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Obituary: Donald W. Slocum

by Linda Wang
April 30, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 16


Photo of Donald W. Slocum.
Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Slocum
Donald W. Slocum

Donald W. Slocum, 87, died April 13 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

“Dr. Donald Slocum began his teaching and research career in 1965 at Southern Illinois University, followed by stops at Gulf Corporation and Argonne National Laboratory and ending at Western Kentucky University, where he spent over 30 years. He authored over 100 publications in organolithium, metalation, and aromatic substitution reactions. Don was a man of many talents beyond his scientific expertise, including music, literature, history, and athletics. Most importantly, however, was his mentoring of hundreds of students, many from underprivileged backgrounds. He inspired confidence, perseverance, and academic excellence. He had a unique ability to recognize latent talent in students who needed encouragement, second chances, and special attention to bring out their best. He was a beloved professor and mentor who will be greatly missed.”—Family, friends, and former students

Most recent title: Emeritus research professor, Western Kentucky University

Education: BS, chemistry, and BA, English, University of Rochester, 1956; PhD, chemistry, New York University, 1963

Survivors: Sons, Matthew and Warren

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