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Ciba Foundation Gift of $200,000 to Promote Research in Chemistry

The Ciba Foundation Inc., a private, tax-exempt organization and long-time catalyst for change, announced Monday, Aug. 24, that it has made a one-time donation of $150,000 to Old Dominion University to fund The Ciba Specialty Chemicals Legacy Fund in Chemistry.

These funds will be awarded as annual stipends to attract, educate and retain top-level doctoral and graduate students in chemistry. Furthermore, the foundation also made a one-time donation of $50,000 toward the purchase of liquid chromatography instrumentation equipment that will directly support undergraduate chemistry research at ODU.

"This is a timely and much appreciated gift that promotes the growth of Old Dominion's research program and is evidence of the longstanding relationship between university researchers and the Ciba Foundation," said John Broderick, the ODU president.

"The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is indebted and very thankful to the Ciba Foundation for this generous gift that will attract and support graduate students - Ciba Fellows - who specialize in analytical chemistry," said Richard Gregory, chair of the ODU department. "Their research will in part be supported by a portion of the gift that will be used for state-of-the art research instrumentation.

"We were able to leverage the $50,000 gift from the Ciba Foundation to win additional support worth $40,000 to pay for the new instrumentation," Gregory added. The additional support came from the ODU Office of Research and the Shimadzu Corp., manufacturer of the liquid chromatography equipment.

Gregory said two ODU graduate students in chemistry, Amanda Willoughby and Rachel Sleighter, have already been chosen to receive $10,000 each in an annual stipend as the first of the university's Ciba Fellows. Willoughby, who is scheduled to complete her master's program later this year, plans to begin immediately thereafter a doctoral program in chemistry with Patrick Hatcher, ODU's Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences, as her mentor. Sleighter already is a doctoral student in Hatcher's research group.

In addition to advancing science education, the Ciba Foundation has long supported programs that will help build the workforce of tomorrow. The foundation said Tidewater Community College was also a recipient of a one-time donation of $70,000 to fund the Ciba Foundation Annual Scholarship, which will support students pursuing an education in electro-mechanical studies.

"This generous scholarship for TCC's electro-mechanical students supports critical workforce development for our region," said TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce. "We're grateful to the

Ciba Foundation for its contribution to our students' success and our mission to prepare the strategic workforce for the 21st century."

For many years, the Ciba Foundation has advanced science education and workforce development by forging new partnerships among schools, businesses and communities and supporting programs that bridge the transition from school to career. A statement from the foundation said that by making these grants, it is fulfilling a three-fold mission: to develop the next generation of leaders who will lead the chemical and related industries in developing innovative solutions to address the world's most pressing problems; to honor the proud heritage of Ciba scientists who over the years have made outstanding contributions to science; and to deliver tangible benefits to local communities by investing in their youth.

The Ciba Foundation is a separate legal entity from the Ciba Corporation, which officially became part of the BASF Group in April of this year. BASF is an international chemical company with 97,000 employees.

Ciba's industrial facility in Suffolk, now part of the BASF group, produces a variety of products that are used to purify drinking water, clean up industrial and municipal effluent and improve the efficiency of many processes in the paper and oil industries.

"We are extremely proud to support the outstanding work of Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College," said Patrick Hochstrasser, manager of the Suffolk plant. "These grants demonstrate a long standing commitment on Ciba's part to enriching science education and supporting workforce development programs by equipping young people with the skills they will need to succeed."

This article was posted on: August 24, 2009

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