The American Chemical Society Scholars Program is celebrating its silver anniversary and continues to increase diversity in the chemistry profession by providing scholarships and mentoring to high-achieving minority students. Many of the program’s more than 3,000 alumni are now established in careers as researchers, engineers, professors, entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical leaders.
ACS depends on support from philanthropic partners to fuel the program’s expansion. In 2019, corporations, foundations and individual donors provided $1.2 million in scholarships to more than 400 ACS Scholars.
“Contributing to the ACS Scholars Program is an outstanding opportunity for me to support the future of the chemistry profession,” says former ACS president Bill Carroll. He and his wife, Mary, are endowment founders—individuals or groups who have given at least $100,000 to the ACS Scholars endowment.
Joe Vacca, a 43-year ACS member, became an endowment founder as a way to give back to his profession. “Chemistry has been good to me...so I wanted to make a significant gift that would help provide that same kind of opportunity to young people who might not otherwise have it,” he explains.
Others become endowment founders as a way to honor individuals who have influenced their lives or careers. Sharon Haynie established her scholarship in memory of two family members who inspired her to pursue a career in chemistry.
Making personal connections with scholarship recipients is gratifying for endowment founders. “When you receive a letter that tells you that you helped someone, even in a small way, to achieve their dreams, it really doesn’t get any better than that,” says
Vacca, who keeps in touch with his 2018 scholar, echoes those feelings. “I feel I am getting back much more than I have given,” he says, “because these students will be the ones developing technologies or drugs that will help my kids and grandkids and society as a whole.”
We Can Help
For more information about the ACS Scholars Program and how to donate, visit acs.org/scholars. For information about becoming an endowment founder, including how to make a commitment that can be fulfilled over multiple years, contact Mary Bet Dobson, CAP® at (202) 872-6210 or PlannedGifts@acs.org.