C.W. Eaker Scholarship Fund for Chemistry/Biochemistry

Alumna, Family Endow Chemistry Scholarship, Honor Retired Provost

Mary and C.W. EakerDate published: July 10, 2019

On July 9, President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, along with Alex and Martha Galbraith, parents of alumna Alison Galbraith, BA ’12, signed the C.W. Eaker Scholarship Fund for Chemistry/Biochemistry at the University of Dallas. “As a professor, Dr. Eaker combined an ability to challenge students to achieve heights they didn’t know they were capable of with the ability to help them to meet those challenges,” said Hibbs.

The endowed scholarship is the first to be received by Hibbs since his presidency began on July 1; it honors longtime and much-loved chemistry professor C.W. Eaker, Ph.D., who served UD with distinction for over 40 years, first as a faculty member, then as dean of Constantin College and finally as provost of the university. He retired in May 2017 and has spent his time since with his six grandchildren and traveling extensively with his wife, Mary. 

“This is a good day for the University of Dallas,” said Eaker, who was present with his wife for the signing of the scholarship. “There are so many people like the Galbraiths who understand the treasure that is a UD education and want to support that treasure.”

He truly appreciates the people he got to know while at UD, among them the Galbraith family, who established the scholarship to express their gratitude to Eaker for his untiring guidance and support as dean during Alison’s undergraduate experience at UD, and to thank him for his assistance in the establishment of Constantin’s Galbraith Lecture Series, which furthers the Catholic intellectual tradition carried out by the university. 

“I saw in Alison a dedication and delight in learning,” said Eaker. “It was nice to be part of that. I feel so honored that the Galbraiths would want to endow a scholarship in my name.”

Once fully funded, this competitive scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior UD student majoring in chemistry or biochemistry. Among qualified applicants, special preference will be given to first-generation college students, minority students and students with financial need.

This gift, made on the occasion of the selection of alumnus and esteemed scholar Hibbs as president of UD, is intended to celebrate the university’s commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Core curriculum that marks UD with distinction.

“Alison, Martha and I are so grateful for the opportunity to do this,” said Alex Galbraith. “We were so thrilled that Dr. Hibbs was coming to the university, and it seemed like the perfect time.” 

“Physical chemistry with Dr. Eaker was like taking a class taught by Mr. Rogers.”

— Brenna Rossi, BA ’17

“We’re so grateful to the Galbraiths for their generosity to the university and for their eagerness to honor C.W. Eaker,” said Hibbs. “We hope this will be one of many celebrations of endowed scholarships, that it begins a great pattern.”

Joseph McDonough, Ph.D., BS ’85, Jennifer Muzyka, Ph.D., BS ’85, Raymond Chan, Ph.D., BS ’97, Chana Hennessee, Ph.D., BS 98 and Gerard Jacob, BA 87, are now leading a campaign to help fully fund (and match) the remainder of the scholarship fund after the Galbraiths’ initial gift. Alumni, especially those who enjoyed Eaker’s famed electron spin demonstration by his “dance” around the classroom, are invited to join them in commemorating him in a way that helps future students.  

“Physical chemistry with Dr. Eaker was like taking a class taught by Mr. Rogers,” said Brenna Rossi, BA ’17. “He always looked happy to be there at 8 a.m. teaching a subject he loved, and he gave us any time he could. He wasn't able to have a specific office hour, so if we wanted help from him, we'd call his secretary and have her schedule us in to meet him in his office in Carpenter. Setting my coffee-stained homework out on his pristine hardwood conference table for him to look at with me between meetings was a stark reminder of what a busy, fast-paced life he was living as provost; yet he would slow it down for a moment to help me understand statistical mechanics.”

“As a teacher you can’t ask for anything more than to have the kind of students we have at the University of Dallas,” said Eaker.

To contribute to the scholarship fund or for other questions about this project, please contact Ellen Rossini, Director of Major Gifts, at 972-265-5846 or erossini@udallas.edu.

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