Founding class members, chemistry alumni, members of the Alumni Association Board of Governors and friends came together this spring to establish the Gerald R. Van Hecke ’61 Endowment for the Advancement of Chemistry, in honor of Van Hecke’s 45-year legacy of teaching, research, mentorship, administration and service to the College.
Fellow Founding Class member Don Gross ’61 proposed the endowment, and the response was strong, with contributions exceeding $160,000—well over the $100,000 goal. Funds from the endowment will be used at the discretion of the chemistry department chair for summer research, lab equipment, attendance at scientific meetings or general departmental support.
An overflow crowd of friends and colleagues surprised Van Hecke with an award ceremony during Alumni Weekend 2015. Van Hecke expressed gratitude for the honor. “If I’ve touched your life in some way, that’s great,” he said. “Go forward. Keep doing it.”