Endowment enables special chemistry programs
(Sept. 13, 1993)
East Carolina University and Burroughs Wellcome Co. announced Monday the creation of an endowment to support the study of organic chemistry at ECU.
Dr. Howard Schaeffer, the president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, presented ECU with a check for $390,000 to endow the “Burroughs Wellcome Fund Fellowship in Organic Chemistry.” The amount includes a $15,000 start-up grant to support the work of two graduate students in chemistry this year.
Interest drawn on the remainder of the money, $375,000, will provide annual stipends to support the research of one or more graduate students in the ECU Department of Chemistry.
In making the presentation, Schaeffer said the ECU gift is the first of four going to universities in the state. He said Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State will also receive endowments to support organic chemistry.
“We hope the universities will benefit from these gifts,” he said.
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private foundation. The policy of the fund is to support research in education.
Schaeffer said the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom has agreed to contribute about $80 million annually to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund during the next five years. The money will support research at colleges and universities.
In accepting the endowment check, ECU Chancellor Richard Eakin said the gift is only one of many ways Burroughs Wellcome shares its resources with East Carolina University.
“Not only has Burroughs Wellcome shared financially with our university but they have shared in terms of a collegial relationship between their scientists and our scientists,” said Eakin.
“We are deeply appreciative of the opportunity to be in the same community,” he said.
The pharmaceuticals company is based in Greenville and in the Research Triangle Park.
As part of the announcement, ECU also introduced the two ECU graduate students receiving money from the endowment this year.
They are: Ming Wang of China; and Lisa Hill of Richfield, N.C. Both students are conducting studies in synthetic organic chemistry. Each will receive $7,500 during the fall and spring semesters.
“The fellowship will enable these individuals to devote substantial time to research in organic chemistry,” said Dr. Chia-yu Li, the chairman of the ECU Department of Chemistry.
Others participating in the presentation ceremony were: Martha Peck, executive of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund; Dr. Marlene Springer, ECU vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dr. Keats Sparrow, dean of the ECU College of Arts and Sciences.