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Scholarship Endowment Honors Longtime Chemistry Professor

Kenneth and Jane Hanck
Kenneth and Jane Hanck

A new scholarship endowment in the College of Sciences will support graduate students in chemistry while honoring the legacy of an influential longtime faculty member.

Jane Hanck recently established the Kenneth W. and Jane A. Hanck Chemistry Graduate Student Endowment in memory of her husband, Kenneth, who was a key part of the Department of Chemistry faculty from 1969 until his retirement in 2012. He served as head of the department from 1982 to 1991 and interim head in 2004-2005.

Jane Hanck said that her husband was dedicated to helping students during his life and hoped to continue doing so even after his death, which is why he wanted to establish a scholarship endowment to benefit graduate students who might need extra financial assistance to accomplish their goals.

“He loved his job, loved teaching and loved interacting with students,” she said. “He especially loved working with graduate students and got to see their needs firsthand, which helped him understand how much impact this scholarship could have.”

“Professor Hanck was a role model to faculty on how to educate students,” said David Muddiman, Jacob and Betty Belin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and one of Hanck’s former colleagues. “His impact on those students fortunate enough to have had him is never-ending.”

In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Kenneth Hanck was also an accomplished researcher in electroanalytical chemistry and chemometrics. He supervised research with graduate students and also developed research collaborations with chemists in Romania, Japan and Australia. He was awarded a Fulbright Senior Award to Australia in 1980 and spent nearly a year engaged in collaborative research and teaching at most of the country’s major universities.

A black-and-white photo of Kenneth Hanck at a chalkboard in a classroom
Kenneth Hanck in the classroom while on the NC State faculty.

The one-year, renewable, merit-based award created by the Hancks will benefit graduate students in analytical chemistry, with a preference for those studying electroanalytical chemistry or chemometrics.

Jane Hanck said that her husband’s love for NC State inspired him to stay at the university for so many years and then to stay connected to the school long after his retirement.

“Dabney Hall was his place,” she said. “He would have never thought of going anywhere else because that’s where he wanted to be, from the very beginning. And even after he retired, we would come back for retired faculty events and football games. He loved being part of NC State.”

“I hope this scholarship will be able to help students while continuing his legacy at the university,” she said.