College Announces $100,000 Gift to Establish Endowed Scholarship in the Sciences
Campus News

Franklin College has announced a $100,000 gift establishing the Dr. Barbara Hummel Weil ’47 Memorial Scholarship.

The endowed scholarship was established by Dr. Edward D. Weil in memory of his deceased wife Barbara Hummel Weil, a 1947 Franklin College alumna.

Barbara grew up in Marion, Ind., and enrolled at Franklin College to study chemistry, a field few women at that time explored. Overcoming that challenge, as well as the physical and social challenges of blindness in one eye caused by a childhood illness, she persevered and earned a graduate fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1953 and married her husband, Edward, also a chemistry fellow.

Barbara had a successful career, while raising two children and found employment with well-respected companies including Bell Aircraft, Union Carbide, Chemical Abstracts and the New York City office of Lipha, a French pharmaceutical company. It was at Lipha that she was credited with her most impactful accomplishment. She wrote all the FDA-required paperwork and advocated in Washington, D.C., for the FDA approval of the major antidiabetic drug metformin.

The scholarship will be awarded annually beginning this fall. Recipients will be selected according to the criteria established by the family, with first preference given to a female student demonstrating academic excellence and majoring in chemistry or other science-related fields.

“Barbara was a true leader in both her field of study and her professional career,” said Franklin College President Kerry Prather. “This scholarship is a powerful way to honor her lifelong accomplishments while making a meaningful difference for Franklin College students for years to come.”

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Jan 11, 2021