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  • 09/19/14

    National Historic Chemical Landmark celebration draws hundreds

Speakers in the National Historical Chemical Landmark Celebration

Celebrating the legacy of Izaak M. Kolthoff at the National Historic Chemical Landmark dedication ceremony and research symposium were, from left, Susan king, senior vice president of the American Chemical Society, Journals Publishing Group; Professor Peter Carr from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota who shared reflections on his personal friendship with IMK; Professor Judith Klinman from the University of California, Berkeley; Professor Laura Kiessling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Professor Richard Zare from Stanford University; Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D., immediate past president of the American Chemical Society; Professor Harry Gray from the California Institute of Technology; Professor Allen Bard from the University of Texas at Austin; Steven Crouch, dean of the College of Science & Engineering; Karen Hanson, provost and senior vice president for the University's Office of Academic Affairs; Professor William Tolman, chair of the UMN Department of Chemistry; Clyde Allen, regent from the University's Board of Regeants; and Rebecca Guza, chair of the Minnesota Local Section of the American Chemical Society.

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More than 400 people attended the National Historic Chemical Landmark dedication ceremony and research symposium, Sept. 12-13, 2014, honoring the legacy of Professor Izaak M. Kolthoff.

A public ceremony celebrating the landmark designation and Smith Hall centennial, which included the unveiling of a plaque in Kolthoff’s honor, was conducted, Friday, Sept. 12, on the steps of Smith Hall, Kolthoff’s long-time academic home. The dedication ceremony featured remarks from the University of Minnesota and the American Chemical Society. Speakers included Professor William Tolman, chair of the College of Science & Engineering’s (CSE) Department of Chemistry; Steven Crouch, dean of the CSE; Karen Hanson, provost and senior vice president for the University’s Office of Academic Affairs; Clyde Allen, regent from the University’s Board of Regents; Rebecca Guza, chair of the Minnesota Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS); Susan King, senior vice president of the ACS Journals Publishing Group; and Marinda Li Wu, immediate past president of the ACS.

A reception and tours followed the dedication ceremony and Saturday's research symposium. The tours focused on the Department of Chemistry’s collaborative and individual research excellence, its cutting-edge technology and equipment, interdisciplinary research, and its education of more than 18,000 students annually. The tours were opportunities to visit the department’s teaching, laser, chemical biology, and organic synthetic laboratories as well as learn about two of its research centers (the Center for Sustainable Polymers and the Chemical Theory Center), and its instrument facility.

A research symposium on Kolthoff’s scientific legacy was held, Saturday, Sept. 13. The symposium featured some of the most renowned scientists in their field who are living out Kolthoff’s commitments to education and research at their universities and in their work. Some can trace their scientific lineage back to Professor Kolthoff. Speakers include Allen Bard from the University of Texas at Austen, Harry Gray from the California Institute of Technology, Laura Kiessling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Judith Klinman from the University of California, Berkeley, and Richard Zare from Stanford University. In addition, UMN Chemistry Professor Peter Carr shared his story of friendship with Kolthoff.

These events were sponsored by the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, the University’s Department of Chemistry, and the Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society.

The American Chemical Society established the National Historic Chemical Landmark program in 1992 to recognize important achievements in the history of the chemical sciences. This is only the second landmark designation in the five-state region. In 2007, 3M was recognized for the invention of Scotch tape.