Alumni News

September 29, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Alum Gives $5 Million to Support Chemistry and Physics Departments

From Compass

College of Arts & Sciences alum Robert Ackley has contributed $5 million to The Ohio University Foundation to benefit students, faculty, and programs in the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Physics & Astronomy. The estate gift represents the largest single contribution ever made to either of the two departments and will leave a lasting legacy at OHIO.

“This gift will help us provide a first-rate education to our students,” said Dr. Steven Bergmeier, Professor and Chair of Chemistry & Biochemistry. “We anticipate using these funds for a variety of purposes including matching funds for external equipment grants, visiting speakers, and the development of new laboratory and course materials. This gift will provide tremendous flexibility for the department to explore new directions in teaching and research.”

Ackley last visited Ohio University in Athens in 1990. The 1941 graduate’s career took him to Union Carbide, Oak Ridge Fusion Lab, the Oakridge National Lab, and the Manhattan Project. He retired to Florida in 1977, and he never forgot his OHIO roots. In fact, during a 2008 phone conversation with the college’s Senior Director of Development Susan Downard, Ackley fondly remembered late professor of chemistry Donald R. Clippinger, saying “he was the best professor.”

This gift will help to ensure that future generations of Bobcats enjoy the same OHIO education that Ackley did.

“The Department of Physics & Astronomy is extremely grateful for all donations that we receive,” said Dr. David Ingram, Professor and Chair. “The gift from the estate of Robert Ackley … will make a difference to the educational experience of many students at Ohio University.”

The Physics & Astronomy Department is dedicated to developing a deeper understanding of the natural world, to educating undergraduate and graduate students, and to conveying the concepts and logic of the discipline to the broader community. OHIO’s of Chemistry & Biochemistry Department provides quality education to undergraduate and graduate students while pursuing state-of-the-art research.

“To Mr. Ackley we would say that we greatly appreciate your vote of confidence as we continue to educate and inspire the next generation of students,” said Bergmeier.

The Ohio University Foundation is the repository for all private gifts through annual giving programs, capital, and special campaigns and planned or deferred gifts. The Foundation is an institutionally related, non-profit, tax-exempt, 501c(3) organization. Each year, more than 25,000 alumni and friends make gifts to the Foundation to support students, faculty research and creative activity, innovative programs, select capital projects, and community partnerships.

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