Mark Wrighton | St. Louis Public Radio

Mark Wrighton

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:30 p.m., May 6 — Better Together is withdrawing its effort to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County through a statewide initiative petition, instead regrouping to focus its efforts on trying to get only city and county residents to approve a plan sometime in the future.

For now, it’s the end of an ambitious proposal that would have reshaped regional government — but also stoked opposition from across the political spectrum.

“I find that many people do not attend to things that they hear about until it’s right in front of them and confronts them,” said Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton, who was leading the effort to implement the merger plan. “And it’s evident that our community needs more education about what is necessary, the problems we face, and how best to solve them.”

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton will retire this summer after 24 years at the university. April 2, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

After leading Washington University in St. Louis for nearly a quarter century, Chancellor Mark Wrighton is retiring this summer.

Wrighton joined St. Louis Public Radio editor Maria Altman during Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air to reflect on his tenure at the institution and looks ahead to a new chapter. Wrighton said that the most rewarding part of his time as chancellor was working along with others to help grow the university.

Andrew D. Martin will serve as the 15th chancellor of Washington University. His tenure as chancellor will begin June 1, 2019.
James Byard | Washington University

Washington University announced on Saturday that Andrew D. Martin will be the university's 15th chancellor.

Martin comes to Wash U from the University of Michigan, where he serves as dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He will replace Wash U’s current chancellor Mark Wrighton effective June 1, 2019. Wrighton has served as chancellor for 22 years. He announced his plans for retirement last fall.

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton (left) spoke with education reporter Dale Singer (right) on "St. Louis on the Air" on Aug. 24, 2015.
File | Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton is planning to retire after two decades leading the school.

Wrighton told Washington University’s board of trustees of his decision to step down on Friday, the 22nd anniversary of being inaugurated chancellor. He was hired in 1995.

Black semi-automatic pistol
(via Flickr/kcds)

Ask Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton why the school is embarking on a year-long effort to determine causes and solutions to gun violence, and he has a host of statistics and academic rationales to make his case:

  • The cost to the nation of $174 billion each year.
  • More than 11,000 U.S. homicides and nearly twice that number of suicides from firearms in 2013.
  • Missouri’s ranking of fourth in the nation for killings with guns.

But Wrighton's wife, Risa Zwerling Wrighton, has a far more emotional argument, one that moves her to tears.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 3, 2013 - President Bill Clinton is no stranger to Washington University. The private university was home to the first presidential debate in 1992, when the then-Arkansas governor squared off in a rhetorical showdown with incumbent President George H.W. Bush and Texas businessman Ross Perot. Less than a month later, Clinton would defeat both men to become the nation’s 42nd president.

Flash forward nearly 20 years later and Clinton is coming back to Washington University -- but this time for a decidedly different reason.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 6, 2012 - Washington University hopes to bring in $2.2 billion in its latest fund-raising campaign, which will dedicate money to a new center for psychiatric research and expanded and improved athletic facilities at its Danforth Campus.

The campaign, titled "Leading Together," is set to end on June 30, 2018. It has already raised more than $1 billion in its initial phase, university officials said as they announced the new fund drive.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 4, 2010 - In the beginning, there was Gatorade.

Well, maybe not at the very beginning, but the sports energy drink may be the most prominent example of how university research can be turned into a profitable product -- "a blockbuster," in the words of Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.