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Clarkson University Receives $1.5 Million Gift To Create Lamer Chair
Potsdam, N.Y. — Clarkson University has received a $1.5 million gift from Mrs. Luella LaMer Slaner of Scarsdale, N.Y., to create an endowed chair in memory of her late father, the renowned chemist, Victor K. LaMer. This gift is in recognition of Clarkson’s leadership in colloid and surface science, a field pioneered by LaMer.
“Clarkson University is extremely honored to be chosen for this recognition,” said Clarkson President Denny Brown. “Victor K. LaMer was a most eminent scientist and gifted teacher. It is my hope that with the extraordinary talent already present at the University and through the additional leadership that this chair will bring us, Clarkson will strengthen its preeminence in colloid and surface science and advance LaMer’s work. We are grateful to Mrs. Slaner and trust the Victor K. LaMer chair will fulfill her every expectation.”
Mrs. Slaner is an enthusiastic supporter of education who continues to enhance her education by taking courses in a variety of subjects at the college level. Her gift also recognizes the relationship that Clarkson enjoyed with LaMer and his family through LaMer’s pupil, Clarkson Professor Emeritus Milton Kerker. Kerker’s intellectual leadership and success in recruiting a team of world-class scientists have made Clarkson preeminent in colloid and surface science. This field deals with materials whose dimensions are larger than molecules, but not as large as what may be seen in a microscope.
Victor K. LaMer was born in 1895 in Leavenworth, Kansas, and died in 1966 while attending a scientific meeting in Nottingham, England. High-spirited and ebullient, he was an enthusiast for science, an
infectious quality he transmitted to his students. He served as an Army lieutenant in World War I and his war-related research during World War II was recognized by the awarding of the Presidential Certificate of Merit.
LaMer, who earned his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his Ph.D. from Columbia University, taught physical chemistry at Columbia from 1921 until his retirement in 1961. A member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, he received many honors, including an honorary degree from Clarkson in 1962. He was the editor of the Journal of Colloid Science (now the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science) from its founding in 1946 until he was succeeded by Kerker in 1965. In addition to his seminal work on colloids, his fundamental contributions to physical chemistry have found their way into every textbook and university course on that subject.
Clarkson has convened a committee to initiate a search to attract a distinguished scientist with the proven ability to carry on Victor K. LaMer’s extraordinary legacy.