Donor Spotlight

Pletchers Endow Fund for Graduate Students in Chemistry +

As the Victors for Michigan campaign goes into full swing, the Department of Chemistry announces a major gift of $100,000 from Wayne A. and Carol H. Pletcher to establish a fund to support graduate students. This gift will be augmented by matching funds. “These additional graduate fellowship funds will significantly enhance our graduate program and we are very grateful for this gift,” says Carol Fierke, UM Chemistry department chair. Wayne Pletcher earned his M.S. and PhD (1970, Wiseman)  in Chemistry at the University of Michigan and was a postdoc at UM. Currently an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, he was formerly the director of Corporate Technical and Business Planning at 3M and president and CEO of Minnesota Technology, Inc. Carol Pletcher earned an M.S. in Chemistry (1968) from UM and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. She is a former vice president at Cargill and the current president of Pletcher Incorporated.

Gladysz Family Pledges Bequests for Chemistry Department +

John Gladysz (B.S. 1971) a distinguished professor of chemistry and Janet Bluemel, professor of chemistry, at Texas A&M University, have pledged more than $1 million from their estate to endow the Edward and Margean Gladysz Professorship, which will provide research support for an associate professor in Chemistry. They also plan to establish a fund that will provide research support for advanced assistant professors. Additional bequests will support undergraduate students and provide discretionary support to the department. The professorship fund is named in honor of John’s parents, who have also made a generous bequest to this fund.  John’s sister, Margean V. Gladysz, has also provided a bequest through her estate to support the professorship. John worked with Daniel Longone while an undergraduate at Michigan. Texas A&M, the University of Utah, and Western Michigan University are also recipients of John’s and Janet’s generosity. John began his studies at Western Michigan University and the family has Kalamazoo roots.

Alumni Bequest Will Have A Lasting Impact on Incoming Graduate Students. +

July 15, 2013

The Department of Chemistry is able to expand the number of summer research fellowships it offers to incoming graduate students, thanks to the generous bequest of alumnus James K. Davis, BS '36, MS '37, Ph.D. '41, who passed away March 30, 2012 (Davis obit). Dr. Davis worked as a chemist for Corning for more than 40 years. He established the James and Madalene Davis Graduate Fellowship Fund which will create a cohort of Davis Fellows who will spend the summer preceding the formal start of their graduate studies conducting research in the Chemistry Department. “We are grateful to Dr. Davis for his vision and his generosity. The James and Madalene Davis Graduate Fellowship Fund will allow the UM Department of Chemistry to attract top students to our program, “ said Carol Fierke, Jerome and Isabella Karle Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Department Chair.

This summer's Davis Fellows are Joshua DeMuth, Nick Miller, Alex Nett, and Junqi Wang. Candidates were selected on a combination of GPA, number of publications and number of presentations. Joshua is working in Professor Anne McNeil’s research group whose research focuses on the design and synthesis of novel organic materials. Nick is working with Professor Kevin Kubarych’s research group who are looking at the basic design and functional principles behind the structure and function of biological molecules and chemical reactions. Alex is working with Professor Nate Szymczak’s research group who are working on uncovering new strategies to develop catalytic methods for energy recycling and delivery. Junqi is working with Professor Raoul Kopelman’s research group which is working on nanoparticals designed to image or target biological entities to combat cancer.