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Former ESF Dean Honors Colleagues


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Dr. Edwin C. Jahn, whose name graces the new, state-of-the-art chemistry building at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), has established a scholarship fund to honor five of his colleagues.

Jahn earmarked a $100,000 gift to the college that will provide fellowships in the names of five prominent professors in ESF's Faculty of Chemistry. The fellowships will be awarded to chemistry graduate students studying the same specialized fields as the professors for whom the awards are named.

Four of the colleagues Jahn chose to honor are professors emeriti. They are Conrad Schuerch, an expert in the chemistry of wood and wood components; Robert Silverstein, a specialist in the chemistry of insect communication who co-founded the Journal of Chemical Ecology; Michael Szwarc, recipient of the prestigious Kyoto Award for Advanced Technology, the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in 1991; and Tore Timell, a wood chemist who won the American Chemical Society's Anselme Payen Award for outstanding research in 1971. The fifth fellowship honors the late Ernest Sondheimer, who specialized in plant biochemistry.

Additional contributions from colleagues and former students are expected to supplement the Jahn founding gift.

Jahn was a long-time leader at ESF as a student, faculty member, and administrator. He is a member of the college's class of 1925. During his 40-year career, Jahn studied pulp and paper and wood chemistry in more than 30 countries. He joined the ESF faculty in 1938 and established the Department of Chemistry in 1952. Under his direction, ESF became a leader in the growing field of polymer chemistry. Jahn created the college's Department of Wood Products Engineering, and during his administration, the Cellulose Research Institute, the Empire State Paper Research Institute, and the Polymer Research Institute were established.

Jahn was the last ESF chief executive with the title of college dean and the only alumnus to serve in that position. He attended the dedication ceremony of the Edwin C. Jahn Laboratory in October.