Loyola Chemistry/Biochemistry gets $2.5 million grant

By Audrey Bailey

Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has received its largest single donation in its history.

Early this fall, Loyola’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry received a $2.5 million donation from the late Robert R. Otremba. This fund will be directed toward chemistry graduates and undergraduates in need of financial assistance.

Otremba was named Alumnus of the Year around the same time of his passing, according to Jason Osborn, 40, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“He (Otremba) was never able to reach out to us personally, however, he was named the Alumnus of the Year for biochemistry in 2010,” Osborn said.

A scholarship recipient himself, Otremba received both his BS in Chemistry in 1948, and his MS in Chemistry in 1963 from Loyola University Chicago. He served in World War II, and then went on to become a research chemist for Nalco Chemical for more than 30 years, in addition to his role as a part-time teacher at local junior colleges in Chicago. Otremba was named Chemistry Alumnus of the Year in 2010 by Loyola’s chemistry department.

Otremba passed away on June 30, 2010 at the age of 83.

Osborn believes that these funds will be crucial to bringing the Chemistry department to the forefront at Loyola and possibly gaining national or even international recognition.

“The thing that is great about this is that it’s for chemistry graduate and undergraduate students,” Osborn said.

In accord, this donation can be directed toward bringing the most eligible and intelligent students to Loyola’s chemistry department.

“We can bring the best and brightest students; we now have the capacity to do that,” Osborn said.

Overall, Osborn wants to stress the significance this donation has for the future of Loyola students in this field.

“This gift is key for scholarships. It could be the impetus to make students come here,” Osborn said.


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