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Lawrence Thatcher Inducted Into College of Science Hall of Fame


Remarks by Dean Peter Trapa

The College of Science Hall of Fame is a lifetime achievement award to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves in the community, their career, and their support of the College and the University of Utah. 

For a Hall of Fame recipient, these are the selection criteria:

• An individual who is a leader in the scientific or science-related community and whose professional and community service is recognized by peers and associates as truly outstanding.
• A person who has a clear affinity with the College of Science and the University of Utah, but who is not necessarily an alumnus of the College.
• An individual who has proven long-term interest in and support of education and student success in science and mathematics. 

A permanent Hall of Fame display, including individual plaques, is located in the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Research Building on campus. 
Lawrence is the 9th member of the College of Science Hall of Fame.

Earlier Hall of Fame Inductees include: 

 Kirk M. Ririe
Fred P. Lampropoulos
Alan Ashton
Stephen E. Denkers
Gary L. Crocker
John E. Warnock
Jon M. Huntsman, Sr.
Dr. Rodney H. Brady

It is my distinct pleasure in honoring one of our most accomplished University of Utah alumni: Lawrence E. Thatcher was born in Salt Lake City in 1924. He received his training in chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of Utah. He graduated in 1945 with a degree in chemical engineering.

Lawrence and his brother, Winston, co-founded Thatcher Chemical in 1967 in Salt Lake City and developed it into a major supplier and manufacturer of chemical products. Lawrence discovered an innovative way to re-engineer aluminum sulfate in a more economical way for use in water purification.

 Today, the Thatcher Group (formerly Thatcher Chemical) creates a wide range of chemical products impacting many industries. The company currently employs more than 500 people. Not only is Lawrence an entrepreneur and astute businessman, but also a loving family man and a man of faith.

 In 2017, Lawrence received the prestigious Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology from Governor Gary R. Herbert.

 The Thatcher family, led by Lawrence and Helen, have been steadfast supporters of chemistry research and education at the University of Utah. In 2009, they helped establish the Thatcher Building for Biological and Biophysical Chemistry at the University of Utah. This modern facility provides classrooms, laboratories, and research space for hundreds of chemistry students and faculty each year. The family also gave a Presidential Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemistry, which is currently being held by Dr. Cynthia Burrows. 

 Lawrence, Helen, and their four children, Diane T. Barlow, Teri H. Flanders, Craig N. Thatcher, and Thomas F. Thatcher, are all alumni of the U. 

Last Updated: 6/3/21