On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, over 170 people gathered at the Luskin Center to celebrate the installation of six new endowed Chairs for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.
Select photos from the event can be viewed below and the complete set can be viewed on the photo gallery.
The six new endowed Chairs celebrated were the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Polymer Science held by Professor Heather Maynard, the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Materials Innovation held by Professor Richard Kaner; the John D. and Edith M. Roberts Term Chair in Organic Chemistry; the Michael & Alice Jung Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery; the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Jeffrey and Helo Zink Endowed Professional Development Term Chair in Chemistry held by Professor Chong Liu.
(Left) The evening began with a performance of traditional Korean music by members of the UCLA Hanoollim group. (Right) UCLA Chancellor Gene Block gave the welcoming remarks.
Donors, faculty, students, alumni, friends, and family members, gathered at a reception on the rooftop Centennial Terrace at the Luskin Center and then moved to the Centennial Ballroom for dinner and the ceremony. A performance of traditional Korean music by student members of the UCLA Hanoollim Korean culture awareness group preceded the welcoming remarks by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “This is truly amazing – we are celebrating six new endowed Chairs in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and we are celebrating the incredibly generous benefactors who made this possible” Block said. “There are many celebrations for single Chairs, it is rare when a department comes together and celebrates a gaggle of chairs – it is truly incredible!”
After dinner, Professor Miguel García-Garibay, dean of UCLA’s Division of Physical Sciences, (pictured right) gave the welcoming remarks thanking the donors who made the Chairs possible. “To the donors and their families that we celebrate tonight, we are sincerely grateful for your tremendous dedication to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and your meaningful gifts establishing these six remarkable chairs. It is incredibly rare to establish six new chairs at one period of time,” Garcia-Garibay said. “Generations of Bruins will have our generous donors to thank for the great education they will receive from faculty who hold these chairs. It is a legacy to be in awe of and emulate.”
“Our Endowed Chairs allow the department to recruit and retain the very best faculty to teach and mentor our students” said Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke (pictured left) in her remarks before presenting the Chairs. “A stable and dependable income of unrestricted funds allows our chair holders and their research mentees to pursue new directions of research. Perhaps the idea is a little too new, is a little more daring, or is completely outside any box! However, nothing ventured, nothing gained! And if successful, this new research will enable our mentors and students to submit proposals to outside funding agencies, who we know are more likely to fund ideas that have documented merit, and are less likely to fund dreams or even very good ideas! We deeply appreciate our donors who also dream big, and have made these outstanding and generous investments in our talented faculty.”
Engraved glass awards were presented to the donors whose gifts made the Chairs possible – Dr. Myung Ki Hong and his wife Lorrie Hong, Professor Michael Jung and his wife Alice Jung, Dr. Diane Russell, niece of Kenneth and Jeanie Trueblood, and Professor Jeffrey Zink and his wife Helo Zink. John D. Roberts family members were not able to attend the event.
Three of the Chair holders were introduced at the event – Professor Heather Maynard, the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Polymer Science; Professor Richard Kaner, the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Materials Innovation; and Professor Chong Liu, the Jeffrey and Helo Zink Endowed Professional Development Term Chair in Chemistry.
Chancellor Block presented Dr. Myung Ki Hong with an engraved glass award, followed by remarks by Hong.
In their remarks, Professor Heather Maynard (left), the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Polymer Science, and Professor Richard Kaner (right), the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Materials Innovation, thanked Dr. and Mrs. Hong. Kaner is holding a water filter that he created using membranes.
Chancellor Block presented Professor Michael Jung and Alice Jung with a glass award, followed by remarks by Jung.
The Trueblood’s niece Dr. Diane Russell accepted the glass award from Chancellor Block. Russell and her daughter Eva Russell Yuma.
Chancelor Block presented a glass award to Professor Jeffrey Zink and his wife Helo with Dean Garcia-Gariby and Chair Clarke, followed by remarks by Zink.
Professor Chong Liu, the Jeffrey and Helo Zink Endowed Professional Development Term Chair in Chemistry, thanked Dr. and Mrs. Zink in his remarks. After the ceremony, Liu posed for a photo with the Zinks and his wife postdoc Dr. Dandan Zhang (Kaner group)
The Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry will be awarded in the future to an excellent scholar and teacher who holds or will hold an appointment in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Trueblood’s grandniece, Eva Russell Yuma, also attended the event.
The Jung Chair will be awarded in the future to an excellent scholar and teacher who holds or will hold an appointment in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and focuses on research in medicinal chemistry. The John D. and Edith M. Roberts Term Chair in Organic Chemistry has been approved by the academic senate and is expected to soon be officially approved by the UC Office of the President. The Chair will support the research of a rising star on the chemistry faculty at UCLA, and a regular Roberts Lecture.
About the Celebrated Endowed Chairs
The Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Polymer Science and Dr. Myung Ki Hong Chair in Materials Innovation – These chairs were established through a gift made in October 2016 by 2015 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Award recipient Dr. Myung Ki Hong and his wife Lorrie Hong. Dr. Myung Ki Hong came to the United States from South Korea in 1954 as an exchange student and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry in 1959. He then worked at Whittaker Coatings for 22 years. In 1986, he founded Dura Coat Products, for which he serves as its chairman. The company distributes industrial coatings in the U.S. and internationally. In July 2017, Prof. Heather Maynard became the inaugural holder of the Hong Chair in Polymer Science and Prof. Richard Kaner became the inaugural holder of the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation.
The John D. and Edith M. Roberts Term Chair in Organic Chemistry – Professor Ken Houk led a fundraising committee for this term Chair. Funds from many former Roberts group members, the Roberts Family, UCLA faculty members, and the Jung matching funds helped to endow the chair. The Roberts family were not able to attend the event but they plan to attend the Roberts Lecture on October 18, 2018, where we will honor John “Jack” D. Robert’s legacy and continue to celebrate this important chair.
The Michael & Alice Jung Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery – The chair was established by a gift in October 2016 from Professor Mike Jung and his wife Alice Jung. Jung is a worldwide leader in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. His breakthrough anti-prostate cancer drug Xtandi has extended the lives of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The revenue from this blockbuster drug has enabled the department to match all endowments in the department.
The Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry – The chair was established in August 2017, funded by a gift from the estate of the late Ken and Jeanie Trueblood. Professor Trueblood was a wonderful colleague, scientist, and teacher. Many alumni and students should also be familiar with his name as our largest lecture room in Young Hall, room CS50, is named in his honor. Jeanie is also remembered very fondly, as she was an active member of the UCLA community for many decades and a supporter of women scientists, women’s issues, and environmental and anti-war causes.
The Jeffrey and Helo Zink Endowed Professional Development Term Chair in Chemistry – A gift to the department in May 2016 by Professor Jeff Zink and his wife Helo Zink led to the establishment of this chair, and helped establish momentum which led to the other chairs celebrated at the event. The Zink Chair played a crucial role in the recruitment and support of junior faculty in the department. In July 2017, Assistant Professor Chong Liu joined the department and became the inaugural holder of the Zink Term Chair.
To learn about all the endowed chairs in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, visit the Division of Physical Sciences Endowed Chairs website.
Photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.