Stauffer Trust Awards Westmont $400,000 for Chemistry Equipment

The John Stauffer Charitable Trust, based in Pasadena, has awarded Westmont $400,000 to purchase much-needed chemistry equipment that will enhance students’ ability to do first-rate research.

Westmont, a liberal arts college similar to Pomona and Claremont-McKenna, has a long tradition of fostering undergraduate research in the sciences, a feature that ensures acceptance for many of our graduates into the best graduate schools in the country.

In fact, more than a dozen of Westmont’s recent chemistry grads have completed or are completing doctorates this year at institutions such as Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, UCLA, UC Davis, UCSB, the University of Washington and the University of Pennsylvania.

“This funding will help us replace aging equipment and bring the chemistry lab up to state-of-the-art status,” Chemistry Professor Allan Nishimura said. “Our students, who are required to do undergraduate research, will benefit greatly from this generous gift.”

Students who do undergraduate research are better-prepared for graduate school. At Westmont, an emphasis on undergraduate research and personal relationships with professors gives our students an advantage when it comes to graduate school admission. Research indicates a larger percentage of Ph.D.s come from liberal arts colleges like Westmont than from other institutions of higher learning.

“The John Stauffer Charitable Trust is pleased to be able to provide the dollars for upgrading chemistry equipment at Westmont,” trustee Michael Whalen said. “We have a long and productive relationship with Westmont, and believe this investment in equipment is an investment in producing some of the finest scientists in years to come.”

“Westmont is so grateful to the Stauffer Trust for its recent award for chemistry equipment, but also for its long support of the college through its generous gifts,” President Stan D. Gaede said.

This is the fourth major grant the Stauffer Trust has awarded Westmont over the years.

The first was the establishment of the John Stauffer Memorial Scholarship for Academic Merit in 1982. Initially $50,000, the fund has nearly doubled, and provides scholarship money for a senior student in the top 10 percent of his or her class.

The Stauffer Trust also provided $50,000 in 1986 to pay for computer system improvements, and another $50,000 in 1989 to establish an endowed chemistry equipment fund.

For more information on the grant and the chemistry program at Westmont, contact Nishimura at (805) 565-6188, or e-mail nishimu@westmont.edu.