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Robert E. Gilman

by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 24, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 21

Robert E. Gilman, 78, a retired professor of chemistry at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), died on Feb. 2, after a five-year battle with leukemia.

He earned a B.S. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1958. He then worked for W.R. Grace in Clarksville, Md., before accepting a postdoc at the National Research Council of Canada, in Ottawa.

After that, he taught at Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass., and joined RIT in 1964. His research focused on the reaction mechanisms of xanthates and p-cyclophanes.

Gilman served as head of RIT’s chemistry department from 1972 to 1979 and also started a cooperative education program there.

In 1970 and again in 1980, he was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked with Nobel Laureate Donald J. Cram on host-guest chemistry. He retired from RIT in 1994.

In 1966, Gilman became the first recipient of RIT’s Eisenhart Award for Distinguished Young Teachers. He was a member of ACS for 24 years, beginning in 1971.

After retirement, he moved to Los Angeles and served on the board of the Opera League of Los Angeles and as controller of Long Beach Opera.

He is survived by his partner, Doris Koplik; sons, Jeffrey and Marcus; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.


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