Dear Supporters of the College of Chemistry,
I sincerely hope this message finds you well and in good spirits as we all continue to cope with the unparalleled circumstances of these times. While so many things have been turned on their head recently, the College of Chemistry still stands as a pillar of academic excellence and world-class research. Epitomizing this preeminence is Jennifer Doudna, who won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry this fall, sharing it with collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9. To say that we are all thrilled and inspired by this historic and distinguished honor is an understatement. This impactful achievement will be celebrated for years to come.
As you may recall, fiscal year 2019 was tremendously prosperous in terms of fundraising. Building on that success and the momentum of record-setting philanthropy, fiscal year 2020 was our College's best fundraising year ever in terms of new gifts and pledges secured, which totaled an incredible $41,990,396. We received over $1,600,000 in core unrestricted annual fund support from almost 1,400 donors. In addition, we secured our College's largest alumni commitment ever of $25,000,000 from Terry and Tori Rosen. This is a transformative pledge that will lay the financial foundation for our new chemistry building, to be named after our distinguished colleague and former dean Clayton Heathcock. We continue to work towards our fundraising goals for Heathcock Hall with excitement, as our visions becomes reality with your generous contributions.
In line with the College's rich history of hiring world-leading and multi-talented faculty, we are delighted to welcome our newest faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, Assistant Professor Ashok Ajoy, whose innovative research program in physical chemistry focuses on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Among our faculty recruitment efforts this year are two donor-funded STEM Chair positions, one with a focus in soft materials and one with a focus in artificial intelligence for chemical engineering. Additional searches are also underway for elite talent to further enhance the depth and breadth of our distinguished research programs.
I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight the announcement of Anne Baranger, Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, as the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Chemistry. As Associate Dean, Anne will be responsible for the development of the College's strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion and for promoting these ideals among the faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to working with Anne in this capacity, and I am confident that she will help lead us towards a more inclusive and welcoming academic and social community and enable us to address whatever barriers to prog- ress exist in our current structure.
With your unwavering support, the College of Chemistry will remain resilient in the face of new challenges and continue to lead the way in developing sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing problems. On behalf of the College of Chemistry community, I thank you for your generous contributions.
Douglas S. Clark
Dean, College of Chemistry
Gilbert N. Lewis Professor