Bill '69 and Cindy Howell of Lake Jackson, TX, have provided an endowed scholarship to the Department Chemistry in the College of Science at Texas A&M University in honor of former A&M professor Herman A. Liebhafsky. The gift will be matched by the department to provide assistance to a worthy undergraduate student in chemistry.

Bill '69 and Cindy Howell of Lake Jackson, TX.

Bill Howell, 1969

"Herman came to A&M from the small town of Shiner in rural Texas in the early 20s and chose to study chemistry and chemical engineering," said Howell. "He went on to Berkeley for his Ph.D. and taught there as well. In 1934 he went to General Electric and worked in the research labs in Schenectedy, NY. Dr. Liebhafsky was the Director of GE's Physical Laboratory from 1950-1967 and was world-renowned for his contributions in electrochemistry, analytical chemistry and fuel cell research.

"In 1962 he received the first Fisher Award in Analytical Chemistry made to a chemist in industry. In 1967 he took early retirement from GE and came back to A&M to finish a project he had started during his graduate work. And what a pleasure it was to have the opportunity to interact with such an outstanding industrial chemist who was also a distinguished faculty member and researcher at Texas A&M!"

Howell relied on Liebhafsky during his days at A&M to help guide his career path. Liebhafsky was a co-chair on Howell's Ph.D. committee and took over as his advisor, giving him guidance and encouraging him to take his education in chemistry and go to work in industry.

"As I look back on it, Herman gave me so much more than just direction and chemical education," said Howell. "He gave me insight as to what I would find important in my career and he provided a role model."

Howell said that since Liebhafsky was such an inspiration and as well as an outstanding chemist, he and his wife felt it appropriate to set up a scholarship in his name. This particular scholarship is directed toward students from small Texas towns who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a world-class institution.

"Above all, Herman was a gentleman.....one who you would want to model your life after," said Howell. "We want to honor his memory and hope to pass on his excitement aboutchemistry and life to deserving students."

This scholarship is one of six new chemistry scholarships created as a result of a chemistry fund-raising campaign that the College of Science Development Office launched in December 2002. The ongoing campaign has generated more than $250,000 in scholarships for deserving Texas A&M chemistry students.


Contact: Pat Schaub, Communications Specialist, College of Science, Texas A&M University, EMAIL: pschaub@science.tamu.edu, PH: 979-862-1237.

Schaub Pat

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