Chancellor Emeritus Mark S. Wrighton

Mark S. Wrighton, PhD, was elected the 14th chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis in 1995 and served as its chief executive officer for 24 years.

In the years following his appointment, the university made significant progress in student quality, campus improvements, resource development, curriculum and international reputation.

University accomplishments during Wrighton’s time as chancellor include a more than three-fold increase in undergraduate applications, more than 300 new endowed professorships for faculty, a redesigned Arts & Sciences curriculum, newly created programs in biomedical engineering, public health, American culture studies, and completion of more than 50 new buildings and the redevelopment of the East End of the Danforth Campus.

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Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton


Accomplishments & Recognition

During Mark S. Wrighton’s 24-year tenure as chancellor, the university saw:

  • Increased annual undergraduate applications three-fold (from 9,379 in 1995 to 30,463 in 2017)
  • Financial aid endowment increased by $733 million
  • Establishment of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
  • Formation of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy
  • Establishment of the Institute for Public Health
  • Formation of the Institute for School Partnership
  • Launch of Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement
  • Establishment of the Living Earth Collaborative
  • Four Nobel Prize winners
  • 1,459 endowed scholarships created
  • Double the number of nationalities represented on campus
  • 363 endowed positions, including four deanships, created
  • Two campaigns, which together raised nearly $5 billion
  • Federal research grants increased by $310 million

Debates hosted during Wrighton’s chancellorship:
2000: Presidential Debate, Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore
2004: Presidential Debate, President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry
2008: Vice Presidential Debate, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin
2016: Presidential Debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton


Recent Speeches

Next: Fifteenth Chancellor Andrew D. Martin
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