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Chemistry alum leaves lasting legacy

Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has received its largest single donation from the late Robert R. Otremba (BS ‘49, MS ‘63), a Chicagoan and Loyola alumnus. Mr. Otremba donated more than $2.5 million for the Robert R. Otremba Scholarship Fund, which was officially received by the department in early fall 2012. The scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in chemistry and in need of financial assistance.

A scholarship recipient himself, Mr. Otremba received both his BS in Chemistry in 1948, and his MS in Chemistry in 1963 from Loyola University Chicago. He served in World War II, and then went on to become a research chemist for Nalco Chemical for more than 30 years, in addition to his role as a part-time teacher at local junior colleges in Chicago. Mr. Otremba was named Chemistry Alumnus of the Year in 2010 by Loyola’s chemistry department. He was known as a very proud alumnus and he was thankful for his Loyola education and the scholarship assistance that he received as a student.

Jason Osborn, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, says the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has discretion as to how to spend the scholarship fund. “For me, it’s transformational for the department because it allows them to have the freedom and flexibility in getting the best and the brightest chemistry students to come here,” says Osborn.

Mr. Otremba passed away on June 30, 2010, at the age of 83. At Loyola, he will always be remembered for his generous donation and his compassion for Loyola students.

“Mr. Otremba obtained his MS degree under the masterful supervision of the late professor Carl Moore. It’s nice to see one of our former students recognize his mentor and the department with this very generous gift, which will keep on giving to future generations of students,” says Duarte Mota De Freitas, chair of Loyola’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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