WASHINGTON, June 2, 2009 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) will rename its Washington, D.C., headquarters building in honor of Clifford and Kathryn Hach, whose Colorado-based scientific foundation donated $33 million to ACS in support of high school chemistry teaching. Society officials said the donation is the largest ever for ACS.
The Clifford and Kathryn Hach Building of the ACS will be officially dedicated in ceremonies on Wednesday, June 3, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), at 1155 Sixteenth St., N.W., Washington, D.C., the home of ACS since 1941.
Kathryn Hach-Darrow, who co-founded the Hach Scientific Foundation in 1982 with her late husband Clifford, said the ACS was chosen for the gift because “it represents permanence and stability, and it truly embraces chemistry on a national level.” The foundation was based in Fort Collins, Colo.
ACS is renowned for its many education programs serving a wide spectrum of learners, from grade school to graduate school and beyond. The new funding will supplement existing ACS programs by further enhancing the teaching of high school chemistry, including a scholarship program for undergraduate chemistry majors interested in a career teaching chemistry, a grant program for chemists who have a degree in chemistry but wish to pursue careers teaching chemistry, and outreach grants to chemistry teachers.
“The combined programs of the Hach Scientific Foundation and the ACS offer a complete suite of opportunities for high school teachers, from pre-service education through ongoing professional development,” said Judith L. Benham, Ph.D., Chair of the ACS Board of Directors.
ACS President Thomas H. Lane, Ph.D., said “The Hach Scientific Foundation demonstrated tremendous foresight in addressing the needs of pre- and in-service teachers. Many chemists cite their high school chemistry teachers as the reason they chose chemistry as a profession. As the world's largest scientific society, ACS has an obligation to promote K-12 teaching as a viable and valued career path. Becoming a teacher requires hard work, dedication and passion. As a nation we need to be encouraging our most talented young people to consider a career in teaching.”
Congressman Reuben Hinojosa, (D-TX), chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and a strong supporter of science education, is scheduled to speak at the dedication. He and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) praised the Hach Foundation's long legacy of contributions to educating and training chemists.
Founded in 1876, ACS has been located in Washington since 1905 when it moved its offices from New York City. It was once located in the South Building of the National Bureau of Standards.
Clifford Hach and Kathryn Carter met as undergraduates at Iowa State University in the early 1940s and married in 1943. Clifford, an analytical chemist, and the media-savvy Kathryn, began the Hach Co. in 1947. The company’s first product was a water-analysis system invented by Clifford that tested calcium and magnesium in water. Over the next half century, the company developed and sold reagents and instruments that simplified quantitative analysis. Clifford died in 1990 and nine years later Kathryn sold the company to Danaher Corp., where it continues under the Hach name.
— Charmayne Marsh