UDQuickly Home My Old House Snapshots UD Magazine
Send a Class Notes
Ask a Marianist

@DayMag

Hidden Treasure

Read our interactive issue to see videos, links and more.

UD Magazine apps
Charles Pedersen ’26, Nobel prize winner, is among the inaugural class of the UD School of Engineering Hall of Fame.

A Nobel soul

3:41 PM  Feb 23rd, 2012
by Teri Rizvi

Notebook in hand, I leaned close to hear the soft-spoken words of a humble 84-year-old scientist. Winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry in the twilight of his life hadn’t gone to Charles Pedersen’s head.

“What I did, I did well,” he told me after UD President Brother Raymond Fitz, S.M., presented him with an honorary master’s degree in a living room full of family and friends in Salem, N.J., in 1989. “I worked in a peculiar way and things worked out. If you have an abnormal way of doing things, you do have an advantage because you’re not imitating anybody else. If you have innovation, then you’re relatively safe.

“But it doesn’t mean you necessarily have anything good,” he quipped.

Pedersen ’26 is part of the 2012 inaugural class who will be inducted into the School of Engineering’s Hall of Fame at a campus gala Friday, part of a celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary. Also honored will be John McHale ’78, Charles Wilke ’40, Emerson Climate Technologies and The Kettering Family Philanthropies.

Pedersen shared the Nobel Prize for discovering crown ethers during a long career at DuPont. Today, crown ethers are being used in everyday applications from isolating and removing extremely small yet harmful concentrations of mercury in drinking water to helping identify potassium in blood samples to aid in early diagnosis heart disease.

Pedersen, who died eight months after the living room gathering, turned down an honorary doctorate from his alma mater. When I asked him how he wanted history to remember him, he said, “The only honest thing I can say is as a man who knew what he could do.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • New first floor windows are installed at roesch library in the gallery area by Larry Burgess
  • Curl up with a good book this summer from Roesch Library.  Here Scott West, Information Resources Assistant, displays a sample of summertime reading books and a Kindle. For more information go to: .
  • Students line up for tickets to see the play "Wicked" by Larry Burgess
  • chapel window worker by Larry Burgess
  • 040111risewalton
  • Mary of Cana statue by Larry Burgess
  • Taking a picture of a graduate near the chapel by Larry Burgess
  • 091010film
  • grilling for Christmas on Campus kick off
  • sculpture class
  • Rec Kids Camp at RecPlex volleyball court by Stephanie Lefeld '13
  • man painting railing at student duplex by Larry Burgess
  • icicles hanging from a house's drainpipe
  • Plastic skeleton
  • 120810CoCCentralMall2
  • 011106clock2
  • Spider inside a Keller Hall window overlooking Garden Apartments on Stewart Street by Larry Burgess
  • Goal by Ryan Lyn by Christine Bates