First class, 'Father of Green Chemistry' to be honored

Class of '52 and Paul Anastas, M.A. '87, Ph.D. '90 to be honored

Green chemistry leader Paul Anastas M.A. ’87, Ph.D. '90 will receive Alumni Achievement Award.

The Class of 1952 and the man known as the “father of green chemistry” will receive 2012 Brandeis Alumni Achievement Awards during Reunion Weekend on June 8 to 10.

President Fred Lawrence will present the awards to “the pioneers,” the university’s first class, and to Paul Anastas M.A. ’87, Ph.D. ’90, during an on-campus ceremony at 11:15 a.m. on June 9 in Sherman Function Hall of Hassenfeld Conference Center.

Presented annually since 1988, the Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have made distinguished contributions to their professions or chosen fields of endeavor. It represents the highest form of university recognition bestowed exclusively on alumni.

The Class of ’52 is, fittingly, the first Brandeis graduating class to receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Members of the class not only went on to prominence in their professional lives, but played important roles in leading and supporting the University that they helped bring to life in 1948. 

Class members enjoyed successful careers in the arts, business, education, law, medicine, science and many other fields. Class of ’52 alumni also served on the Brandeis Board of Trustees and took an active role in the Alumni Association, while generously supporting scholarships, fellowships, capital projects and the Alumni Annual Fund.

Anastas, who earned his master’s degree and doctorate in chemistry from Brandeis, is regarded as the founder of the green chemistry movement for advancing the science of the design and manufacture of environmentally friendly chemicals.

 He recently returned to Yale as the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment after serving as head of research for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While at the EPA, he played a critical role in decisions regarding the cleanup of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and in re-aligning the EPA’s research enterprise around the concept of sustainability. 

From 2004 to 2006, Anastas served as director of the Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. He was previously the assistant director for the environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he worked from 1999 to 2004. During an earlier stint with the EPA, he is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry as the chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and the director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program.

Categories: Alumni, General

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