Founders Day Honors

Mary Ann Lazarus receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Posted by Barbara Rea November 10, 2009

Mary Ann Lazarus, MArch78 and architect with the St. Louis-based firm HOK, was among Washington University's distinguished faculty and alumni, as well as its best citizens, to be honored by the Alumni Association at the annual Founders Day celebration on Nov. 7.

Lazarus was one of six alumni recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards. The other alumni honored this year were: John D. Beuerlein (GB '77), Edward Jones executive; Anita Diamant (LA '73), author; Lewis A. Levey (GB '67), real estate developer; Ronald M. Rettner (LA '72), real estate developer; and Gary M. Sumers, J.D. (LA '75), Blackstone Group executive.

The groundwork for Lazarus' commitment to environmental sustainability was laid during her graduate years at WUSTL.

After earning a master's degree in architecture in 1978, she joined Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc. (HOK), where her interest in creating sustainable architecture was cultivated.

As HOK's first global director of sustainable design, Lazarus leads company initiatives to embed positive environmental practices into its projects. This role includes developing a network of global sustainability leaders, overseeing the creation of training and resources and reducing HOK's carbon footprint. These efforts contributed to the firm being named "top green design firm" in 2008 and '09 by Engineering News Record.

Active in her profession, Lazarus has served on the executive committee of the St. Louis Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and directs programming for the steering committee of Greenbuild, the USGBC's annual international conference.

Lazarus lectures at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and chairs its National Council. In 2005, she was honored with the school's Distinguished Alumni Award. That same year, the St. Louis Business Journal acknowledged Larazus' contributions to the community with the "Most Influential Business Woman" award.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Russian studies from Mount Holyoke College in 1973 and then received a fellowship from the Five Colleges, a consortium of colleges located in western Massachusetts that provides fellowships for extensive academic and administrative collaborations among the campuses.

She also studied at the Boston Architectural Center before attending WUSTL as an Olin Fellow.

To learn more about all of the Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, click here