Washington University School of Medicine-St. Louis
Becker Medical Library
Women in Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine

Virginia Verral Weldon
Virginia V. Weldon
“Weldon has always pursued an open-door policy toward junior colleagues.”

Virginia Verral Weldon was born September 8, 1935, in Toronto, Canada, and is a United States Citizen. She earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Smith College in 1957. Her medical degree is from the State University of New York, Buffalo. Following an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Weldon completed a three-year fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the same institution.

Weldon in recognized as a specialist in pediatric endocrinology and is known for her studies of abnormal growth in children.

In 1968 Weldon joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. She quickly rose through the ranks to become a full professor. Initially, she served a co-director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism. She then served as deputy vice chancellor for medical affairs and vice president of Washington University Medical Center. In this capacity, Weldon was the first woman to serve on the administrative staff of the School’s vice chancellor for medical affairs. Weldon joined Monsanto Company in 1989, where she served as senior vice president for public policy until her retirement in 1998.

Weldon is a recipient of many awards and honors and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the national Academy of Sciences.


The ability to make reasoned, quick decisions was a skill Virginia Verral Weldon used throughout her career to assume leadership roles in medical administration, medical education and corporate public policy. Weldon served as an administrative trailblazer at the national level as well. She chaired the Council of Academic Societies and served on the executive council and later as the first woman chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“By the second half of the 20th century women had established their interest in scientific careers and their ability to compete with men for the privileges of practicing science. However, new barriers in hiring and promotion emerged, particularly for careers in academia, where the most prestigious positions were to be filled.”

Weldon credits part of her success to enlightened mentorship, both in the academic and corporate arenas. Recognizing the importance of leaders who set equal opportunity standards, Weldon has always pursued an open-door policy toward junior colleagues, serving as mentor and role model for those following in her footsteps. Her advice to young women starting out in science or medicine is to establish your priorities, work as hard as you can and be luck.

An individual of many talents, in her “retirement” Weldon is an active member of a number of boards of trustees and corporate boards of directors. In 1992, Weldon joined the St. Louis Symphony Society Board of Trustees and currently serves a chair.