Submitted by Natalie Lafranzo
What happens when chemists retire? We make bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon!
Jokes aside, the when Chancellor Mark Wrighton announced his retirement from Washington University in St. Louis, alumni and students of WashU and the Local Section of the American Chemical Society wanted to do something to honor the legacy that he leaves. As an academic chemist, Mark Wrighton has an impressive research resume, and as an academic leader his impact will be felt for many years to come, throughout the St. Louis region and beyond. Without question, the profession of chemistry has risen in stature due to Dr. Wrighton’s contributions.
Working closely with the leadership team at Washington University, members of the STL ACS YCC and WashU faculty, staff and alumni helped integrate some chemistry fun into Dr. Wrighton’s retirement celebration. The event, coined Wrightonpalooza, was an afternoon of music, food, and fun.
With the generous fundraising efforts of many of our members, we were able to serve hundreds of scoops of liquid nitrogen ice cream in collaboration with Ices Plain and Fancy, St. Louis’ Nitro Ice Cream Parlor and Catering:
Jana and Victoria of the STL ACS YCC show off the special flavors offered at the event – featuring “Battling Beary” Cherry Cordial and Chancellor Wrighton’s NaCl Carmel:
We also prepared a giant “Periodic Table of Elemental Gratitude” where attendees could write personalized notes to Dr. Wrighton and place them on their favorite element.
Here’s a photo of STL ACS Past Chair and Current Treasurer, Jeff Cornelius with Mark Wrighton in front of the Periodic Table of Well Wishes!
If you can’t see it – Dr. Wrighton is wearing one of our “Proud to be a Chemist” mole pins – a special gift for our chemistry friends who attended the event.
The WashU Bear even got in on the fun, leaving his beary-special thanks!
The celebration was epic, and we’re grateful to have been a part of this special day honoring a chemist who’s made a big impact in the St. Louis Community.
Do you know of another local chemist who deserves to be recognized? Consider nominating them for one of our awards (like the St. Louis Award!, or reaching out to us directly to see how we can help champion chemists in our local community!
More photos of the event may be found here:
More of Wrighton’s awards, recognitions, and accomplishments can be found here: