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Gladys Hetzner Knoll endows NERS Department Chair

A generous gift from Gladys Hetzner Knoll, wife of the late Professor Emeritus Glenn Knoll, has endowed the Glenn F. and Gladys H. Knoll Department Chair of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences.

by Kim Roth

“This new endowed chair will serve as a lasting acknowledgement of the remarkable leadership and service that both Glenn and Gladys have provided to the NERS department for nearly 60 years,” said Department Chair Ron Gilgenbach, also the Chihiro Kikuchi Collegiate Professor.

Professor Glenn Knoll was a beloved member of the NERS faculty, and the Knolls’ loyal and sustained support remains evident throughout the Department’s activities today, including through the annual Glenn F. Knoll Lecture in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and the Glenn F. Knoll Nuclear Measurements Laboratory in the new NERS Nuclear Engineering Laboratory.

The new $2.5 million endowment provides funds for the Glenn F. and Gladys Hetzner Knoll Department Chair to promote the excellence of the NERS department. The gift will have an immediate and important impact on the Department by supporting recruitment of the next department chair. Gilgenbach will step down from the role on August 31, 2018.

“My hope is that this endowment will be an inducement for a top-notch candidate to come to U-M NERS. After all, it’s important to maintain that number one ranking,” said Gladys Knoll.

The Knolls came to Ann Arbor in 1958 from Stanford, where Professor Knoll had just earned his master’s degree. “The Nuclear Engineering department was very new and quite small, so we were soon acquainted with almost everyone,” Knoll said. “The NERS department has been like an extended family to the Knoll family, and it has been a delight to us to see it grow both in size and prestige. Glenn and I both took pride in the achievements of the faculty and their graduates, and we felt that they, collectively, did work that makes our world better and safer. This is part of our legacy, too.”

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