A Pasadena-based charitable trust is donating a $500,000 grant to Westmont College’s chemistry department to endow their summer research program, a figure which the school matched as a part of the deal.
Westmont College is a interdenominational Christian, liberal arts college in Montecito, just south of Santa Barbara.
The John Stauffer Charitable Trust, a private foundation that gives grants to hospitals and colleges in California, was established in Pasadena in 1974 under the late John Stauffer Jr.’s will, according to its website.
In 2014, the trust listed assets in the amount of $50,797,098, with gifts totalling $1,985,000 that year.
The grant given to Westmont College will provide a fellowship stipend for 8-10 students each year to work alongside faculty doing full-time chemistry research.
“In a research environment, students see how science really works, a gradual and incremental process of eliminating false explanations in pursuit of better ones,” said Michael Everest, Westmont professor of chemistry, to Noozhawk.com. “It is almost impossible to model this complex process in a typical instructional laboratory exercise during the academic year. If something surprising happens during the summer, the student can do more than merely guess at what might be going on, they can come in the next day and try new experiments to test various hypotheses.”
The foundation’s roots are found in 1886 in San Francisco, where a partnership formed between two European immigrants, one of them being the German Stauffer, Sr., to import/export inexpensive raw materials such as ballast and sulfur. The company was incorporated by Stauffer, Sr., who died in 1940 at the age of 78.
Stauffer, Jr., the son of the Stauffer, Sr., went on to become the company’s director emeritus and died in 1972. The foundation has since donated to many prominent California universities, such as Caltech, UC Berkeley, Pepperdine, California Lutheran and University of the Pacific. Because of his charitable contributions, several locations are named after him, such as the John Stauffer Science Center at Whittier College and the John Stauffer Chemistry Building at Stanford University.