2015 Class Acts

Celebrating the Past, Ready for the Future

Class Acts is a series that recognizes our students who are changing the world through research, service and innovation.


Saying goodbye

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on May 14, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

The Class of 2015 snapped selfies, celebrated each other’s friendship and said their farewells to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton May 11 at the annual Chancellor’s Dinner.

Senior class president embraces uncertainty

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on May 14, 2015 in 2015 Achieving Excellence

Washington University in St. Louis senior class president Jeremy Sherman knows what’s next — a trip to Europe and a job at Deloitte Consulting in Washington, D.C. The rest is uncertain. “Even if we have a job or are planning to go to graduate school, all of us are facing a lot of uncertainty,” said […]

Throwback Thursday: First day of school, Aug. 30, 2011

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on May 14, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

It’s 1,353 days after the first day of school for the Class of 2015, and Washington University in St. Louis senior Will Ralls is amazed by the unexpected course of his college career. He came ready to major in computer science and political science and he did. The rest — serving as a residential advisor […]

Addoley Dzegede: Art of the gesture

By Liam Otten on May 12, 2015 in 2015 Shaping the Future

An artwork can be an object. But for Addoley Dzegede, who will receive her Master of Fine Arts from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts May 15, it is more like a conceptual approach, one that informs sculpture, audience interactions and environmental interventions alike.

Alexandra Mei: Design, equality and planning for the future

By Liam Otten on May 12, 2015 in 2015 Shaping the Future

I’m really interested in the combination of landscape and urbanism — in looking at integrated systems and environments and how they affect people on a larger scale. There's so much potential for landscape architecture today to impact issues both within and beyond the site in front of you.

A head start on business

By Mia Kweskin on May 7, 2015 in 2015 Sparking Innovation

“You’re the girl who pitched me!” said Kevin Dillon, an actor on the HBO series “Entourage,” when he saw Jolijt Tamanaha, a senior in Arts & Sciences, at the Austin, Texas, airport.

A passion for teaching the deaf and hard of hearing

By Julia Evangelou Strait on May 6, 2015 in 2015 Serving the Community

Aimee Gao’s interest in deaf culture was first piqued in fourth grade when her class learned the story of Helen Keller, dabbled in American sign language and put on a play for students at the Kansas School for the Deaf. Later, as an undergraduate at William Jewell College, where she earned a degree in elementary […]

Hooked on Entrepreneurship

By Julie Hail Flory on May 4, 2015 in 2015 Sparking Innovation

Joe McDonald has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In high school, he tried to start your typical teenage businesses — lawn mowing service, disc jockey, whatever other “wacky ideas” came to him.

Law student makes most of his time here

By Neil Schoenherr on April 27, 2015 in 2015 Achieving Excellence

Third-year law student Jonathan Adair applied to Washington University in St. Louis late in his search process and made a last-minute decision to attend. Now the Chicago native, who took advantage of myriad educational and service opportunities during his time at WashU, can’t imagine wanting to go anywhere else.

Throwback Thursday: WUStock, March 24, 2013

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on April 23, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

The Congress of the South 40 snagged one of hip hop’s biggest acts, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, for the 2013 WUStock. More than 2,000 students packed the Pageant to hear “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us” and the duo’s other hits.

In Great Company

By Elizabethe Holland Durando on April 20, 2015 in 2015 Shaping the Future

Not many young scientists get a chance to hobnob with Nobel laureates. So Jordan McCall was elated last year to learn that he had been chosen to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting — an annual gathering of Nobel laureates and young students and researchers.

Thinking on Her Feet

By Liam Otten on April 6, 2015 in 2015 Achieving Excellence

Samantha Gaitsch, a senior majoring in dance and in psychology, both in Arts & Sciences, performed with company-in-residence The Slaughter Project at Edison Theatre at Washington University in St. Louis.

Throwback Thursday: Garry Kasparov, April 2, 2012

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on March 26, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

As a senior chess master, Mark Heimann, a senior in Arts & Sciences, has long admired Garry Kasparov, perhaps history’s greatest chess player. But that’s not what impressed him most about Kasparov’s visit to Washington University in 2012, his freshman year. “Kasparov was somewhat of a household name for me when I was growing up,” […]

Senior honorary Mortar Board inspires young writers

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on February 26, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

Improv troupe Suspicious of Whistlers (above) was one of many campus performance groups to act out stories written by Buder Elementary students at the second annual Young Storytellers Festival, hosted by Washington University senior honorary Mortar Board.

Fun to Spare

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on February 24, 2015 in 2015 Making Memories

Robert Landis, a senior in Arts & Sciences, participates in the Danforth University Center’s first-ever human bowling tournament Feb. 21.

Schmidt brings ‘listening ear’ to his writing

By Diane Toroian Keaggy on February 19, 2015 in 2015 Achieving Excellence

John Schmidt, a senior in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is the white playwright behind Black Anthology. In past productions, Schmidt has tackled profiling, post-racial politics, bias within the black community and the insidious ways prejudice persists on college campuses.