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Legacy of the Thatcher Building

d"The Chemistry Department at the University of Utah is recognized worldwide for great strides being made in conducting research to uncover the causes of cancer and other diseases, enhancing systems for drug delivery, developing treatments for the ills of aging, and otherwise helping to improve the human condition. Our family is honored to play a part in making this building a reality, and we hope you'll join us to help advance chemistry research, power the economic engine for our state and region, and educate chemists and scientists that serve society."

- Thomas F. Thatcher, February, 2013

"All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual."

- Albert Einstein

The Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry was dedicated on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. It has been a creative force, opening the ay for new opportunities for innovation, education, and research. In this space, the Department of Chemistry has been able to:
  • Educate more undergraduates, mentoring the next generation of critical thinkers and training them for careers in chemistry.
  • Recruit star faculty, opening new scientific inquires and new markets for chemistry-driven innovation in industry.
  • Acquire advanced research intruments, probing solutions in bioenergy, epidemiology, and small molecule development.
  • Leverage building space to grow community and philanthropic support for chemistry research and education at the U.
These accomplishments have led to significant growth in the Department's standing and research, and we anticipate that student enrollment will grow by 30% or more over the next decade. To answer this growth, the Thatcher Building will allow us to:
  • Educate. Teach the next generation of scientists, business leaders, and innovators, for whom chemical principles will be key to success and prosperity.
  • Innovate. Create jobs and economic growth in Utah by supporting student enrollment and new, interdisciplinary research collaborations.
  • Impact. Advance chemistry as the central science, increasing its prominence at the University of Utah and driving chemical solutions to problems in related fields.
  • Better Humanity. Lead the way in research that creates solutions for global health, renewable energy, and age-related diseases.
In these ways, the Thatcher Building of Biological and Biophysical Chemistry will significantly extend the resources available to professional and aspiring chemists, enhance the ability of the Department to recruit faculty and conduct research at the University of Utah.



Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, The University of Utah


Henry S. White - Chair of the Department of Chemistry


David W. Pershing - President of the University of Utah

Pierre V. Sokolsky - Dean of the College of Science

Henry S. White

Thomas F. Thatcher - Thatcher Family Spokesperson

Natscha K. Knowlton - Thatcher Company Scholarship Recipient


Henry S. White

Lawrence E. & Helen F. Thatcher Family

,The Thatcher family's involvement in the chemical industry stretches back into the early 1900s, and their connection to the U goes back nearly as far. Familypatriarch, Nathan D."Dee" Thatcher, Jr. co-founded Wasatch Chemical Company in Salt LakeCity, becoming a major chemical producer and distributor. Along the way, Dee's two sons, Winston (BA 1943,chemistry) and Lawrence(BS 1945, chemical engineering) joined the company. Winston'swife, Lucille, and Lawrence'swife Helen, are likewise U alumni, both in education. AfterDee's retirement,Winston and Lawrence carried on but ultimately left the company. Then, in 1967, Lawrence founded Thatcher Chemical, later renamed TheThatcher Company.

Lawrence and Helen have four children: Diane T. Barlow, Craig N. Thatcher, Teri H. Flanders, and Thomas F. Thatcher. Craig and Tom graduated in chemistry from the U, and went on to get MBAs-Craig's from Northwestern, Tom's from BYU. Diane and Teri followed their mother's lead: each holds a degree in education from the U, and Diane also has anEdD from BYU. Tom currently serves on theCollege of Science Advisory Board.

In grateful recognition of the accomplishments of this remarkable family and their outstanding service and support of the College of Science, including a multi-million-dollar gift toward the expansion of the chemistry facilities, the University of Utah Board ofTrustees approved recognizing this family by naming the new structure the Thatcher Building.

Don L. & Rebecca E. Reese

kThe university is pleased to recognize Don and Rebecca Reese for their contributions to the newThatcher Building. To enhance the training of undergraduate students on the latest techniques and tools in chemistry research, Dr. Don L. Reese and his wife,Rebecca, have made a major contribution to the Thatcher Building. In recognition of their support, the second floor labs will be named the Don L. Reese Advanced Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories. The Don and Rebecca Reese Chemistry Reception Area adjacent to the Chemistry Seminar room is also named in recognition of their support.

Don received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1973, and his M.D. in 1977, both from the U. Rebecca is also a U alum. Both have been generous supporters of the College of Science For more than 20 years. In Addition to the contribution to the new Thatcher Building,the couple established an endowed scholarship for science and math teaching in 2007.

A Home for Discovery

mThe Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry provides a modern home for teaching and research in the Department of Chemistry. The facility houses cutting edge research labs that provide the critical space needed for collaboration to develop into innovative research.These efforts will attack important problems in science with particular emphasis on the field of biological chemistry that will inspire advances in medicine. The National Institutes of Health recognized the importance of this work, when it awarded an $8 million grant to help construct the building. The discoveries to be made in the Thatcher Building will improve the health and quality of life for the people of Utah and around the globe.

fThis new home for the Department of Chemistry will be the place where students become scientists, medical doctors, and entrepreneurs. With breathtaking views of the Salt Lake Valley, top floor seminar rooms provide a place for discoveries in science to be discussed, shared and realized.

Throughout the entire building, numerous gathering spaces provide informal venues to share and develop scientific ideas. The entire second floor is dedicated to teaching laboratories and advanced instrumentation. These labs will serve a growing number of chemistry and biological chemistry students who will have hands-on access to modern spectroscopic equipment for elucidating the structure and function of molecules. The open design of the building provides a window on the process of science as facilities for teaching and research are integrated. The potential of this new home for Chemistry is unlimited.

Curie Club

Inspiring Women Supporting Science

fThe Curie Club Active Learning Center on the 2nd floor of the Thatcher Building will host activities ranging from advanced undergraduate experiments in the adjacent laboratories to informal outreach to school children and scout groups.

Established in 2011, one hundred years after Marie Curie's Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the CurieClubis comprised of passionate, successful, civic-minded,and intellectually engaged members of the community to help overcome barriers, celebrate the accomplishments of women scientists and encourage more young women to pursue a life of the mind.

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood."

- Marie Curie

"Marie Curie is the role model for every girl who states a claim to the life of the mind."

-Eve Curie

The University of Utah is deeply grateful to the following donors who have generously contributed to the Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry.

dLawrence E. & Helen F. Thatcher Family

Don L. & Rebecca E. Reese

Alliant Techsystems, Inc.

Peter B. Armentrout & Mary Ann White Terrell N.& Virginia L. Andersen

Jeffrey L. &Kathleen T. Anderson Karen L. Anderson

Zlatko Baci<:

Chett J.& Shannon Boxley Rodney H.& Carolyn H. Brady Don R. & Catherine M. Brown Joseph F. Brown

Cynthia J. Burrows & Scott L. Anderson

Chevron Humankind Matching Gift Program

Daryl P.& Lydia R. Cobranchi

Cynthia Conner & IgorBest-Devereux Margaret DeAngelis & Michael Feehan Larry A Donoso

Norman J. Dovichi

Jeffrey D. & Jane E. Driggs Dan B. and Nathania S. Elder

Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Edward M. & Marilyn M. Eyring Julius C. Fister

Dean &Teri H. Flanders Stephen C. & Pamela T.Flanders Mark A.& Dianne C.Flanders Carla M.& Peter F. Flynn

Regina Frey& William Buhro Jean & Anne Futrell

Bridget L. Gourley David C. Hanley

Frances N.Harris & Joel M.Harris

Kenneth Hartner

Gale A.& John L.Haslam Hans J.& Charlene Holland Hua Huang & Minmin Lin Jeffrey R. & Angela Jacobsen William E. Jack

Richard A. Jackson William B. Lacy

Christine Lake & Heber S. Jacobsen

dJohn W. Kenney, Ill Carol Korzeniewski Linda M. & Craig V. Lee

Vivian S.Lee &Benedict Kingsbury Jan & Gunnel Underberg

Claudia Skaggs Luttrell

Jeanne L.McHale & Fritz J.Knorr Christopher S.& JanetteMeldrum Shelley D. Minteer & Robert Churchwell

John R. Morrey &

Barbara Mortensen Morrey The National Institutes of Health Ruth L. & Phillip J. Novak

Dinesh & Kalpana Patel Eric M. Peterson

Pete E. Poston

Susan R. & C. Dale Poulter Ronald& Eileen Ragsdale

Kirk M.Ririe & Mary Jane O'Connor Jack W. & Gae S. Rose

sJonathan M. Rubin

Michael C. & Sarah W. Scheuller Ronnie Lee Shepard

Yanlong Shi & Lian Shao

Scott & Marcia F. Stornetta Kathlyn &Thomas F.Thatcher James C.Tou


JacobT. & Erin L. Umbriaco WatersCorporation Michael R. & Jan Weaver

Lisa A. Wenzler &Kenneth A Savin Henry S.White & Jo"yce Garcia

Charles A.Wight & Victoria Rasmussen Pearl Wright

Yaping Xu

Last Updated: 3/27/24