visual image

News & Publications

Campus and college complete landmark Hewlett Challenge

Bookmark and Share

November 15, 2012

Walter Hewlett leading the Cal Band in a song at the celebration marking the close of the Hewlett Challenge. (Peg Skorpinski photo)
Walter Hewlett leading the Cal Band in a song at the celebration marking the close of the Hewlett Challenge. (Peg Skorpinski photo)

In the last five years, UC Berkeley has created 100 new endowed faculty chairs as part of an unprecedented challenge begun in 2007 when it received $113 million, the largest private gift in its history, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced recently that the campus has exceeded its own expectations in completing the Hewlett Challenge more than two years ahead of schedule. The dollar-for-dollar challenge inspired a sweeping number of donors to give, resulting in more than $220 million in endowments for faculty chairholders and their departments and students. The benefits for the campus will be wide-ranging, extending for generations as crucial endowment income.

Four $2 million Hewlett chairs were allotted to the College of Chemistry. With great generosity, members of our college community stepped forward to meet the challenge and endow these four chairs. In addition, two College of Chemistry faculty have been selected to hold multidisciplinary Hewlett distinguished chairs. All six chairs are highlighted below:

The James and Neeltje Tretter Endowed Chair in Chemistry

This was the first Hewlett Chair in the college, made possible through the generosity of our alum, Jim Tretter, and his wife, Nelly.  Jim received his Ph.D. in 1960, working with Henry Rapoport, and was a major contributor to the Rapoport Endowed Chair in Organic Chemistry. He has had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry, directing research efforts at Pfizer, Rorer and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and serving as CEO and President of IXSYS Inc., a privately held biotech company in San Diego. Nelly was born and educated in the Netherlands. She worked for the Belgian consulate and an international project development firm, where she applied her fluency in English, French, German and Dutch.

Professor of Chemistry Omar Yaghi, one of the world’s most cited chemists and an expert in the field of reticular chemistry, has been named the first holder of the James and Neeltje Tretter Endowed Chair in Chemistry.

The Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry

The Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry was established through the philanthropy of the Dow Chemical Company and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, to support the teaching and research of an eminent faculty member in the College of Chemistry, with a preference for a professor working in the area of sustainability. This gift reflects Dow’s commitment to sustainable chemistry and to educating the next generation of students to think seriously and broadly about sustainability issues.

The first holder of the Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) Alex Bell, is an award-winning expert on catalysis and a noted teacher in the area of sustainable energy.

The Lieselotte and David Templeton Endowed Chair in Chemistry

This chair was funded by the late Professor Emeritus David H. Templeton (Ph.D. ’47, Chem), in honor of his wife and collaborator, the late Lieselotte J. “Lilo” (Kamm) Templeton (B.S. ’46; Ph.D. ’50, Chem). David and Lilo were married for 61 years. Driven by a passion for science and an equal desire to raise a family, the Templetons overcame barriers typical of the time and were able to work actively in the sciences for nearly six decades while raising their children. It is the Templeton family’s desire to continue to help pave the way for faculty members who are managing the demands of an academic career while simultaneously raising a family.

Professor of Chemistry Kristie Boering, an atmospheric chemist and climate scientist who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, has been appointed the first holder of the Lieselotte and David Templeton Endowed Chair in Chemistry.

The C. Judson King Endowed Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

The King chair was endowed after a multi-year campaign supported by more than 100 former students and others who wanted to show their admiration for C. Judson “Jud” King, who has served the College of Chemistry and the University of California in numerous roles since he first came to Berkeley as a chemical engineering faculty member in 1963. Few individuals have embodied the faculty ideals of teaching, scholarship, and service as well as King. In addition to being a highly recognized scholar and teacher, he has provided nearly five decades of inspired admnistrative leadership, from the department, college and campus level to the system-wide level of the University of California. He is currently the director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education at Berkeley. The King campaign was led by former UC President and UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson, former UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Karl Pister and CBE alum Joon Moon (Ph.D. ’64, ChemE).

Professor of CBE Jeffrey A. Reimer has been named the first holder of the C. Judson King Endowed Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Reimer is one of Berkeley’s most honored teachers (he was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003), an accomplished administrator, and an expert in using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to reveal the properties of catalysts and semiconductor materials.

The Lam Research Distinguished Chair in Semiconductor Processing

Lam Research Corporation, headquartered in Fremont, CA, is a major supplier of semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment and services. The Lam Research Distinguished Chair endowment is the first-ever for the Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute (BNNI), the umbrella organization for expanding and coordinating Berkeley research and educational activities in nanoscale science and engineering.

Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering David Graves, a pioneer in advancing the understanding of plasmas and their application in etch, deposition, and the modification of surfaces, has been named the first holder of the Lam Research Distinguished Chair.

The S. K. and Angela Chan Distinguished Chair in Energy

The S. K. and Angela Chan Distinguished Chair in Energy supports an outstanding faculty member whose work involves cutting-edge research in this area, with a preference for faculty focused on solar energy. Through this multidisciplinary chair, Shu Kai and Angela Chan hope to fortify teaching and research at Berkeley that addresses the pressing energy challenges facing the world today. Ardent supporters of Berkeley, the Chan family also endowed the S. K. and Angela Chan Chair in Global Management in 2000.

Professor of Chemistry Peidong Yang, a noted leader in the application of nanotechnology and materials science to energy problems, is the inaugural holder of the S. K. and Angela Chan Distinguished Chair in Energy.