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ACS Honors Hach Family's Legacy

Washington, D.C., headquarters is now the Clifford & Kathryn Hach Building

by Linda Wang
June 8, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 23

Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Lane (from left), Jacobs, Benham, Hach-Darrow, and Hach in front of the Hach Building.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Lane (from left), Jacobs, Benham, Hach-Darrow, and Hach in front of the Hach Building.

The American Chemical Society christened its headquarters building in Washington, D.C., the Clifford & Kathryn Hach Building during an outdoor ceremony on June 3. The name, which now appears in polished letters above the building's 16th Street entrance, commemorates the Hach Scientific Foundation's $33 million donation to ACS, the largest in the society's history (C&EN, Jan. 26, page 7).

The ACS-Hach Program will continue the Hach Scientific Foundation's support of a scholarship program for undergraduate chemistry majors pursuing careers in teaching high school chemistry, a scholarship program for chemists in other professions who want to teach high school chemistry, and outreach grants to high school chemistry teachers.

"The combined programs of the Hach Scientific Foundation and ACS offer a complete suite of opportunities for high school chemistry teachers, from preservice education through ongoing professional development," said Judith L. Benham, chair of the ACS Board of Directors, at the ceremony.

Clifford and Kathryn Hach founded Hach Co. in 1947, and the firm went on to become a force in water-analysis chemistry. In 1982, the couple started the Hach Scientific Foundation to promote chemistry education, and it was run by the family until last January. Clifford Hach died in 1990.

"My father was committed to the support of future generations of chemists," son Bruce Hach tells C&EN. "That was a huge issue with him." Over the years, though, "we had to recognize, with some reluctance, that the days of family-owned, family-sponsored foundations are coming to an end. We have come to grips with that," he says. Having ACS expertise means that many more students can be helped, he adds.

"My father was committed to the support of future generations of chemists. That was a huge issue with him." —Bruce Hach

"It's the best home our foundation could have. Clifford would be tremendously pleased to realize that the work he did is being recognized in this way," widow Kathryn Hach-Darrow says.

Madeleine Jacobs, ACS executive director and CEO, stressed that the Hach name, now joined with ACS, will have a permanent place in chemistry. "Every scholarship and grant awarded through the program will carry the ACS-Hach name. When people get that scholarship, we also want them to know about the Hach family and the importance of their legacy to chemistry," she says. "It's important for students to know that Clifford and Kathryn Hach cared enough about the education of our youth in chemistry that they were willing to put real money behind it."

"We are deeply grateful to the Hach family for entrusting ACS with its legacy of outstanding support for current and aspiring high school chemistry teachers," ACS President Thomas H. Lane said at the dedication ceremony. He expressed great confidence that ACS will be a worthy steward of the programs serving future generations of citizens and scientists.

Contributions to the ACS-Hach education programs are welcome. Visit for more information.



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