Ohio State, Battelle announce $1 million Scholarship fund
Columbus – The late Bert Thomas was the only person to serve as president of Battelle and on the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University. Now that connection is going to benefit aspiring young scientists at Ohio State, thanks to a $1 million gift from Battelle to establish the Battelle/Bertram D. Thomas Scholarship Fund.
The new fund will support five scholarships each year, and is aimed at outstanding junior or senior undergraduate chemistry majors, with particular attention to, but not limited to, minority students.
"We are very grateful for this new scholarship fund, and the potential it brings for educating and training our undergraduate students," said Prabir Dutta, chair of Ohio State's Department of Chemistry. "These scholarships will facilitate our goal of making research an integral part of the undergraduate experience within the Department of Chemistry."
"Bert Thomas was one of the true giants in Battelle's 75-year history," said Battelle President and CEO Carl F. Kohrt. "This scholarship fund honors Bert and is a way of bringing together two great institutions that meant a great deal to him over the years. The fact that we also are helping quality chemistry students is something we believe would make Bert very proud."
Thomas, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 100, had a 50-year affiliation with Battelle and was involved in a number of the research and development giant's most significant accomplishments. He joined Battelle in 1934, in an office overlooking the southern tip of the Ohio State campus. Within five years, he was the acting leader of the organization while director Clyde Williams was in Washington, D.C., assisting the U.S. efforts to prepare for World War II.
During Thomas' tenure, Battelle participated in the development of fuel for the Nautilus nuclear submarine, developed the dry copying process that led to Xerox (Thomas was instrumental in negotiating the first contract with inventor Chester Carlson), moved into Europe for the first time, and assumed management of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory—the first of what would become five DOE laboratories under Battelle management or co-management.
Thomas served as president of Battelle from 1958-68 and was a member of the Ohio State University board of Trustees from 1965-1969.
As chair of the Department of Chemistry, Dutta will administer the fund in cooperation with the University Committee on Student Financial Aid. The first recipients will be chosen in time for fall quarter.
Battelle is a global leader in science and technology. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, it develops and commercializes technology and manages laboratories for customers. Battelle, with the national labs it manages or co-manages, oversees 19,000 staff members and conducts $3.4 billion in annual research and development. Battelle innovations include the development of the office copier machine (Xerox), pioneering work on compact disc technology, medical technology advancements, and fiber optic technologies.
Founded in 1870, Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. The university is ranked by the National Science Foundation among the Top 10 public research universities based on total research expenditures and has been named among the Top 25 public research universities every year U.S. News & World Report has done the ranking. With more than 50,500 students enrolled at its main Columbus campus, 18 colleges and 170 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.