1956 as ­instructor of English and of religious studies.

In addition to his teaching and ­research, he held a number of administrative positions, including dean of the College of Arts & Sciences from 1966 to 1978 and chair of the Committee on Religious Studies for more than 20 years.

In 1971, students organized a “Burt Wheeler Day” in Brookings Quadrangle to recognize his many contributions toward improving undergraduate education as well as his efforts toward bridging the gap between faculty and students.

His contributions included introducing the Freshman Advising Program and developing FOCUS, a program that offers first-year students close ­relationships with professors and students who have similar interests in humanities-based study.

In addition, he established a working relationship between the Council of the Students of Arts & Sciences (CSAS) and the Faculty ­Council, providing students for the first time an integral part in determining academic policy and curriculum change.

Wheeler chaired the ­Commencement committee from 1989 until his retirement in 1996, serving as the grand marshal of Commencement for six of those years.

He also served as interim dean of ­the Washington ­University Libraries from 1988 to 1989. In the early 1990s, Wheeler chaired the Task Force on ­Undergraduate Education.

His impact on the Washington University community has been recognized in a number of ways: The Burton M. Wheeler House, one of three South 40 buildings that make up the William Greenleaf Eliot College, opened in 1998, and Wheeler received the Distinguished Faculty Award at the ­university’s Founders Day celebration in 1972 in recognition of outstanding teaching and scholarship. 

MY WASHINGTON:

Returning What Was Given Richard Mahoney applied the good advice he learned from his father — where in the first third of your life you learn, the second half you earn, and the third you return.

ALUMNI PROFILES:

Attorney Aids Developing Countries Attorney Vikas S. Dhar, AB ’99, practices nonprofit law across the world, from Haiti to Kenya to Afghanistan.

Artist Brings Creative Reuse to St. Louis Jenny Murphy, BFA ’09, runs Perennial, a nonprofit organization in St. Louis that teaches people how to transform trash into treasure through creative reuse.

Shaping Lives Everyday Through Inspired Teaching Eric Cochran, AB ’98, social studies department chair at Lindbergh High School, won several teaching awards in 2011, including the prestigious Milken Educator Award.

TV Producer Hits Targets: From WUTV, to ESPN and Beyond Emmy- and Peabody-winner Michael Hughes, BSBA ’01, founded DLP Entertainment, a sports television production outfit based in Venice, Calif.

ALUMNI HIGHLIGHTS:

Poet Wins 2012 Brittingham Prize Jazzy Danziger, AB ’07, recently published Darkroom (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), for which she received the 2012 Brittingham Prize in Poetry.

ALUMNI ACTIVITIES:

Alumni Volunteering Fosters Connections Tom and Colleen Ferguson, co-chairs of the WU Club of San Francisco Young Professionals Group, discuss the enjoyment they get from volunteering. Also, learn of upcoming Founders Day and Reunion activities.

CLASSNOTES:

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In Memoriam

Remembering Burt Wheeler

ASIA EXTRA:

Asia Extra is a supplement to Washington Magazine for alumni and friends in Asia. (PDF download)

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