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in memoriam - Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Kenneth Hughes

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Kenneth J. Hughes passed away on July 17 in Madison. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics at Carroll College and a PhD in inorganic chemistry at Purdue University, then moved to UW Oshkosh in 1965 as an assistant professor of chemistry.

Hughes served as chemistry department chair for 20 years, during which time he led the department through the process of obtaining American Chemical Society approval for its professional chemistry curriculum. In 1990, he became coordinator of the Office of Science Outreach, which provided training for K-12 teachers, He served in that role until his retirement in 1996.

Chemistry colleagues report that Hughes “was very supportive of faculty and student research and secured scarce money to purchase equipment for teaching and research. He was proud of the fact that student investigators used sophisticated instruments in their research, often only available to graduate students.”

He is remembered as “our collective cheerleader” whose “pleasant and understanding way of dealing with people had a lot to do with the establishment of a real collegiality in our department.”

His obituary is available at


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