Colorado State University professor pledges $150,000 to endowed chair

A campaign to fund an endowed chair in the Colorado State University Department of Chemistry has received a pledge from the man for whom the position is named.

Robert M. Williams, a University Distinguished Professor, has pledged to donate $150,000 over the next five years to support the Dr. Robert Williams Endowed Chair in Chemistry.

CSU announced last fall it was raising $1.5 million to fund the endowed chair to honor Williams, who has conducted research and taught more than 60 graduate students and 75 post-doctoral researchers at the University since 1980.

Over the years, the Williams Research Group has trained generations of scientists in bio-organic chemistry and biosynthesis. His students have gone on to careers as scientists at pharmaceutical companies and as educators.

“Bob has had an enormous impact on undergraduate and graduate education,” said Ellen Fisher, chair of the Department of Chemistry. “During his 34 years at CSU, he has taught organic chemistry to literally thousands of undergraduates. He developed ‘The Nerd Street Journal’, a newspaper to help students understand the connections between organic chemistry and their daily lives.”

The endowed position will enable CSU to recruit to the College of Natural Sciences an established organic chemist or chemical biologist who is an outstanding scholar, gifted teacher, and exceptional researcher, who has made significant contributions to his or her field of study.

Attracting and retaining top scholars and researchers allows CSU to recruit the best undergraduate and graduate students from Colorado, the nation, and around the world.

“Dr. Williams is an extraordinary scholar and it is fitting to recognize his influence in organic chemistry by naming an endowed chair in his honor,” said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “Generations of scientists and educators across the US and abroad can trace their knowledge and success to Dr. Williams. His wealth of experience, dedication to education, and tremendous contributions to research in organic chemistry are truly exceptional.”