USD alum bequeaths gift for chem grad students Roland Marquardt, a 1935 USD graduate, "wanted to give back to students," according to his niece and administered of his estate, Jill Entsminger of Las Vegas, NV.
Entsminger recently visited Vermillion to present The University of South Dakota Foundation President Ted Muenster with Marquardt's gift of Dow Chemical stock, valued at approximately $250,000.
Marquardt's gift will fund scholarships for graduate students in chemistry.
"The USD chemistry department will benefit tremendously from the generous gift of Roland Marquardt," according to Professor Miles Koppang, USD chemistry department chair. "The gift will provide financial support for students pursuing a master's degree in chemistry. It will both help those students to focus their efforts on their research projects and will enable the department to support more students and expand the graduate program."
"My uncle loved USD and had talked at great length about giving back and helping chemistry students. He would be very proud to know how much his gift means to the University," Entsminger said.
Marquardt was born and raised in Tulare, where teachers described him as "brilliant." After graduating from Huron College, Marquardt earned his master's degree in organic chemistry from USD in 1936. Hoping to earn his doctoral degree, he attended Iowa State University, but left after one year to accept a lucrative job with Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI.
After working as a chemist in the Dow Analytical Laboratories, he was promoted to analytical research specialist and spent a total of 42 years with the company, specializing in pesticides and herbicides.
Marquardt published numerous articles in chemical journals and books, and was a member of the American Chemical Society and Research Society of America. He was also elected a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in recognition of his professional standing and contributions in analytical chemistry.
After his retirement, Marquardt traveled extensively and was an avid reader, golfer and bridge player. He is described as a jovial, modest man who was active in his community. He died in November, 1999.
The mission of the USD Foundation is to provide private financial resources for the University, in order to increase the excellence of the educational experience provided by USD, with the goal of creating the best small public university in the nation emphasizing excellence in teaching.