WUSTL Black Alumni

. . . Soul of the Quad

The Network for Black Alumni of Washington University, St. Louis, MO


Alumni Now


Michael Holmes, WU '79


 New nonprofit addresses growing medical needs of low-income Americans

ST. LOUIS -- Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) has completed the spinoff of its Rx Outreach business unit to create a new independent, nonprofit charitable organization with the mission of improving access to prescription medicines for low-income, uninsured Americans and working families.

Michael Holmes, former executive vice president of Express Scripts, leads the new national organization, which has its headquarters in St. Louis.

George Paz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Express Scripts, said, "Rx Outreach has an important mission in assisting deserving Americans in obtaining better access to the safe and affordable drugs they need. I am pleased that Michael Holmes is heading this independent organization and confident that under his leadership it will perform a significant social good."

Rx Outreach's new structure as a nonprofit will enable public, charitable and private entities, including Express Scripts, to work together to bring appropriate drug therapies to those who have limited or no access today. The opportunity to develop expanded partnerships with branded and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, community health centers, rural and frontier clinics, and faith-based charities will allow Rx Outreach the potential to offer a broader level of service.

Holmes noted the challenges ahead. "During tough economic times, the need for an organization like ours is especially acute, but we know that private resources are stretched thin," he said. "We applaud Express Scripts setting us on the road to independence, and we readily accept the challenge of building new partnerships and support for accomplishing our critical mission."

Express Scripts announced the spinoff in January and has supported Rx Outreach during the transition period.

Check out Ars Gallery, the online home of D.J. (Dennis) Staples, WU '76, 'creating art and graphics for your world'.

The World Race of Rashida Brooks, WU '05 "In January 2011, I will be leaving for an 11-month, 11-country mission trip called The World Race! Have you ever seen the reality show The Amazing Race? People race around the world and complete crazy tasks in hopes of being the first to reach the finish line and win $1 million dollars. Well, my journey is The Amazing Race ON JESUS! I am guaranteed to win and my prize is priceless! I get to spend an entire month in eleven different countries not only experiencing all they have to offer, but also giving something in return. I am ecstatic about the opportunity to share the love of God, to connect with people, to serve and to grow. I know I will be challenged and changed. I look forward to meeting the woman I will be at the end of this journey."~Rashida
(For more information and to support Rashida, see her blog -http://shidabrooks.theworldrace.org/)

The fifth novel by Michele Andrea Bowen, '79, '81, More Church Folk (sequel to her Essence Bestseller, Church Folk), debuts July 28th. Publishers Weekly says, "If you crossed Eddie Murphy with the Lutherans of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, you'd get something like Bowen's Gospel United Church." You'll want to spend time with this congregation.

Stephanie 'Stevie' Butler-Fallahi, '77 and her sisters, Sisters Cotton, have just completed their debut CD project, Timeless, Volume I: Romance. Please sample/download/purchase at
KoCoEntertainment.com. Let's support our own!

Dr. Adriel D. Johnson, Sr. Scholarship Fund Information

Checks may be sent to The Foundation for Excellence at UAHuntsville. Please reference the memorial fund name, and mail to:

Office Of Advancement
318 Shelbie King Hall
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama 35899


Five of alumna, Marsha Williams' photographs are currently included in an art exhibit at Cincinnati, Ohio's Clifton Cultural Arts Center. The one, shown (above, with Marsha) is of an elderly Vietnamese woman, taken in Cambodia in 2008.


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WU Today

James McLeod dies, praised for his gentle courage at Wash U


James E. McLeod, Vice Chancellor for Students at Washington University and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, died Tuesday (Sept. 6, 2011) of cancer at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 67 and lived in St. Louis. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer more than two years ago.


Dean McLeod's positions placed him in charge of those who chose which undergraduates were admitted to the university as well as those responsible for how they lived once they got there. "No single individual has had a greater impact on the vitality and the quality of student life at the university," Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said in announcing the death.


Dean McLeod joined the university in 1974 as an assistant professor of German. He soon found himself working on the administrative side. He became assistant dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; assistant to Chancellor William H. Danforth from 1977-1987; and director of what now is African & African-American Studies. Danforth named him dean in 1992 of the College of Arts and Sciences, the university's largest undergraduate school with some 4,000 students. In 1995, Wrighton added vice chancellor for students to his titles.


Dean McLeod was one of 12 vice chancellors at the university, officers who are nominated by the chancellor and confirmed by the board of trustees. He was Danforth's assistant following the Vietnam War, a time of political and racial turmoil on the campus. "Jim had a lot of courage," Danforth said. "He would do what was right no matter what other people thought. But he was so gentle and kind that it was never confrontational." Danforth credited Dean McLeod with helping create the first scholarship program for African-Americans. Wrighton credited him with "being the visionary who created our residential environment for students. "He put the university on the map as a student-centered research university," Wrighton added.


Dean McLeod did his undergraduate work at Morehouse College and his graduate work at Rice University. He had planned to major in chemistry but switched to German studies. He taught at Indiana University in Bloomington before joining Washington University.


He was on the boards of the St. Louis Art Museum, the American Youth Foundation and the National Council on Youth Leadership.


Funeral arrangements were pending. The university plans a memorial service. Survivors include his wife, Clara, of St. Louis, and a daughter, Sara, of Atlanta.


(by Michael D. Sorkin www.stltoday.com)


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