When the transformation of the east end of the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis is complete, it will be home to new academic buildings, extensive green space, a welcome center, expanded facilities for the arts, and an underground parking garage. It also will be highlighted by a new place for meeting, eating, learning, and wellness — the 18,000-square-foot Craig and Nancy Schnuck Pavilion, named in recognition of a leadership commitment from the Schnucks, dedicated friends and benefactors of the university.
A member of the Washington University Board of Trustees since 1996, Craig Schnuck was elected chair-elect and a Life Member of the board in 2013 and chair in 2014. He has served as a member of the board’s Building, Grounds, and Real Estate Committee for more than 20 years and chaired the committee for 14 years.
He also is among a handful of university leaders who have played a key role in planning the east end transformation, a project that inspired Craig and his wife, Nancy, to make their gift in support of the construction of the Schnuck Pavilion, a multiuse facility that will provide vital services for the east end of campus and serve as headquarters for the university’s sustainability initiatives.
“For more than 20 years, Craig Schnuck has served Washington University with great enthusiasm and distinction,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “It has been a pleasure to work alongside him to advance the university’s objectives. We are delighted that the Schnuck name will be associated in this prominent way with a project that he helped guide to fruition.”
The Schnuck Pavilion will house dining facilities, the Environmental Studies program, the university’s Office of Sustainability, and a multipurpose classroom. It will support pedestrian and bicycle commuters with shower facilities, lockers, and bicycle parking. A café and outdoor dining terraces will provide a variety of food service options with seating for up to 300 people.
“As we increase the number of academic buildings on the east end, we must ensure that we have adequate services for the students, faculty, and staff members, and visitors who spend significant time in that area,” Schnuck said. “The Schnuck Pavilion will address that need and become a key gathering place on campus.”
The building’s transparent design echoes that of the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center, which will stand across from the Schnuck Pavilion at the foot of the stairs leading to Brookings Hall. “Because these two buildings will flank Brookings Hall and frame the view of its iconic façade, it was important that they complement each other and blend into the landscape,” Schnuck said.
Naming the building that will serve as a dining destination for the east end of campus was a natural fit, Schnuck said, given his connection to the food industry. He is chairman emeritus of St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc., and is among the third generation of his family to run the company, which operates 100 stores in five states. He became president of the company in 1984 and served as CEO from 1989 to 2006 and chairman from 1991 to 2006.
The Schnuck family has a long history of involvement at Washington University. Craig Schnuck’s father, Donald, studied business at the university for two years before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. Since then, many members of the family have earned degrees at the university, including Craig Schnuck’s son, Brian, EMBA ’09, and his brother, Terry, PMBA ’80.
The Schnucks also have provided significant support for scholarships, Olin Business School, medical research, and other areas of the university. In 2001, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professorship in Neurology for Neurofibromatosis Research was established in his memory by his widow, Doris, and their children.
Craig and Nancy Schnuck are recognized as Life Fellows of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society for their generous gifts to the university. Beyond his work as a trustee, Craig Schnuck has contributed leadership at the School of Medicine, where he served as a member and chair of the school’s national council. He is active in civic affairs throughout the St. Louis area. He currently leads the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Board of Directors and is a former chair of the Greater St. Louis Area Boy Scouts, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and John Burroughs School. Schnuck is an alumnus of Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration.
Over the past five years, Mr. Schnuck has enjoyed working with Washington University administrators and fellow trustees to oversee planning for the east end project. “It’s wonderful to collaborate with such bright and dedicated people,” he said. “It’s been a rewarding experience.”
When work on the project is finished in 2019, Schnuck will be a few months away from completing his term as chair of the Board of Trustees. He said the gift to name the Schnuck Pavilion is a way to show his appreciation for his association with the project and the university.
“Nancy and I are very proud of the university and our connection to it,” he said. “I hope that through my service at the university I have helped in its ascension as a premier institution. Naming this building allows me to say thank you and leave a long-term legacy of my time here.”