Stauffer endowment hits $1 million, expanding student research opportunities

a student conducts research in the lab

Andrew Chiang is one of seven undergraduate students to receive the scholarship in 2022.

The John Stauffer Undergraduate Summer Research Endowment in Chemistry and Biochemistry has reached $1 million in donor commitments, a milestone that will greatly expand opportunities for students to conduct research.

The donations complete a challenge awarded by the John Stauffer Charitable Trust in which the trust would match donations up to $1 million from donors, resulting in a $2 million endowment funding student research in perpetuity. 

Since 2017 the endowment has funded summer research opportunities for undergraduate students majoring in chemistry and biochemistry, providing hands-on experiences that can give them an edge in the job market. 

“I strongly believe that it is important to give back when you can,” said Tim Felthouse ‘73, who gave the final gift to put Stauffer over the $1 million mark. “This gift will ensure that students have the opportunity to follow their passions and contribute to life-changing research in the field of chemistry for generations to come.” 

Seven undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry presented their research at the fourth annual Stauffer Summer Research Symposium August 18, which also gives students the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. 

“This program can only happen because of the support of others,” said Jianhua Ren, chemistry professor and department co-chair. “It provides a unique and wonderful opportunity that gives students hands-on experience they don’t have in a classroom.”

Andrew Chiang, a 2022 grant recipient, used his stipend to research yeast and its enzymes that could lead to the development of inhibitors that target cancer cells. 

“This summer had immeasurable personal and professional impact,” Chiang said. “Because I was able to do research, I am now more prepared for my future.” 

Chemistry, including biochemistry, is one of the largest majors in College of the Pacific. The number of students interested in conducting research far exceeds the available resources to fund stipends and equipment.

As a student, Alec Follmer ’14 realized the need and worked with the professional chemistry organization Alpha Chi Sigma to make the first gift to the endowment of $10,000. His parents, newly-elected Regent Christopher “Kit” Follmer ‘78 and Cathleen Follmer ’79, established an endowed scholarship to further support the Stauffer scholarships.

University alumni, faculty, staff and students have contributed more than 100 gifts ranging from $5 to $100,000 to match the Stauffer challenge grant.

You can support future research by making a gift to the Department of Chemistry online, or by contacting Georgette Hunefeld at