BY ACS STAFF
In 2012 spring semester, the ACS student chapter at Muhlen- berg College in Allentown, PA, was looking for a unique way to honor Charles E. Russell, a popular organic chemistry professor at
Muhlenberg who passed away in January 2012.
After mulling over a few ideas, the chapter decided to pay tribute
to Professor Russell by installing a bike rack near the front entrance
of Trumbower Hall, home of Muhlenberg College’s chemistry department. Professor Russell’s biggest passion, aside from teaching and
conducting research, was cycling. He frequently participated in bike
marathons and also volunteered his time with a nonprofit group that
provides needy residents with reconditioned bikes.
To raise money for the bike rack, the chapter organized a liquid
nitrogen ice cream fundraiser and stormed the residence halls for
donations. By April 2012, chapter members succeeded in raising sufficient funds to buy the bike rack and a plaque honoring the memory
of Professor Russell. Ten members helped to install the bike rack, and
on May 1, 2012, the chapter held a dedication ceremony.
Charles E. Russell began teaching at Muhlenberg College
in the fall of 1988 and was an active member of ACS. He is
fondly remembered for his summer research program for
undergraduates and his longtime dedication to his students.
Dr. Russell’s most recent research interest was in the Heck
reaction and organometallic chemistry. Other long-term
interests included p-allyl palladium chemistry and the development of enantioselective alkylation reactions.
Matthew Fitzsimons, president of the Muhlenberg College ACS student chapter,
and Bruce Anderson, faculty advisor and professor of chemistry at Muhlenberg
College, contributed to this article.
PHOTOS WITH THIS ARTICLE ARE COURTESY OF MUHLENBERG COLLEGE
LEFT: Matt Del Ciello, Monty LaSasso, and Besher Tolymat dug holes for the bike rack. ABOVE: Chapter members held a dedication ceremony for the bike rack on May 1, 2012.