Event News

Celebrating achievements and honoring legacies at the McDonnell Academy Recognition Ceremony

Watch Looking Back, featuring our graduates and Scholars from 2024 and view photos from the event on the McDonnell Academy Flicker page.

The day after WashU’s 2024 commencement, the McDonnell Academy hosted a recognition ceremony to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our graduating Scholars.

The event was marked by a sense of celebration and accomplishment as each Scholar received their recognition certificate, marking their transition from students to Scholars for Life. These Scholars have excelled in various academic fields, including architecture, art, business, economics, engineering, law, history, literature, science, and social work, showcasing the diverse talents of McDonnell Scholars at WashU.

Looking Back | Flickr

Following the recognition of the graduates, the ceremony paid tribute to the extraordinary contributions of James and Mary Wertsch. The Wertsch tribute was a poignant moment, highlighting their significant contributions and enduring influence on the McDonnell Academy. Jim Wertsch, reflecting on the journey of the Scholars, shared a valuable piece of advice:

Scholars are already extremely smart and will achieve success in your field, but it is also important to find something that you enjoy and have a passion about.

Jim Wertsch
Watch the Wertsch Tribute on YouTube.

The McDonnell Academy has always embraced a dual mission. First, it recruits top scholars from universities worldwide, mentoring them as they pursue graduate and professional degrees at Washington University. Second, it leverages the Academy’s global network to incubate new ideas and foster collaborative research across countries and disciplines. In line with Washington University’s mission to serve truth through the formation of leaders, the discovery of knowledge, and the betterment of our world, the McDonnell Academy continues to nurture people, community, and research. This correlation underscores WashU’s dedication to leadership and collaboration, all within the context of embracing the global landscape.

As we celebrated the achievements of our Scholars and honored the legacy of Jim and Mary, the event highlighted our dedication to fostering an inclusive community where knowledge thrives, boundaries dissolve, and passions are pursued.