The Ava Helen Pauling Chair

A large portion of the funding for the Ava Helen Pauling Chair in the Linus Pauling Institute was made possible by a donation that came as a complete surprise. In January 1998, a bank in Maine notified the OSU Foundation that a trust had been dissolved and that the Linus Pauling Institute would be receiving $1.2 million. The trust had been established by Orlo Williams, a small-town lawyer who once wrote the Institute for health information he wished to give to a friend. The Institute gladly sent him the requested information and a newsletter featuring the latest findings on nutrition research.

In the following years, Mr. Williams contributed a few hundred dollars annually to the Institute. No one knew he had the desire or means to make such a large donation.

Balz Frei, who holds the Linus Pauling Institute Endowed Chair and Directorship, says the Institute decided to save the unexpected generosity for a second endowed faculty position. Over the next three years, thousands of other donations came in from friends and supporters around the country, and in January 2001, the Institute was able to appoint the first Ava Helen Pauling Chair.

The Institute decided to name the chair after Ava Helen Pauling "because she was of great importance to Linus Pauling, his scientific career, and his work opposing nuclear testing and promoting world peace," says Dr. Frei. "Pauling always felt she should have shared the Nobel Peace Prize with him. We are pleased to honor her memory with this endowment."


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