Tom Dunne


Tom was born in Los Angeles, California in October 1930. He grew up in the small chemical company town of Westend, California on Searles Lake in the Mojave Desert (many older high school chemistry texts had a section on Searles Lake as a source of many inorganic chemicals including borax, potash, soda ash, sodium sulfate and alkali metals lithium and cesium.)
May flights of angels sing Tom to his Holy Rest and may those of us who knew and worked with him, and especially those who loved him, find solace in our sacred memories.      -- John Michael Sophos
Tom went to school in the larger nearby town of Trona and graduated in 1948 from Trona High School. He then went off with three of his high school classmates to UCLA where he received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1952. He attended graduate school at the University of Washington and received his Ph.D. in 1957. He then took a position in the Central Research labs of IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY. After a few years there he opted to seek an academic position, so took a PostDoc with Professor F.A.  Cotton at MIT. He joined the chemistry faculty at Reed College in Portland in 1963 where he taught a variety of courses, advised many thesis research students, and chaired the Department of Chemistry for several years. He formally retired from Reed in 1995, but continued to teach and advise there for several years following his retirement. He was active in the Reed Emeritus Book Club and also was active in the City Club of Portland. His passtime was reading and he would read periodicals (Science, C&EN, The New Yorker and others) cover to cover every week, as well as reading or re-reading many classics from the Library. image
Tom was a 64-year member of the American Chemical Society, Portland Section. He was an active member of the NOR Board, the ACS Northwest Regional Board of Directors.  Board Members Glenn and Jane Crosby said:

"Tom’s manifold contributions to ACS and the Region often are invisible. He doggedly keeps looking for funding, and often his successes go unheralded. Moreover, he is the guy who incessantly prods the Region's officers until the NOR Board does what it should do to operate in a business-like manner. Only a few ACS members in the Northwest have left tracks as wide and deep and for as many years on the ACS Northwest Region Board."
Tom applied his fund-raising skills especially to the Section's scholarship program, which has awarded over 130 scholarships since 1968 to outstanding chemistry majors for an aggregate value of over $300,000.

Tom received the E. Ann Nalley Northwest Region Award for Volunteerism in 2011.

-- Patrick Dunne and Martha Dibblee