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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 10, 2008

Couple gives $1 million to support UI Chemistry Department

Chester and Olive McCloskey of Altadena, Calif., through their company, Norac Inc., have made a gift of $1 million to the University of Iowa Foundation to support chemistry research and education at the UI.

Approximately $750,000 of the gift established the endowed Chester and Olive McCloskey Graduate Fund, which will support graduate students in the Department of Chemistry, a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"Chester McCloskey has been a good friend to our department and our university, and now generations of graduate students will benefit from his generosity," said David Wiemer, chair of the Department of Chemistry. "We are proud to count him among our alumni, and extremely grateful to him and Mrs. McCloskey for this extraordinary gift." 

The remaining $250,000 of the gift created the endowed Chester and Olive McCloskey Fund in UI Libraries, which will be used to purchase chemistry journals and other chemistry research materials.

"This gift will greatly enhance our ability to serve chemistry students and other researchers," said University Librarian Nancy Baker. "With these resources, we'll be able to purchase materials that the university wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. The McCloskeys have chosen a wonderful way to support chemistry at the UI, and we couldn't be more thankful."

Chester McCloskey earned two degrees from the UI (1942 M.S., 1944 Ph.D). He received the UI's Bartow Award in 1943, given by the UI chemistry faculty to the department's outstanding doctoral student.

McCloskey -- who will be recognized at a Sept. 12 event on the UI campus as a 2008 Alumni Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences -- said he and his wife wanted to demonstrate their deep appreciation for the university.

"The University of Iowa did a lot for me, and I want to do something for them," he said. "My research experience as a graduate student at Iowa enabled me to build a great career, and I've always remembered my time there fondly. In particular, I spent a lot of time in the library. It was almost like home to me. We're very pleased to support future students in the chemistry department."

After earning his doctorate at the UI, Chester McCloskey conducted post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, leading a team of researchers on defense-related projects. In 1953, he established Norac Inc., a leading manufacturer of organic peroxides, metallic stearates and pharmaceutical materials, with branches in California, Arkansas and Sweden.

Chester McCloskey, who grows walnuts and raisins on a California farm in addition to his duties at Norac Inc., has been a member for more than 30 years of the Hazardous Materials Technical Committee of the National Fire Prevention Association; is the U.S. representative on the International Group of Experts on the Explosion Risks of Unstable Substances; and was a founding member of the Organic Peroxide Producers Safety Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university.  For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, University of Iowa Foundation senior vice president-strategic communications, 319-335-3305 or susan-shullaw@uiowa.edu. Writer: Nic Arp.

PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of Chester McCloskey is available at http://www.uifoundation.org/news/2008/images/aug-mccloskey-highrez.jpg

A web-quality image of Chester McCloskey also is available at http://www.uifoundation.org/news/2008/images/aug-mccloskey.jpg