Alumna to Receive Othmer Gold Medal

Notre Dame College alumna Marye Anne Fox ’69, the chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, will be honored with the 2012 Othmer Gold Medal during a day of awards at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia on April 12.

The Othmer Gold Medal presentation will be the premier event of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s 11th annual Heritage Day.

Marye Anne Fox '69 will receive the 2012 Othmer Gold Medal.
Marye Anne Fox '69 will receive the 2012 Othmer Gold Medal.

“Chemist, academic leader, and author with an international reputation, Marye Anne Fox embodies creativity, passion, and inspiring leadership,” said Thomas R. Tritton, president and CEO of CHF. “She has led two of America's top universities, published more than 350 articles and five books, served on many business and academic boards, and remains passionate about teaching and research in chemistry.”

Fox, an internationally known chemist and academic leader, was named the seventh chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, in April 2004. In October 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Fox the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists, engineers, and inventors. She also holds the title of distinguished professor of chemistry and has received honorary degrees from 12 institutions in the United States and abroad.

Previously, Fox was chancellor and distinguished university professor of chemistry at North Carolina State University, a post she held from 1998 to 2004. Before going to North Carolina, Fox spent 22 years at the University of Texas, where she served as vice president for research and held the Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry. She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fox has a B.S. degree in chemistry from Notre Dame College, an M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Cleveland State University, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Dartmouth College.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation established the Othmer Gold Medal in 1997 to honor outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy. Previous honorees are John D. Baldeschwieler, Arnold O. Beckman, Ronald C. D. Breslow, Thomas Cech, Carl Djerassi, Mary Lowe Good, George S. Hammond, Jon M. Huntsman, Kazuo Inamori, Ralph Landau, Robert S. Langer, Yuan Tse Lee, Gordon E. Moore, P. Roy Vagelos, James D. Watson, George Whitesides, and Ahmed Zewail.

The medal is presented annually and cosponsored by CHF and four affiliated organizations: the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemists' Club, and the Societe de Chimie Industrielle. The medal commemorates Donald Othmer (1904-1995), noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, professor, and coeditor of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation fosters an understanding of chemistry's impact on society. CHF maintains major collections of instruments, fine art, photographs, papers, and books. The Foundation hosts conferences and lectures, supports research, offers fellowships, and produces educational materials. Its museum and public programs explore subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology.