Baylor Mourns Death of Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

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Dr. F. Gordon A. Stone, Emeritus Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Baylor University and one of the 100 most-referenced chemists in the world by the Institute for Scientific Information.
April 8, 2011

Baylor University is mourning the death of Dr. F. Gordon A. Stone, Emeritus Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and one of the 100 most-referenced chemists in the world by the Institute for Scientific Information.

Dr. Stone passed away April 6 at the age of 85. Services are pending at OakCrest Funeral Home in Waco.

"Wednesday April 6 was a very sad day as we lost one of the true heroes of 20th century chemistry," said Dr. Patrick J. Farmer, professor and chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Baylor. "Gordon Stone did so much for this department and university, he had a very positive influence on the lives of all he met, and he indeed made great contributions to the field of organometallic chemistry that are acknowledged by his colleagues worldwide. After 20 years at Baylor, the legacy of the man and his work at Baylor will be difficult to replace."

Farmer said Dr. Stone played a vital role in his joining the Baylor faculty from the University of California-Irvine.

"I was impressed by his strong support of younger colleagues in the department and his lifetime of learning and research," Farmer said. "Gordon's advice for me as an incoming chair was to strive for excellence across the board, with all disciplines contributing to the training of our students and the advancement of our university. Wise words to remember."

Dr. Stone earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Cambridge University. In 1952 he became a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California. He also has received honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Durham (1993), Exeter (1992), Salford (1993), Waterloo (1992) and Zaragoza (1995).

From 1954 to 1962, he was an instructor and later an assistant professor at Harvard University, and in 1961, was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1962 and for the next 27 years taught at Bristol University, serving twice as chair of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry. During that time he also served as visiting professor at Princeton and Carnegie-Mellon universities and at the University of Arizona.

In 1990, Dr. Stone joined the Baylor faculty as The Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. The Robert A. Welch Foundation of Houston funds approximately 25 Welch chairs in Texas institutions that offer Ph.D. programs in chemistry and are active in research.

Dr. Stone was the author of more than 900 academic publications and for many years served as editor of Advances in Organometallic Chemistry. He was honored for his imprint on the scientific world when he was named one of the 100 most-referenced chemists in the world by the Institute for Scientific Information, an agency that keeps track of publications in all of the sciences.

During his lifetime, Dr. Stone mentored hundreds of graduate students from around the world who have earned doctorates under his supervision and post-doctoral students who have studied in his laboratory.

A fellow of the Royal Society of London, Dr. Stone gave named lectureships at universities in Europe, North America and Australia and received many awards for his research. His scientific autobiography "Leaving No Stone Unturned" was published in 1993 by the American Chemical Society as part of a series of books by 30 other eminent chemists.

He was the beloved husband of the late Judith to whom he was married for 52 years; and father of James, Peter and Derek.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in memory of Dr. F. Gordon A. Stone to:

The Parkinson Alliance
PO Box 308
Kingston, NJ 08528-0308
1-800-579-8440 or 1-609-688-0870
Fax: 1-609-688-0875
www.Parkinsonalliance.org

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