Chemistry Professor Appointed to Endowed Chair

Lawrence Welch named Clara A. Abbott Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

June 30, 2009

Lawrence WelchLawrence E. Welch has been named Clara A. Abbott Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Knox College.

"Professor Welch has been an exemplary teacher and scholar since joining the Knox faculty in 1988," said Knox College President Roger Taylor. Welch teaches general chemistry, analytical chemistry and environmental chemistry, and won the Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize in 2007, the highest award given by Knox College for distinguished teaching.

His research spans a variety of topics in electrochemistry, chromatography, and spectroscopy, including fundamental studies of pulsed electrochemical detection for liquid chromatography, and applying this method to quantitative analysis of penicillin, cephalosporin, and other pharmaceutical compounds. He also uses luminescence spectroscopy to investigate the strength of chemical bonds and molecular structure. He has a longstanding interest in developing new chemistry experiments for the undergraduate curriculum.

The Clara A. Abbott Distinguished Professorship is awarded to a Knox College faculty member in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. The chair is named in memory of Mrs. Abbott, an 1854 graduate of the Knox Academy, Knox College's preparatory school that operated in the latter half of the 19th century. Mrs. Abbott's husband, Dr. Wallace C. Abbott, was the founder of Abbott Laboratories.

Selection to the chair is made by the President of the College, based on the recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the Dean of the College, and was endorsed by the College's Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 5, 2009.

"Professor Welch's selection to this endowed chair represents the high esteem in which he is held by his Knox colleagues," Taylor said.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, Welch received his Ph.D. at Iowa State University.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.