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Saint Mary’s gets new endowed chair

Megan O'Neil | Friday, September 5, 2003

Saint Mary’s has established the school’s first endowed chair in the sciences, the Denis DeBartolo York Faculty Chair of Science. Dorothy Feigl, long-time chemistry professor and former vice president and dean of faculty has been appointed as the inaugural chair holder. Officially announced at the conclusion of last semester, the chair will have a special emphasis on science education. It is intended to support a faculty member who is committed to both the field of science and students. Feigl, regarded as a scientist dedicated to education by many on campus, said she was surprised to hear that she had been selected as the first chair-holder. She said that she anticipated the position to go to a professor in the early stages of his career.”There are very good teachers and very good scientists in this department,” Feigl said. “For me to be picked out is a real honor.”Feigl, who has taught chemistry at Saint Mary’s since 1966, said she is enthusiastic about the addition of an endowed chair to the science department, and the prestige it will bring. “It is a kind of marker which speaks of the quality of the program,” she said. “You can use it as a tool for the future.”She said she is also pleased that the focus of the chair is on science education – something that she says validates her life-long passion of teaching chemistry. “The greatest satisfaction for me is when teaching and learning mix. You can be a scholar and a teacher,” Feigl said. The Saint Mary’s Science Department has a long history of instructing women in the sciences. The college was among the first to provide instruction for women interested in the field of medicine. In 1903, Saint Mary’s began to offer the first pharmacology degree available to women. The College was also the first institution to provide a bacteriology course in the state of Indiana. Denise DeBartolo York, a 1972 Saint Mary’s graduate, and her husband Dr. John York sponsored the $1 million chair through the Marie Denise DeBartolo York Foundation. The endowment, DeBartolo York said, is a reflection of her family’s dedication to promoting women in the field of sciences.The Denise DeBartolo Chair becomes the sixth endowed faculty chair at Saint Mary’s.