ISU receives $10 million commitment from Kathryn Hach Darrow for new chemistry building

AMES, Iowa -- Kathryn Hach Darrow of Mukilteo, Wash. has committed $10 million toward the construction of the new chemistry building on the campus of Iowa State University. The $74.5 million project is being planned as a three-story, 135,000-square-foot facility. Groundbreaking is scheduled for September 2008 with an anticipated completion date of August 2010.

"Iowa State takes great pride in our internationally renowned department of chemistry and its many accomplishments," said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy. "Chemistry is vitally important to our role as a leading university of science and technology, and having state-of-the-art facilities is critical to continuing our leadership role in chemistry." In recognition of this tremendous gift, Iowa State will seek approval from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, to name this new facility Hach Hall.

Hach Darrow is a longtime supporter of Iowa State dating back to the 1940s when she met her husband Clifford on campus. He graduated in 1947 and went on to be a trailblazer and innovator in the chemistry field, and holder of 34 patents. The Hachs started the Hach Chemical Company in 1947 (name changed to Hach Company in 1980) in Ames Iowa, and experienced their first major success through the development of a simplified titration method for measuring hardness in drinking water. Clifford Hach died in 1990.

In 1999, the Hach Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Danaher Corporation. The Hach Company corporate headquarters are located in Loveland, Colo. More than 500 employees work in Loveland, and about 300 are employed in Ames.

"I am thrilled to be part of this transformational opportunity for Iowa State to inspire tomorrow's scientists, teachers, researchers and entrepreneurs," said Hach Darrow, who received her bachelor's degree from ISU in liberal studies in 2007 in recognition of coursework she completed as a student and her many years of community leadership and service. "My husband was a perfect example of someone who saw the potential of science and applied it to improve people's lives. He would be very proud of Iowa State today."

The first floor of the new chemistry building will be dedicated to the undergraduate teaching laboratories and student interaction space. The second and third floors will be dedicated to research where faculty, staff and graduate assistants will work. Some labs will be reserved for recruiting new faculty to Iowa State. The new facility will be built northwest of Gilman Hall, current home to the department of chemistry. Gilman Hall will continue to hold general classrooms, computer labs, offices and laboratories.

The Iowa Legislature has approved $58.9 million for the project with an additional $15.6 million anticipated through private support. Including the Hach pledge, fundraising dollars total $14.7 million for the new chemistry building. Additional private funds raised beyond the $15.6 goal will be used for laboratory equipment and classroom enhancements that current construction costs do not include.

"This gift is enormously important to the future of the department of chemistry and the university," said Jake Petrich, professor and chair of the department. "It will help us recruit and retain the best faculty and students and provide essential infrastructure to perform cutting-edge research. It is also an honor for us to have the facility's name associated with the Hach family. Clifford Hach and Kathryn Hach Darrow are beacons of inspiration who have shown what hard work and dedication can accomplish," Petrich added.

This $10 million commitment made by Hach is part of "Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose," the university's $800 million fundraising effort that was publicly launched last October.

About Kathryn Hach Darrow:

Kathryn Hach Darrow attended Iowa State University from 1941 to 1944 and holds a doctor of laws honorary degree from Northwood University and a doctor of humane letters honorary degree from Colorado State University. She received her bachelor's degree from ISU in liberal studies in 2007 in recognition of coursework she completed as a student and her many years of community leadership and service.

Hach Darrow was co-founder and partner of Hach Chemical Company, and served as vice president (1968-1978) and president/chief operating officer (1978-1980). After the name change, she also served as president/chief operating officer of Hach Company (1980-1988) and chairman of the board/chief executive officer (1988-1999).

Hach Darrow was the first woman director of the American Water Works Association and the first woman to serve as director of the First National Bank in Loveland, Colo. She has received numerous awards including outstanding business leader, Northwood University; outstanding business woman of the year, Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce; distinguished service award, Iowa State University; and induction into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame.

About the ISU Department of Chemistry:

The Department of Chemistry is one of the premiere academic units at Iowa State University. The department consists of a superb faculty, all of whom are active researchers who publish regularly as well as seek and obtain external funding for their research endeavors. The faculty are affiliated with numerous campus-wide initiatives including the Plant Sciences Institute, the Institute for Combinatorial Discovery and with the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. The research strengths of the department contribute to its National Research Council ranking of 26th among Ph.D.-granting chemistry departments. The Inorganic Division was ranked 10th and the Analytical Division was ranked 5th in the 2007 U.S. News and World Report ranking of graduate schools and programs.