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January 26, 2009
Volume 87, Number 4
p. 7


ACS Receives Hach Funds

Multi-million-dollar gift is largest in society's history

Linda Raber

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Kathryn Hach-Darrow, cofounder and chair of the Hach Scientific Foundation, and Madeleine Jacobs, the American Chemical Society's executive director and CEO, inked documents transferring the foundation's approximately $33 million to ACS. The society will continue the foundation's programs, all of which support high school chemistry teaching. In recognition of the gift, the ACS headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be renamed the Clifford & Kathryn Hach Building of the American Chemical Society.

Hach-Darrow Jim Heemstra/Iowa State U Foundation

Bryce Hach (center) with ACS Education Division Director Mary Kirchhoff (left) and High School Chemistry Programs Manager Terri Taylor. Linda Wang/C&EN
Bryce Hach (center) with ACS Education Division Director Mary Kirchhoff (left) and High School Chemistry Programs Manager Terri Taylor.

Hach-Darrow, her son Bruce Hach, and her grandson Bryce Hach, executive director of the foundation, approached ACS last April to discuss the gift. They chose ACS as the recipient because the society "represents permanence and stability, and it truly embraces chemistry on a national level," Hach-Darrow says.

"The foundation's programs are a natural fit in our portfolio," Jacobs says. "They complement what ACS has been doing in high school chemistry but do not in any way duplicate current programs." ACS will continue the Hach Scientific Foundation's support of a scholarship program for undergraduate chemistry majors pursuing careers in teaching chemistry, a scholarship program for degreed chemists in other professions seeking to pursue careers in teaching chemistry, and outreach grants to chemistry teachers.

The partnership between entrepreneurial analytical chemist Clifford Hach and marketing-savvy Kathryn Carter began when they met as undergraduates at Iowa State University during the early days of World War II. They married in 1943 and started Hach Co. in 1947. The company's first product was a water-analysis system. Specifically, Clifford invented a water-testing kit based on ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and Kodak's eriochrome black T industrial dye. The kit measured calcium and magnesium in water.

During the next 52 years, the company achieved commercial success by developing and selling reagents and instruments that simplified quantitative analysis. Clifford died in 1990. Nine years later, Kathryn sold the company to Danaher Corp., where it continues under the Hach name.

"My grandfather lived his life for chemistry," Bryce Hach tells C&EN. "It was his hobby and his business. He couldn't wait to get to work on Monday." Wanting more people to be able to share his passion, Clifford started the Hach Scientific Foundation in the early 1980s to financially support chemistry students. "Clifford started college in the Depression, and getting enough money put together to go to school was very difficult," Hach-Darrow explains. "He felt very strongly that if he could do one thing, he wanted to make it possible for young people to get at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry."

Hach-Darrow thinks Clifford would be pleased with the gift to ACS. "He had a lot of Iowa farmer in him. He was a very practical down-to-earth kind of person. He would say, 'This is the right move at the right time. ACS is a good place, and there will be a future for the Hach Scientific Foundation through ACS. In fact, I think it will grow there.' "

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


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