Welcome to the latter half of the 1990s! During the last six months the large hole to the west of Latimer Hall has been transformed into the recognizable lower floors of Tan Hall. After the completion of two basement levels, construction is now proceeding on the third floor, and parking in the Latimer lot or exiting on foot from Latimer to the northwest (now replaced by a temporary wooden ramp) have become distant memories.
Unfortunately, also a distant memory is the time when we were able to carry on our day-to-day teaching activities without undue worry about physical or financial constraints. Since 1989 there has been an approximately 30% increase in undergraduate enrollment in chemistry courses, while during the same time there has been an 18% decrease in the size of the faculty and a proportionate change in budget. The enrollment figures are an encouraging reaffirmation of the role of chemistry as "the central science," since most of the students in the introductory courses will go on to careers in medicine, engineering or other activities not directly related to chemistry. However, it comes at a time when the physical and financial resources available to us make it difficult to cope. Still, our faculty continue to find innovative and creative ways to communicate the amazing new world of chemistry in the last decade of this millennium.
Alex Pines and Angy Stacy have been awarded Presidential Chairs in recognition of their teaching. Recently, we learned that a major NSF grant has been awarded for the development of new approaches to beginning University chemistry instruction, with Angy Stacy, Brad Moore, and Susan Kegley playing prominent roles as the Berkeley investigators.
This fall we are busily recruiting to fill three open faculty positions. I hope to have good news to report on the results of our efforts soon, which will mean not until the next of these newsletters. In the Chemistry office, Johanna Vernon, the Student Affairs Officer, left for another position at UC Santa Barbara. Following an extended search, Theodosia Valrey, who was employed in the Dean's office about 10 years ago, has returned to the College of Chemistry as our new Student Affairs Officer. Theodosia brings a lot of experience in dealing with graduate students and interacting with the Graduate Division. In January, Teri Doizaki retired from her position as Executive Assistant to the Chemistry Department Chair. Long ago Teri was George Pimentel's secretary. She then moved to the Physics Department, to a series of positions of increasing responsibility and management duties. She was brought back to Chemistry by Brad Moore, when he was Department Chair, to become the Management Services Officer for the Chemistry Department, and she continued to perform this role for three more Chairmen. Her many friends and past work associates gathered to honor her and thank her for many years of devoted service at a reception on January 13.
The end of the calendar year, always a busy time as the semester ends, was enlivened, as usual, by the Chemistry Christmas party organized by the Chemistry Graduate Student Organization. The theme of this year's skits centered on "Alice in Wonderland." The foibles of chemistry, chemists, and life at Berkeley were explored in many funny lines and amusing scenes. As usual, this year's script and performance were met with great enthusiasm by a very friendly crowd.
The last few months have brought much good news in the form of awards and honors to our faculty. Peter Schultz (with Richard Lerner of Scripps) will receive the 1994/95 Wolf Prize in Chemistry. They will share the $100,000 award "for their work in converting antibodies into enzymes, thus permitting the catalysis of chemical reactions considered impossible to achieve by classical chemical procedures." The prizes will be presented in March 1995 in Jerusalem.
While attending the Dean's faculty dinner on October 19, Yuan Lee was surprised by receiving the Berkeley Citation from Chancellor Tien. This is one of the highest honors given by the Berkeley campus. Meanwhile, Paul Alivisatos was elected for the Coblentz Award and has also been selected by the Materials Research Society to receive the 1995 Outstanding Young Investigator Award. Bob Bergman received the E. O. Lawrence Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and Angy Stacy was announced as this year's recipient of the Frances P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal of the American Chemical Society. Herb Strauss was awarded the Ellis Lippincott Award, sponsored by the Optical Society of America, while Alex Pines has been selected by Baylor University to receive the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers. He is also named to present the Centenary Lectures by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Ken Pitzer and Glenn Seaborg have both been elected to the Alpha Chi Sigma Hall of Fame. Darleane Hoffman was elected an AAAS Fellow. And I am pleased to report that one of our younger faculty members, Ray Stevens, received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator (NYI) Award. With all of the changes in the composition of the faculty and the appearance of the College of Chemistry surroundings, we look forward to a new year of change and the opportunities and challenges that come with it.
Best wishes for all in 1995!