George H. Capps Plaza

The George H. Capps Plaza is located in front of the Athletics Complex.

It was dedicated in 1991 in memory of George H. Capps. The plaza features a statue of the school mascot bear.

George H. Capps

George Capps graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1939 with a degree from both the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Law. In 1940, Capps joined the U.S. Navy. Upon leaving the Navy, he received a position at the FBI. While working at the FBI, Capps met his future wife, Helen Schulte.

Later, Capps left the FBI to join in his father’s business at Capitol Coal and Coke. While George Capps worked there, the company sales went from $1 million in 1950 to $300 million in 1960. Capps then bought the Midwest distribution rights for Volkswagen cars. To distribute the cars he founded Diversified Auto Freight Inc. Capps also founded Capitol Land with Herb Wotka which created nearly a hundred large scale building and development projects. In 1990, Capps sold the Volkswagen distribution rights and founded Plaza Motors, a St. Louis car dealership.

Capps received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University in 1966. He served as the chairman of the Board at Washington University from 1979 to 1982. During his term as chairman, he led a fundraising drive for the university that raised $630 million dollars, at the time, the largest amount raised by any school. Capps also led fundraising for the United Way, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and other charitable organizations. George Capps died in 1988 at the age of 72.