ACS building dedication: Sen. Udall, Rep. Hinojosa praise Hach Foundation

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2009 — Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) today praised the Hach Scientific Foundation for its longtime support of chemistry and chemistry education during ceremonies renaming the American Chemical Society’s 16th Street headquarters building the Clifford and Kathryn Hach Building. The Foundation donated $33 million to the Society to support high school chemistry teaching.


Charmayne Marsh


“The Hach Foundation has awarded hundreds of scholarships over the years — worth a million dollars a year,” said Sen. Udall, whose remarks were delivered by video. “It has been a mainstay of the Colorado philanthropic community for years and now Kathryn has decided to entrust this legacy to the American Chemical Society and I cannot think of a more deserving institution that also shares her love for chemistry.”

Kathryn Hach-Darrow, who started the Foundation with her late husband in 1982, said ACS was chosen for the gift because “it represents permanence and stability, and it truly embraces chemistry on a national level.” Society officials said it is the largest donation ACS has ever received.

In a statement prepared for the dedication, Rep. Hinojosa praised the renaming of the ACS building for the Hach family because they have “shown leadership and commitment to supporting future chemists and chemical educators.”

Hinojosa, chair of a House Subcommittee on Higher Education, predicted ACS will expand on the Foundation's work. “ACS has been an invaluable partner as we have worked to create the federal policy environment that will help us achieve our shared goals of preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers,” the statement said.

Rep. Betsy Markey, (D-CO), sent a letter congratulating Kathryn Hach-Darrow for her contributions to science education, which will “create remarkable opportunities for the teachers and scholars of tomorrow.”

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.”

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. The eight-story headquarters building is two blocks from the White House in Washington's central business district.

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