Chancellor Mark Wrighton moves out of Harbison House

Jaden Satenstein | Senior Editor

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton said goodbye to Harbison House, the official Chancellor’s residence, after 24 years in the Forsyth Boulevard home, Feb. 26.

Chancellor Wrighton and his wife, Risa Zwerling Wrighton, moved directly to their new house in University City. Harbison House will undergo renovations before Chancellor-Elect Andrew Martin and his family move in, according to Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Jill Friedman.

“In addition to some necessary renovations to infrastructure, Chancellor-Elect and Mrs. Martin are freshening the first floor which primarily services as a gathering and entertainment space for university community events,” Friedman wrote in a statement to Student Life. “Modest changes are also being made to the second floor living space that the Martins will call home.”

The residence’s famed bowling alley will remain untouched, though Martin intends to add some pops of color to the space.

“Chancellor-Elect Martin is especially excited about updates to the basement entertainment area, including a fresh coat of red and green paint in the bowling alley,” Friedman wrote. “He looks forward to welcoming students to this space.”

Chancellor Wrighton’s neighbors share fond memories of the Wrighton family’s time on Forsyth Boulevard.  

“We’ve really enjoyed being neighbors,” Leigh E. Schmidt, an Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor at the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, said.

“We had a highlight early on where our two sons got locked out of the house while we were, I don’t know, somewhere, and ended up over there. We found them bowling with the Chancellor in his basement, so that was a really nice scene. We were like, ‘Where have they gone?’ And it turned out they were over there bowling with him. He was helping set up the pins and everything. So, we miss him.”

Though the Forsyth community is sad to see the Chancellor go, excitement for incoming Chancellor-Elect Martin continues to grow.

“It’s sad and exciting,” Susan Colangelo, president of non-profit St. Louis Story Stitchers, said. Colangelo has lived down the block from the Wrightons since 2005 with her husband, Sam Fox Dean Carmon Colangelo.

“We’re very excited about the new Chancellor coming in. It’s an incredible university, and we’re just thrilled to be here and be part of it.”

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