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Schriesheim Gift of $250,000 Creates Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in Science

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Alan Schriesheim has given $250,000 to the Eberly College of Science to create a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.

Penn State alumnus Alan Schriesheim has given $250,000 to the Eberly College of Science to create a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Schriesheim is director emeritus and the retired CEO of Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. Schriesheim is an internationally acclaimed chemist and technology executive. With a career spanning 50 years in industry, academia, and government, Schriesheim was a pioneer in transforming large and highly complex research organizations to yield productive commercialized technology.

The fellowship, named for the donor and his late wife, Beatrice “Bea” Schriesheim, will help the Eberly College to recruit academically talented first-year graduate students who are pursuing doctoral degrees, according to Dean Daniel Larson. First preference will be given to students majoring in chemistry.

“The Schriesheim Fellowship will have an impact that will last beyond our lifetimes and will influence bright students and future discoveries,” said Larson. “We are grateful to Alan for recognizing the value of such a fellowship to the Eberly College and to generations of its students.”

Penn State 's Distinguished Graduate Fellowship program is a University-wide program that aims to attract the nation's most capable graduate students. When a fellowship is fully funded at its $250,000 minimum, the University, through the Graduate School and the fellowship's affiliate college, will match the endowment's annual spendable income in perpetuity, thus increasing the amount available to the recipient in the form of tuition aid, a stipend, and health insurance.

Alan Schriesheim was born in 1930 in Far Rockaway (Queens), New York and graduated from Penn State in 1954 with a Ph.D. in chemistry, having earned his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College Polytechnic Institute in 1951 . He worked for Exxon for 27 years, rising through the organization to become general manager of Exxon Engineering and director of Exxon Corporate Research. While at Exxon, he won the American Chemical Society's award for research in petroleum chemistry in 1969.

In 1983, he became director and CEO of the Argonne National Laboratory, while also holding a dual appointment as a Professor of Chemistry at The University of Chicago, retiring in 1996. He was the first director of a major national laboratory to have an extensive industrial background.

Schriesheim served on many university and government advisory committees and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and holds 22 U.S. patents. He received several honorary doctorate degrees including a 2001 honorary degree in science from Penn State, and in 2005 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus, the highest honor the University can bestow on its graduates.

He and his late wife of fifty years met while they were both graduate students in Chemistry at Penn State . Beatrice Schriesheim (nee Brand) was born in 1930 in Poland and survived the Holocaust by escaping the Nazi invasion in 1939 and surviving imprisonment in Siberia . She arrived in the U.S. in 1947 and received her undergraduate degree from Queen's College in New York before attending Penn State 's Graduate School . She was a long-time high school chemistry teacher who was committed to her students as well as to the improvement of science education in the United States . She played a leadership role in the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) organization. Her memoirs, “Bea's Journey”, documented her Holocaust journey and her life in the United States . They were published in 2003 after her death at the age of 73. She shared her husband's affection and enthusiasm for the University and for helping outstanding students through scholarship support. Alan and Bea Schriesheim had two children and six grandchildren. Alan continues to reside in Chicago and is president of The Chicago Council on Science and Technology.

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